I have always put off curtains because there are never any ready-made curtains that I like. Or if do like them, they are too short for our tall windows. Anyway, I decided to work around that and make my own. Back in January, Cutting Edge Stencils had a 20% off sale, so I took the opportunity to order 2 stencils that I really liked but wasn't sure how I would use them (good idea, Andrea - buy stuff for no particular reason). I wanted to take advantage of the sale, so chose the Ikat Smarkand and the large Herringbone. After mulling it over for awhile, I decided to try my hand at stencilling curtains. I'm certainly not the first person to do it, and I liked the idea of custom curtains. I pondered stencilling a flat-weave rug but Ikea doesn't seem to have them anymore (or at least didn't when I went).
Like I mentioned previously, we have particularly large windows - the living room/dining room are 112" long, and only about 8-10" below our 9 foot ceilings. I knew this was going to be a challenge for curtain rods as this is much longer than the average. We went to Home Depot to price out electrical conduit... it would have been a great option. 3/4 inch conduit was $8.48 for 10 feet which would have been just long enough for each window. Add in that they needed to be primed and painted and required some kind of bracket - I am guessing it would have been about $20 per window which isn't bad. But a lot of work. I was up for it (aren't I always?!).
I really thought I remembered Ikea having some expandable curtain rods but couldn't find any online - we decided to go there for curtain panels anyways so thought we'd check it out. Whaddya know, I was right!! They had rods that were plenty long enough, and for only $6.99 - no painting required!! So, we picked up 3 Hugad curtain rods and 3 sets of panels. I really didn't like any of the finials, so for now we just have the caps. If I find finials I like, I may switch them out. But, I'm not opposed to the caps either as the drapes really kind of hide them away and keep the focus where I want it.
For panels, we bought the Ikea Ritva ($29.99 per pair). They were 57" wide and 98" long which was barely long enough for the living room and dining room. So, I had to make sure that the rods were pretty close to the window casings so the curtains wouldn't look like they were waiting for a floor to pour through. I also wanted to leave some clearance above the rods in case we get around to installing crown mouldings (it's on our long term wish list). You can see that we butted the brackets right up to the window casings downstairs - we knew we wouldn't actually close the curtains so this was a great way to hide them behind the panels. We also cut the centre bracket shorter so that it could be closer to the casing.
Kris hung up all the rods while I ironed and painted all of the panels. Which totally took the same amount of time.... riiiiiiight. For the living room and dining room panels, I decided to use the Ikat stencil with some leftover wall paint. Yup. Regular old latex paint. We had a ton left from when I painted the fireplace wall (way back in 2009 when I moved in), so I used that. I added some fabric medium to it (well, actually Kris did as he was my paint mixer/pourer). We didn't add nearly as much as it said to - I didn't think I really needed to. They're just curtains. I wanted to make sure the stencil carried off of the panels so lined it up over the edge. The Ikat stencil was very forgiving and hard to mess up. I must say, it probably would have gone a lot quicker if you didn't care so much about inconsistencies - I am the last person who should ever do anything that may not be perfect. I agonized a little bit. I would say each panel took about 2 hours to paint. I started Saturday evening (clearly I don't have a life), and finished Sunday night after working on it most of the day.
Luckily, it scrubbed off with a little elbow grease. It's always an adventure with me ;)
So here's the final results! Dining Room:
Aaaaaaand the Living Room:
oh, and ps.... unfortunately, with more blog traffic comes comment spam - so I've had to add word verification on to commenting. Sorry :( I hope you'll still take the time to comment because I love them!
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