Up until recently, I've never been a "curtains" kind of person. I've always perferred a clean-lined window treatment; nothing more, nothing less.
When we built this house, I chose simple wood blinds with a nice grain to them, and called it a day.
Lately, though, I've been jonesing for layers and texture.
This is one end of our living room (sorry for the semi-dark picture):
(Please disregard Mr.V's dome and The Redhead insisting on an appearance.Well, you don't have to disregard The Redhead. She's cute. :) )
* And YES, I know the piece on the wall is hung a little high. But it was done on purpose because (for now, anyway) we're keeping it on the wall when we get new furniture for the living room. And I've been told in no uncertain terms from Mr.V. that the new furniture WILL have a higher back, because apparently holding up his own melon when he sits for the past 5 years has really taken its toll on him. So I gave it a few inches to avoid having to hang that again because it was a pain. Ahem. Carry on.
I found these linen panels at Pottery Barn and REALLY loved them. Like, carried them around the store for 40 minutes with me, loved them.
I loved the slightly rough texture. I loved how they hung almost effortlessly in the store. I loved how the color was just a hair lighter than my wall color, so they would give me texture but not be a POW! pop of color. I loved how they weren't heavy and would still let in light.
I did NOT love that they were $79. Per panel. I just couldn't do it.
All right, who am I kidding? I just couldn't face my husband after spending $160 on two strips of fabric. So, I chickened out and vowed to figure out how to make them on my own.
The winning solution? Canvas painter's drop cloths.
I bought 2, 6x9 drop cloths at Home Depot for $9.97 each. Now that is my kind of budget!
I was amazed at how close in color the drop cloths were to the PB curtains. The canvas was a little heavier, and a little more rugged, but that was fine with me and totally my style.
Next I needed curtain rods. Now, I challenged myself on the budget train here, too - I mean, I couldn't put up $10 curtain panels but spend $50 on the rods, could I? Nope. So I really had to search, but I was super happy to find these babies by accident at Hobby Lobby.
They were the perfect shape and size, and although I was wanting a rich bronze, it was nothing that a couple coats of paint couldn't cure. The reason I was so willing to compromise? See that little yellow sticker toward the bottom of the picture?
Go ahead and look at that clearance price. I'll wait.
BOO. YAH. (x2)
Like I said, they were brushed nickel, rather than the oil-rubbed bronze I wanted, but when has that ever stopped me?
For $4.32, they could have been purple for all I cared.
I was so excited and had such an itchy trigger finger I gave 'em their first coat of paint that very night. DIYer's Christmas!
So, I painted the rods. Then I washed the panels twice on the hottest wash (that's typically the setting you would use for whites, if you don't have a way to manually control the temp. on your washer). The first wash I used a tiny bit of detergent, the second wash I didn't use anything at all. The washing was a necessary step because the drop cloths were very stiff right out of the package and would have been tough to work with.
Another happy discovery - finished edges!!! Since I don't have a sewing machine, I was a little worried about how I would trim the panels to hide rough edges. Well, no worries there now! Hooray!
Once the rods were hung, I went to work on the panels. First I pressed each of them (Yes, Mom, I ironed!)
I measured where I wanted them to hang, and folded that extra over the back (of the top). It was only about an inch, which worked out nicely so I didn't have a whole mess of fabric hanging down the back. If you're making shorter curtains, I would trim that excess off.
So next I pressed that fold to get a nice crease. Then I took this trim with plastic o's on it (found at Hobby Lobby in their drapery aisle for $0.99 a yard.
I gave things a final once over with the steam iron, and then it was time to hang!
I used simple ring clips that I had hidden away in my stash for a project eons ago that never got off the ground. However, you can find 12-packs of these rings at most fabric stores for around $8 a package (and even less if you find a good coupon, like at JoAnn's or HL!)
So, the final look:
I love the depth the panels give to the room, and by hanging the rods higher, it elongates everything and makes the room feel larger! Plus, it helps balance out my high-hung votive holder.
All in all, not too bad for about $30.