When we moved in back in October the curtains in our master bedroom left much to be desired.
See…I wasn’t kidding. The previous owners left these little gems for us – 2 flimsy curtains and a wooden rod. They were so hard to pull shut, and even when drawn they barely covered the entire window.
These bad boys didn’t provide much privacy, let in way too much light, and were a terrible length…too long for the window sill and too short for the ground. Yuck. These babies had to go.
We quickly came up with a game plan for new window treatments that would be affordable, light blocking, and would match our current decor and style.
The first order of business was to block out the light. Since we live in the city, the lights from the buildings around us are incredibly bright. Also, our bedroom windows face east so the sun comes right into bedroom. Blackout shades were high on our shopping list.
We found the above shades at Home Depot and got 2 cut right then to fit the width of our windows. We installed the blackout roller shades immediately and quickly found out that they were effective…but terribly ugly.
So I ordered some gorgeous bamboo shades off of Overstock to install in front of the roller shades.
Most of the time we keep the bamboo shades about 1/3 of the way up and don’t even move them up and down.
Then we just roll the blackout shades down at night, and up during the day. It works out pretty wonderfully and we’ve gotten much more shut eye because of this setup.
Personally, I think we’ve come a long way from those initial flimsy curtains, don’t you? I’m sleeping like a baby knowing that I now have good lookin’ windows.
Remember back in October when we took a plain doormat and gave it a serious upgrade?
Yeah, that project was pretty awesome and oh-so-easy. (If you need some holiday doormat inspiration, here’s a little more for ya…)
Well the herringbone doormat project gave me the courage and confidence to tackle a much larger painting project…
…my Ikea curtains!
I kept going back and forth about whether or not I should give them a teeny, tiny splash of color at the bottoms. Ultimately I decided, “why the heck not?!” If I screwed them up I could simply head back to Ikea and get some more inexpensive white ones. Life isn’t fun unless you’re trying something out of your comfort zone right? At least that’s what I kept telling myself during every step of this project.
Once my mind was made up, I got to work and gathered my supplies.
I knew I wanted to try out the herringbone pattern again. It wasn’t too difficult the first time and would only require painter’s tape to create the pattern. I also got some light blue paint, a sponge, drop cloth, pen, measuring tape, and a bottle of fabric medium.
I had absolutely no idea what fabric medium was until this project, but boy am I happy that I found out about this little bottle. Fabric medium reduces the stiffness that can often occur when you paint fabric. You mix a bit of fabric medium in with your paint, and the end result will be a flexible and washable fabric. Genius! I would have had some stiff looking curtains if it wasn’t for this stuff. This is a must buy for this tutorial!
Once I had all of my supplies raring to go, I set up shop in front of the TV and got to work while catching up on episodes of Scandal <—seriously amazing show!
Rookie Tip: Make sure you use a drop cloth underneath your fabric. The paint may seep through to the other side and no drop cloth would make for quite the mess….
Now the tricky part…figuring out how to measure the herringbone pattern. (Warning: things may get confusing up in here. Just grin and bear with me as we figure this one out together!)
I decided I wanted to paint 20 inches at the bottom of the curtains. That would make 4 5-inch sections of pattern. So I taped off 2 of the 5 inch sections and secured the tape horizontally.
Next, I created the diagonal sections with painter’s tape and taped it up from end to end.
I decided to go with 3 inches for each strip of color and measured as I taped it all down.
Rookie Tip: Make sure that the painter’s tape is very secure on the fabric. You don’t want any paint seeping under. Keep those lines looking crisp!
Once the number crunching was over, it was time for the fun part…painting. I simply went and painted the pattern in between the painter’s tape. I made sure that I covered each strip evenly and firmly pressed through so the paint soaked into the fabric.
I let the paint dry (about 30 minutes) and then held my breath as I peeled off the tape…
and it was a success!
After seeing my first pair of stripes, I was motivated to tackle the rest of the project.
I simply taped off the rest of the fabric to make the stripes go in the opposite direction. Then I got to work painting…again.
Boom…one curtain panel down, one more to go. #ugh
Trust me, I was very tempted to just paint one of the curtains because currently the other is hidden behind the back of our couch. My rookie counterpart (cough, cough Bridget) suggested I just do one of the curtains and someday paint the other panel. But I knew that I would never have the motivation to finish off the pair (and I might not remember all of the steps exactly), so I put in the hours and got.er.done! It took a long time (many episodes of Scandal), but I’m very pleased with the end result.
(Excuse the poor photography. It is incredibly difficult to photograph windows, so these pics may not seem quite as light and bright as our usual pictures.)
Here are the curtains behind the couch. I had to throw in a picture so you all keep me accountable for finishing up our projects every time!
I really don’t think the photos do them justice. They look awesome in person! They’re still very light and airy, but have a bit of sass at the bottom.
However, I may not be painting anything until after the new year. I’ve done my share for 2013…
Last week I welcomed you to our new home. I also left you with some very scary pictures of our place looking a bit crazy and cluttered with boxes.
Good news: We’ve been working on getting those boxes unpacked and outta here.
Better news: That means I can work on decorating our new home. #finally
Here is our current family room situation. Not finished in any way, but looking pretty dang good for just moving in (if I do say so myself!)
But you see those big windows to the right? Well they were just begging for some curtains. Begging I tell ya. So I ignored my mile long moving-in to-do list, and decided to drop everything and get those babies some curtains.
Then I looked at the windows a little more closely…
…and thought, “where does the curtain rod go?” Good question.
See, normal curtain brackets and rods look like this. You attach above the windows or to the sides of the windows and rest the rod in the lip on the bracket. But my windows are deep set, so I didn’t really have that option.
That’s when I came up with the crazy idea to attach the curtain rod to the ceiling instead. As long as I could find the right brackets that would encircle the rod on each end…I could make this work.
Enter a trip to Ikea. Yes, I do love that store and their products. No, I do not like leaving 3 hours (3!) later with $500 out of my pocket. (Everything they sell is so tempting, and I couldn’t resist. Plus we did need a to buy a few big purchases…I swear!)
I purchased a pair of RITVA curtains 57×118 in all white. I threw those babies in the washing machine, then the dryer, and finally I ironed them. Note: They will lose about 4-6 inches of length when you do this. When those were done, Finn and I got to work on installing the brackets and rod.
Step 1: We used our electric drill and drill bit to create 2 holes in the ceiling. We then inserted 2 wall anchors, so the screws would have something to grab onto.
Step 2: We then screwed the bracket onto the ceiling.
Step 3: We followed Ikea’s instructions, and installed the circular piece that would hold the curtain rod.
We repeated this both in the center of the windows and on the other side, until all 3 brackets were hung and sturdy. Then we simply put the curtain rod through and hung our curtains.
Boom, done! Oh wait…
The curtains were a bit way too long. Back to the store in search of some no-sew hemming tape.
I found this little roll at Target near the sewing supplies.
I simple followed the directions on the back of the box and got to work.
Rookie Tip: Fold the bottom part of your curtains up and use pins to secure. That way your line at the bottom will stay straight and secure.
Rookie Tip: I used the sewing tape across (horizontally) and also on the sides (vertically) to keep the seam looking smooth. Seems like it is worth the extra work to me.
It took me about 30 minutes to get those babies hemmed, so they were up and hanging in no time at all.
As a girl who has never hung curtains, I’m totally loving them (and feeling really domestic.) I like the flowy white fabric and I feel like it really finishes the room.
But, I am thinking about jazzing them up just a tad. Maybe with a DIY paint project? I’m envisioning a light blue pattern painted on at the bottom.
What do you think? Keep them plain & white…or add some detailing??
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