Showing posts with label Window Treatments. Show all posts

Breakfast Nook Update

It's pretty boring at this point still but I thought that, since I don't have any fun tutorials to share (yet!), maybe you'd settle for an update on breakfast nook progress.

Like I said though, it's pretty boring.

The walls are almost ready for paint - Anthony has been filling and sanding for the past several days (there were a few spots of troubled drywall thanks to vinyl wallpaper removal) - BUT, the window trim is all painted and you can sort of get a (very small) glimpse of the direction this room is going...the light at the end of the design tunnel.  Light and airy.  It's amazing what paint can do...have I ever mentioned that?  ;)  It take a good stretch of the imagination to envision what a room will look like when it's down to bare drywall but once paint starts going up, things get easier to picture.  It also gets way more exciting!  :D

DIY Grommeted Curtains

Hallelujah!  I got to do something “fun” whilst getting ready for this sell-our-house thing!  I’m tired of painting the kitchen ceiling, touching up loads and loads of trim paint, cautioning the kids against touching anything (“Do NOT drag your toys along the walls pleeeeease!!!”), washing siding and trim, etc…

I got to make curtains!IMG_8717

If you’ve been a long-time reader, you might remember that once upon a time, I scored a long curtain rod at Dirt Cheap and flanked our living room’s french doors with some long curtains to make the room feel more “homey”, as I put it.  I started out with some sheers and then later made some tan and white, geometric-printed curtains that I loved for a long time.  Well, I wanted a change in pattern so I sold those and found some plain white, thick fabric remnants that I thought would be a perfect medium to do knock-off these curtains from West Elm with…but then I decided that I wanted the curtains to be more subtle and blend into the walls a little more so I just kept them white.  There’s still a chance they’ll look like those West Elm curtains someday but right now, I am loving them as-is.  Phew.  That all sounded like a mind-making disaster, didn’t it?  If you’re looking for someone to pick a design and stick with it, don’t look here.  The winds of change blow quite frequently in this casa. 

The parts I love the most though, are the grommets at the top.  I’ve always used rings to hang curtains because it was the easiest to just sew a big rectangle and hang it up.  But then a good friend of mine put grommets at the top of her living room curtains and told me how easy it was and I just had to.  I mean, look at how they fall!  I toyed with them a little before I took pictures but really, for the most part, the grommets create those big folds that go from top to bottom and they hold them there.

I bought these grommets at Walmart.  They’re the exact same grommets sold at the fabric stores I looked at, only without the coupon mark-up (I’m convinced stores that always have running coupons mark their items up…these are $12.99 at JoAnn Fabrics.)  You can also find them for a little bit more on Amazon.   

So, let me tell you my grommet story.  It’s so easy.  You’ve gotta make some grommeted curtains.

Three Sides

Hey Monday!  I’m not exactly happy you’re here considering you mark the end of vacation.  But, I’ll get over it with a super easy post about these curtains I made for Sebastian’s room.
sebsroom2 (5)

I made his closet curtains out of a queen-size sheet, cut in half and hemmed.  The window curtains I made out of some white duck fabric from Hobby Lobby.  To keep things from getting too plain with all that white, I stenciled on some tiny triangles.

Here’s how I did it.

First, I made my stencil.  Using the Rhonna Designs app on my phone, I stuck a little triangle onto a white background and sized it to the size I wanted the triangles to appear on the fabric.  Then I laid some stencil plastic (leftover from stenciling this rug) over the top of my phone and traced the triangle.  I traced two because my cousin was here to help.  Hooray for company and help!

Then I pulled out these foam pouncers (affiliate link), originally purchased way back when I dotted these jeans, and squirted a little bit of black acrylic paint onto a plate.  IMG_0145
I didn’t add any fabric medium to the paint because I know it’ll still be permanent even though it might not be as soft.  On curtains, I’m not worried about the feel.  Clothing is a little different.

