How to decorate with a sari

Written by sabrina savra
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How to decorate with a sari
Saris come in a tantilizing rainbow of pattern and colour. (Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Saris come in a myriad of distinctive patterns and colours that add exotic flair to any decorating scheme. The generous yardage of saris (1 yard-by-6 to 9 yards) gives them versatility with all sorts of creative home-decorating ideas. You can find saris at speciality fabric stores that sell designer fabric, sari stores in metropolitan areas with large Indian populations or online. Beyond home decor, saris' intricate patterns work well for framed art or journal covers.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Sari fabric (in coordinating colours or patterns)
  • Sewing machine
  • Straight pins
  • Safety pins
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Decorative trim (optional)
  • Fabric scissors
  • Tape measure
  • 16-by-16-inch pillow form (for pillow)
  • Iron
  • Thick towel or cotton sheet
  • Ironing board

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    Easy Draped Accents

  1. 1

    Lay a sari over a dining room table and use it as a tablecloth. To protect it from stains, put protective Plexiglas sheets or a clear plastic tablecloth over it. For smaller tables, such as end tables or coffee tables, fold the sari in half or in quarters before covering the table.

  2. 2

    Accent an attractive chair by draping a folded sari over the chair back.

  3. 3

    Drape a sari over a sofa for a quick, elegant slipcover. Straighten and pull the sides of the sari until it hangs evenly all around the corners and arms. Gently tuck the fabric into the sofa to secure.

  4. 4

    Drape a sari over a bed to use it as a decorative coverlet. For a duvet cover, take two saris of equal size large enough to fit your comforter and pin them together with straight pins, right sides facing in. Sew the three sides together, following sewing instructions detailed for the pillow below, but leave the top open. Insert the comforter. Pin the opening shut with several equally spaced safety pins.

  5. 5

    Hang a sari around a curtain rod for a simple window valance or swag. Experiment with draping it around the rod in different ways -- symmetrical or asymmetrical draping. Play with it until it looks pleasing to the eye.


  1. 1

    Using sharp scissors, cut two 16 1/2-by-16 1/2-inch squares of sari fabric to fit a 16-by-16-inch pillow form. For other sizes, use a tape measure to measure the pillow form and two pieces of fabric equal to the size of the pillow form. Don't forget to add one-half inch all around for seam allowance. If adding decorative trim such as ribbon, pin it to the right side of the fabric. Then hand- or machine-sew it on using small, straight stitches.

  2. 2

    Machine-sew a one-half-inch seam allowance down three sides of the square, leaving space to insert the pillow form. Remove the pins as you sew, backstitching at corners to reinforce the seams.

  3. 3

    Lay the two squares on the ironing board. Place a towel between the sari fabric, and iron on low heat, gently pressing the seams open so they lie open and flat.

  4. 4

    Turn the case right side out and slip in the pillow form. Pin the seam shut and thread the needle. Hand sew with slip stitch to close.

  5. 5

    Dry clean or hand wash the pillow case when needed. Cut open the slip-stitch seam with scissors and remove the pillow first. After cleaning, insert the pillow form and slip stitch the seam closed.

Tips and warnings

  • Always handle saris with care. The delicate cottons, silks and rayon that saris are woven from are too delicate to withstand a beating and are more suited to low-traffic areas. To clean, either hand wash with mild soap and water and let air dry or dry clean, according to the manufacturer's instructions.

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