Thursday, May 1, 2014

Easy no sew curtain

I excel at coming up with projects to do around our house but I am not so good at accomplishing them in a timely manner (or at all).  This is one of those that has been percolating for over a year.  I know that because the first project we did after Luke came home was to hang a new light over the kitchen sink which would give us the space for a curtain.  And repainting the ceiling above the sink was one of the first projects I did when Matt went back to work after his 2 week paternity leave (I was a little stressed trying to do a painting project with a month old baby).  So a year ago we took the first steps on this project and then it sat for 11 months.

Last April, after the new light was up.  This is the best before I have.
Part of the reason for that is that I took a long time to pick out fabric but I also didn't look for almost a year either.  And then when I did I took pictures of a few and thought about them for a few weeks before purchasing.  Then the fabric sat on our dining room table about 2 weeks before I did anything with it.  Then within a week I had them cut, hemmed, and the curtain was up.  Once we get moving we get moving, it's just the starting that is a problem.

The process was pretty easy and probably only took 90 minutes once I had the fabric.  First was figuring out the size.  Matt helped me measure the width and then I did some very rough guessing on the length by holding up placemats and seeing if that looked right.  I penciled this out on the back of the fabric and then added another 3 inches because I was afraid they would be too short.   I ended up with 68" wide by 17" high. 

I'm a big fan of iron-on hem tape.  It's how I made the curtains that hang in my office, Matt's office, and Luke's room.  I don't have a sewing machine and, while my sister let me borrow (/helps me a lot) I find this easier.  This was the single most time consuming part of this project and it still only took me 2 episodes of Cougar Town while Luke napped (I measure project time by how much tv I can watch while doing it). 

Here what I used to hem my curtains:

-fabric (already cut to my dimensions)
-Heat n Bond hem tape (around $4 at JoAnns or other craft stores)
-ironing board
-fabric scissors

I start by ironing a one inch hem using my ruler as my guide. 

I fold the fabric over and start ironing, moving my ruler along as I go.

I iron the complete side before going back and ironing it again with the hem tape inside.  I cut the hem tape to the right length first and try to fill it all in before I start.  I iron very slowly so the tape can heat and stick. 
This method isn't just very easy but also leaves a very nice, crisp edge.  I know I wouldn't be able to sew this straight.

For this curtain I ironed 3 sides, leaving the top undone since it would be wrapped around the board for mounting.  On curtains that hang from a rod I do all 4 sides. 

Then my project stalled a little until the weekend when Matt could help me get it hung up.  He had cut a board that was 66" long (to account for my one inch hem from my original cut) using scrap wood from our old kitchen door frame.  I love having a handy husband. =) 

I "helped" him use the staple gun to wrap the fabric around the backside of my curtain board.  We stapled it to what would be the back so the fabric would come over the top and hang down the front.  He was very happy I was stopping to take pictures of this.
Luke's hanging out on the patio because he keeps forgetting he can crawl in the grass
We stapled the ends first and then added a bunch more in between.  But really, I found out I'm not a fan of the staple gun and may have screamed a little every time it went then I was banned from helping too much. 

This should show how we stapled it to the back.
Matt is making his lunch in the background
I don't have pictures of the hanging process (since I was helping hold a board) but Matt used his drill (which made Luke happy) to attach the board to the ceiling.  We didn't have a lot of wiggle room since we have the light base on that little ceiling and there is trim around the window.  Just enough room for my curtain.

Here it is all beautiful and hung:

Yay!!  We are discussing if that ruffley trim should come down.  I vote yes, Matt says no.  Since his vote means less work it stays for now...but I really think it would look better if that was gone.  Regardless of that, I'm pretty excited my curtain is finally hung and that it adds some more color to our kitchen.

On the wall directly across from this we added some more canvases from our vacation pictures and I painted some more letters.  Those have been up over a month and it was kinda a happy accident that the colors in the letters tied so well with the curtain fabric although not really that much of an accident since we pretty much only use blue & green in our house.

I feel like the kitchen is more balanced with a lot of color on each side now instead of the window wall being mostly neutral.

This means everything I listed as wanting to do (and actually likely to be done) to the kitchen in this post is done except now I am campaigning for new kitchen lights since I hate the ones we have, or most accurately, hate the shadows they produce.  We even picked out the ones we have when we did the kitchen project a few years ago; I've just changed my mind.  I'm not winning that discussion though but maybe if I find the right deal....

The fabric was the most expensive part of this project (since the only other thing we bought was hem tape) but I also have over half left since I bought based on length.  I've never priced out a similar valance pre-made but I prefer the fabric & dimension flexibility we have with making our own anyways.   Plus, pride in a curtain I (we) made!  

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