Next, I put a small amount of paint onto the pouncer and dabbed that paint right over my stencil.  IMG_0147IMG_0148Note:  Use enough paint to just cover the surface of your foam.  A nice thin coat dabbed a few times over the stencil will do the trick without bleeding.  Too much paint will get under the stencil and give you some crazy lines and a not-so-crisp shape.  You might have to dab the plate a few times after you get paint on the pouncer to get some of that extra paint off.

We just placed triangles in random places, scattered over the curtains.  The more imperfectly placed, the better, in this case.
  triangle stamped curtains

I love the triangles vs. regular old dots because I feel like they’re a little more manly for our little man.  Sharp edges and nice straight sides…in other words, tall, dark, and handsome.  Or maybe that’s a stretch but either way, you catch my drift.  :)


Have a great Monday!  I’m feeling the usual ‘overwhelmed’ at all the to-do’s I really want to get done this week and the fact that we’ve been on vacation for the better part of the past week and a half is making that hefty load even heftier.  It’s okay though, usually come Tuesday, I realize that I can’t be a one-woman show and I hack my list in half.  Happens every week.  Vicious circle or sensibility shot?  Not sure…

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So easy you might as well do it…and pin it for when you do.  :)
diy stamped curtains

From Mini-Blind to Roman Shade

A very long time ago when the world was a little younger, I pinned Jenny’s (from Little Green Notebook) genius idea of making a roman shade out of mini-blinds.  (Since then she’s revised the process and so I’ve updated my pin to lead me to the new tutorial.)  As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I finally got around to executing it for our front door.

I followed her instructions by the book blog all the way until the last step and so if you’re hankering to make one for yourself (which you totally should be), you can get all the details from her.  There were a few parts that I was a little confused on and since I’m the tutorial nerd I am, here’s the very detailed way I made our newest roman shade.

First of all, the supplies.  You’ll need a mini-blind (I got mine at Target), fabric of your choice, either a sewing machine or some iron-on tape for a no-sew version, a needle and thread, craft glue, and some plastic rings.

Measure the window or door or whatever it is you’re covering with your shade before you start.  That way you’ll know what size mini-blind to purchase and how much fabric to buy.  I used one of these Room Essentials curtain panels for my shade:
photo 1
It was originally from Target but I found it at a local discount store, Dirt Cheap, for $3.

I cut and hemmed it according to Jenny’s instructions.  If you’re doing a no-sew version of this shade, you’ll only have to fold the edges once as you iron on your tape so you’ll really only need to cut your fabric to be two inches longer and two inches wider than the size you want your finished shade to be (here’s a great tutorial on how to use iron-on tape for hemming).  That way you’ll have a one-inch hem on all four sides of the fabric rectangle that will soon be your finished shade.

After you’ve hemmed your fabric to size, lay out your mini blind.  (P.S. You won’t need the tilt wand that you turn to open and close the blind.  Toss it or use it to stir your grande latte…whatever makes your boat float people.)       

Completely cut off the bottomrail by snipping through all the strings attaching it.IMG_4198

Then cut all the strings holding the slats on but don’t cut the string that controls the raising and lowering of the blind, aka the lift cords.  In other words, cut the vertical strings that run down the front and back of the slats and all of the horizontal, ladder-like strings, but don’t cut the vertical strings that run down the middle/through the holes in each slat. 
On the mini-blind I bought, the strings holding the slats on were thinner than the thick ones that controlled the blind.

