Decorating, Humor

My Least Favorite Project Ever- A Curtain Call

These curtains THESE CURTAINS. I don’t have them anymore because they ended up fraying, but I think these lasted a good two or three years before I pitched them. 
The blog post was way better than these curtains ever were. 

First published January 23, 2012

I blame Pinterest for this one.

I saw these exceptional curtains there back in the summer or fall, not sure when, but loved them when I saw them.

Aren’t these absolutely gorgeous? I love the mix of red and black/white.

And the best part about these curtains?

No sewing involved!

So I thought I could do this. I could totally do this and not even break a sweat.

Chuckle, chuckle.

If you want a professional tutorial, go here.

This blogger, by the way, is a designer by trade so of course, her curtains look perfect, and of course; she made it sound so easy. So I first would like to blame her for me taking on this project because had she kept it real, I would have never started this in the first place.

Unless it’s just me that had a problem with this menial design project, and that’s why it seemed so simple. Because in all reality, it probably isn’t something too hard for someone who spent two years at design school. But for a stay at home mom of two with an associate degree in science? Let’s just say I would take a statistics class all over again rather than go back and re-create this curtain project.

In all honesty, I needed window treatments in my living room anyway since my old Target unlined curtains were ruined from years of the sun beating down on them. So this was a project of necessity, not just one to create something new for the blog. But, and big but here, I also wanted to step outside my comfort zone a little too by creating something other than a cute accent piece for the kids’ room or a sign for the kitchen. This was an actual big girl project that was going to take more blood, sweat, tears, and money than I usually am comfortable using.

Last Saturday, my friend and I got out of the house sans toddler children thanks to her husband watching both of our girls (not an effortless task, trust me) since Mike was working.

We got out under the ruse of attending a “preschool fair” but ended up going to lunch, Target, and Pier One because I hear that Pier One has an excellent program for four-year-olds in the fall.

So whilst at Target, I found these curtains:

A package of panel curtains in just the right color for only $17.48 on clearance of which I bought two, one for each side of the window. I should state that I was already way ahead of the game financially compared to the blogger who created the inspiration curtains because hers were from Restoration Hardware. Her curtains, I can only ascertain, were probably more than my car payment last month.
So already, I was saving money.
Then, according to the designer’s instructions, I needed the following:
Black twill fabric.
The designer never stated how much you need.
I will help you out.
You will need four yards for two panels.
You will also need:
Heat bond is also known as fusible fabric webbing also also known as body odor glue.
It smelled like body odor. I swear on my life.
You will definitely need at least three packages, but I would get four if I had to do it over.
They only had three at the craft store and I was spending no more money on this project.
Then last, you will need this:
Black grosgrain ribbon.
You will need 17 yards of this at least.

Who knew that this would be the bulk of the cost of my project.

I didn’t but now you know.
So here is the tutorial:
Measure out your black twill fabric.

I wanted to make my blocks 14 inches wide (like the designer did). So I measured out the width of my Target curtains and used chalk (as it erases easily off twill) to mark off where I had to cut.

I then used a ruler to get the cut as even as possible.
Cut out the strip with your scissors.
You will cut four black twill blocks per panel.
My panels were 95 inches long, so I only needed four 14 inch blocks, but if you had shorter curtains, you would want either the same amount but smaller in width.
I laid the panel on my floor and then placed the blocks on the panels to see where I wanted them.
I used a tape measure to keep the blocks as even as possible.
Then started the ironing.
Let us just say that this is the most ironing I have done in months, years, my entire life.
If you don’t like to iron, click on the little X on the top right of your page.
This is not the project for you.
If I had known that, to begin with, I would have just gone to the bank, taken out a home equity loan, and went to Restoration Hardware to buy curtains.
Here I am at the beginning of the project, ironing the bonding onto the fabric.

Aww, look how happy I am!

