If it hasn’t been assumed yet through following this blog, I’m a cheap, cheap girl. I would rather spend hours and hours of personal time creating an identical piece of anything that is exorbitant in price. Curtains are obviously no exception. I’ve already shared my knock off Waverly pattern that saved me HUNDREDS for our bedroom curtains. The bedroom isn’t the only place knock off designer curtains exist in our house. I also crafted up our dining room curtains. I really wanted these fabulous curtains from West Elm featured on my inspiration board for the dining room. Grayish with Marigold horizontal lines running across them. Lovely. Unfortunately if I remember correctly they were going to be $40 or more a panel. Not a Lizzie price tag at all.
I decided the basic style of the curtains were easy enough to knock off. I started by purchasing basic brownish gray curtains from Ikea for if I remember correctly $18 for the pair. They weren’t satin/silk but for 4 times cheaper cotton would be fine with me. I then enlisted the help of my fabulous Mom to sew the horizontal stripes. We figured out how high we wanted the strips to sit (26″ from top of curtain). I also chose (since I had creative freedom and all) to make 2 stripes instead of 1, spacing them 1 inch apart.
Using Marigold satin ribbon we spaced it, pinned it, and sewed it. If anyone has a cat in their house they know how these darling creatures always want to be front and center helping with any project or activity.
The entire project didn’t take more than an hour or two including the hashing out of how high and how to space. The worst part of the entire endeavor was how wiggly the fabric insisted on being. Well, the wiggling of the ribbon and the lack of pressure on the foot of the sewing machine we were using. None the less I really love how they came out. I would argue that they are better than the originals.
We like to think we live in the “faux country”. “Faux” because we’re really just in the suburbs 20 miles from Manhattan and not country at all. “Country” because even though we’re in the “burbs” we’re on an acre of property, have families of deer sleeping in our front yard and located across the street from a park complete with walking paths and ponds for fishing. So privacy really isn’t an issue, yet an issue at the same time. Especially when our green property hits winter and our leafy shroud disappears. Most rooms don’t make a difference privacy wise. Some, like the bathroom, makes a big difference. Not to mention we have a MASSIVE window in our bathroom. I love the natural light it brings in but hate that the window ends around mid thigh. Sorry but I don’t need to be that showy with the neighbors. Plus I love peaking out that window. The solution? A cafe curtain. Straight modern and starts at collarbone level. Everyone wins. Minus the peeping tom’s of course.
I had my personal seamstress (aka Mom) help with the sewing, however this style curtain is a beyond easy sew. First measure the window. If you want it to hang straight (like the one shown) and not bunched the actual size of the window is all you need. Add an extra about an inch on all sides for the hem and an extra 2 or 3 inches for the curtain rod “sleeve”. Sew a hem on all sides, then fold the top down to create the “sleeve” for the curtain rod and sew. That’s it! That’s all you have to do. Presto! instant privacy.
I found the fabric at Ikea for around $7 a yard. I believe I only needed around 1/2 a yard. So for roughly $3.50 plus the cost of curtain rod I had fabulous and simple privacy. The plain white linen was just that, plain. I wanted to add a ribbon stripe around the curtain for a little more detail. Problem was a slippery silk ribbon was going to be a rather annoying pinning/sewing job. Solution? My always trusty go to material… Paint! 1 tube of navy acrylic craft paint from your local craft store (less than $3) and some masking tape made for a quick and easy custom detail.
Simple, cheap, and functional. Can’t beat that. Total project cost? under $10 when including the tension rod. Fabulous.
Quickly after moving in, maybe I will confess to before moving in, I started planning what to do with our new +/- 1,000 square feet. Upon my many searches for inspiration and direction I stumbled upon FABULOUS fabric by Waverly from Joann’s Fabric.
I was in love. And it was so perfect for my attempts to make our spaces gender neutral and desire to incorporate our love of the great outdoors. The problem? We have 2 windows in our bedroom, the fabric was $24.99 a yard, and to outfit our bedroom with simple straight curtains would cost us roughly $225. Yeah. My perfect curtains were quickly slipping out of my grasp. Thankfully a shopping trip to the local Target saved my dream. for $35 I bought plain Jane beige canvas curtains (no sewing required always a plus, one less task to assign to Mama). Then took a trip to the craft store, bought some acrylic craft paint (under $7) and went to work.
First I sketched out the leaf patter on thick Bristol board. I sketched out 3, one for each color and to create a little visual interest as each leaf on the original is a little different. Then I cut it out with my trusty exacto blade. From there it was a simple monkey see monkey do. Looked at the image of the designer fabric, lay out the stencils as accurately as you can. Dab some paint on, alternate colors so as to not smudge wet paint everywhere and voila! Designer fabric custom curtains at a fraction of the cost!
Brendan especially was impressed with the resemblance to the original, and other than taking a bit longer than I would have thought or liked (seriously was a lot of fabric to get through) I’m equally pleased.
The roll up curtain is over the bed. I like to think it creates a headboard/focal point/canopy type effect. Also if you noticed we went SUPER thrifty on the curtain rods. The “theme” of our bedroom is “Woodsy Retreat”. To play with the theme we went for a hike, grabbed some already fallen branches cut them to size, and hung them on our existing curtain rob holders. Very simple, VERY cost effective, and frankly I think they look pretty awesome.