All Tied Up {Curtain Tie Backs}

Why hello there!

If you remember, many many weeks ago, I added our bedroom curtains to our living room. There they hung, a bit forgotten and incomplete. I realized during this project that I only ever had four panels, not the six I expected. So, assuming I would quickly head back to IKEA for another set, I left them alone until today. As I was cleaning and rearranging my office, I stumbled upon the pretty tie backs that the curtain packages included. We’ve never used them because the curtains have been closed for most of their time with us. I decided that using tie backs would make them a bit more polished and at least remind me to get my behind moving in buying the other pair.

Before: Just hanging around.

Before: Just hanging around.

After: Ahhhh, it's almost like the windows frame our gorgeous greenery outside. Definitely a perk of the neighborhood.

After: Ahhhh, it’s almost like the windows frame our gorgeous greenery outside. Definitely a perk of the neighborhood.

So this project cost about $8 for the hooks and mounting materials (found them all at Bed Bath and Beyond). Now I just need to get moving and pick up that last pair of curtains! I’ll let you know when this little, never ending project, is finally complete!

XOXO,

Ashley

Well Draped {New Curtains for Rooms}

Well, I did it. I did what I drooled over for many months.

If you follow my Pinterest boards, you will have seen some beautifully colorful curtains (Jeanette) from IKEA on my wish list board. I didn’t end up getting the curtains per-say, but I did get a very generous gift card from my parents. The original intent was to use the card to buy a couple new cabinet doors for the kitchen. But in true Ashley-form, I bought two doors, spent the gift card, got home AND the doors didn’t fit. I measured horribly wrong. The doors were about an inch too short. So, they needed to go back, my hopes dashed.

And then I realized. This meant I could get my curtains! My fun, happy, colorful curtains! But wait, would they match our newer comforter? It had green and blue hues as well, but they were in a different family. Windfall (or inadvertent windfall) number two! Truman got the comforter dirty one day, and though we put it in the dryer once, it just WOULDN’T dry completely. So, without thinking, we just ran it through again. Big. Mistake. So we’ve been dealing with a cute, but shrunken comforter. So with the gift card, and a renewed want to update and perk up the bland bedroom colors, I bought a new comforter AND curtains.

 

Ta-da!

Ta-da! New comforter, old comforter as a throw, and MORE IMPORTANTLY the curtains. It’s one, big, colorful family.

 

So it looks great, in my mind. I’m so happy with how the sun comes through those curtains in the morning. I love the coordination of the colors on the bed, in the pillows, and in the curtains. Plus, we still have our bright green side tables that just adds to the happiness quotient.

But where, might you ask, did our white curtains end up? Well, my friends, S and I have always been playing around with the idea of hanging curtains in the living room. Not only for privacy, but because there was an awkward amount of negative space above our windows. So I purchased a few IKEA curtain rods and went to town hanging the old-but-new-to-the-room curtains. I measured out the correct distance on each side, as well as halfway between the window and the moulding. Only, I’m really excitable with a drill and own no stud finder. So it was a bit more difficult than expected and it resulted in several more holes in the wall than necessary.

They add a sense of grandeur, don't you think?

They add a sense of grandeur, don’t you think?

If you look really closely, you can see the tiny holes I left in the wall, yet to be filled. I also made the mistake of tricking myself into believing we already had enough to put two panels on each window. That would be six panels for three windows. I have four panels. Needless to say, I will be remedying this situation in the next few days as I am two panels short. Here’s hoping they still sell this style!

But eitherway, what do you think? I love the curtains and how they just slightly puddle on the floor. It makes the ceilings seem higher and the rooms, oddly enough, seem brighter. I am currently choosing a coordinating fabric for the bedroom to make a better sized piece of wall art for above our huge bed. We’ll see if I ever settle on anything!

 

XOXO,

Ashley

Pinterest Project: Painting Curtains

Hi all!

As promised, I give you my tutorial on painting curtains. It includes the good, the bad, and the not exactly as shown in the thing I pinned on pinterest.

