Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Curtains and all their Drama

We live in a beautiful old house built in 1912.

It has lovely features like a large foyer, high ceilings, and wide windows. They're not only large, they are some of the largest I have ever lived with, and are wonderfully blinds-free. Not since college I have lived without blinds, and my solution back then was buying an entire bolt of blue jersey for a dollar and using fabric ducktape (yes that's a real thing) to get them to stay.  It looked slightly better than it sounds.

So with Cory's blessing, I took the creative freedom reigns and began the hunt for curtains. Of course, I wanted to thrift them. I had previously purchased a brand new Target curtain to spice up my cubicle, so I figured I wouldn't have too much trouble. BOY WAS I WRONG.

The biggest obstacle of thrifting curtains was the need for four matching panels. The windows are very wide: they required 100 inches of fabric to be fully covered. Because of this I couldn't get away with one panel per window.

The stock that I did find was boring and overpriced. $20 for used beige Target curtains?

Weeks of unsuccessful thrifting forced me to move on. Finding fabric and making my own panels came to mind until I discovered how  insanely expensive fabric is these days. For the amount of fabric I would need, the end cost would be $30 in fabric, plus all the time it takes to sew them. I've just recently gotten back into sewing ( formally an 8th grade pillow/purse/jeans-to-skirt maker). My skills are pretty dull and I knew if I was going to spend that kind of money, I wanted them done right.

TJ Maxx and similar stores had great prices ($12-$30 for a pair) but a terrible selection of colors. More beige curtains? THE WORST.  I had the urge to throw paint on them.  Color is a serious need in my life. If you have doubts of this ask anyone in my family about my middle school/highschool bedroom which was modeled after an Indian circus. My family just recently painted over the muti-colored stripes, and thus confessed how hideous they thougtht it was. Even my sweet grandma labled them "very unique," which in kindly South Dakota talk means "the worst color combination I've ever seen." :) Love you grammy!

I finally purchased panels from West Elm, a home furnishing company.

Yellow Chevron Curtains from West Elm

They are more gold than yellow, but look great with our decor so I'm happy.
Also Cory and I were tired of looking. ($39 per panel)
When I first started looking, that felt like an outrageous price
but similar curtains are selling between $50 - $100 per panel.


With all this fabric cost, I wanted a super cheap way of tying them back.
Being a renter, I try to be mindful of marking up the walls. 

My solution: Curtain Ties!

Creative Curtain Ties: Reusing bracelets
Add caption

Remember 2 years ago when arm candy was raging? Well, I found a use for all those bracelets.

I think it's easiest to use bracelets with closures as opposed to ties.
Don't forget to be mindful if you're using delicate fabrics,
you don't want to snag beautiful curtains!

Bon Nuit!


  1. The curtains are beautiful! Unfortunately, some things cannot be successfully thrifted. I really love the chevron stripes. Now I want to redo our window treatments! The bracelets were a fun, unique idea for tie-backs. Great job!

  2. I love everything West Elm! Those curtains are awesome. It's hard when you spend weeks looking for something you'd really like "now"...you held out longer than I would have.

    By the way! I tagged you in my post http://www.feverthrift.com/2013/08/five-things.html :)