Tags: curtains

How-To Make Striped Curtains from Shower Curtains

Tada, my new striped curtains. I love them.


They are made from shower curtains from West Elm.  I sewed two together to make each panel, so the panels would be long enough.


What you will need:
Measuring tape
Shower curtains (do math to decide how many you need for your room)
Thread in the color of the shower curtain
Sewing machine
Rods/ Brackets/ Hardware for Curtain Rods
Rings with Hooks to hang them

1. I purchased four shower curtains.  I needed four because shower curtains come in 74 inch lengths and the windows I wanted to make panels for were 11 ft from floor to ceiling. So two per window it was. The great thing is that shower curtains also come wide (72 inches). So, there would be more width than the usual 54 inch curtain width.

2.  Lay the shower curtains out to make sure the stripes will fall in the right spots when they are sewn together.  I folded them over in order to make it fall just right and all but the top and bottom stripes are the same size.   At the same time, measure to find where the length that you need will fall on the curtains.  Make sure they are long enough.


3.  Once you get it just right, mark the spots/ write down the measurements.

4. Iron them.


5.  Carefully mark where you will need to sew and where you need to cut.  I used a plastic sewing measuring board thingy and sewing chalk.



6.  Cut along the line you drew.  I chose to cut about half an inch past where I’d be sewing in order to have room for a hem.


7.  If you have a serger, use it to stitch up the raw edges.  If not, you can use the stitch highlighted on my machine (or something similar) below to seal up those edges and insure that they do not fray.


8. Lay them on the floor with the right sides facing each other and wrong sides facing the floor and you.


9.Line them up just right and pin.


It should look something like this if you flip it back over.  That way you can double check your work.


10.  Sew along your marks that you lined up when you pinned them together, right side down.  Keep the right sides together when you sew.  Sew slowly.

11.  Iron the seam you just made down flat.  This is an important step.  Do not skip it.

12.  Time to put the rods up.  We chose the Allen and Roth customizable components from Lowe’s.  You screw rods together to create the size you need.  We also got brackets, finials, and rings.


Here are the rods.


13.  Hang the curtains on the clips that are attached to the rings.  Tada!  You have new curtains.


Enjoy!  Email me if you make them!


Striped Curtains (from Shower Curtains) In Family Room

Curtains are up in the family room!  They are my version of the striped curtains that I originally wanted and I love them.


I had posted here about how I wanted to have navy and white striped curtains in our new family room, but how they’d cost a bundle due to all the sewing it would take.  We were talking $150-250 per panel, if they were lined.  So, I needed to find another route.

One alternative route, as seen in the post I linked to above, could have been a pattern.  That would have been alright, but I felt stuck on wanting stripes.  So, instead of having stripes sewn from two colors of fabric, I purchased four shower curtains from West Elm and sewed two together for each panel in order to get the length I needed.


That’s right shower curtains. They are gray and white striped.  I sewed two together to make each panel.

I orginally saw this done by Amanda Carol in her office.


Here is how they turned out in my home.


The room is not complete, but this is where we’re at!  I’m still working on some finishing touches such as throw pillows, an area rug, etc.


Though the curtains are hung, they are not yet hemmed.  To be honest, that may be a while.  But, it’s easy to do with a machine or stitch witchery (iron on hemming tape).



And, the breakfast room which is adjacent to the family room is also coming along and here are the white curtains from IKEA that we chose to use in it.


Still working on things, but it’s all starting to come together.  To see more of how it’s all working together, visit the tour page.

So, overall, I think they turned out great!  All for just $80 a panel (two shower curtains per panel sewn together), or total of $160.  I saved $150-340.  Whew!


Tomorrow, I will do a tutorial on making the striped curtains.  I love them!   What do you think?


Curtain Hanging 101

My mom seemed surprised to learn that I’m hanging curtains in the family room at 11 ft up – at the ceiling, instead of just above the first set of windows.  So, I thought I’d talk about how high to hang your curtains today.

Here is a great diagram that essentially sums up my thoughts on this topic.


The key is, high and wide.  Why?   We want to draw the eye up and use the height of the room, as well as make the window look wider and more substantial.

Frame your window, think of curtains as artwork.  Use them to soften the space and make a design statement.

Though the two windows in the drawing are the same, the window on the right (#2) will look larger, provide more light, and look more custom.