To completely remove the slat strings you can cut them off where they loop around the inside top of the headrail.IMG_4201

Next, pull off all the slats.IMG_4204

Give a couple of slats to your kids to buy a few extra minutes of time to work on this project uninhibited.  Don’t worry, they’re too flimsy to do any real damage.  :) IMG_4203

So, the slats are all off and you’re left with the headrail, the lift cords, and the bottomrail (not pictured but keep it!)  Side note:  Depending on the width of your blind, you may have three lift cords vs. two like mine.  Make sure you don’t cut any of them off! IMG_4205

Now grab your hemmed fabric and line it up along the headrail (where it’ll soon be permanently glued).  I lined mine up so that I had about 1/4 of an inch of fabric above the very top of the headrail.  Next, pull the lift cords down so they’re nice and straight and parallel to the sides of the fabric and, starting from the bottom of the fabric, measure up eight inches along each string and make a small pencil mark.  This is where the bottom set of rings will go.  After that, continue to measure up each cord, placing marks every 10 inches.  (You can make the spaces between rings shorter or longer depending on whatever you think looks best.  I followed Jenny’s recommended measurements.)


Here’s a pixlr’d image showing where I placed my marks: IMG_4240
(I realized after I was finished with the entire shade that I didn’t need the two topmost marks/rings.  If there’s less than four inches between where your topmost marks are and the headrail, you probably don’t need to place rings at those top marks.)  Note the little feet…somebody wouldn’t nap while both her sis and bro were so an audience she became.  :)

After you’ve marked where all of your rings will go, measure the distance between where the cord comes out of the headrail and the end of your shade on each side.IMG_4241
Then, using that measurement, double check to make sure all of your marks are that distance in from the edge of your fabric all the way down.  If you laid your cords out nice and straight before you started marking, you should be spot on if not pretty close but I did this just to double check.

Next, grab your plastic rings (I used the ones in the photo below), a needle, and coordinating thread.  Jenny used clear thread and I would recommend that as well only I didn’t have any and you know this mom ain’t running out “quick” for clear thread.  I’ll settle for white in exchange for less stress, thankyouverymuch.   IMG_4247

Now simply sew a ring onto your shade at each mark you made, except for the very bottom set of marks.  The bottomrail of the mini-blind will go there.

After you’ve attached all of the plastic rings, grab your craft glue and glue your fabric along the headrail.  Hot glue would probably work too though it might be more ‘bumpy’ under your 1 (1)

Once I had the fabric glued on straight, I made sure it was flat along the headrail and then I propped some books on top of it to hold it down while it dried.  I left it this way for 24 hours, giving the glue lots of time to dry completely. 
photo 2 (2)

While the glue is drying, grab the bottomrail of the mini-blind.  In her tutorial, Jenny used a thin slat of wood and eye screws as the bottom part of her shade, but once again, I didn’t have either of these things.  So, I improvised.  First, I cut about six inches of string off the bottom of each of my lift cords.  Using the existing workings of the bottomrail of the mini-blind, I popped off the small round plug that holds in the all the string, threaded my six inch piece through the hole, strung a plastic ring onto the string, tied a knot, stuffed the string into the rail, and stuck the plastic plug back on.  Get all that?  In case you didn’t…blind

Now the only thing left to do is to glue that bottomrail along where you made the bottommost (Word?  Not a word?) marks.
photo 3

Just make sure when you glue it down that your rings are at the top of the rail/closest to the top of the 4

Once all the glue is dry, the last step is to thread the lift cords down through each plastic ring and tie each onto the bottom rings that are attached to the bottomrail like so:photo 2

And that’s it!  Hang your completed shade with the hardware that came with the mini-blind and you’re done! 

Here’s what ours looks like down:
photo (1)
[Excuse the toddler litter.]
Anthony’s not a fan because he thinks it looks like there’s a painting on our front door but I love it.  It’s a far cry from boring and that’s exactly what this previously hum-drum space needed.  (Speaking of painting though, as I was mid-project I couldn’t help but think how cool this curtain panel would’ve looked stretched over a wood frame and mounted as artwork.  So cool, no?)  Hopefully once I get the new lighting up and add some other details, Anthony’s mind will be forever changed…or at least until I decide to redecorate.

