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The Curtain Debacle

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Pretty, right?

(If you’re a newsletter subscriber, you’ve already heard this first portion…feel free to skip ahead! If you’re not a newsletter subscriber, why not? πŸ˜‰ Sign up to hear all the latest news!) Oh my goodness. Two words for the events of this week. CURTAIN DEBACLE. Ohhhh friends. I cleared my schedule last Monday to sew new curtains for our living room. I shopped several fabric stores in preparation…taking lots of time to find JUST the right fabric. I finally settled on the above floral, thinking it was perfect for fall, but also good for our overall scheme. The grayish-brown background was great, and the warm tones in the flowers called my name. It seemed a bit busy, so a 36″ burlap skirt at the bottom of each panel solved that. Yep, these were going to be a winner.

The process of sewing is never as smooth as you think it will be. Am I right? I mean, I’m no seamstress, but straight lines? Sure. Totally do-able.
An hour or so in, I’m thinking that if I have to thread that bobbin ONE MORE TIME, I might just throw the sewing machine out the back door. But WAIT, Janna….it’s ok, it will all be worth it, because these curtains are going to be amazing. The satisfaction of a job well-done is what it’s all about. Yes, the burlap is making my eyes itch, and I’m covered in fuzz, but hey, these curtains are gonna be great.

After multiple interruptions, needles threaded, seams ripped out and re-sewn, the curtains are done. Cue the Lion King music. As I raise the panels up to put them on the curtain rods, I might as well be holding baby Simba. So proud.
Ok, let’s just stand back and take a look at these beauties.

HOLD IT ONE. HOT. SECOND.

These curtains are HORRIFIC! I can’t even look! So TRULY terrible, I can’t even think of enough adjectives to describe them. Ok, I’ll try: overly busy. “W A R M” in a “giving me hot-flashes” kind of way. Claustrophobic. The ugliest panels I have ever seen. Just shoot me now.
Wanna see? Ok, since I know I can trust you…here’s a peak at the train wreck that was hanging in my living room last Monday night. πŸ˜‰

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You’re getting hot just looking at it, aren’t you?

Told ya. Terrible. But hey, here’s what I learned.

We all make decorating mistakes. When I went back and analyzed what was NOT working, I realized something important. The fabric looks beautiful when LAYING FLAT. But when you gather it up, like a curtain, not so much. The pattern becomes really busy….and then letting sunlight come through those yellow flowers? HOLY WARMNESS. I’m getting a kidney infection just looking at it. Β Good news? This fabric can be repurposed into beautiful pillows. Other good news? I know what I DON’T want. And I’m excited to share with you what I came up with…WITHOUT spending an arm and a leg. The (horrible) curtain fabric was a bit spendy. Well, at least to me…but I like INEXPENSIVE projects that look like a million bucks. Who’s with me? Ok, drum roll for the simple, fresh new look…

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This idea has been rolling around in my head for awhile, but I completely forgot about it until, well, the debacle. And as you know, necessity is the mother of invention…and I wasn’t about to spend another big chunk of change on new fabric. The solution? A $26.00 drop cloth from Lowe’s. Here’s another view, a little closer, before we talk details…

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The possibilities are ENDESS with this type of project! Our ceilings are 10′, so this was a perfect cost-effective solution. The drop cloth I bought was 9′ x 12′. I cut it in half, which gave me 2 panels, 4.5′ x 12′ (which I later hemmed once I knew the exact length needed)…AND THEN. My favorite part. The stenciling. I knew I wanted to stencil something meaningful onto the curtains. A Bible verse? A favorite song? I asked my hubby and kids if they had any ideas, and my daughter helped me zero in on the perfect thing, one of my all-time fave worship songs, “Cornerstone” by Hillsong United. Yes. Even though most people will have no idea what it says, since it’s all gathered together, I know. My family knows. And that just makes it even more special. Wanna know something cool? When I started sewing the first hem on the unfinished side of the drop cloth, “Cornerstone” came on the radio. Chills!

What could you put on a drop cloth curtain? A favorite quote? A decorative stencil? Even an oversize buffalo check would be DARLING! Ok, maybe that’s my next thing! (I’m glad we had this brainstorming session!)

Here are the easy steps to a custom drop cloth curtain:

1.Β Measure the size you want, cut drop cloth, and hem rough edges (if you don’t sew, you could use iron-on seam tape!).

2. Sew or use iron-on seam tape to create a rod pocket at the top.

3. Stencil! Here’s a pic of how I got started.

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Covering my island with a plastic drop cloth to protect the counter top, I then used blue tape to give me a “level” guide. Be sure to use a very light hand when stenciling, if you want a more “worn” look.

