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Shabby Chic Crafts

Updated on August 24, 2017

Crafting with Shabby Chic

I love everything about Shabby Chic. I love the colors of the creams, pinks, and aquas. I love the worn look and when I find something Shabby Chic, I usually buy it. However, I am making gifts for my secret sister in the quilt guild and she also loves Shabby Chic. The problem is that although I know what it should look like, I have never tried to create the look myself. I consider myself a crafter but this is new.

Before I could even start, I needed to understand Shabby Chic which sent me searching on the Internet. I found many inspirational pictures but I wanted to decorate wooden crosses and found nothing to help. This is my journey and I am inviting you to follow along with me.

Where did Shabby Chic come from?

In the 1980s, the term was coined by "The World of Interiors" magazine. Shabby Chic became highly popular in the US in the 1990s, especially in the metropolitan cultural centers in such places as LA and San Francisco. The style is reminiscent of the large country homes in Great Britain where the elegant furnishing were worn and faded. This was a departure from the very formal Victorian era although the styles tend to cross over. With the unstated elegance, shabby chic came to mean softer pastels, worn wood, and cotton or linen fabrics. Roses play a large part although other flowers are used as well.

Suggestions for supplies

These are some of the things that I have purchased to decorate items for the Shabby Chic look.

Doily lace

Martha Stewart Crafts Doily Lace Specialty Ribbon
Martha Stewart Crafts Doily Lace Specialty Ribbon

Can't go wrong with this assortment.


String beads

My inspiration picture - From Schlaflos NRW

If you, like me, love all things Shabby Chic, plan to spend time looking at this site. It is not in English (only a little) but that doesn't matter. It is all beautiful and language is unimportant. There is also a great tutorial on chiffon flowers.
If you, like me, love all things Shabby Chic, plan to spend time looking at this site. It is not in English (only a little) but that doesn't matter. It is all beautiful and language is unimportant. There is also a great tutorial on chiffon flowers. | Source

How I arrived at the decoration of the crosses

Originally I bought two undecorated crosses, planning to stack them. The more I looked for inspiration, the more it became clear that I would need to decorate them separately. This works for me on another level. Each month we give our secret sisters a gift. If I do two crosses, I have two months covered with beautiful items to delight her.

I wanted both crosses to be decorated in the Shabby Chic style but did not want them to be even close to the same. I had already made fabric flowers that now were too big for the small cross. That wasn't a problem because they would still look good on the larger cross but I was at a loss for how to turn the smaller one into a work of art.

Even with the inspiration picture, each item takes on a life of its own - The small cross is finished

The small cross - This is where I admit I had no idea what to do

I found the scapbook paper and the rose stickers. I knew that I wanted those for the smaller cross but wasn't sure how they would work. I finally decided to paint the cross white and then another coat of a very light pink. I bought crackle medium to make it look older but if I covered it with the paper, it wouldn't show up. So I decided to check out all my pictures again to see what I might be missing.

Shabby Chic is soft colors and worn looking. If I painted the cross and then added the paper, I could tear the edges to expose the crackled finish. That served two purposes. It would give it the worn look while still showing both mediums. I like the idea of showing some of the painted areas while still using the paper that I think is gorgeous.

How to accomplish that was another story. I finally decided to do the painting, crackle the paint and then apply glue to where I wanted the paper. When it dried, I tore the paper at the glue line to make it appear more natural.

Steps to creating the small cross

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Painting it white.Painting it pinkCrackle detail makes it look older.The paper glued down and the edges peeled away after it dried.Floral detail.
Painting it white.
Painting it white.
Painting it pink
Painting it pink
Crackle detail makes it look older.
Crackle detail makes it look older.
The paper glued down and the edges peeled away after it dried.
The paper glued down and the edges peeled away after it dried.
Floral detail.
Floral detail.

Shabby Chic is not for everyone

In our house, we have one who likes the more contemporary look and brighter colors. Then, there is me who would decorate everything in Shabby Chic. Fortunately, we have spent almost 30 years working on it and have finally come to a happy solution. Christmas is mine and everything about our decorations are Shabby Chic and Victorian. He has the rest of the house to play with although I am finding that more and more of my decorating items are creeping in.

Do you and those who live in your home agree on styles?

One the inspiration website I found the tutorial for the fabric flowers. These are super fun to make.


I'd love to hear what you think - Do you think it looks Shabby Chic?

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    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 4 years ago

      Shabby chic is lovely!

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image

      hntrssthmpsn 5 years ago

      Your cross is lovely, and I adore those flowers!

    • profile image

      crochetmiracles 5 years ago

      I love that style and my opinion is that everything old fashioned brings some kind of individuality in our homes especially when things are handmade! I'm a crocheter, crocheting is my great passion since I was a little child - about 10 years old. I'm addicted to crochet doilies and tablecloths - everyday I search for patterns in old crochet magazines. My teen daughter tells me every day that these things are "OLD FASHIONED" and that I'm losing my time to make them but the truth is that I can't stop just because the desire is stronger than me.

    • profile image

      ohcaroline 5 years ago

      I am a true folk art country girl...but that doesn't mean that I don't have an appreciation for shabby chic. You did a great job on the cross.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I LOVE shabby chic and my husband is at the opposite end of the spectrum preferring industrial, modern (ewwww) However, I figure since I am the one who spends my time at home, I should be able to decorate the way I want. Love these craft ideas! Great job on the crosses!

    • jolou profile image

      jolou 6 years ago

      I definitely love Shabby Chic and have several items. I'm a big fan of roses too which are often used.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      I do like the look of shabby chic, it has a vintage sweetness and seems to draw out nice memories.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Yes I do, it is pink, it has the look of lace and more importantly you did it yourself, I love the rose pattern paper that you used, be proud of yourself it turned out really nice