The only negative part about this shade idea is that, because the fabric I used is more silky than stiff, I have to adjust its layers after I raise it.  The ends fall and it looks like this:  IMG_4252
I could change that by somehow placing some long dowels horizontally along each set of rings but the few seconds it takes me to straighten things out isn’t a big deal so I’ll probably just take it as a lesson learned and use a thicker, stiffer fabric next time.

Cost?  Well, let’s see:
Mini-blind:  $3 (Target)
Fabric:  $3 (Target curtain panel via Dirt Cheap)
Plastic rings:  $1.50 (JoAnn Fabrics with a 50% off coupon)
Thread and craft glue:  $0 (already had but both but they’re from JoAnn Fabrics and Michaels, respectively)
Project total:  $7.50

As long as mini-blinds are being manufactured and I have windows and doors to cover with roman shades, I’ll be going this route again and again because, not only it is a lot cheaper and less difficult than making ‘real’ roman shades, but they also look almost if not exactly the same.


So, is there any shade-making in your future?  I know it seems like it might be a tedious task but really it was pretty easy and if I’d had an hour to devote to making it, it would’ve taken me just that hour plus drying time to finish it vs. the weeks I had it laying around half-finished because my life be like kids, kids, kids.  Either way, I love our new shade and I’m so very grateful for those kids, kids, kids.

Happy Hump Day!  :) 

Nursery Progress: Curtains

It’s nursery time y’all!  Why I pushed getting it together until after the peas were born, I don’t know.  It’s taking me f o  r   e    v     e      r!  However, it’s evolving thanks to some same-schedule naps the twins took this week.

Here’s what their space looked like the last time we peeked in:nursery b4

And here’s what it’s lookin’ like today:sept122012 001

Back then:aug272012 002

And now:sept122012 008  

Much improved thanks to a little decluttering, new, girlie curtains, and a snazzy new fan fixture (and minus uno crib currently in the master).  As for the curtains, the green ones weren’t meshing with the new color scheme for the room so I officially went on the hunt for something new.  I found it in the form of some Target, patterned sheers that I scored for 5 bucks a pop, hemmed to fit, and slapped up.quick takes 006 (Sorry for the bad picture…still working on learning how to use the DSLR.)

Pretty but the room needed some color so I went on another official hunt for some peachy-pink fabric to line the new sheers with.  After searching for fabric, sheets…something cheap…I finally settled on some thin broadcloth from Hancock Fabrics that I got for $16 during a 60% off sale.  The only issue was that the broadcloth was only 45 inches wide, whereas my sheers were 54.  So, I had to do what I do best and improvise.

To do so, I cut two 54 inch pieces of fabric for each sheer, sewed them together to create one long panel, hemmed each edge, and then hemmed each to the length of the sheer it would back.  See the connecting seam?quick takes 003

quick takes 004     Since each piece was behind a sheer, I hoped that the seam wouldn’t be visible…and I was right.  No VCLs (Visible Curtain Lines) in this neighborhood.  :) 

After all of my solid pieces were sewn and ready, I simply attached them to the sheers by making a straight stitch along the top of each, connecting them.quick takes 008

I attached the solid backing a little lower than flush with the top of the sheer because instead of hanging the curtains from the top like so:quick takes 007

I wanted them to cover up the rod.  By sewing them the aforementioned way, I was able to attach the ring clips solely to the backing (if this makes any sense at all) like this:quick takes 009

So, up went the window curtains and presto:sept122012 011 Another bad pic but you get what I’m throwin’ down…er, puttin’ up, right?  :)


As for the closet, it never did have doors to cover it’s insides so I went with the most simple solution of spray painting an old tension rod, slipping on some curtains rings, and hanging the similarly constructed fabric right on up.sept122012 018

Now we’re all pretty and privatized:sept122012 009 


Movin’ along to the fan, I found a large drum shade for $10 at a local discount store (Dirt Cheap) and simply put it up by resting it on the base of the screwed-in light bulb.  sept122012 012

sept122012 013

I love the flavor and texture it adds to an otherwise b.o.r.i.n.g. but necessary light fixture.  What do you think?  Is it too big or does it fit your fancy?  I’m thinking of painting the fan blades a light taupe to match…should I or shouldn’t I?

