Wednesday, January 25, 2012

DIY Painted Backtab Curtains

Yesterday I made curtains for my boys' room. Panels with big wide stripes and hidden back tabs. I'm really happy with them even though they took me all day - that was my fault, not the poor curtains'. I must have forgotten my coffee or something.

I used sheets again, because y'all know I can't turn down a $5 curtain opportunity. I'm cheap like that. I was also on a time crunch, because two curtains laid out end to end in my dining room take up 99% of the usable floorspace, which meant that all pets and children were restricted to half the house (the "boring half," naturally) while I got my paint on. I admit, I might have thought that one through a little better. Hindsight is 20/20, right?


First I made curtains from the sheets - I followed this great no sew backtab curtain tutorial at Design a la Mod, with just a couple of tweaks:

1. First I folded over the extra length that I wouldn't need and attached the backtabs to that section, then finally I sewed the entire folded section in place (following the existing stitch line and going over the iron-on hem tape at the bottom for some extra strength). I attached the hem tape to this folded-over section so there would be less chance of it showing through since the sheet fabric is thin.




2. Instead of attaching the iron-on hem tape at both the top and bottom as in the original tutorial, I used velcro on the top section so that I could "open" my curtains because my boys' new curtain rods are made of galvanized piping. Once you screw all the pieces of pipe together it's solid and has to be entirely removed from the wall to add or remove traditional curtains -- and that wasn't going to happen.


I promise the original tutorial is much easier to understand, so make sure to click over there if you want to make some normal backtab curtains!

Once I finished making the curtains, it was time to lay them out and paint. I taped 9" lines on them and then realized I didn't have a foam roller. Like I said, maybe I forgot my coffee yesterday morning. To the store we went.

Back from the store and new roller in hand, I starting painting with scads of acrylic craft paint and fabric medium. I went with regular craft paint since I had heard that using regular wall paint (even with fabric medium) could result in crunchy curtains, and fabric medium seems to be "designed" for the regular craft paint. News flash: mine are still a tad crunchy. Oh well! I might sand them lightly to soften them up.

Regardless of what paint you choose, buy more than you think you'll need; fabric sucks it right up. I used 9 bottles of craft paint and 4 small bottles of fabric medium and that was cutting it close. Did I mention that I had to run to Michael's midway through painting to buy more? I am a super planner, guys. Who wants me to plan their wedding? Ha!

The best part of all my poor planning? My  prisoners children were forced lucky enough to have a picnic for dinner! A... um... front room floor picnic! On plastic Christmas plates I forgot to put away! Thirty minutes before bedtime! Go me!

Okay, so it wasn't my smoothest project ever, but now that it's over I'm really happy to have these curtains up even though my 6 year old dubbed them "weird." Pfft. What does he know? I think they look great!



So does Robin over there. We think they look great. Holy cool curtains, Batman!

Sharing at Home Stories A to Z ,Thrifty Decor Chick

25 comments:

  1. LOVE them! I really like the color of the stripes, too...and the curtain rod...awesome! Thanks for sharing!

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  2. I truly believe the whole "dinner on xmas plates thirty minutes before bed" happens to every DIYer. We have had plenty of those nights when mommy is knee deep in a project. Too funny!

    And that's me...always running back to the store.

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  3. The curtains look great!!! your kids are going to have the coolest room ever!!!

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  4. Those are awesome! Oh, and don't worry about your 6 year old....I spent hours making my 4 year old an adorable tote bag and when I finished I EXCITEDLY showed it to her. She could tell how excited I was so naturally she looked at it, said "That's weird..." and walked away all casually. Kids!!! :)

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  5. Wow the curtains turned out awesome. I love that you made them from sheets. I greatly enjoy using items for something different that what they were intended for.

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  6. VERY cool. And the curtain rod... plumbing pipe? Also very cool!

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  7. I so need some new curtain in a few rooms in our house. And like you I like to be a resourceful decorator and save a few buck. I think I will be on the hunt some bargin bin sheets in the near future. Thanks for the tip. And dont you just love the perspective of kids...

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  8. These are just beautiful! Two little boys, straight painted lines, how in the world did you get this done?

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  9. Love the curtains!!!!!! Can't wait to see the room completely finished :)

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  10. Those are awesome. Painting the fabric would have never crossed my mind! Great idea!

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  11. First, I love the idea of the galvanized tubing for a curtain rod. So cool for a boys room.

    Second, if our next place has one big window (instead of two narrow windows right next to each other like now) I definately want to do striped curtains. I thought about sewing, but maybe I'll paint them. Or I'll just send all the materials to you and have you do it because even though you think you aren't a super planner, the fact that you *started* the project and then *continued* it even though it meant returning to the store is lightyears better than me. Who gives up on projects before I even start them. I should have a craft/decor blog - it would awesomely boring.

    Third, I laughed at the dinner on the floor before bedtime - sometimes my kids meals take a backseat when I'm working on something....sorry kids!

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  12. Amy: Walmart's twin curtains are $5 and fuller than standard curtains at 66-inches wide (I think 66?)

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  13. I couldn't believe your curtain rod, I just did the SAME type of rod in a bedroom, it was so easy, sturdy and inexpensive. Then the curtains I am going to hang on them are from Ikea and they have the tabs like that already sewn in. They were pretty inexpensive, maybe not $5 but pretty close. Love the stripes you added, so creative.

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  14. you are hilarious! I'm not even sure how I found your blog, but you're going in my reader right this very minute. I love the curtains!

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  15. Love the rod, the easy tabs, the paint, and the amazing finished panels! I can't believe those were sheets! I'd love it if you'd share this at my Show & Tell party, going on now @ the Delectable Home.

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  16. I am hemming and hawing about painting curtains. They are my living room curtains so it feels like a big risk! That and I have to pick a color and decide on a pattern.

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  17. They look great. I bought white curtains with the intention of painting stripes but I'm scared to paint since I may mess them up. I'm thinking I'll sew on stripes instead.

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  18. They DO look great!! I totally want to make some striped curtains for our bedroom but I was putting it off at the thought of all that sewing..never thought of paint! Thanks so much for sharing :)

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  19. They turned out wonderfully! I am your newest follower :-)

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  20. I think that they look fab! Quick question? When you look at them, do you really see that they are painted? A friend and I are debating the striped curtains right now and we aren't sure if we can get away with painting them. What's your opinion on that?

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  21. I love the curtains! Great price on a custom look. The pipe rod is awesome too!

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  22. I think they look great - definitely not weird! ;-). Loved the commentary, as that is how many of my projects play out as well! You got it done though, and I love the look. Good tip about the paint though, because I would have gone off and painted them with regular old paint!

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  23. Love the curtains, have plans for these to go in my living room, just trying to find the perfect grey color, what color acrylic do you use?
    Thanks!!

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  24. I stumbled across your page when browsing rods for my new big striped drapes that I just "ordered" :)
    Not only did you crack me up- you are too funny, but I love your ideas & your page! Yep- Blog archives you go!
    Thanks

    "The BEST is Yet To Come DESIGNS"!

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  25. These look great! They really complement the room.

    Cath Brookes
    Reverse Mortgage Loans

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