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.
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.
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.