Domestic Success: DIY Curtains and my Princess Room

Finally! I get to share some tiny domestic successes on my blog. I feel like only half a blogger if I don't  have the opportunity every once in a while to do this. Look! Something is clean and nice and I made it myself! I am not as domestically talented as I would prefer. I am good at many individual things... it's the putting it all together (and keeping it there) that I struggle with.

Before I post about my Easy Peasy DIY Curtains and my "Princess Room", I should share with the reader the sad fact that the rest of my house isn't photo worthy today. The long and short of it is that, in spite of the long and careful efforts of my very intelligent husband, we were the victim of a very crooked contractor. It is a hard truth that in spite of one's best efforts and attempts to positively control a situation, sometimes other people are just going to be rotten and steal and cheat anyway... even if they haven't done it before.

 In a nutshell, what was supposed to be the beautiful and functional addition that we saved and planned for for many years, is still... in transition. And has been for several years. A lot of concrete, drywall mud, and bare wood. Instead of a fine finished product according to plan, we are now paying (slowly) to repair major contractor "mistakes" and left without the money we need to finish. We are making progress a little at a time (for example, our family room header is no longer sagging toward the floor) but often wish we could move a little more quickly on the more humbling items (such as our falling down siding which is the result of the man not bothering to purchase long enough nails even though he knew better).

I am a low-conflict person in general, but the fact is that I have wandered the aisles of Home Depot hoping to run into this guy so that I can tell him what I think in loud and clear terms. Moving on to brighter things...

Easy Peasy DIY Curtains

I made these yesterday evening in about 2 hours for our recently renovated bathroom. We were going to finally carpet our family room but then our plumbing burst and... well... we got a new bathroom instead. I consulted Pinterest for the grey and off-white scheme (apparently this season's "it" colors) and found a perfect fabric match this week (1/2 price) at Joann's.


~ I was able to get away with just 2 yards of 54" x 36" fabric. "Duncan" by Waverly was perfect. Medium weight twill decorator fabric. Grey and white. Half price at Joann fabrics. 

~ 4 tension rods fitting 16" to 28". Found these at Target (RE Style brand) for $4 a piece. Walmart had a different brand for $3 but they did not look like they would hold up to the demands of this household. (The bathroom looks calm in these photos but the reality is that a dwelling with many children often looks... well, like it contains many children.)

The whole project cost $36 and 2-3 hours of my time (including shopping time). Worth it.

How to:

Measure, cut, sew. Really, it was that easy. More math than sewing skills actually. If you have a machine that can sew a straight line and you passed elementary math (we're talking adding and subtracting and using a measuring tape), then you can do this.

Hem all edges neatly and create two pockets (one at the top and one at the bottom) for easy insertion and removal of spring rods.

I did measure the fabric width wider than the window because I wanted neat gathers. Each window is about 20" wide and I used 36" of fabric per side (before hemming). You could go fuller or just use a flat panel depending on your preference.

I thought about eliminating the bottom rod but I very much wanted a neat look while still maintaining a bit of pretty. I made the tension on the bottom rod looser than the top. That way, if we want to let some light or air in, we can move the bottom bar farther up the window easily.

The "Princess Room" (in progress)

I am officially a princess because I officially have a pink room of my own. We did not plan on my having a sewing room but it worked out in the nicest way. Almost unbelievable with a family of 9, but there you have it. I'm a princess. It is almost finished and definitely enough so that I can start sharing!

This is my favorite corner. The desk and shelves were a hand-me-down kids' set. A little too small for the older ones to use for regular work but perfect for me and my sewing books and incidentals. It will also be a nice spot for students who need a little extra quiet and focus.

Built in cabinets. I love these charming cabinets in spite of the fact that deep recesses for storage never work out as well as one hopes. I can just fit my serger in one and that makes up for the weird wasted space at the back. This room has no closet so any storage is a plus.

Magnetic board... handmade by a friend on Etsy. I said "pretty" and "roses" and "pink" and she did it. It has been waiting for a spot for 2 or 3 years now and I am very pleased. Please visit Sweet Heart Studio to see additional work by my dear friend Catherine.

The day after we hung it, I found a lovely note pinned just for me by another flower and pink loving female in my household...

The rest of the room is not as tidy. I have a large cutting mat (4' x 6') that needs to be mounted on that table. Once that is done, I'll organize my fabric stash underneath. In the meantime, it looks like this...

It's a small room so the mat will fill much of it but I don't think you will ever catch me complaining. Please soundly chastise me if such a thing ever happens!
I have a nice crucifix up already and a couple pretty items for the walls that I've been saving. I have been terribly tempted to hand paint designs on the walls but I decided to keep it plain and peaceful instead.

My little view. Pretty.

Thank you to my dear husband for giving up an entire room to pink and fabric and taking the time to paint it with me while so much else needed to be done. Thanks be to God for the many, many blessings, seen and unseen, known and unknown. This journey with our home has been humbling and three years is still not enough time to soften the challenge of charity towards one who has stolen from us. But all is in His time and I need far more space than a blog to sing His praises and count our blessings. I do not need a perfect home to know His peace and joy... and I certainly can't take any of this with me when I go!
Posted on April 30, 2013 and filed under "decorating", "diy curtains", "family life", "sewing room".