Go Fabric Shopping With Creative Genius Danielle Benson

danielle benson of decorella knoxville

This post comes from guest blogger and Made + Remade Creative Genius Danielle Benson. When I was lamenting around the office that I wanted to shop for upholstery fabric and DIY upholster an ottoman but didn’t know how, I was told more than once that I needed to call Danielle. A busy professional by day and decorating blogger by night — she’s the creative voice behind the celebrated DIY blog DecorellaKnox.com — Danielle was just the fabric mentor I needed. You can see her here in this throwback upholstery video from HGTV.com, then check out her oh-so-valuable fabric shopping advice before you start your next project!

I will admit that my name is Danielle Benson and I am a fabric hoarder. I love fabric! I want to buy it, collect it and keep it forever. I know not everyone shares the same excitement as me when it comes to buying fabric, but I hope my enthusiasm will rub off. For many people, the task is daunting and overwhelming. People ask, “Where do I buy fabric,” and “What if I get the wrong fabric?” Here are my suggestions, hints and thoughts on fabric shopping.

Fabrics are always labeled by departments: quilting, costume, home décor, etc. Don’t be afraid to ask when shopping in-person or online if the fabric you’re purchasing will be good for your project!

Brick and Mortar Fabric Shopping

fabric store

Fabric stores can be daunting if you’re not sure what you’re looking for, so come prepared!

  • Shop in-store options but don’t be afraid to ask for catalogs to do a custom order. Just be cautious, some brick and mortar stores have a minimum custom order quantity that may be higher than you need.
  • Sign-up for customer loyalty cards for discounts, sales and coupons.
  • Thrift stores, estate sales and second-hand stores are great ideas for vintage or very affordable fabric.

Online Fabric Shopping

upcycled chairs that have been painted and upholstered

Create a great custom look like this for all types of upcycled furniture using just paint and fabric. You can find some really unique fabric styles online!

  • The majority of online shopping sites allow you to order a sample for a minimal charge. I highly recommend doing this as the color resolution on your screen may make the fabric color look different than it does in person.
  • Make sure you read what the fabric is ideally used for. You won’t want to order quilting fabric or anything cotton for upholstery or home décor projects.
  • Surf the web for any online coupon codes that you can use when you check out.
  • All of the online fabric shops I’ve purchased from do have return options. This can’t always be said for brick and mortar shops.
  • My favorite online fabric recommendations are:
    Fabric.com: I love the coupons, coordinating fabric options, large selection, quick shipment and easy returns.
    Spoonflower.com: Support your local fabric designers! Become inspired with custom fabric or create your own fabric or wallpaper with your personal photos, logo, graphic or monogram.

Tips and Tricks for Home Décor Fabric

graphic blue and white fabric design

Order more of a graphic patterned fabric to allow for matching the pattern on your piece.

  • I highly recommend measuring for the fabric needed for your project before shopping.
  • Always order more fabric yardage when the fabric design has a pattern — this will allow you the flexibility to design your project based on the pattern. You can get away with ordering the perfect amount if you’re ordering a solid fabric.
  • Make sure to use the appropriate thread for your fabric. Examples: silk thread for delicate fabric, upholstery thread for upholstery fabric.
  • Don’t be afraid to venture outside the box for fabric. Curtains can make lovely pillows, thin rugs can be used to upholster ottoman or seat cushions, bedspreads and sheets can be used as curtains.
  • Be sure to pre-wash your fabric if it will ever be washed in the future, like pillow covers and curtains. You do not need to pre-wash if you’re upholstering furniture.

Danielle has all kinds of DIY tricks up her sleeves. Check out this idea for silhouette wall art using the likenesses of her beloved dogs! The Creative Genius series on Made + Remade features fabulous DIYers and makers who inspire us. Meet more Creative Geniuses and help us share the spirit of DIY!

8 Responses

  1. Web CMS says:

    Shop in-store options but don’t be afraid to ask for catalogs to do a custom order. Just be cautious, some brick and mortar stores have a minimum custom order quantity that may be higher than you need.

  2. rates live says:

    Reading your article was a real pleasure for me � it is very well you need informations about written and obviously you know a lot about the subject (I even suspect that you haven't said all you know, in fact). You have one more regular visitor from now on! Thanks:)

  3. I really like along with of the material you select it is easy yet very fairly, I really appreciate material purchasing exclusively if it is for dressmaking.

  4. Haberdashery says:

    I love the color of the fabric you chose it is simple yet very pretty, I really enjoy fabric shopping specially if it is for dressmaking.

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  6. adminrugs says:

    What lovely rugs! It is very challenging to find Made in America. It takes awhile of research, but it can be done.

  7. Tyra Flores says:

    Hey Kelly. These details are informative and helpful. Thanks for post a great post on your blog. I believe everyone need an expert advice within their work and it is clearly seen that Danielle have the talent to make things right. Picture of chairs is not looking that good with the background but I'm sure these will look amazing with other interiors.

    Reference : http://www.northcroftfabrics.co.uk/


About Kelly Smith Trimble 


I grow vegetables wherever I can find enough sunlight and forage roadsides and hiking trails for plants that can be used to make natural dyes. You can find both vintage ...

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