How To Embellish Fabric

Try these techniques for turning plain, old fabrics into something fresh and trendy that you can hang in your room or wear out on the town.


  • TIP: For a retro effect, sew a round bead through the center of a homemade rosette made with a nifty tool called a yo-yo maker.
  • Step 1: Staple your decorated fabric tightly over a wood frame to create a piece of artwork, hang it from a rod as a curtain or Roman shade, or sew it into an outfit or costume.
  • FACT: Martha Stewart, do-it-yourself craft and food extraordinaire, taught herself how to cook using Julia Child's _Mastering the Art of French Cooking_.
  • Step 2: Sew beads or rhinestones along the outlines of your design or in strategic places where you want to add texture or sparkle.
  • Step 3: Use a sewing machine or a needle and thread to sew fringe around the edges of fabrics to give them a classier, finished appearance.
  • Step 4: Cut a piece of craft foam into a simple flower shape and attach it to a wood block -- or carve a stamp out of the wood itself. Apply fabric paint to the stamp and press it onto fabric to create a pattern.
  • TIP: Glob fabric paint unevenly on the foam for a chic, textured look.
  • Step 5: Paint repeating designs onto fabric with a homemade stencil for a slightly different result. If you don't have a cutting machine or stencil acetate, print a design on paper, laminate it, and cut it out along the lines.
  • Step 6: Buy fabrics or grab an old, light-colored sheet or tee shirt -- as long as no one will care that you're going to modify it.

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