One of the most annoying things about moving to a new home every year or so is the incredible amount of issues I have with windows. Believe it or not, homes come with a wide variety of windows and every home we make ours is radically different from the last. Consequently, I’ve acquired a large collection of various, ugly curtain rods and cheap curtain panels.
With experience comes knowledge and I know that without curtains, my rooms are cold, loud and drab (unless you have fabulous roman blinds or an incredible view, but please note the bit about moving every year or so, that makes the chances of an incredible view or beautiful, custom roman blinds pretty slim). This creates a dilemma. Should I use the ugly curtain panels I acquired nine years ago for $9.97 a pair or splurge for new curtains and hardware? I know! Maybe I should use the curtains I once sent Tom to buy to cover one home’s horrid bedroom cathedral window while I was swollen pregnant and dealing with an evil eye light from a distant hotel at night and the hot sun during the day? They were dark and only hung half-way down the window (we had blinds on the lower portion), but they did the job.
What do I usually do? 1. Ignore the problem as long as humanly possible. Usually it is glaring light or complete lack of privacy that forces me to address the window. 2. Sort through curtains and rods to find a temporary solution. 3. Spend
over a year a month or so gathering inspiration. 4. Worry about the cost and panic when curtains become an absolute necessity. 5. Continue to suffer with horrid curtains and/or blinds (when renting and leaving soon) or creatively solve the problem using mad bargain hunting skills and a splash of awesome inspiration.
This time around my main issues were my dining room, master bathroom and master bedroom. In my dining room I had dark, wooden roman shades with heavy, thermal gray curtains (it get’s c-c-cold here). After painting the room Pratt & Lambert’s Argent, I needed something more.
I live in a cold, but beautiful region of the country and I desperately wanted to fake some spring in my dining room. I fell in love with this fabric, but it was way more than I wanted to spend on a room I would enjoy for 4-5 more months (though still an incredible steal for decorator weight fabric).
I loved the idea of yellow, it was the end of winter and we still had plenty of snow. So I looked for something else and came across these tablecloths at Target:
Yes. $9.99, 60 x 84 inches, nice and wide and a great length. Hmmm. Could I? Would I? Oh yes, I did! And no, I don’t sew (I want to, truly, but have never learned and just discovered my sewing machine’s instruction manual and pedal in my basement, maybe in Spain?). What did I use? This amazing stuff called Stitch Witchery (you can find some at Michael’s, JoAnn’s or on Amazon, right here).
This stuff is amazing, all you need is an ironing board, hot iron, plenty of water and a couple of rotating damp ironing cloths (I used washcloths, but any heavier cotton fabric would work just fine). I first started by ironing the tablecloths and measuring the length. I chose to make my own pocket for the rod and ironed a 4 inch crease across the width of each tablecloth.
Finally, it was on to the crazy part. Make sure you have something fabulous to watch on TV, because this part takes a chunk of time. Unroll your Stitch Witchery and line up where you would want the seam if you were actually pinning and sewing this into a curtain.
Next, make sure your iron is full of water, place it on “Wool” setting, line up tape and fabric, lay your ironing cloth down and press. Hold each press for about 30 seconds. Let cool about 5 and check. If it pulls up a bit, rotate your cloth and press again (wetting your cloth as it dries). For fabric this thin, 30 seconds was plenty. 30 seconds per press that is, about 6-8 presses per curtain, plus ironing…it takes awhile standing at the ironing board, but much faster than learning to sew right now.
Repeat above step until your curtains are ready to hang. When I originally hung my curtains, I lived with the rod pocket for about a week before picking up a couple of sets of curtain clip rings. I made the pocket too narrow and it was difficult to open and close.
I love the effect though, sheer and glowing with sunshine. I’m not sure this would be a permanent solution in a home without a liner, but for my current needs (pattern and SUNSHINE!), it was perfect!
Yes, if you look close you will see we have Easter eggs hanging from our birch tree…whatever it takes to keep the girls happy! Oh and I should probably upgrade my curtain rods, but for now this is homey and wonderful!
Get some Stitch Witchery and get busy. Trust me, you can turn just about anything into curtains. For more fusible tape inspiration, check out this post by Young House Love.
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