Adventures in Dressmaking: Two pairs of DIY curtains for my dining room, plus a DIY double curtain rod

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Two pairs of DIY curtains for my dining room, plus a DIY double curtain rod

Curtains are such a pain, aren’t they? Not only are they expensive and a big color commitment for the room, they often don't come in the right size!! We wanted to hang the curtain rods as high and as wide as looked good, to make the room look bigger, so you'll remember I made the living room curtains custom (7 yards fabric, 7 yards lining--eesh!). The dining room ones are the same length, 107" or so, and while some curtains come in 108" lengths, they tend to be, like, $60/panel. Or only come in a few colors. Bleh. Target's curtains are sooo cute, but pretty much only come in 84" lengths! What do they expect me to do with those?!

I've been hunting Goodwills for ages for long enough curtains for the dining room, and never finding. So a while ago I found some 96" tan Ikea ones for $10. I figured, closer than some of what I've been finding. I can give them a colorblock hem treatment, right??

I didn't like how the tan looked, so we dyed them with two boxes of grey RIT dye. Then on to this problem:

So, then I just needed to find the right fabric for the hem trim. I didn't expect to find something perfect, but wasn't sure what color and texture to go for. I also thought about inserting a contrast trim band somewhere in the middle or near the bottom, to give them sort of a stripe and make them longer. But, then not long ago I found some neat teal cotton twill on the JoAnn clearance shelves, an extra half off, and bought the rest of the bolt. I made colorblock hem facings, I guess you could say, as long as I could do with the length of the fabric. It was a little wider than the curtains so I tore the extra off and still have it, maybe for something else.
DIY colorblock curtains-011
They don't look FAB, but they're fine for now. I think I made them a little too short, and the teal isn't as bright or interesting as I was hoping. But better than too short!

So, another problem... unfortunately, most curtains and even fabric only come as wide as 55" or so... I think the rule of thumb is you want curtains to be about 1.5x the width of the window for nice pleating, so if you have two 55" panels, that means your window could only be 73" wide. Mine are waaay wider, and I put the curtain rods an extra several inches out to make the windows look nicer and bigger! So pretty much any curtains (two panels) will be too narrow!)

So I decided the grey curtains need to be more faux curtains, and sheers will let in more light, anyway. I had a pair of old white ones on a tension rod filling the space in the meantime, but wanted loooong sheers that went the whole length of the grey curtains and the wall.

DIY colorblock curtains-023
Then, of course, my other issue was the sheers-- ideally I would use a double curtain rod, but I already had the nice brushed chrome-ey one up... so, I bought a super cheap curved-end white, boring curtain rod from JoAnn and spray-painted it silver, because I couldn't stand to have the cheap white metal showing at all.

Now we can leave the sheers closed all the time for privacy, but still get lots of light in, and keep the grey ones pretty open to the sides.
DIY sheer curtains-002
So I was so excited by how my DIY double rod worked out that I bought another cheapie one at JoAnn... even took a picture of the label of the first one so I could remember which kind it was! I now see they have a bunch on Amazon for way cheaper than the JoAnn ones, of course, with lots of choices. I think the key on this one was the shallow depth--it only "projects" 1 1/4", way shallower than the big curtain rod for the outer curtains, so it tucks behind nicely.

I gave it the same silver spray paint treatment, and hung it in our bedroom in the same placement. I had just bought some Ikea sheers to replace some plain white ones I had on a tension rod just for privacy and light, so this is a big improvement. Close-up on the double rod situation!

Curtains can be so expensive and challenging, so it's a big relief to have these done. At least for now. ;)

18 comments:

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  1. They look good! The teal and grey combo looks great in the pictures!

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  2. I also like the teal and grey combo!
    I'm waiting to my husband to choose the fabric so I can make new curtains! He don't let me choose the colors...he says that I'm to colorful! I think that we can't have enough color :)

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  3. I used the same polka dot sheers from Ikea for a very similar window treatment. I bought Curtains from Target and added a color blocked panel on the bottom too! I also made pelmet/valence boxes using this tutorial: http://littlegreennotebook.blogspot.com/2009/09/easy-pelmet-boxes.html

    I used the same fabric as the color block and it looks really polished. It was super inexpensive!

    I like your color choices!

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    1. Thanks, Angela! Those Pelmet boxes are awesome, what a chic DIY!

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  4. This definitely looks amazing for what you started off with! If you showed us your "before" with the short, tan curtain and the white curtain rod, I think the difference would have made for a dramatic reveal!

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  5. I think you solved the task really good. I love the colours!

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  6. I love the color-block solution! I just made curtains for my dining room (blogged here http://mengalings.blogspot.com/2013/01/new-curtains-before-and-after.html) and buying that much fabric is expensive (I spent over $100) but it is still cheaper than buying pre-made. I love the solution you came up with for too-short curtains. Great look!

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  7. It looks great. I love the color blocking!

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  8. Hi Suzannah! I just found your blog thanks to Pinterest! Your curtains look fantastic!!! And what a bargain too. Your blog looks very inspiring so I've added you to my Google Reader list. :) I've recently started dressmaking again after not having made clothes for myself for a long time (I have made a few things for my daughter tho). I've already made 4 dresses and a skirt this month and I'm stoked with that!

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  9. I think they look great, the color is not what I would choose for me but the idea is wonderful, I may try it myself. When I get the time.

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  10. We have to buy 120" curtains for our place - and they are hard to come by and not cheap! I want to buy some shorter ones and color block them like this! Love it!

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  11. This looks great. I HATE curtains, well not true, I love them. But its such a PAIN to find the right ones. For what its worth I LOVE those grey curtains with the teal on the bottom!!

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  12. It looks awesome. I love the teal and grey! The most frustrating thing about curtains for me (a renter) is that you can finally get all of your windows with the right curtain mix and then move to find that none of them work well.... I am not trying to find the right curtain mix and then I get to deal with putting them all up again. BLAH. :)

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  13. Although I haven't done it myself, I've heard to use tablecloths as curtains. If you use curtain clips, they are ready to go, otherwise it would just take one seam to make the rod pocket. Solid color table clothes from Target come in 70x120. That would hopefully be wide enough to be functional and as long as you need as well.

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    1. Hey, there's an idea!! I will definitely look at tablecloths next time I'm there. That would solve a lot of problems! I'd just need a seam at the top for the pocket, and I'd give them a nice several-inch hem at the bottom for weight and draping!

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  14. I like your addition of the color!

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  15. Really pretty! The color combo is amazing!

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    Replies
    1. It's good that you already have your December Goals. :-D I'm still in the middle of making them and it's already December!

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