Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Cheap Curtain Trick

Over the past few months we've started tackling the downstairs family room-- it didn't need a whole lot of work, just a little facelift!  The room's been painted and I picked up a new area rug for the room a few months back (I'll have to post some before and after pictures one of these days!) but I've been stalling on the window treatment.  This was one of the only rooms that didn't have blinds or any sort of window coverings when we moved in-- so it's been a bare window for the past few years.  Since we tend to use this room more often in the summer months (it stays a whole lot cooler than the main floor of our house) I wanted to get something up to cover the windows.  I could have made some curtains-- and I did consider it-- but while the window is pretty narrow... but it's very wide.  It would have taken a ton of fabric to make my own curtains.  So instead I picked up my favorite white curtain panels from Ikea (two packs for a total of 4 panels-- like I said, it's a wide window) and decided to take the easy route.

But... I had to DIY at least one part, right?  The curtain rod.  Finding an inexpensive 10' curtain rod that's not flimsy is easier said than done.  So I decided to make my own.  I've used this trick before in some of our previous houses, I don't why I didn't think of it sooner!  To create my own curtain rod I just picked up (correction-- Doug picked up) a 10' long piece of 5/8" metal conduit (used for electrical wiring) and spray painted it with some flat black paint in the backyard over the weekend while we were setting up the pool.  In total, it probably took me 2 minutes to whip out the spray paint and make it black.

It was an easy DIY curtain rod and it was so cheap-- the 10' long piece of conduit was around $5.00.  I already had the black spray paint sitting in the garage from a previous project and some random wall mounting brackets sitting around.  I don't have finials for the ends-- you can buy finials that can be adjusted to fit bars of varying diameters-- but I haven't seen any that I like.  I might just have to make something up myself.

When it came time to hang them up we decided to put the bar right at the ceiling.  Even though it's a basement room with a narrow window, hanging the drapes from the ceiling made the room feel taller and the window so much less awkward looking.  Doug and I both couldn't believe how much of a difference the curtains make in the room.

Here's a view of the top of the curtains-- these particular Ikea curtain panels are my favorite because they have hidden tabs sewn onto the back instead of a pocket to hold the rod.  This makes them look a bit like pinch pleated curtains when they're pulled to the side.

Here's a close up of the curtains-- I love the texture.  They look amazing when the light filters through them during the day.

I still want to throw them in the wash and pre-shrink the panels before hemming them (I always pre-shrink because they WILL get dirty and need to be washed at some point in this house) but I thought I'd throw them up and enjoy them for a few days!

And... here's one of my next projects for the basement family room-- another MCC thrift store purchase that needs a bit of a makeover.  While I actually don't mind the funky floral print all that much... I'm thinking that a slip cover may be in order :)


kelly ens said...

we need to do this very project in our home...upstairs! I LOVE the curtain rod idea!! Thanks :)

Bonnie said...

Brilliance strikes again! Looks great. And I have to say... I kinda like that wild fabric on the ottoman too ;)

Danae said...

Very smart idea! I'm jealous of your Ikea close by :( We are supposed to be getting one in MB end of 2012 - I'm counting the days.... Have you tried Jysk for finials? I've found lots of cheap curtain rods and accessories there in the past!