Celebrate spring’s arrival and renew a bland bedroom with this bright bouquet of floral-inspired crafts.
From an enticing bed covered with flowering linens to an upcycled nightstand blossoming with joie de vivre, this bedroom sports designs that will enliven your retreat with color and pattern. Most projects use fabric remnants and craft supplies from a local hobby store.
The gorgeous fussy-cut quilt provided not only the inspiration for our color scheme but most of the materials for the small projects around the bedroom.
Beside the bed, stacked suitcases (the top one decoupaged with scraps from our quilt fabric) serve as a nightstand. To cover an old suitcase, pull together a stack of coordinated fabric scraps. Pour decoupage medium into a bowl (we used Mod Podge) and dip a fabric piece into the medium. Slide the fabric between your fingers to remove the excess adhesive and press it onto the surface of the suitcase. Cover the case with scraps in a random pattern. You may need to cut some pieces to get crisp edges along trim and hardware. Allow the layer of scraps to dry completely, at least overnight. Clip any wayward threads. When thoroughly dry, brush a coat of decoupage medium over the entire fabric surface and let dry.
A bouquet of flowers in hot colors adds a lively contrast to the cool blue wall. Elevating the vase on a stack of books gives the small posy greater prominence.
A vintage alarm clock, small table lamp (with a yo-yo-covered lampshade) and handmade clay jewelry dish complete the nightstand tableau.
A ribbon pillow made from leftover quilt strips graces the top of the bed. Accent pillows were sewn from quilt backing fabric.
Give plain white pillowcases some floral flair with easy embroidery. We sketched out some simple shapes then drew them lightly on the pillowcase in a random pattern. A limited palette that echoes the quilt fabrics keeps the design cohesive.
Azure embroidery floss in a blanket stitch edges the case. This basic stitch is an easy one to master and can be used for edging sheets, blankets, pillows, towels, and clothing or to outline appliqued motifs.
Start a blanket stitch by bringing your thread up through the fabric (A) and down again about a quarter inch diagonally from the first (B). Push the needle up again so that the stitch is aligned along the bottom with the first (C). With the thread loop under the needle, pull it through the fabric until the thread lies tight against the emerging thread. Take the needle to the next point a quarter inch diagonally and repeat the stitch along your edge.
The stem or outline stitch is great for (obviously) outlining a motif and works very well around curves. It’s one of the most commonly used stitches in embroidery. To create the stem stitch, bring your thread up through the fabric at the left end of your design (A). Keeping your thread below your needle, push the tip back into the fabric about a half-inch to the right (B) and bring the needle back through a quarter-inch from where you began (C). Pull the thread through. Push the needle into the fabric another quarter-inch along (D) and up at the first downward stitch (B) and continue along your line, keeping your stitches as even as possible.
The French knot, an ideal stitch for representing floral buds, can be tricky but is easy once you get the hang of it. If you’re new to it, practice it a few times on a scrap of fabric before adding it to your design. To make the stitch, bring your threaded needle up through your fabric (1). Hold the needle point away from the fabric with your right hand (2).
Use your left to wrap the thread around the needle twice (3). While holding the thread taut, push the needle tip down into the fabric very near the thread you brought up (4—avoid going into the same hole or your knot may come out the other side!).
Slide the knot down the needle to the fabric surface, keeping the thread taut with your left hand (5—but not so tight the needle can’t pass through). Lightly holding the knot with your left thumb, slowly push the needle through the fabric (6).
Pull the thread to form the completed stitch (7). Sounds complicated, but once you’ve done it a few times, you’ll have French knots popping up all over your design (8).
While the color scheme was inspired by the fabrics in the brilliant quilt, paint-by-number landscapes above the headboard enhance this celebration of color.
Want to see details on other projects? We’ll give you more step-by-step instructions in our next series of posts. Don’t miss them—they’re easy!
Thanks to Elaine Anderson (the world’s best neighbor) for sewing our gorgeous quilt.
© Caruth Studio