Friday, February 4, 2011

Everyday Beauty

Once you fall in love with the idea of making a home, you find infinite pleasure in making it suitable, comfortable and even beautiful.  But, too often we put away our beautiful things because, well, they are too beautiful. “This is too nice to use for just everyday,” we say. We’ll save it for the holidays or when guests come to visit, and content ourselves with the plain and practical for everyday.  But our home is the space that encircles both our body and our spirit. It ought to be beautiful. No matter where we live, even in a temporary situation, a home is something we can create with the currency of beauty.

Why should you use a dishrag when you can easily use a dishcloth? Why should you use a dust rag when you can easily use a dust cloth? Truly, it is just as easy to use a towel that has, in some way, been made beautiful as it is to use a plain one, or one that is worn out or ugly. Of course, my home is more than those physical objects that surround me, but I find that my happiness is greater when I see, use, and enjoy everyday things that are beautiful. My everyday attitude is much improved.

Lest you get the wrong impression, I’ve used my share of rags, plastic cups and worn out blankets. But, I’m becoming wiser to my own happiness. It doesn’t take much to add a little beauty to everyday things. It does take a deliberate choice to actually use them.

If you own a pair of plain (white or printed) pillowcases, I challenge you to pull them out and use the following tutorial to add some simple, everyday beauty to your home.

Materials: Besides the pillowcases, you need a package of rick-rack trim, 6-ply cotton embroidery thread, two small embellishments, and a needle.

Measure the rick-rack trim, cut and pin it around the hem of the pillowcase.

Measure a length of thread three times the width of the pillowcase and cut. Use all 6 plys and thread the needle. Knot the thread.

Fold a bit under the end of the trim and bring the needle up in the corner. Make a tacking stitch. Do this on both the top and bottom edge.

Bring the needle up at the inside edge of the trim.

Take a small stitch, within the inside edge of the rick-rack trim. Take another stitch on the inside edge diagonal to your other stitch. Stitch, back and forth, within the inside edges of the rick-rack trim all the way across. The thread lays across the trim, tacking it securely to the pillowcase.

Work these small stitches in each wave across the length of the trim. Make the stitch smooth and snug, but don’t pull too tightly or the fabric will pucker.

When you come to the end of the trim, take another small tacking stitch on the top edge to secure the end and make it neat.

Tack down the bottom edge as well, and tie off the thread securely.

Sew on the embellishment. A ribbon rose, a button, or an applique would also make a cute decoration.

You are finished. Now use them. You’ll feel like a queen!


  1. Very beautiful, very inexpensive and very simple. Thanks.

  2. Betty, you are so faithful in your encouragement and I appreciate you. Thanks for your comments.

  3. Love all your ideas--learned how to do the tucked dishtowels and learning now how to attach the rickrack--I like your method of doing it so much better than stitching on the machine-and it looks great--I'm doing these methods on linen dishtowels from a recycled long linen tablecloth--love linen--it irons really good and the tucking looks fancy-could use it even for a stand cloth. Looking forward to keeping up with your site for future ideas. Thanks!

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  5. That's a really pretty way of sewing ric rac! I'd never seen it before! :) Lisa

  6. Thank you for this idea. This is looking so much better than the hand stitching across the center that I was doing.


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