Wednesday, September 19, 2012

dining room: the windows

i’ve started and deleted this post three times now. it keeps taking on this “i-think-i’m-a-decorating-magazine” tone that i don’t like, and somehow can’t seem to avoid. so we’ll just cut to the chase, k? just the facts, ma’am.

i’ll be the first to admit it: i’m cheap. there, i said it.
i’m always searching for the best bargain, the less-expensive knockoff, the DIY-to-save-dough way of doing it.

but, and this is a big BUT, i’ve learned through the years that there are two places where it just doesn’t pay.

ready? this is big time home dec wisdom i’m sharing here, so be sure and get yourself in the proper frame of mind for these nuggets of truth.

picture frames



today let’s talk about curtains.

yes, shannon, you can make curtains. but they’re big, and they’re going to take a LOT of fabric no matter how you slice it (haha. punny). and if you cheap out and don’t order enough fabric YOU’RE NOT GOING TO BE HAPPY WITH THE END RESULT. you’re going to have rooms full of curtains that are too sheer, or too short, or unfinished because you got annoyed at yourself and didn’t finish.

like this:

EXHIBIT A: living room


too short, unlined, got annoyed, didn’t finish.

didn’t even bother clipping the threads.


EXHIBIT B: family room


thought i could go with the smaller size (and therefore cheaper) rods, now they sag in the middle. also unlined. also too short…not that that matters since there’s so many toys in front of them you can’t see the bottom hem anyway. ahem…

phew. that was tough. but sometimes i need tough love.

i’m trying, though. i’m trying to be a grown-up and do things the right way. to wit: the dining room curtains.

the curtains are 5 yards of fabric. that’s big time for me. and i lined them. and put in grommets.


now know that i lined them with $5 sheets from walmart, the grommets were from joann’s on sale + coupon, and the rod is one i bought at IKEA about 100 years ago. but they’re a far cry from those sad things in the above pictures, because i squashed my worst penny-pincher tendencies and BOUGHT ENOUGH FABRIC.

and i love them. LOVE THEM. look how pretty they are!


and look—just long enough for a nice amount of floor puddle!


the construction couldn’t have been simpler. i cut my 5 yards of fabric (purchased HERE from with an additional 20% off code and free shipping) in half so i had two pieces 2 1/2 yards long. then i cut a white sheet the same size and sewed them right sides together most of the way around, leaving a small hole for turning. turn right side out and press, then sew up the hole.

for the grommets: first make sure your lining and curtain are lined up perfectly and pin pin pin so everything doesn’t shift on you!

i bought 2 packs of these from joann’s (found here. they’re normally $12.99 each, but i waited until they were on sale 50% off, plus i had an additional 20% off entire purchase coupon)


they are plastic, but once they’re up you can’t really tell. they simply snap together, and they come with a pattern so you know how big to make the holes.

i will say that i doubt they would work well on more than 2 layers of fabric. but for my application they’ve held up just fine.


mark the spaces for your grommets evenly on the WRONG side of your curtain, then center your guide and trace the circle.


cut out the fabric.


and snap your two halves of the grommet on.


easy enough, right?



they really add a professional, modern look. just what i needed in my quest to turn over a new decorating leaf, right?


and here’s the biggest excitement of all…for anyone keeping score at home--
TOTAL $49.50

that’s about $25 each, which isn’t too shabby for custom curtains that make such a big statement! plus i’m happy with them—for once!

so what’s your worst decorating misstep? let me know i’m not alone—please!?!?!?

for all the dining room progress posts click HERE

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