As a new bride, I craved vintage.
Not the Avocado Green and Harvest Gold that was in every rental, that wasn’t old enough to be cool yet.
I started buying red-handled kitchen utensils, vintage tins and doilies when I could find them cheap and I had a few extra dollars in my pocket.
There was nothing in my life to feed my desire for tacky décor, except an occasional well-used Country Living magazine at the laundry mat that I would devour page by page with my poverty stricken eyes. There was no internet, blogging or Facebook. There certainly wasn’t any Pinterest. I rarely ran into anyone who had my same taste for the chippy and faded items from the past.
I just loved, loved, loved me some vintage.
I saved my husband’s pocket change until I had enough to justify pushing the stroller a few blocks to the thrift store. This was back in the day when $1 or $2 could buy several items. Remembering those prices makes my heart pound. When my husband had a dollar for a can of pop, he would use two quarters and leave the two quarters in his pocket for me. It was the only time in our marriage where I supported him drinking something that wasn’t good for him.
I was thrilled to find this beautiful tablecloth in about 1989 and used it for years on my kitchen dinette table. My centerpiece was usually a vintage glass pedestal bowl with fresh pine branches and red glass Christmas balls. I loved creating Christmas magic in my home without spending a lot of money.
The linen was only retired to the closet when we bought a real oak dining room table that was too big. It hung around for years, because I couldn’t part with it. It gathered more yellow stains. After a few years of dreaming about it, I got brave.
I pulled out my trusty Ginghers, not the pair my husband used to cut carpeting, the pair he bought to replace the pair he used to cut carpeting, and began dissecting before I lost my courage.
Two panels were cut from the length of the tablecloth, using the printed pattern in the center as a guide. When I want to “get ‘er dun” I’m not all picky about perfect measurements. For the bottom, I simply folded the seam up to the bottom of the red border, ironed, and sewed. The valance 12 inches from top to bottom. I left 1/2 inch along the top to make a little ruffle and about 1 inch casing for the tension rod to fit through.
If you don’t sew, you need to know about Stitch Witchery. It’s iron-on fusible webbing you can use to hem things. It may make the fabric a bit stiff, so you want to use it with heavier items. I didn’t use it here, but I’ve used it even when hemming clothes.
A memory of Christmas Past became a memory of Christmas Present. I look forward to hanging my valance for all the Christmases Yet to Come.
Oh, I should do this! What a great way to reuse a well loved tablecloth. I love your story. I remember saving up for placemats that cost $1.50 each. I only need 4 but it took me awhile. 🙂
I didn’t start out loving vintage~we just had a lot of hand me downs. But over time I learned to love them.
I LOVE it!!! When my mom passed away and I was going through her things, there was a tablecloth very similar to that one I have been using. Love your idea!! Happy New Year to you and yours!
Joyce Haugen says
Merry Christmas, belated, to you and yours! I think of you often and send a prayer your way. We enjoyed Christmas Eve with your Mom and Dad, as we always do. I love seeing what you do with your Vintage findings, I smile to see that if I were doing it I would arrange things very much like you do! We must be related. I don’t do much anymore but still hit the thrift stores etc. For our tree this year we found a sack of old wooden ornaments for 50 cents, some old gold colored balls, and with a few little red bows it looked beautiful, to me. Anyway, I just love reading about your life, it makes me feel closer to you as we have been so far apart for so many years.
Happy New Year! Love You Aunt Joyce
Hahahaha!!! “not the pair my husband used to cut carpeting, the pair he bought to replace the pair he used to cut carpeting,” SOUNDS JUST LIKE something SKI would do!!!!!!!!!!!
I am beginning to wonder if we’re related a way long time ago in our family trees. Seriously! As I see pictures of your style and hear you describe your likes, it sounds awfully similar to what I like. I LOVE red. I love certain vintagey items that bring back nostalgic memories of my sweet Grandma Hanson. I love Country Living magazine – Ski just gifted me a subscription for Christmas. The old ones are best though with their charm but I’ll take the new ones just as happily. I wish I could tell you that we had a bunch of great thrift stores around here that I could entice you with but… =/ …we don’t. 🙁 We have an AWESOME little tiny Scandinavian shop but it’s far FAR from thrift store prices. I did just find a week before Christmas a small vintage shop that I thougth of you the entire time as I walked through it, but it would only take us 10 minutes so that’s not really worth coming all the way here to go to. Anyway, it would be fun antique shop with you.
Very nice. Very clever, crafty, thrifty, and just cool. 🙂
Momma Mindy says
Thanks, Nita. Now, I am just trying to figger out what to do with the piece left from the middle…