Saturday, March 10, 2012

Bedroom makeover: curtains and throw pillows

After painting the bedroom yellow and gray (detailed here), we needed some new bedroom curtains since the ones we had clashed with the new paint. For the new curtains, I knew I wanted to hang them using ring clips, which meant new curtain rods as well because the white utilitarian rods we had were too unattractive to have out in the open like that (they really work best for curtains with a rod pocket, where they're essentially invisible).

Curtains, however, seem to be one of those items that are waaaay more expensive than you think they should be. And maybe I would have been willing to splurge a little if I had found something I absolutely loved, but even looking outside of my ideal budget I couldn't find anything that pleased me sufficiently. Eventually, I made the trek to Target where I wandered up and down the curtain aisle unhappily trying to decide between a few options I only kind of liked. Then I decided to check out the shower curtain section, curious to see if there might be anything there I could fashion into bedroom curtains.

Aaaaand, jackpot. There were a number of shower curtains I thought would make adorable bedroom curtains, and at 72" by 72" I knew I only needed to buy two and then cut them both down the middle to make four panels (two for each of my two windows). The curtains would definitely be on the short side (I had wanted floor length curtains), but I figured I could always buy some additional fabric at some point and lengthen them. Given how much cheaper two shower curtains would be than four window panels (especially floor length ones), I'd still come out way ahead even if I had to buy a few yards of fabric.

Ultimately I settled on a gray curtain with a sunburst pattern. As planned, I cut them both down the middle and hemmed them. Then I bought two curtain rods from the hardware store (also way more expensive than I'd prefer), and a few sets of ring clips. I mounted the curtain rods high and wide to make the windows look bigger, and on the one behind the bed installed the rod somewhat off center so that when the curtains were mounted it would look like the bed was centered on the window when in fact it's not (we can't move the bed to actually be centered because of space constraints).

A few months later during the second phase of the bedroom makeover, I hung christmas tree lights behind the sheer curtains (we have the same sheers on all our windows under our other curtains, since we're on the first floor and want to have the privacy all the time but not always have light-blocking curtains closed). So, the before:

And the after:

And a little closer up on the throw pillows:

The yellow and gray fabric I found when I was shopping for some linen for another project. I sewed it into covers for a few throw pillows I already had on hand, and then I used leftovers from the linen project (which I'll post about soon) to make a third throw pillow cover. Before putting it on the pillow, I embroidered an S on it. Apropos for our apartment.

To make the S, I played around with a bunch of fonts in Microsoft Word. I think I ultimately settled on Times New Roman, how exciting. I made it large and bold, printed and cut it out, and traced it in the center of the pillow case using a pencil. Then I hand stitched over the tracing using red thread (doubled over a few times to make it thicker - I could have used embroidery floss instead if I had been able to find the deep red color I wanted). That's it! I made a second one that's in the living room.

A closer look at the stitching:

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