DIY Curtain Panel Tutorial

I often look at beautiful rooms in magazines and find myself drooling over the designer window coverings, wishing I had the kind of cash that would allow me to throw down hundreds for pretty fabric to hang on my windows.  The problem is we live on a DIY budget and not a designer budget so with every room makeover I tap into my creative juices to find ways to accomplish the look I want for not a lot of money.

When we first made over our dining room I didn’t want to cover up our wall of windows with heavy window coverings so we bought some inexpensive matchstick blinds from Lowes and I have loved the look for the past three years.

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After three years it was time to retire the matchstick blinds and come up with a new look for the windows.  I still didn’t want to cover the windows but I wanted more privacy and a way to block the morning sun.  The solution was drapes.  I needed five 93 inch panels to span a 13 foot wall for under $100.  My first thought was find 15 yards of inexpensive fabric but even at $10 a yard I would still be over budget.  I rarely buy home decor fabric from fabric stores, it is just too expensive.  My secret is bed sheets.

I made these curtains for our guest bath out of a set of sheets I found at Marshalls a few years ago.

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I usually find what I am looking for when I scour the bed linen section at Ross or Marshalls and this time Ross proved to be good to me!

I found a queen and king set of sheets with the same print for only $30!  This was more that enough fabric.

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The next thing I needed to figure out was how to hang the curtains.  I needed a 13 foot rod.  So I bought two 8 foot closet rods for $10 each and cut them down to size.

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(you can see our nasty laundry room floor. YUCK!)

I then painted the rods in our trim color

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(Our nasty laundry room walls. EVEN MORE YUCK!)

and connected them with this connector screw.

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I also bought two sets of brackets from Lowes for under $10 each (sorry no pic) and closet pole socket set.

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I painted the socket set the same color as the pole and screwed them to the wall.

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I have always loved the look of curtains hanging from wooden rings but wasn’t sure how to make them so I did a little Google search and found out what I needed and how to make them.

First I cut the lengths I needed and hemmed the sides.  Because the fabric was so light I reinforced the top three inches so the panel didn’t droop. I cut three-inch thick strips of left over painters drop cloth and laid it right below the top three-inch hem.

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Then I folded it over,

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pinned it

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and stitched it closed.

Once the top was reinforced I laid out my measuring tape to see how far apart I needed to space the rings.  The secret to attaching the rings are curtain hooks.  I bought mine from Lowes for $2 a package.

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Once I figured out the spacing across the panel I figured out how far from the top I wanted the hooks.

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Then I inserted the hooks making sure I pinned through the drop cloth.

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Once the hooks were inserted I hung them on the wooden rings.

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I needed my finished panels to be 93 inches long. I never hem the bottom until I have a chance to put the curtain up on the rod and measure to make sure the panel is the correct length.

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The rule for curtain length is it should sit about a finger height off the floor.

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This is why I make my own panels because pre-made panels often make my windows look they’re wearing high waters.

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I folded up the bottom and pinned.

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I folded the hem twice and stitched it closed leaving the ends open.

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I needed to add weight to the bottom of the curtains so I inserted two pennies, one for each end.

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Then I stitched the ends closed.

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I then ironed and re-hung the panels.

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I love how they turned out!  I was about $50 over budget.  If I had sewn a rod pocket instead of using wooden rings I could have come in well below $100 but I think the look I accomplished was worth spending a little more.

With love,
Lauren

Pie Safe: A Painting Tutorial

It is finished! Painting right now in this season of life is not enjoyable.  I need projects that I can give attention to for a short amount of time and can be easily interrupted then set aside.  Painting furniture is not that kind of project.  But I did it, I finished the pie safe and love how it looks in our new space.  I thought I would share my tips on how I paint furniture since I will probably take a break for a while from it.

Here is what the piece looked like when I bought it.  I liked the painted detail but it didn’t go with the room.  It also originally had screen in the doors but you couldn’t see the dishes inside so I removed the screen and added glass.

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I decided to paint it a more neutral color, Quiver Tan by Sherwin Williams.  I always paint two coats, sometimes three.  If I were to distress the piece and age it with stain, glaze or wax I would paint one or two coats. I decided not to distress this piece because I didn’t want the original blue to show through so I painted two coats then touched up in some areas with a third.

When I paint a piece I paint a section by brushing in one direction first.

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Then horizontally

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In order to not see the horizontal brush strokes come to a stop at the edge of the vertical strokes I feather the horizontal strokes into the vertical strokes.

