Tonight I have a decorating tutorial for you. About a month ago, I made new curtain rods for my living room, and tonight, I want to talk you through the how-to!

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Ready? Let’s go.

First of all, I found this stick well over a year ago while I was walking in the neighborhood one night. It turned out to be almost exactly 8 1/2 feet long, which was perfect. I got the idea from a house I used to house sit for, and I’ve loved it ever since. When I found that stick, it seemed like a match made in heaven. I traipsed home with the stick, squirreled it away, and started thinking about curtains for my living room.

Here was my problem: I couldn’t decide what I wanted for curtains. I’d talked about purple, mostly for the pop of color, but I couldn’t even find any fabric I was really in love with. And curtains, yikes, they’re SO expensive. Yeesh. So I worked on that, off and on, for about a year.

And then, one day in April, I went to Target. And I don’t know about you, but I ALWAYS look at the endcaps in my Target stores. That’s where the clearance stuff turns up, and well, you just NEVER KNOW. Sure enough, on this fortuitous day, there were four soft gold curtain panels. And because they were a return, Target wanted $8.37 each for them. I swear I’ve never put anything in my cart so quick in my life. I mean. EIGHT DOLLARS. You can’t buy the fabric for that much. So, I brought them home, and about a month ago, I finally made the curtain rods to hang them on.

They add a lot of warmth and softness to my room, and they look really nice. And the curtain rod makes the kind of formal curtains a little more easy going and funky, which is right up my eclectic decor alley.

I started by collecting some more supplies. After a little bit of pinterest based research, I went off to the hardware store and picked up some medium grit sandpaper, some clear coat spray, some large cup hooks and some clip on curtain rings. IMG_1512

Then, I came home and got to work. First, I measured my stick and my windows. Then, using a sharpie, I carefully marked on the stick where I needed to cut the stick- it was actually right in half for me, but it will depend on the length of your stick. Then, I used a small hand saw I borrowed from my mother, and I cut the stick in half. It wasn’t hard- my stick was only about an inch thick, so no big deal. I did most of this outside, obviously, because of fumes and/or mess. IMG_1513

Once I had two sticks, I grabbed my sandpaper. I got lucky in that this piece of wood was already really dry and almost all of the bark was off it, so I didn’t have too much trouble with this step. However, you want to remove the bark and make sure the piece is really, really dried out before you do this. That gives anyone catching a ride time to get out before you put a piece of nature in your house. IMG_1514

So, I sanded it down, nice and smooth, especially on the ends. I double checked the width of the stick against my cup hooks, and put a notch in the thickest end and sanded that out really well. When I was content with the smoothness of the sticks, I sprayed all sides of the sticks with my clear coat. I followed the directions on the can for this, and it was pretty easy. I ended up doing about three coats, and waited a little while in between coats- maybe about a half hour in between each coat.

I got the curtains out of the package and ironed them. Not my favorite, but definitely necessary in this case! Then I did some measuring and marking on my walls. I chose to hang my curtains considerably higher than my window trim. I did this for a couple of reasons. For one thing, it makes the windows look bigger in your room. For another thing, when I measured I realized my clearance curtains were too long for my room. Oops! I’ve got a plan for that, but I haven’t done it yet. In the end, I hung the  curtain rods as high as I could without moving the furniture to stand on it. See my special short people standing device? IMG_1515

It took some elbow grease to get the hooks into the walls, but I figure that means they aren’t likely to come out easily, right? Don’t forget that your hooks need to be closer together than the lengths of your sticks so you can support the stick properly!

Then I just clipped the curtains onto the rings and wiggled them onto the sticks. Easy peasy. I put the stick through the cup hooks, and voila! I was all done. Because I didn’t want to lose the light in my living room, I cut two vintage belts from South America that someone had given me in half, and, using 4 more smaller cup hooks I had left from another project, I made some easy (and very eclectic) tie backs.

I was pretty pleased with the result- and the best part was, all totaled up, it only cost me about $50. Not bad, when some of the curtain panels I was looking at would have cost me about that per window before hardware!

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Superhero action of the day: Is it time to freshen up the decor in your living space? Maybe take a look at what you have. Can you use it in a different way somehow?

 

 

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