Naive little woman
So here is my unprofessional tutorial on how to work with Heat Bond:


Oh, and some other helpful tips before getting into the thick of things:


So you want to use the heat bond to attach the black twill to the curtains. I lined them up on the curtains ahead of time so I knew how much I had to work with:
And here I am working into the night on it:
Yes, I am aware my sweater is inside out.
It was that kind of night around here.
And not the good my sweater is inside out kind of night if you get my drift.
Then you need to glue on the grosgrain ribbon over the rough edges and yes, there will be rough edges.
I finished one panel in three hours.
Which for someone who may or may not be impatient and needs instant gratification, it is a lifetime.
Here is what the one panel looked like when my husband helped me hang it up the next morning:
It looks pretty good, except that I had to break out the glue gun.
Yes, the glue gun.
To seal up some fabric that wouldn’t hold with the heat bond.
That seemed to help.
In stark comparison, here was me midday on day two of the curtain project.
I even brought in some reinforcements:
I love my husband so damn much.
He gets me.
And he is mighty fine with a glue gun.
Here is the finished product…please humor me and oooh and aaahhh loudly.

Yes, those are chip clips holding the curtains back.


I have to say; I love them.
Like, I want to sit all night and stare at them, love them.
We are eating dinner tonight in the dining room that faces these curtains.
And every night after.

Now here is the last part of this post that I am a little embarrassed to talk about.
I spent some coin on this project.
Yes, me, the ultimate cheapskate who gets giddy when she saves 60 cents on a can of tomato paste, spent some money to create this look.
I had a brief conversation with Rebecca about this project while in the middle of it and she talked me off the ledge a little by explaining that the cost of the inspiration blog’s plain curtains before the project even started cost more than my entire project.
Thanks, Rebecca.

So here is the cost breakdown:
– Off-white curtains: 17.48 each x 2 = 34.96
– Black twill fabric: 4 yards x 4.19/yard = 16.76
– Ribbon: 17 yards x 1.49/yard = 25.33 (for ribbon?????)
– Heatbond: 2.99 x 3 packages = 8.97

For a grand total of….shudder…

86 bucks for curtains.
Just so you know, that’s 3 manicures or 2 pedicures or 1.5 pedicures and 1.5 manicures together or 1.5 hours of a massage or 8 lunches at Panera Bread or 28 packages of 100 calorie packs or 86 items at Dollar Tree or 22 issues of People magazine or 67 songs on iTunes or 17 margarita’s on five-dollar margarita night or one pillow at Pottery Barn.
I am kind of glad I tried this. I love how it turned out, but if we ever move, they’re coming with me.


38 thoughts on “My Least Favorite Project Ever- A Curtain Call”

  1. I love this post… The curtains turned out great! And a little glue gun glue here and there doesn't hurt, right?Greetings from GermanyCatrin


  2. I am laughing so hard, because I can hear you saying all of that 🙂 Thank goodness for having a sense of humor, eh? They are gorgeous!!!


  3. You did a great job with the curtains! And the fact that you love them too is well worth the time and money, don't you think?


  4. This is the most hilarious post ever. I LOVED IT. … and it sounds like maybe you NEED those 17 margaritas now!!! :)~The curtains look great — and there IS something so rewarding about these projects, isn't there!…? :-)Thanks for making me laugh this morning!~Bec


  5. You crack me up. I sat next to these curtains on Sat and was firmly instructed to not look too closely!!! Next time the hubs give us a day off I'll take you out for the margaritas, you've earned them by making me laugh first thing Monday morning!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  6. Thanks you lovely ladies.I am planning on having a margarita this weekend whilst looking at my curtains. Maybe I will wear my curtains to the Oscars.Should I ever get invited to go. 🙂


  7. You cracked me up with this one. I applaud you for even attempting it. Everything on Pinterest is so easy, right? Ha!I'm you're basic blog voyeur…tried blogging myself, but with a VERY full-time job that leaves little downtime at home, I decided to just live vicariously through others. Really enjoy your blog.As to the cost of the panels, $86 doesn't seem like a lot to me…BUT…I live in California ;O) Sadly, that wouldn't get me a one hour massage or two mani/pedis. Anyway, keep up the good work! I like chocolate chip cookies :o)


  8. @ Heather and Maria-I so wish you both had your email enabled so I can email you both back so hope you go back and read this! You both make me laugh. Out loud. Seriously! Thank you both for the great comments. No Heather, I will not be making these for you but I will sit by your side, point and giggle while you make some of your own! And Maria, even in Cali there are lots of things you could buy that cost waaaaaay less than these curtains. 🙂 I would rather have your beautiful weather though. If you could buy that, I wouldn't have needed these dang curtains to begin with! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and hope you come back!!


