As mentioned previously, slowly but surely I’ve been re-doing my living room trying to find an Anthropologie-like vibe on a dime store budget. After finishing the little touches to get the room in shape – namely a corner lamp, slipcovering the couches, and redoing an end table- I finally can turn my attention to the final, biggest elements to finish the room. First of those big elements? Dressing up these plain old windows.
My biggest challenge with the windows was simple: I didn’t want to spend ANY money. First of all, I don’t have it. Second, I just don’t believe strips of fabric that hang over blinds need to cost that much! Third, I had a somewhat disastrous time recently trying to sew something straight (I’m still learning!) so basically I wanted something professional looking without sewing and on the cheap.
Which after some strategizing….I think I acheived! Check it out!
(Please ignore the fact that my couch is in a slight state of disarray in this photo and is minus its slipcover. The dog decided that the couch was the perfect place to drag a piece of raw chicken from the garbage and play with it just as I was about to start snapping away.)
The good news is, you can do it too. This project only took about three hours and $27 (or as I like to think about it, three Chipotle burrito bowls). Exponentially less then you’d pay for “real” curtains anywhere! Here’s what you’ll need:
- Curtain rod and tie-backs (I bought mine at K-Mart for about $16)
- A drill to help secure the rod and tie backs to the wall
- Two fabric panels (I found a silky green fabric in my local fabric store for about $3 a yard. And I needed two yards, one for each panel. Total cost $6)
- An iron
- Stitch Witch (found at Michael’s for about $5)
- Straight pins
And here’s how you do it:
Step 1: First and foremost, you want to get your curtain rods and tie backs secured to the wall. Even though this particular set required the use of a drill, which I’m still not totally comfortable with, all I had to do is drill straight enough for the drywall screw to go in. It wasn’t hard! Whatever set you use should have its own instructions, so just follow those and you should be fine. And if you’re really not comfortable using power tools (if they are required), do what I used to do and bribe someone to come over and do it, and then give them lots of alcohol to say thanks.
Step 2: Next, you just want to make sure that you have enough room at the top of your curtain panel so that the rod runs through it. The simplest way to do that is take your rod, wrap the top of the fabric around, and pin it in place. VERY IMPORTANT: Do not make this tight. The rod should have plenty of room to slip in and out. Once you’ve got a few pins in, remove the rod and set it aside. Going straight across the top, secure the rest of the fabric making sure you keep a uniform amount of fabric folded over, like so:
Step 3: After you get all the pins in, test the curtain on the window to make sure you haven’t pinned anything too short, that it hangs evenly, etc.
Step 4: Once you’re happy with the pins, time to get everything glued down. First, iron your fabric so it’s nice and flat, and also iron the top to get a nice hard crease.
Step 5: Using a piece of chalk, mark where your fabric ends under the pins. This is so you can line up the Stitch Witch correctly.
Step 6: Using your chalk marks as a guide, lay down your Stitch Witch. Usually you put a damp cloth over the fabric and then iron it all down. However, in this case I was using a silky fabric so I just very carefully ironed it down without the damp cloth so I wouldn’t ruin the fabric. Use your best judgment if you are using a sensitive fabric too.
Step 7: Last step! Insert your rod back into the panels and hang those babies up! Tuck the fabric into your tie-back, step back and admire your handiwork. And fatter wallet.