(I’m entirely too proud of my pun/post title.)
I hope everyone had a lovely holiday season! I’m looking forward to 2014 for lots of reasons – topmost being that WE GET MARRIED THIS YEAR! And while I’m sure I’ll have lots of wedding-related posts to share, first up, a project we finished months ago that I’m just now getting around to shooting! Three years after moving in, we FINALLY hung drapes in the living room. And we did it on the cheap. The real cheap.
A little backstory:
A while back, Larry’s Wholesale Fabric Warehouse went out of business. Larry sold designer fabrics to all the shops/designers in town, and when his place closed, they held an estate sale and I WENT NUTS. I bought whole bolts of fabric for $30. Pillow forms for $5. Curtain hardware for $2.50. But best of all, they had tons of designer fabric samples – 16″x16″ and hung with two coordinating samples on a hanger. Each hanger was $5 and all the fabrics were originally $100-$350 per yard. I kept wondering what I could possibly do with a 16″x16″ piece of fabric when it hit me: uh duh, I could make throw pillows where the back and front are different.
I’ve been hanging on to all my Larry’s spoils until the time was right, and finally, we had a free weekend to get started on two matching sets of drapes for the living and dining rooms.
One of the bolts of fabric I purchased for $30 was this pretty, slightly off-white linen. My mom and I did the math and made sure that there was enough fabric for four floor-to-ceiling drapery panels, and we were in luck. There was just enough!
Next, I went to Hancocks and purchased a package of drapery hooks and 11 yards of unbleached muslin to act as backing. This was the most expensive part of my venture. I ended up spending around $68 with tax and everything. The fabric then went to my mom’s house, where she created the four panels, added the backing and sewed along the tops and sides. She left the bottoms unhemmed until we could hang them and figure out the exact length we wanted.
So while she was sewing, I started with the super cheap curtain hardware I purchased at Larry’s. The knot finials were $2.50 each and the bags of seven curtain rings were $2.50 each, so that’s $20 for rings and finials. I didn’t like the brackets they had, so I “splurged” on these Allen+Roth brackets (3 sets for $9 each) from Lowes. And, not pictured, I also purchased an 8′ dowel ($13) and a 10′ dowel ($17) from Lowes to act as my curtain rods.
Since all the hardware I purchased was different types of wood, I also got a can of white primer spray paint ($3) and a can of sealer ($3). Everything got at least two coats of white spray paint (also – see those little gold hooks on the curtain rings? I taped those so they wouldn’t get paint on them!).
After everything was painted, Aaron drilled a hole in each end of both dowels…
So that I could screw the pretty white finials in. We hung the brackets on the wall and put the rods and rings in place, but somehow I didn’t get a picture of that step!
Next step: those drapery hooks from Hancocks. We placed them evenly across the back of the tops of the curtains. Mom thought it would be a good idea to do it before she put the last seam in, to make sure the curtains were the exact length I wanted, just skimming the floor, now that the rods were hung. Using drapery hooks also gave us a little wiggle room, since they just come in and out, we could move them up or down by a centimeter or so if there were spots where the curtains were too long or short.
And finally, nearly three years later, we have curtains in the living and dining rooms!
A tip when hanging curtains: always hang your curtains up close to the ceiling. We left a few inches this time because we plan to go back and add crown molding later, but don’t hang your curtains right above your window! Also, hang them wide enough that when the curtains are open, they don’t cover up the window. You don’t want to block any natural light and it also makes your windows look bigger.
And the most exciting part of all, the cost breakdown:
1. Curtain fabric: 12 yards for $30 – Larry’s (R.I.P.)
2. Muslin for backing + 1 package drapery hooks: $68 – Hancock Fabrics
3. Sewing: FREE (Thanks Mom!)
4. 4 knot finials + 4 packages of curtain rings: $20 – Larry’s
5. 1 8′ dowel + 1 10′ dowel + 3 two-packs of brackets + spray paint and primer: $63
Total cost for all hardware, supplies, labor and custom drapery panels in two rooms: $181