This is a combo DIY / Get the Look for Less post. Let the story begin!
Y'all know my love of Otomi (see posts here and here). You might also know my love of thrift stores. There was a Kiwanis thrift store in Ann Arbor that I had been wanting to visit since moving over this way, but it is only open Saturdays from 9-12. Since Kristen and I started our booth, it was the perfect excuse to search for treasures (like we need an excuse). We can always says we are shopping for the booth and throw a few things in the bag for ourselves, right? So, since neither of us had visited this store, I was very unprepared for the experience. We had both boys with us, and to save on room for a possible large piece(s), I did not bring the stroller for Carson (or the body carrier even though that doesn't take up room). I thought there would be carts, like most stores. Mistake #1. There was not. Lugging around a 25 pound baby and keeping track of a 4 year old who has his own agenda - not easy.
The other little piece of info that would have been helpful to have is: you have to pay for your purchase in EACH department, and the majority of them only take cash or check. So if you are in the linen area, you have to pay for what you want until you move on. If you only have a debit card, they can try to accommodate you at another station but carting all of your stuff over there is a PITA.
Keeping that in mind, the very first thing I spotted were these Otomi squares in the linen area. There were 10 of them and they were not marked. Knowing in my head what this type of artwork goes for, I asked the price. When the lady told me (50 cents a piece) I could hardly hand my money over fast enough! It was one of those moments where I thought someone else was going to grab them out of my hand, wanting the same treasure. That is the thing too - the volunteers in each area mark the items. So if something isn't marked, you are at the mercy of the person you ask for a price. Some are very reasonable, and others are not (another story for another time)!
I hope those tidbits are helpful, if you decide to visit this thrift shop. We continued on our treasure hunt, finding a good mix of things for ourselves and the booth. As the time wore on, it was quickly realized that Richard was coming down with something (ended up being strep throat) and it was just the beginning of a weekend jammed full of events as later that afternoon we were doing Carson's smash cake shoot and the following day was his party. As difficult as the shopping was with the kids, the finds were worth it in my book and we will definitely revisit Kiwanis when we can. These linens alone were worth it for me!
I had no idea what I was going to do with these 10 pretties. I figured I would keep some for myself and then make some into projects. I kept them in the back of my mind. Now for the Get the Look for Less Part. I was at Target a while ago, and I saw this tasseled pillow. Being that I am weird and can remember everything that Anthropologie has ever sold, it reminded me of the tasseled pillows they sold a few years ago for $58 to $78. Check out Pinterest and you will find tons of DIY's for it. I thought it was a cool pillow, but since our decor has changed a bit I didn't have a place for it. But then, lying in bed one night (where you come up with all of your great ideas), I came up with the idea to see if I could sew the Otomi pieces onto one of the pillows! I figured I would make one and find a place for it somewhere in the house.
The Target pillow was $24.99, and for someone like me who does not sew it was worth it for me to buy it rather than buy the fabric, stuffing, floss for tassels to do the entire DIY. A lot of decorative pillows have zippers so you can take the cover off for washing, but this one did not. That meant I would have to sew right on the pillow. I am sure this violated what a true sewer would do, but I don't often follow rules. I went back to get a second pillow so I would have it on hand if I really liked how the first one turned out. Spoiler: I did.
I gently ironed the Otomi pieces I wanted to work with. They are not perfectly square (whereas the pillows are). Also, all but one of the edges of the Otomi fabric is stitched, meaning, one side is raw. I had problems with that side laying flat (and of course it's on the top of all of them) so I have a few wrinkles there. Other than that, for a handmade project, I love how they turned out! I just pinned them onto the pillow, and then hand stitched the sides one by one, carefully letting the fabric move as it needed to. They lay entirely flat against the pillows and look great!
And, they have found a home! All of our travel decor has made it's way to our bedroom, and since our trips were to Mexico, Guatemala, Belize and St. Lucia they are a good fit. While working on the pillows and browsing Pinterest, I saw the bedding idea at the end of this post (stark white with colors and pattern mixing) which is my end goal. We have not done anything with our bedroom since moving in, and we know we want to paint and get new bedding. Hubby says white bedding isn't practical with 2 boys and 2 dogs..... plus he said we never make our bed so what's the point of decorative pillows...... but when do I ever listen to him!?!?! LOL! I told him let's pretend we make our bed.
I loved this project and would definitely make more of these pillows if anyone was interested in them!
Pinterest inspiration below!