Hanging Curtains

Hanging curtains “high and wide” made such a huge impact on the rooms in my house.  It’s amazing what a small change like that can do to the space.  The ceilings feel taller and the space feels bigger somehow.  Here are just a couple pictures to show you the difference.

Before

Hang them near the ceiling and to the outside of the window.  The distance out from the edge of the window depends on how full your curtains are; you want them to fall so that they cover the window frame, but don’t cover the actual window.  Hanging the curtains so they barely cover the actual window will make your window appear bigger and won’t block out the precious natural light.

One of each.  See the difference?

Both windows done.  Now, to get rid of that awkward space above the window but below the curtain rod, hang some bamboo roman shades in that space.  Then no one will ever know that your windows don’t go all the way to the ceiling.

And this may be my favorite drawn rendition that I’ve found online.

DIY Black & White Striped Curtains

I loved this idea, but finding fabric with big, chunky horizontal stripes is next to impossible.  So I decided to make my own.

Although I did cheat a tiny bit and bought curtain panels from Ikea to work off of.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • White curtain panels. COST: $19.99 for a pair
  • Black twin sheets (1 sheet per panel you’re making–at least). COST: $5.00 each I got my sheets from Walmart
  • Stitch Witchery (fusible web) COST: $2.99
  • Rotary cutter & mat (This isn’t necessary, but the cuts are SO much easier on a rotary cutter)

TOTAL COST: $32.98 per window (two panels).

I loved the big, chunky stripes, so I went with 14″ stripes.

WHAT TO DO:

1. Measure your white curtain width & length for reference.  Use some simple math to figure out how thick you want your stripes.  I made mine 14″ wide.  So 14″ white, 14″ black, 14″ white, 14″ black, etc…

2. Take one of the black sheets and cut all the edge seams off as close to the edge as possible.

3. Lay the black sheet on the floor and cut out 15-16″ stripes (the extra inch is so you’ll have a 1/2-1″ of fabric to fold over for a nice edge)  NOTE: I cut my stripes to the correct width (across) in addition to the 14″ height and ran into trouble–I think perhaps because I didn’t use enough pins, when I was sewing there were several times when I didn’t quite have enough fabric to make it all the way across the white panel & I had to sew additional fabric onto the black stripes.  My recommendation is to cut the 14″ stripes, but don’t cut the width until you’re at the sewing machine ready to sew that section.

4. Iron the edges on all of your black stripes.  This is a great tip for getting evenly-ironed edges

5. Lay out your white panels & pin the black stripes on.  Be generous with the pins.  I learned that the hard way.

6. Sew on the black stripes to the panels. (Or sew the edges of the black sheets and then use stitch witchery to iron the black stripes onto the panels.)  Sew as close to the edge of the black fabric as you can.

7. Iron everything & hang. (I waited to hem mine because I added a liner several days later)

**If your panels are meant to be more than decorative, you’ll probably need to add a liner to them–I (again) used cheap white sheets from Walmart ($5).  I cut the sheets to fit the size of the back (with an additional 1/2″ to sew an edge), sewed all the edges of the white sheet, and then used the stitch witchery fusible web to attach the white sheet to the back of my panel. (The lining also gets rid of the black thread used to sew on the stripes).

The Ikea panels usually come with some fusible web too; this is a great method for hemming curtains without a seam.

NOTE: This project wasn’t overly difficult, but it was time consuming.  I spent almost an entire day making 4 panels, but they’re totally worth it.  Exactly the effect I was going for.