Saturday, September 22, 2012

Making Canvas Drop Cloth Curtains, Part I

My living room has a whopping huge set of windows. There are three of them, reaching nearly floor to ceiling, and the whole set of windows stretches 11 feet. Figuring out a window treatment for this bad boy was not an easy task!

First of all, I'm really not a fan of blinds. I know they are imminently practical, but I just don't like them. Plus, these windows aren't really recessed enough for blinds. They would stick out from the windows.

I looked for pre-made curtains, but it turns out curtain panels (that are not custom made) are almost always 48" wide.....not even close unless I wanted to spend lots of time futzing with the curtains every time I wanted them open or closed. I am really not a futz-er.

So I went and priced out fabric, thinking to myself "Ok, I'll just make my own, and then I can just sew panels together to create something wider." Then I added up how much fabric I would need and nearly died of sticker shock. I would have needed 11 yards of fabric to make curtains to fit my windows. Even if I got fabric that was $10/yard (and most of the drapery fabric I really liked was more in the $20/yard range), that's $110 just for the fabric. Then I would still have to get thread, and some sort of curtain rod, plus whatever other random hardware, trim, etc. Yikes. This was starting to look like an expensive endeavor.

I considered just leaving the windows bare. They have some reasonably attractive trim around them, and leaving them bare would fit into the style of out mid-century brick ranch. However, this is the room where we hang out in the evenings, which means we are back-lit after the sun goes down. It also looks right out into the street, and I find it a little awkward and unnerving that our neighbors could see our every movement once the sun goes down.

After nearly two weeks of indecision and racking my brain for a solution, I was reading Better Homes & Gardens and happened on a story in which a woman used canvas drop cloths (from the hardware store) to make her curtains. THAT was my solution!

So off to the hardware store I went to find the largest drop cloth I could possibly find (15' x 12'), knowing that I would need to cut it in half and hem it. This cost me approximately $30 (not bad, as opposed to the $100+ I could have spent). I then thought to myself "What if I found a stencil and painted a pattern on them?" And the plan was hatched. Stay tuned. This was a lot of text! Next post about this will have more pictures....promise!

Have you ever had a decorating puzzle like this? What creative solution did you come up with? Do you purchase pre-made window treatments or do you make your own?

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