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Then I go back with a bit of new paint and feather the vertical strokes over the horizontal ones.

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Hope that makes sense!

My secret to inexpensive furniture makeovers is inexpensive paint so I buy $5 sample colors. The thing with buying sample colors is the guys at the paint store will tell you that the paint is not durable enough to be a top coat and I totally agree.  I would not use the sample colors on trim work or kitchen cabinets.  In order to provide a top coat I use Polycrylic, in clear satin by Minwax.  Polycrylic is water based so it won’t yellow over time like polyurethane.

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I apply it using a foam brush.

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The Polycrylic will leave a milky white finish when you paint it on but will dry clear.

I wanted a pop of color in the room so I painted the inside in Hazel by Sherwin Williams.

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Here is the before one more time.

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Here is the after.

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With love,
Lauren

Christmas at The Rescued Home

It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here, but definitely doesn’t feel like it.  Yep, it is 81 degrees here in sunny Central Texas!  But the temperature has not stopped me from Christmas decorations, Christmas movies and music and hot chocolate.  Last year I was super motivated to get creative with my Christmas decorating and I spent weeks making stockings, a new tree skirt and a plethora of fun Christmas decorations.  Click on the links to see the tutorials Fabric Vase Fillers, Mitten Garland, Christmas Card Hanger, Vintage Photo Ornaments.    This year it took me four days just to get my Christmas tree up and decorated.  Pregnancy has the upper hand this year!  For someone who is a “doer” it is very hard for me to put something like decorating on hold and choose to lay on the couch.  But I did it, The Rescued Home is decorated and ready for the big day!  Would you like to see it?

Ok let’s start with our tree.  This is what it looked like last year.

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I created ornaments out of vintage family photos.

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I loved the look but this year wanted something a little different.

I also made this ruffle tree skirt last year.

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She made it back under the tree this year.  I found the tutorial for it here.

Here is our tree this year.

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Instead of vintage photos I made shell ornaments out of shells I had collected at the lake last summer.  They have been sitting for the past year next to my driftwood I collected for my driftwood wreath.

I cleaned off the shells then with a small drill bit I drilled a hole in the top of the shell.

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Then I inserted a wire hook through the hole

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and hung them.

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When the light reflects off of them it creates a really pretty glow.

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I love how organic and unique each one is.

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I kept the upholstery webbing

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and rolled up sheet music I used last year.

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I have always wanted a sled to decorate with even though we never use them here in Texas, so when I saw this one at a garage sale this summer for $5 I scooped it up.

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I love how our tree turned out this year.  I plug in its lights as soon as I wake up and they stay on all day.

We don’t have a fireplace with a mantel for our stockings so I created this stocking holder last year out of a vintage children’s bed.  At the end of the season it goes back into the attic.

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Here are some other snap shots of our living room.

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I have said before my dining room is my most favorite room to decorate and photograph.  The lighting is great for indoor photos.

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For my chairs I took scrap burlap and cut it into 6 inch-ish strips, tied it vertically and inserted stems of red berries.

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I love the added pops of red.

By the time I got around to creating a centerpiece for my table I had used most of my decorations in other places.  This is what I came up with.

I used an old wooden Big Red crate,

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grasses I collected for my fall decorating,

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antlers I used last year, vintage books,

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and red berries and greenery.

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Now I am in a mad-dash to finish sewing curtains and bedding for Eliza’s room.  I am five weeks away from my due date! She will be here before we know it.

With love,
Lauren

Driftwood Wreath Tutorial

This creation has been brewing for over a year.  Last summer, while vacationing at the lake I spent a day collecting driftwood with the intention of making something pretty.  I brought the driftwood home, put it under my car port and it sat in the same place ever since.  I made the commitment to Joel last week that if I had not made something out of the driftwood within a month I would trash it.  This commitment put a little fire under my pants to make a decision about my driftwood.  Well, a few days ago the latest catalog from Restoration Hardware came in the mail and after thumbing through the pages I found inspiration for my driftwood.

I decided I would make a driftwood wreath and not have to spend a penny.  I love how it turned out and wanted to share with you how I made it.

What you need:
Driftwood
Hot glue gun and glue (if you plan on hanging it on a door or putting it outside you may want to use stronger glue like wood glue)
Time! This project took me well over 8 hours.