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Well, there you have it.  A nursery fit for two.  There’s still lots and lots to be done including painting the dresser and lining it’s drawers, recovering the rocking chair (currently in our room), making some sort of a foot rest, whipping up some crib skirts, getting some stuff hung on the walls, turning a tablecloth into a rug, making a window seat cushion, and a surprise that I’m working on next!  Whew!

It might take me a few more weeks (dare I say months?) but it’s going to be the cutest nursery on the block (in my vain opinion)!  Check back in as I post my progress! 

Have a funderful, wonderful weekend!

Fake Out

What a happy Saturday it is!  Happy here because I finally have a project to blog about…’er, rather have found time to blog about!  Here’s to hoping I can get back on my regular Saturday schedule from here on out plus maybe squeezing in more posts during the week since I’m usually confined to zee couch with one or two infants in my arms…and since my one-handed typing skillz are world class these days. 

Anyway, I’m all about covering windows.  There isn’t a window, or door for that matter, that isn’t adorned with some sort of fabric in our house except for this one:aug222012 002pxd 

The one in our master bathroom.  Well, I’ve had plans to cover it for many moons but indecisiveness about fabric and the baking of two buns has left it naked…until  now.  Let me digress.  A few months ago I had an itch to switch out our plain white duvet cover for something more flavorful but, like usual, didn’t want to spend a ton of money…as in no more than 20 bucks.  Well, I found a new cover but when I got it home, I realized I had bought the wrong size and unfortunately for me, I bought it at a huge discount - $10 – at final sale.  Poo.  So, I did what I do best and conjured up another use for it…dec12011 011 A decorative blanket/quilt/extra layer on the end of our bed.  Still unable to find a suitable fabric for the master bathroom window at this point, I had a revelation soon after to use the included pillow shams to cover it up. 

june122012 487

The plan:  to make a fake roman shade (similar to this one in our guest bedroom).  To do first:  take apart the two pillowcases.  At eight months pregnant, at which point I began this project, laziness efficiency took over and I simply just cut off the backs of each case (since they wouldn’t be seen anyway), took the seams out of the sides that would be sewn together, and made them one.

june122012 488

To achieve a roman shade look, I hand sewed 12 plastic rings onto the backside of the shade in three vertical rows that were evenly spaced apart and then gathered each row together using another plastic ring that opened.  Hopefully these pictures help explain that mumbo jumbo:  aug222012 004

aug222012 003

So, fast forward to this past week during a 15 minute slot when both twins were passed out.  As quickly and quietly as we could, we stapled the new shade to a pre-cut piece of 1 x 2 wood, attached two L brackets to the underside of the wood, decided on and measured its placement over the window (see side note below), and got ‘er up.

Side note:  While planning for the valances we hung in our dining area, I came up with a simple way to figure out the height at which to hang window treatments by holding up a folded piece of paper at a distance, adjusting until I was satisfied, like so:aug292011 002

Once again, I’ve learned to never underestimate the power of a window treatment.  See what a difference this one makes?ba

So, if anyone’s keeping track of the DIY madness, so far we’ve tiled the floors, painted the cabinets, painted the laminate countertop, and stenciled a wall in here.  Even though, in my mind, the room isn’t yet “finished” (will it ever be?), it definitely looks a lot more complete and homey (if you can call a bathroom that) just because of a little (cheap) addition over the once naked window.  :)  aug232012 001 

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Stay tuned for more finished projects!  The girls were baptized a couple of weeks ago and my sister and I made their gowns and accessories and then of course, I’ve got finished pictures of our “new” kitchen to share as it’s finally done along with progress pics of the nursery!  See you soon!