It is my favorite time of the month again. Yes it is the International Bloggers Club Challenge. We are a group of friends from all over the world who get together every month to share our projects and discuss how things are done in our countries. Last time we shared projects that were new for us, I painted an abstract art piece, and the month before it was Valentine's Day Projects.
This month we have decided to make projects using fabric. I needed new curtains for my room and so that is my chosen project for this month. But I didn't go to the stores to buy fabric instead I am going to share how to make pretty, pleated curtains with drop cloth.
To see what my friends have made this month scroll down to the bottom of this post.
These were the curtains I found in my room. There were two panels but I also had two windows so this was certainly not going to work. Also if you look closely you can see that the panel has discolored on one side.
I had heard so many great things about drop cloth from Lisa of The Purple Hydrangea but I was really hesitant to buy it for anything other than painting.
After all how do you know that what you're getting is the right weight or the right density? Well Lisa made it so easy for me because she included a link to Amazon for her personal choice.
Well I took a leap of faith and ordered not one but two packages of the drop cloth from the same manufacturer. I figured better to have too much then end up with not enough.
What I used:
The How to:
Once I got the package from Amazon, the first thing I did was to give them a good washing. The reason for this is because they are 100% cotton and will shrink in the wash.
The next step was to figure out the measurements for my curtains. KariAnne's book DIY Home Planner was great at helping me figure out all those measurements. I knew that I needed a width of about two and a half times the width of my windows. I also knew that I would need four panels.
I was just going to cut the two panels the same way. And so I measured each drop cloth separately and guess what, they were not exactly the same.
One had a seam in the middle so I chose to cut at the two ends and use the center piece (which had the seam) for another project. The second drop cloth had the sewed borders on the width instead of the length. This made me stop and realize that I could not cut up this piece as I had done with the first.
My advice is to know your measurements first and then look at each piece individually before you start cutting.
I began by folding the edges and pressing them with an iron. This really makes it so easy for you to get straight edges.
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At this point you can use an iron-on fabric binder or in my case I like to hand sew them because it gives me a crisper look without any pulling. And the thread does not show. I've also seen them glued together with a hot glue gun. The choice is yours.
I only had to hem the bottom of one of the sets since the other set had the binding already sewn. Remember when I mentioned that the two panels were not identical.
Once the bottoms were hemmed and the sides were sewn it was time to place them on the rods. I had purchased those clip on rings (Affiliate link on the bottom of this post if you would like to purchase them), but I was not just going to clip them onto the fabric. Instead I got an idea to fold them and then clip them.
I folded the fabric as you see below.
Then pushed about an inch of the fabric inwards to get the shape you see below. It looks like a "W" shape.
I clipped this whole section of the fabric. Like I said this was the center.
The sides were just turned inward and clipped like a "V".
And finally I added two more clip rings to make it a total of five for each panel.
Here they are hung up in the room and matching the wall color perfectly. I couldn't have been happier had I gone to the store and picked the fabric out myself. Yes, I'm one of those that has to touch the fabric before I buy.
At this point I should mention that I had in fact gone to a fabric store and was flabbergast by the prices they were charging for this type of fabric weight. They were over $20 for a yard. At that price it would have cost me over $240 for these curtains, instead I paid $40. Can you see the big smile on my face??
I now have instant pleats without the hassle of sewing or gluing. And if I want to change them out I simply have to un-clip them. Easy Peasy!
A close up of the fabric and how densely it is woven. Not all drop cloths are made the same.
I chose to leave lots of fabric on the bottom because I believe that cotton shrinks even more. So I decided to go for the puddle effect this time and when I wash them again I can hem them to the length I want. (That's just an excuse for me because I was in a rush to put these babies up!)
I should also mention that when placing the rods you should always opt for high and wide or up and out. This creates the illusion that your windows are much larger than they are in reality. It's as if the curtain is framing your window when the curtain is opened. And when shut it looks like mine, because I used enough fabric width so the curtains don't look skimpy.
Below you can see that my window is small but because of the placement of the curtains it looks much bigger.
And since this is the International Blogger's Club I want to take a minute to discuss the curtains of Greece. The most common way to hang curtains there is either with a valence hiding the track or with a band of fabric which incorporates loops. This is sewn onto the back of the curtain. The little hooks on the curtain rings are then attached to the loops. Once you pull on the threads they bunch up and create a pretty pleated effect.
I actually did a little sleuthing and had a hard time finding plain curtain rings. I guess the versions with the clips are much more popular now and so much easier to use.
I am so glad my girls over at the Int'l Bloggers Club suggested fabric for this month's challenge. I didn't realize just how much I needed these curtains till I made them. The actual pleats themselves took me about a minute to make! I hope you can take away some good tips on how to make pleated curtains with drop cloth.
Be sure to head on over to Lisa's blog The Purple Hydrangea where she gives us five very good reasons why we need drop cloth in our lives.
And now hop on below to see what my pals from the International Bloggers Club are up to. If you'd like to see more past challenges click here.
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Int'l Blogger's Club: Using Fabric
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I'm Mary and I recently moved to New York from beautiful Greece. I like to re-purpose and up-cycle anything that is old or looks like junk. Join me as we use our creativity to spark some life into old things. And do it frugally! You will also see lots of photography of my Greece and New York.
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