  9. those curtains look great (as well they should for all the work you put into them). even if it all added up, at least they can be something you can be proud of, not just that you bought 'em right of a shelf somewhere. your snarky tale cracked me up. not that kinda night around here, lol.


  10. I LOVE how they turned out! And you look fabulous silly. Congrats on tackling your big girl project. Hopefully there are more to come. And thank you for keeping it real. Sometimes the project is not all roses and you just want. to. be. done!


  11. LOL! Thanks so much for being real with the rest of us human beings! Your curtains are gorgeous, despite the mental instability they caused. Hey, come on down to and link this great post (and any others you'd like to show off) to the Head to Head Showdown link party, it's happening right now! Hope to see you there! ~Jen


  12. Hahaha!! I know EXACTLY what you mean! Three hours is waaay too long! I'm an instant gratification gal like you – however, your curtains turned out AWESOME! Totally worth the time spent!


  13. Love the curtains! You are a RIOT! I love the realness of your post! I I have love curtains similar to those for a while the ones I love are on Nesting Place I think he fabric comes striped though. I love the Realness of your blog, you have new follower here 🙂


  14. @ Erin- I am so glad I could make you laugh…now get back to work!! 🙂 Thanks for the sweet comment. 🙂


  15. I'm crazy about not just the curtains, but the whole room. It looks magazine worthy! It's my pleasure to feature you in my favorites today. Please feel free to take an "I Was Featured" button if you'd like. And I hope you come back again this Friday. Warmly, Michelle


  16. The curtains are totally GORG!!!! Love love love them. Do pat yourself on the back! I have always wanted to make a set myself….HOWEVER I would need to make six panels for any of the rooms I would use them in! I knew it would be costly as soon as I saw you need so much extra fabric and especially ribbon! I make hair bows for my daughters cheer teams. I KNOW how ribbon can run. You completely entertained me throughout the entire blog. Lol. Keep up the good work. Anything worthwhile is worth the effort!


  17. Oh Jenn thank you so much for the sweet words! This is one of my all time fave posts (not my all time fave project however!) and it means so much to me that you liked it! Thanks for visiting!!!


  18. Ooh they look so good! And I could so SO see myself in this post– it took me 2 hours to do one panel, and I was like . . .2 HOURS FOR THIS?? WTH?


  19. I love the honesty! I have the same Pinterest post and I do love the curtains but they make it look so easy. You did an awesome job but maybe I'll buy or have someone make the curtains for me. 🙂 My DIY skills are not as extensive as I think they are in my head….


  20. Twitter sent me here! You must have been hanging out there again in your party sequined tank top, so twitter said let’s show them your drapes”. I have not seen these drapes on your blog as of late, and am concerned about their fate and the love you once shared. This project is terrifying and not just because I have only purchased heat and bond by the yard for smaller projects. I would have made such a terrible mess.


    1. These curtains are probably a nice tee shirt and a pair of chino’s now.
      I gave them to Goodwill eons ago because they started falling apart.
      So TOTALLY worth all of that work.

      Back to my mimosa in tha’ club!


  21. That sounds like quite an ordeal; I hate when a craft project does not go the way I had thought it would or when some expense I thought was going to be the cheap/ easy part turns out to the be the most. I used to sew a lot and it always astounded me that the notions/ trim often cost more than the fabric for the whole rest of the project.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Wow. That’s some project! You are a trooper for following through with these. I would have ditched them mid-project. I just can’t do all of those steps. I think this is why I stopped doing craft projects that I saw online. They look super easy, and they end up being nightmares with a million steps. I like the type of craft project, where I just have to stain something, or glue no more than five pieces together.

    Liked by 1 person

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