New semester, New office decor

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In the academic world, it seems like everyone has multiple offices. Even as a grad student, I have two. Two offices to read books in. Two offices to run analyses in. Two offices to write papers in. Two offices to decorate!

This semester, I wanted to decorate the office where I spend most of my time. I share it with 3-5 other grad students, depending on how you count, but I have my own designated desk, guest chair, and section of the shelving. Here’s what it looked like before.

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You could call the furniture, uh, traditional, but that might be too much of a complement. What bothered me the most was the giant empty white space above the desk, full of holes from previous students.

I turned to Pinterest to find a remedy. After searching through lots of the same ideas over and over again, I came across a clean and simple way to hang fabric from Nalle’s House. The materials needed can be found in any hardware store. Each banner uses 2 dowel rods (mine are 18″ long each), 2 eye hooks, a piece of ribbon, and a scrap of fabric. I wavered back and forth for a while between 3/4″ and 5/8″ dowel rods. Either would have worked just fine, but I went with the 5/8″ rod due to the measurement’s sewing relevance. I got an employee to cut the dowel rod to length for me. The fabric came from my stash. I was given these two upholstery fabric samples from an unnamed source who used to work at a furniture shop. They were the perfect size for this project.

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With all supplies in hand, the construction only took me about an hour per banner. First, I finished the four sides of the fabric. Then, I folded the top and bottom edges over and stitched across them to form pockets, large enough to slide the dowel rod through. On the top dowel rod,  I screwed in eye hooks on either end. The last step was to tie a piece of ribbon to each of the eye hooks so that it can be hung up.

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These banners make my office feel much more homey to me. The guys I share my office with probably don’t care – or haven’t noticed – but I like that my office has a little style now.  This might be optimistic, but I think they even tie in the orange chair a little bit for a midcentury modern feel.  Too much? Maybe.

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Pattern: n/a, inspired by Nalle’s House DIY Outdoor Art
Fabric: 2 upholstery fabric samples
Notions: 4 eye hooks, 2 36″ long, 5/8″ diameter dowel rods, ribbon
Cost: $4.96  dowel rods + $1.24 eye hooks + fabric, thread, and ribbon from stash = $6.20
Time: 2 hours

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