Monday, April 27, 2009

The easiest, cheapest, custom drapes EVER.

Have you ever lived with something in your house for years and YEARS, not in love with it, but liking it OK, just fine with it?

And then you change one little thing in the room and it sets you off on this roll that is very unbeneficial to the pocket book?

That's me.

I've been transforming our loft into the toy room and am trying to walk the very fine line between a cozy space for the adults and a total kid space.

I had drapes in the room that I bought for our previous place that were a faux silk (I think the fancy name is polyester) and were very shiny.
Like I said, for years, I thought they were just OK. Especially when it was just an extra room we only used once and a while. But then when I started making changes, they were too heavy and all wrong for the lighthearted space I was trying to create.

So I went looking and found exactly what I was looking for -- muslin! It's basically just a cotton, gauzy-type fabric. And whoooeee, it is CHEAP! I didn't even hem it -- I love the frayed edges:
I found fabric for the toppers long ago -- they are my favorite part:
This is SO EASY. I promise you can make these by yourself in less than 20 minutes. Just find a fabric you love, and get about a yard an a half of it (18 inches or so) for each treatment. (You can do whatever size you want, but I like to stick with this measurement.)
Use your hemming tape to hem up all the edges:
Then just hang it from the clips, like I showed you here, on top of the main drapery fabric:
Then, to make sure they stay put and look like they are sewn together, just use a pin on each side:
You won't even remember they are there, let alone anyone else noticing them!


The great thing about this project is you can use just about anything for the main part of the drape -- sheets, old window treatments -- any fabric. Then you can splurge on a loverly fabric for the topper (on sale, with a coupon of course).

The muslin was only $15 for five yards. And it was 108 inches wide, so I really didn't need that much. I could have easily gotten away with three yards (these are really long drapes) and spent less than $10 for both:
I usually add lining to my drapes, but I love the way these let the light in the room:
I'm almost done with little tweaks in the toy room, and will show you soon. (I know I keep saying that!)

P.S. Remember the phone I taped together, in a sad, sad effort to avoid spending money on a new one (so I could spend it on other things)?? Well, this is it tonight:

My sweet, loving, two-year-old threw it. Outside. On the concrete. See those two wires sticking out? Those were the only things holding it together. And when I made him pick it up and bring it to me, he decided to pull the two parts apart. SNAP!!

New phone. Tomorrow. Dang.

54 comments:

  1. I love your drapes, they are gorgeous. I love to work with muslin, it is such a great fabric. Your topper fabric is just stunning. I can't wait to see the rest of the room. Hugs, Marty

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  2. That phone looks like a car wreck. Have fun buying a new one!

    Di
    The Blue Ridge Gal

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  3. Love the drapes!!!

    Sorry about your phone. Have fun shopping for a new one. ;)

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  4. Your poor phone. Make sure to give yourself a nice update.

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  5. Those are loverly! Looks great!

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  6. Do you have insurance on your phone? If so, your service provider may cover that damage for free. I am not kidding. My son put a pencil through my phone, and when I took it in I learned the deductible only applied if I (1) lost the phone, or (2) got it wet. Everything else was covered 100%. I got a free upgraded phone out of the deal.

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  7. Great minds must think alike. I just posted about my curtains today too!

    Love yours! Muslin is one of my very favorite things to buy at the fabric store.

    So sorry about your phone. :(

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  8. Oh, I feel your pain with the phone, but looking at your window mistreatments makes the ache go away. :) Fabulous!!

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  9. I love your curtains! So cute! Sorry about the phone.

    Sheryl

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  10. Love the drapes! Amazing look for small $!!!!

    I feel the same way you do about those have to have but don't want to spend money on cell phones!! Hopefully they will be having a great deal on one tomorrow!

    blessings
    mary

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  11. Wow! Great idea!!!!!

    Phone stuff stinks. Bummer dude.

    Jen

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  12. Love these! Sorry about the phone...I guess it was finally time for it to give up the ghost.

    My husband washed his in the washing machine yesterday...brilliant!