So hang your curtains/ drapery close to ceiling height (on 8-9 ft. walls), and, out onto the wall area next to the window,

I like to extend the rod 12″ wider on either side of the window, (if room permits and other walls and windows don’t prevent that).  Cover a couple of inches of window with the curtain so that it doesn’t seem disconnected.  When hanging, don’t forget to allow for the height of the finial.

Let’s take a look at some examples so you can take special note of how these curtains in gorgeous rooms are hung.








I like to keep draperies fairly simple. Simple straight hanging panels compliment any decorating style. For a slightly more custom and upscale look, I prefer a lined pinch pleat curtain hung with rings.  For a more casual feel, I love curtains with grommets.

With vaulted ceilings, hang curtains a minumum of 8 or 9 ft, but above the highest window if you can.

What gets me is that the majority of ready made curtains come in 84 inch length, which is 7 feet.  Too short! You don’t want high waters and you don’t want them hung too low.  Stores need to get with the times.  My favorite places that sell longer curtains are IKEA, West Elm, and Restoration Hardware.  What are yours?


Navy and Green?

I am working on the basic design plan for the main rooms (breakfast, kitchen, family) in our new home so I know what to buy as I see it!

I love the color combo of navy and green.  A reader suggested navy curtains.  Though I am not sure where I can buy striped navy without them being custom, here’s a quick look at the design boards with navy in them.

(Click on images to see them larger.)

1)  Navy curtains (needs to be solid in breakfast room due to different heights on ceilings and stripes not lining up).


2) With a gray herringbone breakfast room rug and industrial stools.


3) Industrial lighting in breakfast, floral gray rug, chair stools in the kitchen, gray dresser for the tv in the family room, different pillows, wider stripes on the curtains, etc.


4) With garden stools, silver barn lights over island, etc.


And, to remind you,  here it is with gray curtains.


Whatcha think?

By the way, I’ll be deleting the gray wingback that appeared in the first iterations as there isn’t adequate space in the family room.  We may revisit it for another room one day…

Do you prefer the navy and green or the gray and green?   If you like the navy, which one?  Which pillows, lighting, rug?


Curtains Hung in Family Room

We finally hung curtains throughout the rental.  All curtains we already had.  Thank goodness there were enough for the windows in the rental, as we had not yet covered all windows in Phoenix AND we sold about 8 panels in the garage sale prior to the move.

But, what a difference curtains made to the family room in particular!


It was pretty cold and uninviting.  We spent time in the loft mostly due to that fact – with all the hard surfaces the room really needed some additional fabric to soften it up, as well as to break up the tan!

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You can see a box still on the floor and paper over the backyard doors prior to the curtains being hung.

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But, here she is with curtains!




With the chairs the other way.



And, so you can see that there are other curtains in the other direction.


Can you see the difference curtains make?


It’s all similar to our last home, as we used most of the same items.  New items include a bench from the master bedroom, a white end table from the master bedroom, and a few pillows taken from the master bedroom.  That’s the advantage of using similar colors throughout a home!

Not too bad for using what we had in the room.

Our family room in Phoenix.


If you have a room that feels cold, hard, uninviting, try adding curtains!  It’s one of the last things many people add.  I know a few who are particularly resistant to it (some for health reasons… I’m not referring to them), but they add so much warmth and color to a room!

I cannot emphasize the impact of curtains enough.  If you can’t afford them, consider making them.  Or, consider buying from a place like IKEA.

Do you have curtains?  Where did you get yours?


Short Curtains

I remember Emily Clark talking about short curtains (café length) a while back.  She ended up doing them in her dining room, seen below.


Now, I love for curtains to touch the floor and maybe slightly pool on the floor.  But, I have to admit, these look pretty good!

Here are some other examples.



What’s your take?  I may have to make some curtains that aren’t quite long enough work in my temporary office… just trying to feel like it’s “okay.”  So, make me feel better.  Ha.  Just playing, you can hate them if you want.

Do you think they are making a comeback?


Follow Up on Curtain Rods

Shannon from Shannon Berrey Designs did a post on Dec 30th about how to make inexpensive, yet custom, curtain rods.  It was an excellent post.  She got several questions on how she actually attached them to the wall.  So, today’s post is a follow up to that.  If you didn’t see it, check it out!