Our kitchen is primarily blue and white. LOTS of blue and white. So when I stare at our bright white curtains, it’s just too much. This is why I decided to take matters into my own hands. I found this on a fellow blogger’s site and LOVED the way her curtains turned out. I hemmed and hawed about what color to choose for my stripes, whether I should do a straight stripe or a chevron, and made my decisions. Plus, push comes to shove, the curtains were really cheap from IKEA (remember my obsession with IKEA?) and we’ve had them for three years. Could be tossed and replaced if this all didn’t work out.

So I went out to one of my other favorite places, Lowes, found my supplies and prepared myself. I got all the necessary items (foam brush, roller brush, paint for stripe, painters tape). I had to make a quick run to Joann’s Fabric for the textile medium, but I was happy to find that it was only 99 cents for a tube! I began planning out the stripes that evening. My curtain panels are very long, about 100 inches, so I needed a big work area.

Prepping the curtains, taping the stripes.

This is a REALLY important part of the process. You need to make sure that your tape is ABSOLUTELY flat against the curtains. Also, because you’re doing stripes, you need to make sure that your stripes are even and straight. Sadly, my travel sized tape measurer is MIA, so as you can see, I used a wrench. This actually worked out nicely because I was able to put it in between the tape lines to make sure that it was equal widths. This is a bit time consuming, so be prepared. But you also want to make sure that you do it just right or you’ll end up with some bumps in the final process (like me).

Stripes all taped out!

The second panel takes significantly less time because you really get into a groove. Also, if you trust yourself enough, you can lay your second panel over the first and use it to tape the second panel. This way it’s like a quick template. Once you finish the taping process, it’s time to paint!

Painting the stripes.

Painting away…

Make sure to put some sort of tarp or covering under you curtains while you paint. It will bleed through in spots and you don’t want paint on your floor. Because it’s heavy paint not necessarily used for textile, add the textile medium and mix. I got a quart of paint and used about 3/4s of my 3 oz. tube of textile medium. Paint carefully, starting from the tape and going inward to the middle of the stripe. This will help stop any bleeding or getting paint under your tape. Just keep painting, just keep painting. One thing I didn’t think about, and realized only after, was that I may have to do this with TWO coats, instead of just one. After one coat finished and dried, it looked good on the floor but hung up the light shined right through. So back down to the floor they went and more painting commenced.

After one coat, waiting for a second.

 

Then, after they’re sort of dry, I moved them outside to the porch to dry in the HOT HOT HOT heat. It’s like a natural dryer.

 

My neighbors probably love me.

And, once dry, the pay-off. They look great in the window and I love them from afar…but I loath them up close. As I said before, be VERY VERY careful when taping off your stripes. I must have had a few wobbles in my tape because I do have some random ridges and blobs. Not to mention a friendly-four legged friend WALKED on the wet curtains while they were drying. I tried my best to corner off the floor around the curtains, but he’s a clever little guy. And now he has tan paw pads.

Finished product.

Either way, I think they look pretty cool when you aren’t judging them up close. The stripes are really crisp khaki color against the white and I love how it goes with our blue walls. I’m just disappointed it’s not perfect up close. I wish I really double, triple, quadruple checked my tape lines to make sure I didn’t have any weird spots. But, these babies are staying at least for the short-term, so I’m going to try and figure out how to get it a bit more perfect (maybe a bleach pen? any other suggestions?).

And for those wondering, here’s the price break-down:

Curtains- $30 from IKEA

Paint- $2.50 for a quart. It was in the unwanted paint section so it was $15 dollars off.

Foam brush- $4 for a pair

Roller cover- $3 (already had the roller base)

Textile medium- $0.99

Painter’s tape- $2.50

So really, I get what I pay for? Curtains from a store like West Elm, Pottery Barn, or Crate and Barrel are an arm and a leg. These just needed several hours of my time and about $40. Maybe I should stop complaining about the imperfect spots…

 

So? What do you think?

XOXO,

Ashley