    Mod Podge mania is coming up again this Thursday if you'd like to come!

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  13. You might just be the thriftiest person I know and it ALWAYS looks SOOO darn good!

    Hun, you were due for a new phone WAY before today! With all that money you saved on the window treatments you can get yourself a fancy new phone. ; )

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  14. Great idea for the drapes...they turned out beautiful! Sorry about the phone, it looks like an elephant stepped on it. HA

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  15. Thank you! I have been "hung up" on what to do with my bay window, and you have inspired me! I will now be able to afford the expensive fabric by doing it this way.

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  16. Absolutely love the texture on the muslin! I like it frayed, too. It shows this is a room that's for fun, not formality. I've never had lined curtains; all my curtains are left open except the LR where I use white cotton. I saw curtains made from scrim once; I'd love to try that.

    I got a new cell phone for free from my company; a lot of them have special offers/rebates. Hope you can find something with the features you want at an affordable price.

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  17. Beautiful! What are you going to do with the old ones!?! I have a window that is screaming for them! LOL ;)

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  18. I love those drapes. Great idea for the topper. Muslin is a great choice with the light coming through them. Sorry about your phone. I'd have cried LOL. Hope you can upgrade!

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  19. Lovely! And they look so full and expensive!

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  20. Thanks for this idea! I hung beige sheets up in my living room last month, and as much as I love them, I knew they needed something to make them pop. And I bought some fabric I love on clearance awhile back so this will be perfect! (-:

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  21. Those look great...and inexpensive always rocks. Can't wait to see the playroom.

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  22. Ack! So sorry about the phone, I KNOW that you had way more fun ways to spend that money.
    Those drapes are fantastic! They look perfect with the train set! :) (oh, how I remember those days...)

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  23. The curtains look great! I also like how the sun comes through.

    Poor cell phone. We are thinking of cancelling ours. Crazy but true.
    ~Michelle

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  24. I thought for sure you were gonna tell me you had spray painted your curtains! :) These are awesome! LOVE the frayed edges as well!

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  25. I love the idea of using muslin for drapes. I would have never considered it before. But, you have changed my mind.
    Hugs, Terrie

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  26. I love the idea! I think it'll make any room look cozy.

    Your poor phone... too bad you have to have such an unexpected expense.

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  27. Love the curtains! Sorry about your phone!

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  28. If you are at ALL into costuming, like me, muslin is perfect for the parts of your underskirts that don't show or for authentic-y-looking chemises. And it is dirt cheap. LOVE!!!

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  29. Oi. Parabéns por seu excelente blog. Gostaria de lhe convidar para visitar meu blog e conhecer alguma coisa sobre o Brasil. Abração

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  30. Lookin' good! I love your fancy toppers.

    And, ohhh, your poor phone. Maybe it's for the best, though. I can just imagine you two years from now using a phone covered in superglue, duct tape, electrical tape, and bunny ears you found at a garage sale attached...lol...you know the antenae kind...not the actual bunny kind.

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  31. Love those! The muslin looks great and I love the topper fabric.

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  32. I love love love your blog but I am still too scared to try anything myself. You make it look too easy!!!

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  33. A moment of silence here for the passing of your *beloved* phone. It does suck to have to shell out the $$ for stuff like that. Love the window treatments...one of these days I'll work up the nerve to try it. :) How did your girls' party go?? Mine is tonight and my own (little) girls have completely trashed my house. Deep breath..."serenity now, serenity now." ;)

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  34. LOVE that muslin with the frayed edges! I can totally relate to the phone thing. I HATE spending money on a new phone. I slammed mine in the back door of my suburban, it flew across the parking lot and cracked the front of the screen open. It still worked, I just couldn't tell who was calling or if I was dialing the right number. I used it like that for over 2 years. I was ridiculed and laughed at incessantly, but it's all good!

    ~Amanda

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  35. I've just spent the morning reading your blog (because I have that kind of time at work) and have really enjoyed it. Love the ideas and have a nice list of things I want to do. I think the first will be moulding in the bathroom that I'm very excited about.
    Also, the 'welcome' letters on your front door...LOVE that. Looking forward to reading more.

