Thursday, February 2, 2012


This last year sure has been a real doozy on my end.  It kinda feels like I was broadsided by a freight train and next thing I knew I was dropped off on the other side of the country.  By Thanksgiving I simply ran out of steam.  I kept getting sick so I made a tough decision to step back and get through the holidays without all the usual deadlines looming over me.  

Alas; new year, new beginning, new projects!  I'm not only back but I come with 12 awesome tutorials for you in 2012.  One project for each month.   

Before we get started I know you know that it is already February so I'm late right out of the gate.  Since moving I am having some crashing issues with Photoshop and Illustrator, seriously limiting my productivity.  Trust me, I was working on this in January.  

As you know, we own another fixer upper so I don't need to go far to find projects.  Every room needs a face lift, and as an interior designer I look forward to sharing creative ways to get that high-end look on an affordable budget.  

I was over-the-top excited that Jennifer, Joe and the kids were coming here for Christmas.  I decided to do a quick and inexpensive makeover in time for Christmas dinner.  As you have already learned from my past Before and Afters, my husband starts tearing out while I'm still making the To Do List.  This was no exception and before I found the camera those sconces were in the trash.  I found this Before image taken prior to possession.  



Notice the $4.99 sconces on either side of the windows?  Take a closer look here.

We remain baffled as to why anyone needed to move those beauties down 5".  Repositioning the junction box and fixtures was definitely a DIY job gone wrong.   I decided to cover the whole bad mess with horizontal striped window treatments and a fresh coat of paint.  


The idea for these came about while I was wandering around Ikea with this wonderful $19.99 throw under my arm, which is maybe my best find from Ikea so far. 

I noticed these Ritva curtain panels for $34.99 a pair.  They are heavy cotton but look like linen and they come in various colors.  I placed the white, which is more like a creamy white next to the yummy gray and instantly witnessed a marriage made in heaven.  So I bought one pair of each.  These are not lined but that didn't matter to me since they were hanging against the wall.  

The other plus with ready made curtains is that they are finished at the top.  These have hidden loops on the back to slide a rod through.   I must admit that I have never purchased ready made curtains, but since I snatched these I have noticed some incredible bargains out there.  Look around at Marshall's, Target, Pier One, World Market, etc. and I bet you can make these for less than my $70 find.


2 pairs of curtains in different colors
Measuring tape
Straight edge ruler or yard stick
Sewing machine
2 colors of thread to coordinate with curtains
Seam ripper

So here is the process used to measure and cut the stripes.  First, determine the desired finished length.  Mine was 94 1/2".  I wanted seven stripes so 94 1/2" divided by 7 is 13 1/2" per stripe once they are all sewn together.  I made this chart as my guide and I suggest you do the same for your curtains. 

NOTEBecause the very top panel is already sewn and finished you only need one 1/2" seam for the bottom of this stripe.   The last stripe at the bottom will be much longer to include the hem.

I suggest using a seam ripper to undo the side hems before cutting the stripes.  I didn't do that, but instead, I undid each seam as needed and just wonder if that took longer.  Hmm.  Then cut the alternating color stripes.  Straight cuts are a must.  Starting at the top, pin the first two stripes, right sides together.  Sew a 1/2" seam.  Wait until after all the stripes are sewn together before pressing seams open and doing this cool finishing touch (below).  It makes all the difference in giving your curtains a great finishing touch.


Once all the stripes are sewn together press each seam open.  Then fold and press each long side of the seams under 1/4".
Sew both sides with the coordinating threads.  Then refold the side hems.  Sew and press.   


I found short metal curtain rods at Lowe's.  They were cheaper than one's at Target; about $10 each and included the hardware for hanging.  The Ikea curtains came with double sided iron-on adhesive for the hem, but machine or hand sewn hems are fine.  

I love the way these turned out.  They look custom.  Wait.  They ARE!  And there is plenty of leftover fabric that will probably pop up in future tutorials.  

Hey, let me know what you think.  


  1. Dang that looks good! A very signature Paula look! LOVE IT!

  2. Bold and beautiful now! So excited about 11 more tutorials coming our way! Thanks!

  3. Wow how fun! And very Beetlejuice, I love it!

  4. Gorgeous Paula!! What I sooo love about you is that you did not feel the desire to PAINT the stripes! I see that so much and it drives me BANANAS!! Well done! Looks very high end. Glad to see you getting back in the swing of things! xoxo

  5. love those curtains!!! I'm also a big fan of ikea - so many inexpensive decor ideas to be found there! Thanks for the great tutorial too! ;-)

  6. Thanks, except not sure I was going for Beetlejuice here.

  7. So, so, so cool and clever! Was just eyeballing my DR curtains that are now about 8 years old (wince). I have just about the same amount of space on either side of the window. 9' ceilings tho... that might feel overwhelming. Maybe I'll do a mock-up on Illustrator! Glad you're back in action Paula!

  8. Darn you! These are beautiful! I now have the urge to completely redecorate my dining room, which is connected to the living room, which is connected to EVERYTHING ELSE! Love the wall color. Love the curtains. What to do, what to do?

    Anyway, welcome back Lady! I may have to hire you to do it all ;)

  9. Oh Paula, I hate say "wow", but that's what I said when I saw this. But it was more like "whhhhooooooooooooowwwwwhhhh"! And, exhale.

    Soooo beautiful and love your curtain pimping!

  10. Your curtains are stunning! So pretty with the green walls!I wish I could bring you to my home for a little while--we are looking for curtains for our dining room!

  11. The room looks great--wonderful idea combining two curtains like that! I'm so glad you're bag to blogging--I missed you! :-)

  12. This is just wonderful can't wait for the next 11 months

  13. I went to Ikea today searching out curtains and decided to do stripes (gray and cream). Came home to look for a tutorial and found yours!!! THANK YOU!

  14. Would have never thought to do that but they look great!

  15. So fantastic! I need to whip up some fabulousness for my living room! :)

  16. I'm catching up on my favorite blogs...just found this post and I think this looks fantastic!!! These tutorials are going to be great...I love the first 3 already!

  17. I just stumbled upon this - I know what I might do this weekend. This looks great.



Related Posts with Thumbnails