May 27, 2010

Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Got a Makeover!

Pin It Now! Have you ever written off a store as a resource for a particular product even though that product is part of the name of the store?

That's what I had done with Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft.

Until yesterday.

Let's just say I never bought any actual fabric from Jo-Ann. Crafty things, yes. But no fabric. Despite the fact that the store has always had fabric, it just wasn't the kind of fabric I was ever looking for. I haven't ever quilted, made a baby blanket or dressed a three year old for a beauty pageant. I always thought that it would be a good resource for Halloween, but had to continuously remind myself that I don't sew. Then I would begin to feel guilty because, well, aren't women supposed to know how to sew? Isn't it a right of passage or something? I don't blame my mother - she tried. I just didn't like it.

Anyway, I ventured into my local Jo-Ann yesterday to pick up some sort of hook-eye contraption to attempt to repair a cool belt I picked up at an estate sale last weekend. Check this baby out!

It's all metal. Scored it for $2. Funny, when I tried it on, there was a clasp. When I got to the car, there was no clasp. I was kinda bummed, but figured it was something I could fix. There was, after all, no sewing involved.

When I entered my San Mateo store, I expected to see some 4th of July plastic crap to my left, and some sparkly glittery hot pink stretchy satin to my right. No such thing! Much to my pleasant surprise, the store layout had been completely overhauled.

I made my way through the new rows of fabric, excited for what I might discover. My brother had recently picked up some upholstery fabric from Jo-Ann that was actually quite nice! At the time, I was convinced it was a fluke.

Sure enough, however, when I got to the back of the store I was lovingly greeted by rows and rows of perfectly acceptable home decor fabric. Actually, as I looked closer, it was more than acceptable - there was some really cute stuff! And decent brands! Annie Selke, Robert Allen, Waverly, etc. I was genuinely excited. And, the best part? All home decor fabric is currently 40% off. That's better than any trade price I can get on this stuff.

I didn't have my camera on hand to take photos, but I did peruse the website when I got home. Here's a little sampling of some of the fabrics Jo-Ann has to offer. (Prices shown are the sale prices.)

Waverly "Sundial" Indoor/Outdoor @ $20/yd; Annie Selke "Shalini" @ $27/yd

Waverly "Beach Umbrella" @ $11.99/yd; Sunbrella "Dimone Rainforest" @ $27/yd; 

Waverly "Parterre" @ $21/yd; Waverly "Carino" @ $27/yd

Christie Brinkley (did anyone else know she had fabric?) @ $21/yd; Waverly "Spring Haiku" @ $18/yd

DwellStudio "Botany Flora" @ $18/yd; Waverly "Lovely Lattice" @ $18/yd

Jo-Ann also carries the Crypton William Wegman Collection for all of you dog lovers. Crypton is essentially impenetrable - these fabrics would be perfect for a dog bed!

Crypton Willam Wegman "Polka Dog" @ $42/yd; Crypton William Wegman "Material Dog" @ $42/yd

Oh - and I also scored these fabric samples that were discontinued for $2 a piece. 

What on earth, might you ask, am I planning on doing with these? Well, they just so happen the be the perfect size for napkins! We're trying to use less paper around here, and cloth napkins are a great way to reduce paper waste. I made sure they were all 100% cotton so they can easily wipe off greasy little fingers. Cute, huh?  I love the mis-matchy quality of them and the colors are perfect for summer.

And in case you were still wondering about that belt, I found the perfect hook. 

So, I think the moral of this story is to constantly explore new - and old - resources when shopping. You never know what you might find if you keep your eyes and mind open.

Do you have any stories to share about a store that has surprised you? Any favorite unexpected resources for design projects? Please share!

If you are interested in color and interior design services, please call me at 818.825.0155, or shoot me an email at to discuss your project.