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  36. Love those curtains! I can't wait to try that on some brown ones I want to spruce up! :) Love all your ideas!

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  37. Brilliant idea! We're doing an addition onto our family room and I *really* want gorgeous toile drapes...but I know I can't afford to do that. But THIS I can afford...muslin topped with toile! :) Thanks for the idea!

    ~ Sarah

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  38. Once again........AWESOME!!!
    Seriously, how do you come up with all this.
    I'm so proud of myself if I put a sticker on a card I'm sending. I think I'm a genius. You are amazing!

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  39. Love the topper fabric. Your ideas are too cute.

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  40. Ok! I think I can do that! (I'm psyching myself up!) We'll see how it goes!

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  41. What a great idea for your curtains! I got some red striped fabric that isn't colorfast for mine. I was about to give up until I saw what you did here!
    I don't have to sew it on my white drapes, just clip and pin! Thanks so much! Now I can actually MAKE my "toppers"! Yours look fantastic! Someone else used drop cloths for their drapes. I do like the muslin though! You are SO creative!

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  42. oh. cell phones... i have had like 4 in the last 2 years. mostly from various Avery accidents.

    One happened to accidentally fall into a glass of red wine...That obviously wasn't Avery's fault...
    Just so you know, phones don't really recover well from red wine.

    Ok - I've got to dish with you about Y & R:
    Hooray that Kevin is back to normal. That bloody chipmunk was freaking.me. OUT.

    I'm wondering if Victor isn't doing something to try to make Ashley go crazy. It may be an off the wall thought, but then again, I could be on to something...

    I think Colleen and JT might have somethin' going on soon.

    AND last but not least...I'm super happy that Sharon got called out on what she did to Eden. She makes me NUTS.

    Now I'm done... your turn.

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  43. I can't wait to go to the fabric store and get me some muslin!!! Happy phone shopping!

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  44. Love these curtains! I've been looking for some fabric for several window treatments I need to work on... I will look at muslin next time I'm at the fabric store.

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  45. I love how those turned out...and of course the magic of something being so inexpensive doesn't hurt either! I think I might need to copy you in my front room...too many windows!
    Carrie

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  46. Looks great!

    I love the muslin idea! Good for spring/summer!

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  47. That is so awesome. I have these drapes hanging in our bedroom, that I made especially to keep light out (my husband works nights) and have wanted to change them, but didn't want to make new ones. I am going to just hang other fabric over them using this technique!
    Thanks for sharing

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  48. I loooooove it! Muslin was the perfect solution and you know I love anything that doesn't requiring sewing! So glad you got a cool new phone~you make me want one now.

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  49. I LOVELOVELOVE your blog. Very inspirational! I found this blog (http://littlegreennotebook.blogspot.com/2009/02/make-shades-out-of-mini-blinds.html) on Monday and had to try it for my self; MIRACULOUS! Really amazing.

    Who knew you could make roman shades from your old miniblinds?

    My toddlers had broken several slats on their miniblinds, but I was able to salvage them and create a beautiful, knew Roman shade in an hour!

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  50. At last a window treatment I love nad CAN make! We are remodeling the living and dining room area and I have been struggling with the window treatment options.

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  51. I just found your blog. LURVE! You crack me up. I, too, am thrifty but I don't seem to follow through with my projects. I have been wanting to redo our master by adding drapes and I think your muslin is the ticket. Thank you for the wonderful ideas. Can't wait to so some paper mache ghosts with my 5 year old this fall. She will LOVE it! Keep up the great work.

    Eliza

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  52. I love this idea for your curtains. I SEW - and I never thought of this! My favorite was the phone, though. It reminded me of when my daughter was a baby. We were at the grocery store with my new tiny calculator that chimed. She was so fascinated with it that as soon as I got too close, she grabbed it and tossed it straight to the tile floor. It shattered in a million tiny pieces. Kids are great! LOL!

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