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Budget Friendly DIY Ideas Using a Sari

Updated on August 9, 2014

Less is more

Whenever I want to decorate my home or buy something for the house, certain times I'm not happy with the value of the products. Not only they take up too much money but their quality is debatable. That is when I decided to look around and take inspiration from some of my relatives who are very good at making things on a budget. It is fun, less costly and gives more satisfaction as per my personal experience. Initially I did not seem to have the patience for doing things myself. But slowly the ideas started growing on me. Sari or Saree is the traditional wear of India worn in different styles across the country. Here is a list of easy ideas you can incorporate using a sari at your home without much fuss. You will be as surprised as me with some of these ideas. I myself did not believe it till I saw some of them. Hope you like it.

Images: Chandradey,,lemontree

What is a Sari?

Sari is the traditional Indian wear that is worn both in the North and the South. There are different styles of saris at different prices.

It is available in two lengths - six yards and nine yards. Most common type of sari worn is the six yard sari. For some styles of sari the other length is preferred. It is draped elegantly around the body is different fashions.

The sari is a very unique wear as it can convey homeliness, calmness, elegance, glamour and fashion all depending on the person wearing it. Till my mother's generation,it is the commonly accepted wear for ladies.

In ancient period, the Hindus believed that a fabric loses its purity when it is cut and stitched. That is why they preferred the sari which is made out of a single smooth cloth.

Recycle and Reuse

My mother has a lot of used and old saris some of which are still in good condition. I tried these activities with that and I’m very happy with the outcome. Saris can be used for a variety of purposes within the house. It is economic and at the same time very beautiful to look at.

Here are some simple things you can do as a hobby and put these saris to good use.

Have you ever seen or worn a sari?

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How to make a floor mat

My aunt is an expert in making handicrafts out of used saris. She introduced this craft to her whole village through women's self-help team. Now every house in the village has at least one self-made mat.

The process is simple and less time consuming. If you need the mat to be of a single color, use a single sari. Otherwise you can use multiple saris to make your mat colorful.


  • Old Sari - 1
  • Glue
  • Sewing thread
  • Scissors


1. Take an old clean sari and cut it into breadthwise strips.

2. Tie the first three strips together at the top. Then plait the strips just like braiding hair. When you reach the desired length of the floor mat sew the bottom side so that the plait is held in place.

3. Take the next three strips, tie at the top. Plait it tightly and sew the bottom side.Repeat the process till you get the desired breadth of the floor mat.

4. Stick all these separate plaited strips to one another with the help of a strong glue.

5. Take a thread and sew the loose ends if any.Place a heavy object on the mat till the glue dries.

6. The above procedure is for straight mats. Alternately you can make round or oval mats too.

Finally decorate the mat with color pastes or glitter pastes.

Cushion Cover

Choose a sari with uniform design. Cut the sari as per the measurement of the cushion to be covered.

Stitch the sari in along three sides to make a pouch.

Insert the cushion into the sari and then stitch the final corner.

Now your favorite sari can adorn the sitting room!

Using the same procedure you can make a pillow cover too.

Bed Canopy

Do you have a king size bed that needs a little bit of decoration? Use multiple colored saris to make a great bed canopy.

In the baduga tradition saris are used to decorate the wedding altar. This inspired me to try some new decorations with saris in my own bed and needless to say it looks elegant.

The selection of saris for this should be made carefully. When using multiple saris, the colors should blend with each other to create a seamless picture. Using multiple contrasting saris can mar the effect. It is best to use saris of similar material and models as it would go well with the bed. Avoid using heavily decorated saris as this might be too heavy and uncomfortable to be used as a canopy. An ideal selection would be a light weight, bright colored embroidered sari.

Bed canopies can be made with hooks similar to curtains. Then the sari can simply be draped over the hooks.


The advantage of using a sari for a variety of purposes is that saris are available in different shades and beautiful materials. There are literally thousands of varieties depending on the area in which it is manufactured. Choose a light weight embroidered sari for making curtains. You even have lace saris for making lace curtains.Measure the doorway and cut the sari according to the needed length. Hem the borders. You can even choose borders from some other sari and stitch it over another sari for an impressive effect.

How to make a Tablecloth

Stencils and fabric paints are a great way to make your own table cloth. They are available in a variety of designs and sizes.

Make sure to choose a light colored sari as background for dark colored stencil drawing. You can experiment with a variety of paints and fabrics using this technique.

If you want to make your own stencil at home, use chart paper to cut the design you like just like a stencil. Then follow the same procedure.


  • Sari
  • Stencils
  • Fabric Paint
  • Sewing thread


1. First cut and hem the length of the sari you want to use as a table cloth.

2. Place a cardboard on the table. On it place the sari.

3. Keep the stencil and measure the number of designs you can make at approximately equal intervals.

4. Now start tracing the design using the stencil with roll over fabric paint

5. Wait till the design is dry and trace the next pattern. Repeat this process till the entire cloth is designed.

6. Allow the cloth to dry.

Letter holder

Take a thin strip of a sari of your choice.

Measure the length of the holder you need. For instance if you need 15 cm as the length, start measuring from the top of th strip. At 20 cm, fold the sari upward to the 15 cm mark. A small pouch is created by this effect. Stitch the two sides well. Your topmost holder is ready. Repeat the process till you arrive at three or four holders as you require.

Your letter holder is ready. You can decorate the outer sides with bows and sticker stars.

Have you tried anything with saris so far?

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Make a Pillow

For making a pillow, buy some cotton cloth and stuff it uniformly with rags or unwanted cloth pieces. It helps if all the rags are of the same material. My mother makes it with the pieces of cloth she cuts away while stitching a cloth. Then she collects all these tiny bits and puts them in a cotton cloth already stitched along three corners. After filling the cotton pouch, she stitches the final side and covers it with a sari cover. It looks and feels absolutely great!

Which one of these crafts do you want to try?

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    • shprd74 profile image

      Hari Prasad S 

      2 years ago from Bangalore

      Very good hub.

      - hari


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