First, lay out a few long, curved pieces for the frame. Notice how the Restoration Hardware driftwood is all facing the same direction.  As you lay out your pieces make sure they are all going in the same direction.

Apply a liberal amount of glue.

Attach pieces and continue to build the wreath by adding more pieces.

Stick and weave smaller pieces between the longer frame pieces.

I had to go back and apply spots of glue once it was all assembled in order to reinforce the wreath.  Once you have glued all your pieces together put your wreath on display in your home!

I had some larger pieces left over that I stuck in a wire basket along with a few shells.

With love,
Lauren

Curtain Tie-back Tutorial

Hello guys and gals! I haven’t written in a while, it seems I just can’t get my brain to think straight!  As I have been experiencing changes during my pregnancy I have been referencing a book called What To Expect When You’re Expecting.   This book has helped bring some peace of mind since I don’t know what to expect because I have never done this before!  I usually consider myself a pretty organized, focused person.  When I start my day I typically make a list and spend the rest of my day accomplishing my list.  Well, lately that has just not been happening.  I can’t seem to get my thoughts in order.  I have no motivation.  I know I have things to do but when it comes to doing it I can’t seem to figure out how to accomplish it.  I find myself just sitting and staring then once I come to I can’t remember what I just spent the past five minutes thinking about.  The other day I opened the fridge then walked away from it leaving the doors wide open.  Joel noticed and asked what was wrong with me, I never leave the fridge open. It seems there is a haziness hanging over me.  The other night,  I was reading in my book about the symptoms I can expect during the fourth month of pregnancy and forgetfulness is one of them. Ha who would have thunk it?  Now that I know I’m not loosing it and that these changes aren’t permanent I’m just going to enjoy the ride of being a little scatter brained for a while.

On another note, I want to share this little tutorial with you.  I have wanted some tie-backs for our guest room curtains so I found this tutorial at Homemade Ginger, a precious blog with some great tutorials.

Here are what the windows looked like before the tie-backs.
Remember I had cut a table-cloth in half and sewed it for the half curtains and tea-dyed white Ikea panels for the larger curtains.
You can see my tea-dye tutorial here.

Here they are now.

I love how they soften the window.

Hope you all have a great week!
With love,
Lauren

Tea-dying Tutorial

We had a good weekend here at The Rescued Home. I was able to work in our new flowerbeds a little more.  I told Joel I feel like I have discovered a whole new part of our house that I can “decorate.”  I have been rearranging the plants how I rearrange the interior.  I will plant a plant, look at it for a few days then dig it up and replant it somewhere else and I will keep moving it until I find the perfect spot for it.  Ahh I love it, it is therapy for me!  I love getting my hands dirty.  I love mud under my nails.

Today I’m going to share a tutorial with you.  Tea-dying is something that I do with almost all the white fabric I have in my house.
I recently tea- dyed the curtains in my guest room and love how they turned out.

 I don’t like stark white or grey-whites in my house.  I like the whites in my house to have a little grunge to them.  I like warm whites or candlelight whites or whites with a brown undertone rather than grey.  To accomplish an aged white look I tea-dye my fabric.  It is super easy and free if you have tea bags in your pantry!

You will need:
fabric
3-5 tea bags
a kettle or small pot
a large pot

1. Heat water in a kettle or small pot.

2. Put the tea bags in your large pot.

3. Pour boiling water over tea bags in large pot. CAUTION: Do not burn yourself with hot water!

4. Let the tea steep for 20 minutes.
5. Pour in a kettle full of cold water.
6. Immerse your fabric in the tea.

7. Once your fabric is in the tea push the fabric all the way under the liquid, moving it around to make sure all of it is wet.

8. Let sit.  The darker you want it the longer you should let it sit.  I usually let mine sit for about an hour.
Every 15 minutes I will check the color and move it around to make sure all of the fabric is staying wet.

9. Once it is the color you want, lightly rinse it and hang to dry.  If  it is not as dark as you like, let it dry completely then repeat the dying process to darken.

If you want to iron the fabric make sure it is not set on steam or it will leave water spots.

Here is the finished product.  I especially love this look on these ruffle pillows.  It looks like an antique baby dress.

With love,
Lauren

“Christmas Decorating With Lauren” Christmas Card Hanger

Christmas is 17 days away and I haven’t done any Christmas shopping.  I probably should at least move toward thinking about it. Actually,  I don’t think I’m going to.  Seriously, I don’t really feel like thinking about it and I definitely … Continue reading