Kitchen Runner (on the Cheap)

For the longest time, I had been casually looking for a runner for our kitchen. You know, just a simple cotton rug, about 2′ x 9′? You wouldn’t think it would be that hard to find. But it had been over four years, for goodness’ sake! I pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I would have to bite the bullet and pay $99 (plus shipping) to Pottery Barn for a rag rug runner (say that 15 times, fast!). But I kept pushing it off (I’m really good at that), and now it turns out that PB doesn’t even stock cotton runners anymore! Oh well, no matter, I’ve found an alternative solution — and a budget-friendly one, at that!

Enter the reliable, hard-working (and only $3.99!) SIGNE rug from IKEA (we have four others in our house, so we are well acquainted). Because IKEA’s stock of these little rugs is constantly changing, we find a different selection of colors and stripe patterns upon each visit to the store. On a recent trip, I spied a rug with kelly green, olive, and black stripes on the typical SIGNE-cream background. I quickly grabbed it, thinking, “this just might work in our kitchen!”. At that point, I was so excited to see a rug that potentially matched the kitchen, I didn’t even think of the runner idea. But a week or so later, it hit me, and we returned to IKEA, fingers crossed. Luckily, there were exactly three rugs left in that color combo!

I don’t have a sewing machine, so during a recent visit to my parents house, my sister Amy and I retreated to the basement and put the thing together. Here’s how we did it:

1. We cut the fringe off one side of two of the rugs, and both sides of one rug.

2. Then we ran the cut edges through a serger three or four times using black thread (we were trying to approximate the width of the black stripes on the rug).

3. The three pieces were pinned together so the serged edges aligned with an existing stripe on the rug.

4. Finally, we sewed the pieces together using a heavy-duty needle and a zig zag stitch. We used black thread for the top, and either cream or olive in the bobbin, depending on where the back of the stitch lined up. We did that so the rug would be reversible.

Lest anyone think this was a flawless process, here’s evidence otherwise.

In this case, we had black thread in the bobbin, but the bottom stripe was olive (not to mention the stitching was misaligned). Ugh, ripping out stitches…

Oh, well, it’s not perfect, but it looks good from here…and it cost a total of $12.69 including tax!!!


Nifty Thrifty

I enjoy an occasional trip to the thrift store. Usually with my friend, who shall remain anonymous (she is a self-admitted addict). My first stop is always the housewares/knick-knacks section (this could be because it starts right as you walk in the door). There’s always a ton of stuff, but not much that catches my eye. Not to mention, their prices are weird. 66¢? $1.91? What happened to the 10¢ glasses and mugs I used to get at the Goodwill back at college? Seriously, though, $1.91? Is that normal? Anyway, I digress…

On my last trip into thriftdom, I was surprised to find several items that I was glad to take home (after paying, of course):

At first, I wasn’t sure about this vintage scale…I like it; it goes with my collection of vintage green kitchen tools, and it seems to function accurately, but the price seemed a bit high…more like an antique shop price, than a thrift shop price. But I emailed Tim a picture of it, and he said I should get it, so I can’t blame it on him. :)

For quite some time, I have been hoping to find some nice dessert or parfait dishes, and I finally came upon this set of four. I like the etched lines and their simplicity (for the most part). I’m not too crazy about the bases – they seem a bit incongruous with the tops. But, good enough.

I grabbed this vintage Phillies logo/1210AM thermos for Tim. So what it says, “Milk: The Fresher Refresher” on the back? There’s no rule that says he can’t use it for coffee. And just in time for baseball season.

Lastly, I just had to get these two Bicentennial glasses. Philly memorabilia + 1976 (our birth year) = home run!

If you’re an active thrifter, I’d love to hear about some of your recent finds!