IKEA Lenda Curtain Hack | DIY

I like working wall-by-wall.  It's a little less overwhelming than trying to tackle an entire room at once, not really knowing where in the heck to start.  So, during the current #letsroomtogether challenge, I really wanted to chip away at the to-do list for the whole living room but in three weeks?  It wasn't all going to happen.  You should see my list.  HA!  But, I knew we could probably hammer out this one wall.

And we did...ok, we almost did.  There's still some german shmearing and a new mantel to be had but, we made good progress in three weeks and are even farther considering what it looked like before we moved in:

Within that year and a half, we scraped and painted the popcorn ceilings, painted trim and walls, and hung some curtains.  It looked like this a few weeks before we started the challenge:

Seven out of the eight windows in here were foggy due to the seals in the double-paned glass breaking down over time and needed to be replaced.  It's hard to tell in pictures but I have some better ones I'll share later.  It's kind of a big project.  I took a ton of pictures when we replaced the ones we have so far in her (we've got three left!) so I can write a tutorial - we literally saved thousands doing this ourselves and it's not hard, just a little tedious.  Because we had to replace those windows, we didn't paint the trim directly around the glass when we painted the rest of the trim a couple of months ago.  We waited until last week when we had time to replace the glass.  Why?  Because by waiting, I didn't need to tape off the glass.  I just got paint all over the old window glass and it didn't matter because they were going to be taken out.  But, I didn't want to paint them months ago and then have paint all over our windows until we found time to replace the glass.

However, now that I'm sitting here typing that out and thinking about it, I don't know what's worse - living with the window frames mismatched with their dark wood (I realize that black window frames are in so maybe this isn't so bad...except I got paint all over the wood when I painted the surrounding trim...hehe) or living with glass with paint around the edges.  Haha!  Maybe procrastination is the winner here.

Besides the windows and their trim, the other thing I really wanted to do was amp up the curtain situation.  Several months ago, I found two pairs of brand new Ikea Lenda curtains on Facebook Marketplace for $40.  We don't have an Ikea near us so this find saved us $10 (in the asking price) plus the $5 shipping costs Ikea would have charged for me to get them here.  I quickly did this Young House Love hack, and hung them up using some gold rings (similar*) and these curtain rods* I found at Dirt Cheap because I truly believe curtains can take a room from sterile to homey in minutes and I was all down for homey.

They looked pretty good though a little haphazard (maybe due to the fact that I had to fold the extra at the top, then clip) which kind of edged them towards that farmhouse, relaxed look that doesn't really suit me so I wanted to sway thing a little more towards our aethetic.

Which means...

I wanted the curtains to hang better and I wanted them to be wider so, I bought two more pairs (four panels) from Ikea and got started.

This is what the Lendas look like as-is:

The great thing about them is the price and the fact that they're super long and 55" wide (which is the usual width of home decor fabric).  The fabric they're made out is heavy enough to provide plenty of  privacy behind windows and feels linen-esque.  But, there are tabs at the top.  Thanks again though to Young House Love who taught me better because I wasted no time in cutting all 32 tabs off the tops of these just like I had the Lendas we already had.

I could've stopped there and hung them up with more rings but I'm a glutton for more work and have a soft spot for curtains with grommets.  I just love, love, love how they make curtains hang like they're perfectly pleated.  Yes, Ikea has grommeted white curtains BUT I have no idea what the fabric is like,  they're $5 a panel more expensive, and I needed gold grommets to match our curtain rods.

Speaking of grommets, we needed a whole lot.  64 to be exact.  

I ordered a couple of packs of these from Amazon Warehouse but the gold was much warmer than the gold of our curtain rods.  However, they were the perfect grommets to use because they have a little plastic ring inside of them that allows them to slide along the rod without the actual ring touching the rod.  That means that I could spray paint them and the paint wouldn't scratch off with one slide along the curtain rod.

It took me a few trials with different gold spray paints but in the end, this one in Gold Medal was an almost perfect match.  

It's a little more expensive than my Rust Oleum favorite* (even with the 30% off coupon I used) but I only used half a can for all 64 grommets so I've got some left for a future project and just having them match was worth the extra few bucks.  I didn't prime first because the grommets aren't glossy or shiny to begin with and since these won't be touched past the point that they are stuck onto the curtains, it shouldn't make a difference.

I wrote a whole tutorial on how to add grommets to curtains way back when so I'm not going to repeat myself but if you're interested in doing the same thing with a pair (or four...ha!) of Lendas, it's pretty much the same process.  I drew my circles so that the top of each was an inch down from the top of the curtain panel and the center of each side grommet circle is three inches in.  Read that tutorial post to find out how to measure where the rest of the grommets should be.  (Side note:  I swapped out the dark grommets from those curtains I made in the tutorial with new gold ones when we hung them in this house and used these grommets*.  They're a really good match with our curtain rods but using them for this project would have cost us $40 vs. the $20 that I paid for the grommets I had to paint that I found "used" on Amazon Warehouse.)

I took a picture halfway through grommeting (Blogger is telling me with a red squiggly underline that that is not a word but I'm going with it) and look at the difference:

Look at those pleats, eh?  Makes mine eyes happy.  :)  I was surprised that the grommeted curtains were still puddling at the floor; I didn't expect it with adding the grommets which raised them a bit, but I think we'll leave them long until we install the new floors (we're going from carpet to wood-look tile).  If they're still a bit long, I might hem them just a smidge.  For now, I just slide my hand under from inner curtain to outer, straighten a little bit, and that folds the hem out.  These windows look out into our very private backyard so these curtains are never used.  If they were used everyday and the extra fabric puddling at the bottom was constantly being moved, I'd be more motivated to do something about it right now.

Sliding over to the other pair of windows, here they are all done:

You can also tell here which window was replaced on this side compared to the three we've got left!  It's been amazing to be able to look outside without having to get your nose up to the glass and then maneuver around the fog to see what's going on out there.  

We'll get those other three windows in this weekend and then we're moving on to another space for the #letsroomtogether challenge, I want your input on which room you want to tackle together next!  Let me know on Instagram, here in the comments, or on Facebook!  We'll start anew the week after Thanksgiving!

If we don't meet online next week, Happy Thanksgiving!  It'll be one for the books just like the rest of 2020, won't it?

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  1. Clever trick using the grommets on the curtains to get the pleats. Can’t wait to hear about replacing the glass in the windows… We love to save money over here and could replace a few windows ourselves.

  2. I would love to hear how you replaced your windows too!
    Beautiful curtains. I think I'm now converted to white curtains...

    1. I've got a ton of pictures to unload on my phone about those windows! Haha! Gotta get the outside frame painting and then I'll get to writing... ;) Oh and yes to white curtains! They let you do anything else with the room that you want!

  3. Love this IKEA Lenda curtain hack! Affordable and creative DIY solution. Can't wait to try it out for a personalized touch at home. Thanks for the inspiration!