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Enhance Your Furniture with Slipcovers
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Enhance Your Furniture with Slipcovers

Decorating a new home can be an expensive way to start a new life. And even if it's a home you've had for a while, re-decorating with new furniture is not much easier on the billfold or purse.  For this reason, a lot of people choose to do their furniture shopping at thrift stores, rummage sales, estate sales, or from friends' hand-me-downs.  It's really not a bad way to go, because much of the older furniture that you could buy used is actually built better than more modern items, plus the design is often a lot more distinct.

But what do you do if there's some small imperfection on the furniture that makes you feel a bit insecure about the item? Or how do you take old furniture and make it look new? One easy (and affordable) option is to use slipcovers.

A slipcover is simply an easily-removed piece of cloth that you place over a piece of furniture's upholstery either to protect it or alter its appearance. In the past, a slipcover tended to just be nothing more than scrap material thrown over the sofa and tucked into the cushions. Today's slipcovers are much more creative and attractive than that.  There are some slipcovers you can buy that actually surpass the look of the original upholstery itself! You'll hardly be able to tell it's not part of the couch or chair.

A leader in the slipcover business is Sure Fit  These are tops in functionality and design. They can be a bit pricey. In fact, in some cases, it costs more to buy a Sure Fit slipcover than it would to buy a used couch or chair.  You can buy these if your budget allows it. If not, you'll need to consider something else.

One possibility is to create your own slipcovers. For anywhere from $6 to $10, you can buy a painter's canvas at a local fabric or home improvement store.  This fabric is durable and can withstand years of abuse from your kids and family pets.  Plus, for added decoration, you can add some stencil painting, embroidery, bows, or anything else you like.  If you choose to go with the painter's canvas, make sure it's heavy duty and unbleached.  Also, buy cotton.  And take some time to find the perfect one.  Often you can find one that is made in a perfect size for your couch.

You could also turn a tablecloth into a slipcover. While it probably wouldn't work for a full-size couch, it's often the perfect size for a love-seat, ottoman or chair.  There is enough variety in sizes, patterns and colors that it should be easy to find something that matches your room's decor. Again, spend some time looking at flea markets and thrift stores. 

Blankets or bedspreads can often be converted into slipcovers as long as they are truly quality items. Few things are as tacky as covering a couch with a blanket that everyone knows is a blanket.  But if you have something lush, perhaps made of velvet in a dark, rich color, it can look quite nice as a furniture cover.

And finally, you might find your perfect slipcover can be made from drapes, curtains or sheers. While these probably won't work so well on living room furniture, they do make perfect material to cover your dining room chairs or pillows.  Be sure to use higher-end curtains, such as those made of velvet or chenille for a truly luxurious look.

Just remember as you're creating your slipcovers to use materials that look elegant and which match the room's overall look and color scheme. You'll find that even small budgets can create a great-looking room.

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