31 Days of Shut Up and Sew: IKEA Curtain Hack

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

It's Day 30 of...

...and the last actual sewing project!  I can hardly believe Halloween is tomorrow.  TOMORROW!  

I have something super fun and easy for you guys today.  AND this could totally be a no-sew project.  Just an iron and some fabric glue and you'd be good to go.  But since this month is all about actually sewing, I took to my machine and knocked these babies out.

See, I've wanted curtains on these windows in our basement foreva.  Well, I determined how much fabric I would need to make my own and seriously, the price would have been astronomical!  So I went the cheap easy route and picked up two plain curtain panels at IKEA for $20.  That's $10 per curtain.  I can live with that.

As most of you probably know, you have to hem IKEA curtains yourself, so I hung up the rods, attached curtain rings to one of the panels, hung the curtain on the rod, pinned it to the length I needed and sewed a hem.  When it was time to hem the other curtain, I just laid this one on top and used it as a guide.  I hemmed these before I had decided where the fabric was going to go, hence the extra wide hem.


1)  Get one yard of fabric per panel (less or more depending on how wide you want the band to be)
2)  On the long edges and one of the short edges, turn the fabric under 1/2" and iron, then another 1/2" and iron to create a neat edge.
3)  Temporarily pin the fabric into place on the curtain and determine how much you need to fold under on the remaining short edge.  Fold under so the edge of the fabric lines up with the edge of the curtain and use a few pins to keep the fold secure.
4)  Take the fabric back to your ironing board and iron under the remaining seam allowance.
5)  Now pin the fabric into place on the curtain.  Use tons of pins so there's no room for slippage!

I was originally planning to sew the fabric band higher up on the curtain (not at the bottom), but when I laid it out it just didn't seem right to me.  So be sure that before you sew any stitches, you determine exactly where you want the fabric.  What looks good in your head may not always translate in real life.  I laid the fabric out on my curtain where I thought I wanted it (about 12" from the bottom), then I walked away.  When I came back a couple hours later it just seemed all wrong.  Sometimes if you're unsure, it helps to just go onto something else and come back later.

6)  Using 3/8" seam allowance and a straight stitch, sew all the way around the fabric so it's attached to the curtain panel.

As I mentioned before, if you don't have a sewing machine or just don't feel like breaking it out, run a bead of fabric glue around all the edges to secure.

Now it's time to hang them!  I really wanted to use clip rings to give my curtains a more custom look, so I cut off the tab tops, figured out how far down I wanted my clips (remember, do this before you hem them!) and clipped them on.  However, when I hung them up, they looked all floppy and sloppy so I came up with a solution to help them stand up straighter:  popsicle sticks.  I just hot glued a stick in between each of the clips.

I got these clips at Target.  They were on one of the end caps marked down from like $8 per pack to $1.24!  I bought 4 packs but now I really wish I'd bought more.  I originally picked up two packs at Lowes before I found the rods (also at Target.  $10 each!) but they ended up being too small.  Then I found some at Walmart that were the right size but they were $7 a pack.  I bought them but then had to take those back when I found these at Target.  Who knew that I would spend so much time and energy looking for clip rings?!

I didn't want my clips to show so I clipped them onto the back like Sarah does.

Before popsicle sticks:

and after!  Okay, so they're still not perfect but they look much better.  You can kind of see the sticks in the photo below but you really don't notice them in person.

Here they are, hung high and wide to create the illusion of larger windows.

My fabric is Waverly Good Vibrations Blackbird, purchased from Fabric.com for $9.33/yard.  It's regularly $10.98/yard, but I had a 15% off coupon code.  So that brings the total price for these curtains to $18.67 (fabric) + $20 (curtains) = $38.67!  If you want to count the rods and rings, that would bring the total for the window treatments up to $61.15.  Still not too shabby.

It's nearly impossible to find printed curtains that coordinate with your decor and don't break the bank, so this is a very easy and thrifty way to bring some personality to your windows!

What I Learned:
Cheap clip rings that are the right size are hard to find.  AND you can use popsicle sticks on your window treatments... whoda thunk?

Don't forget about tomorrow's HUGE 31 Days of Shut Up and Sew Giveaway!  One of you lucky ducks will be receiving 5 (that's FIVE!) projects that I lovingly sewed this month.  The giveaway will start at 8 a.m. est. so don't be late!

To read all 31 Days of Shut Up and Sew, click here.

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