Shabby Chic Fabric: How to Turn ANYTHING Shabby Chic

Shabby Chic fabric may just save my life. Or, well…..I guess just my crappy furniture.

Shabby Chic FabricBecause….There’s no denying it.

I am and mostly like will continue to be decorating on a very tight budget.

That budget plays a big part in fueling my love of shabby chic! Thrifty elegance!

However, there just seems to be this inescapable reality that I will just have to make do with some very, decidedly NOT Shabby Chic pieces.

The Wal-Mart particle board dresser, for example.

The mission-style entertainment stand-made-armoire.

The (forgive me) down-right ugly, though deeply loved rocker from Grandpa.

Pieces that, first of all, seem like a waste of effort to paint (although I do see white paint in their future, regardless!)

And pieces that just do NOT have any element whatsoever of the fashionable, delicate elegance of shabby chic.

So what can I do? What can anyone, ever, do when presented with dreadfully unfortunate-looking circumstances and not a spare penny to throw at them?

Play dress up, of course!

Enter: Shabby Chic fabric!

Grandmas Shabby Chic FabricI wasn’t kidding about not having even a penny to throw at these pieces. Believe me when I tell you that shabby chic-ifying (yep, made that one up myself) with fabric can be a virtually free way to class up your act.

How, you ask?

Do you have a grandma?

Or a mother, for that matter?

Or a little sweet old lady who lives down the street even?!

(If the answer to all three of these questions is “no,” you may, unfortunately, have to spend a couple of pennies on this decorating project. Try the thrift store. And may I suggest trying to meet some sweet old ladies? They really are essential to quality of life.)

Shabby Chic PillowAll you need to do is hit up your sweet old lady (or the thrift store, for the lonely ones) for just a couple scraps of fabric in her more-than-likely-extremely-abundant-storage of old dresses, sewing scraps, curtains, tablecloths, pillows, etc.

Shabby Chic fabric is incredibly easy to find. Basically, you’re just looking for floral. Or pastel. Or white. Or lace. Or any combination of these.

And once you find it, the decorating ideas just start flowing.

Cut a rectangle and drape it off-kilter over an ugly dresser.

Better already!

Try your hand at reupholstering the chair cushion….or just drape another piece of lacy fabric over the back. (This is my solution for a few more months of basement-dwelling. I’ll make sure to share with you when I get to try the real deal!)

Shabby Chic Fabric Reupholster

Lacey Chair Drape

If you’re feeling creative and a little bit boho- try cutting panels of shabby chic fabric to apply inside the armoire door panels (or glass panes, or drawer faces, or whatever your shabby furniture needs to be chic!)

Fabric panel

Girly Fabric Panel


Is your couch lacking? Sew up some throw pillows with your shabby chic fabric. Mixing and matching fabrics is a great way to go. I personally love the relaxed feel it brings.

Shabby Chic Fabric Pillow

Line the insides of your drawers with shabby chic fabric for a “secret” shabby chic feel.

Fabric Lined Drawers

If the tone of your room is right, you can leave one open and drape some lace or an antique broach over the corner like this:

Shabby Chic Drawer

Basically, if you can get your hands on some shabby chic fabric, you can probably improve your décor significantly no matter what you do with it. ☺

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