4. Use a ruler and tape to mark your next row. I spaced each line about 8.5″.

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When I ran out of space on a line mid-word, I made the executive decision to just continue the word on the next line. Hey, it’s your project! Do it however you choose! πŸ™‚

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5. Remove the blue tape, and voila! Ready for hanging! (I always hang my curtains BEFORE hemming, pin the hem in place, and then take them back down to hem…that way you don’t end up with HIGH-WATERS! πŸ™‚

So thrilled with the outcome. They’re light, neutral, they match any color (so they won’t need to be changed out for our RED Christmas decor), and they were super inexpensive. Best of all, they hold some very meaningful words.

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The new curtains inspired some new pillows (no, this isn’t the original curtain fabric. Too soon. ;))

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Aaaaand the sofa got some new pillows as well. I thought this corally orange color would be fun for fall…whenever we’re ready to let go of summer around here. πŸ˜‰

This might have been another DIY type blog post, or a fun story about curtains gone wrong. But I think it’s actually much more than that, at least it was for me. Things don’t always go perfectly in life…even when you think you’re on to something really great. The true test comes when you fall flat on your face. What will you do? Give up? I know it sounds silly, but the horrible curtains defeated me for a sec. It took me a couple hours before I could make the decision to regroup. To see the situation in a new light. This was not a failure, but merely a chance to think of something even better. And just MAYBE, the “Curtain Debacle” was a lesson. A beautiful chance to try again.

“Cornerstone”

My hope is built on nothing less

Than Jesus blood and righteousness

I dare not trust the sweetest frame

But wholly trust in Jesus name

Christ alone; cornerstone

Weak made strong; in the Saviour’s love

Through the storm, He is Lord

Lord of all

When Darkness seems to hide His face

I rest on His unchanging grace

In every high and stormy gale

My anchor holds within the veil

Christ alone; cornerstone

Weak made strong; in the Saviour’s love

Through the storm, He is Lord

Lord of all

He is Lord

Lord of all

When He shall come with trumpet sound,

Oh, may I then in Him be found;

Dressed in His righteousness alone,

Faultless stand before the throne.

  • September 7, 2016 - 9:07 am

    Christina McDonald - I just love your honesty, and how God cares about every little detail of our life! Blessings from the east coast! πŸ˜‰ReplyCancel

    • September 9, 2016 - 4:03 pm

      yellowprairieint - Thank you Christina!ReplyCancel

  • September 7, 2016 - 9:30 am

    Helen Woods - They look amazing , if you hadn’t told us that you made them everyone would of thought you payed a fortune for them . I’m thinking l might do a family tree type of thing , lots of ideas buzzing around at the moment. πŸ™‚ReplyCancel

    • September 9, 2016 - 4:03 pm

      yellowprairieint - Love that idea!ReplyCancel

  • September 12, 2016 - 3:01 am

    Katie - So sorry your curtains didn’t turn out as expected! Last year I had my living room chairs recovered in that fabric and they look amazing. They make me happy everyday! You’re new ones turned out great!!ReplyCancel

    • September 12, 2016 - 3:48 am

      yellowprairieint - I bet they’re beautiful!😍ReplyCancel

  • September 13, 2016 - 8:30 pm

    Peggy - Sometimes the simplest ideas just turn out brilliant. I admire your courage. My debacle would have hung there. I love the song you used.ReplyCancel

  • September 14, 2016 - 5:08 pm

    Jaybird - After “It is Well with My Soul”, that is my FAVORITE hymn!!! (and as a music minister, there are a lot of contenders :^)
    What a wonderful idea you had, and the execution is lovely!! I am so impressed!
    This is my first visit to your blog, and I will happily read my way backward.
    Blessings to you,
    JReplyCancel

  • October 16, 2016 - 6:40 pm

    Rebecca Nally - I love these! I was thinking about using some of the personal vows my husband and I wrote for our wedding! What kind of paint/marker did you use for the letters?? Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • October 16, 2016 - 11:09 pm

      yellowprairieint - Love that idea, Rebecca! I used acrylic craft paint, letter stencils, and a good stencil brush. πŸ™‚ReplyCancel

  • October 25, 2016 - 8:11 pm

    Lynley Anderson - Hi there. I never have commented on anyones home before, but I feel so compelled to on yours. Just beautiful!!! I can see you love the Lord too. Blessings from New Zealand.ReplyCancel

    • October 26, 2016 - 5:07 pm

      yellowprairieint - Lynley! Thank you so much. You made my day. πŸ™‚ReplyCancel

  • December 2, 2016 - 9:58 pm

    Urvashi - I am really keen to know where are your sofas from? They seem firm and low profile.ReplyCancel

    • December 5, 2016 - 5:26 pm

      yellowprairieint - Hi there! The sofas are from Ethan Allen. Have a great week!ReplyCancel

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