I failed to include how I hung my PVC rods, so I wanted to do a little follow-up. I don’t have these curtains hanging any longer. When I went to ‘reenact’ the hardware set-up, I realized I had become fuzzy on exactly how I did it. But, my husband and I put our heads together and we have the details.

Just remember that these were stationary panels. I never intended for them to move. That is why the hardware solution we came up with worked.

Because the PVC is much bigger than a normal store-stocked rod, normal curtain hardware isn’t equipped to work. We used {2} 6″ L-brackets, {2} 2 1/4 bolts, and 4 screws {type depends on if you are screwing into sheetrock or studs} Let’s pretend that my hardwood floor is actually the wall:


The L-brackets are placed with the base down and screwed into the wall. I placed them about 1′ in from the finials on both ends. I placed the bolt in the last outside hole, bottom up.


You could put a washer on top to hold the bolt from falling out, but I didn’t. I found that when I placed the rod with the curtain panels shirred on, onto the L-brackets, just the pressure of the rod against the bolts kept them in place. The curtains and rod don’t have any desire to roll off. They are real happy just sitting still. :)  By the way… this is a 2-person job.


Use your imagination and pretend that there are curtains in the above picture. The screw just gets hidden inside the shirring and you don’t see it at all.

I am pretty confident that there are much better ways to hang these, but, this worked for me.

Hope this helped!!

Thanks so much, Shannon!  So cool of you to come back and visually show us how you did it!


Drop Cloth Curtains – Tutorial

I needed some simple curtains for the craft room that I would not freak out about if they got messed up.  So, I decided to try sewing some drop cloth curtains.  I simply bought two 6×9 drop cloths for each of my three windows. So far, I’ve completed two of the six panels.

So, here is a sneak peak of the craft room so you can see the curtains from a distance.  I am making all curtain rods the same length and hanging them at the same height so that three windows of different shapes and sizes appear the same in the room.  What that will do is make the desk and hutch feel centered.  Tricking the eye, my friend!


Materials Needed:
2 6×9 ft drop cloths per window
10 plastic snap together grommets for each panel (2 panels per window)
Thread to match the drop cloth
Sewing Machine

Cost per panel:
$7.99 per drop cloth
$12.99 for a set of 8 grommets + 60% off coupon = $5.20, so 10 grommets are $6.50
Already had the other supplies
Total – $14.50 per panel with coupon or $24.22 per panel without coupon

They do take several hours each to make (or have for me) mainly because of the ironing and getting the grommets to stick.

1.  Fold top of drop clot over.  Fold line should be at the five inch mark.  Pin in place.


2.  Sew around all four sides of the folded area.  Keep it tight as you feed the drop cloth through the machine, so there are no wrinkles or bunching.  Feel free to iron prior to this step.


3.  Iron the entire drop cloth.

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4.  Now it’s time to add the grommets.


Grommets will be place on the folded down section that you sewed in place.

Start the first one about 1.5 inches from the edge.  Then, measure five inches between the outer edge of one grommet and the outer edge of the next grommet.

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I also placed them 1 inche from the top edge.

Use a pencil to trace the inside of the grommet, which you will later cut out.  Trace all ten to see that they are spaced equally and start and finish in a good spot.  Adjust as necessary.  Trace on the side of the drop cloth that will be the inside of the curtain.

5.  Once the grommets are pencilled in at the right positions, begin to cut the circles that you traced.  You will cut ten circles out of the top folded down portion of your curtain.


6.  Place the grommets as instructed on the packaging.  You will basically just put the male side on one side of the hold and the female side on the other, then sit it on a flat surface and press down with your body weight.

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Do this with all ten grommets on each panel.

7. Hem the bottom to fit the length you need.

8.  Now, do the same with the other panels, but use the first one as the template so they all match perfectly.  Believe it or not, I didn’t do this on the next two… I just measured and they were ever so slightly off.  So, then I matched up each of those three for perfectly matching pairs.

You’re done!  You have made a drop cloth curtain panel!

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Can’t wait to finish off the room!  Lots to do still – painting the bookshelf, putting magnet boards up, painting peg boards, getting a wingback chair and painting it, hanging a chandelier, and so on!

Note the new stool and table!

Tomorrow is a great giveaway for vintage keys!!  Be sure to stop by.


Update 6/24/11:  Posted the reveal of the room.