Using Expensive Fabrics with Little Budgets

You finally found the perfect fabric that pulls every single color together in your living room, but lo and behold your luxury linen was a bit too luxury in price for your budget.  Snap up a yard or two of that fabric – it won’t cover the couch, but if you use every inch wisely, you can use designer fabrics to redecorate your room on a budget.

Throw Pillows

Use the fabric in throw pillows – you can make a pillow front with a coordinating back, velvets and velours work well for texture.  If you’re really scrimping, try it in a flanged edge to the pillow, fold it in half and sew it into the border of your pillow, you can pleat it to give the pillow a finished, professional look.


The typical curtain panel is going take up to three full yards of 54” wide fabric – with interior designer fabrics costing up to $200 per yard, you can blow a redecorating budget with the few snips of the scissors.  Try a plainer fabric for the panels and use the designer fabric for a valance or cornice.  Go for the simpler styles rather than the pleats and gathers that can take up valuable yardage.

Try the same border trick as for your throw pillow, dress up your inner seams with a flat border sewn in to coordinating panels.

For covering just the bottom half of the window, consider a flat panel café curtain.  Without having to deal with gathers and pleats, it will be easier to sew and take considerably less fabric.

Hem and Haw

Edge your drapes, tablecloths or even your bedskirt with the good better fabrics.  Use a plainer, less expensive fabric to coordinate the look.


You may not be able to slipcover your couch with an expensive fabric – you’ll need about 10 yards of fabric for a slipcover or to reupholster a couch, and upholstery weight fabrics can set you back a pretty penny.  Try slipcovering an ottoman, chair or foot stool instead.  Make a pillow cushion for an occasional chair.  You’ll only need about 1-1/2 feet of fabric for each cushion front.

Table Runners

Even a novice sewer can manage a table runner, as the flat pieces are much easier to sew.  You can even avoid threading a needle by using the iron on webbing or fabric glue to finish edges.  Just take your time and work slowly, you’ll end up using under a yard of fabric if your runner is four feet in length or less. 

You can afford to use designer and high end fabrics in your rooms, just like a professional interior designer - you just need to be a little more creative with the uses!