Seven large windows in need of coverings in rooms with nine and ten foot ceilings.
The house we moved into has many "big" projects waiting for funds to get started, so affording treatments for the windows in the house was not a part of the overall budget plan in the first year.
There are seven windows between the sitting room and dining room alone!
Buying panels would run about $89-$100+ each for a basic linen version. That doesn't include rods and hardware! I did not have $1500+ to spend on store bought curtains and hardware.
Did I mention I love to be inspired? If there is such a thing as a inspiration "addict" I would be classified as one. Dilemmas and problems only serve to be a platform for an inspiring solution. And that is why when I saw a post by French Country Cottage where she beautifies her office with some wonderful window treatments made from drop cloths,(see her post here), I became inspired to try my hand at this medium.
For many of you, I may be a little late jumping on the drop cloth bandwagon as this has been trendy for a while. But while the trend may have been around, the style is definitely the classic look I wanted. So, I figure my take on this window treatment will just add to the options available and show people how "budget friendly" options does not mean sacrificing great style.
With very little effort and minimal sewing skills you too can have this look!
Bottom line: If you can sew a straight line, you can have fabulous drapes.
Lowe's dropcloth--cost $22.
Bonus side note: I did not realize the size of these drop cloths. This one package provides material that is ample long enough to cover a window that has a 10 ft. ceiling!
And wide enough for two panels to come from one drop cloth.
Here's the math: 1 panel cost = $11
The fabric feels heavy and is easy to work with. There is a stiffener in the fabric, and so you will want to decide if you want to launder them first.
I decided to go with the stiff feel as I wanted these curtains to have
a more formal, albeit "relaxed" look. :o)
So first step:
Carefully cut the drop cloth in half along the seam that divides the cloth shown here.
This gives you one panel that already has "finished" edges,
and one panel that will need the raw edge turned over and finished.
Next, "finish" the raw edge on the panel that you just cut.
I recommend that you get out your ironing board and iron
the length of your panel edge to the desired finished width--turning over
the edge along the length and pressing it in place.
I folded over my edge a little less than 1/2 inch. Fold it 2 times so the raw edge is completely hidden
and the side seam matches the rest of the manufactured seams already on the panel.
(I know...no pins...you sewers out there...I confess,
I am lazy when it comes to pinning.
But this fabric is so stiff it makes it easy to "cheat" successfully if you press it first with the iron.)
Make sure you match the double stitch lines of the other seams.
This is simply stitching a second seam close to the other edge.
I used my sewing matching "foot" as my guide,
so I cannot tell you "exactly" the distance from the edge.
The main thing I kept telling myself was that the other existing seams
were not perfectly straight or even,
so I didn't need to get hung up on my stitch line being perfect.
Once you have finished this seam. The only thing left to do is spend the time to really iron out the creases that are pressed into the fabric from the way it is packaged. You will need heavy steam and/or a mist to really release all the crinkles and creases.
Okay...so the panels are done. What next? Well, I hadn't thought out what I was going to do for a rod yet. Courtney had mentioned a cute little rod at Lowe's with a birdie on it...and I saw it there...very, very cute--but I needed an option I could repeat 7 times. So while I thought about how I would do this and not spend money, I used thumbtacks to see how long I wanted the panels.
Yup, I tacked it up on my wall. Stayed that way for about 2 weeks.
Embarrassing, I know. But I needed to 'feel' out how I wanted the room to look. The good news is I loved the panel "look". I also realized I wanted to keep the transom uncovered and have the curtain start right under the transom.
Also, after further consideration and perusing some of my favorite rooms on pinterest and blogs, I realized that all the rooms that I really am drawn to, don't have super flashy curtain rods.
Simple, thin iron rods always look clean and classic.
(Here is an older post by Cote de Texas that shows some great window treatments.) .
My design solution came from a surprising place: Walmart.
I was picking up some items in Walmart
and wandered by their homegoods area and saw these cafe rods--instantly I was intrigued.
They were simple and classic, and I rather liked the little flourish on the finial.
At the price, they were worth a try...(clips and rod $6.99 each).
Not knowing if they would work, I just put the one up. It was so easy, I did it myself.
After arranging the clips to get the right pleats, I added a large tassel to finish it off.
And I love the finished look!
Here is what I did in my dining room.
I pre-washed the drop cloths and allowed them to "puddle" on
the ground for a more relaxed feel.
The best part--7 window treatments that I love,
total cost --approximately $148 (with a coupon). :o)