Monday, March 9, 2015

Pinch Pleat Table Cloth Curtains for under $20

Happy Monday to all of you.  Hopefully you have adjusted to the time change and not too sleepy for the start of the week.  I heard on the news this morning that it takes the average person 3 days to adjust to the new time schedule.  So if you aren't feeling like yourself today, you should be back on your toes by tomorrow.

Last Thursday I posted how to make simple budget friendly curtains using table cloths.  I also promised in that post I would share how to put it all together.  I promised by Friday.  I fell short of the that promise.  I'm not really sure I had a ton of people sitting on the edge of their seat waiting for that post, but if I did, I sincerely apologize!  Somehow I seem to think there are 48 hours in one day and not just 24.  If you follow me on facebook   then you know we celebrated my daughters 6th birthday with eight little Elsa's.  

Needless to say, Thursday and Friday were devoted to her and prepping for our Frozen Themed Tea Party. I simply ran out of time. So here I am on Monday, posting what I should have posted on Friday.

If you remember in my post on Thursday I said we would be doing some SIMPLE sewing.  This is not rocket science I promise.  It's a few simple straight lines which I know you can handle.  

  1. We will start by pinning the pleater tape to one of the 60" wide ends of the table cloth.  If you have a pattern that has a one way direction (meaning it has a definite top and bottom) make sure you pin your pleater tape to the correct end of the table cloth.  My pattern did not matter, It was random  - no definite top or bottom. Be sure the opening for the hooks on the pleater tape is pointing to the bottom of the what will be curtain.  
Pleater tape 
If your table clothes are 60" x 84" - cut 2 pieces 60" long. I usually cut mine just a few inches longer and trim once I have started the pinning process.  You don't want it to be too short.  Be sure to leave a hook pocket at each end.  Trim close to the hook pocket, but not in the middle of one.

The arrows above show you were the pockets are.  Be sure when you are pinning the tape to your table cloth the openings are pointing to the bottom of the panel and not to the top.  

Pin your tape as close to the edge as you can, but make sure it's not showing on the front side.  Be sure to leave a hook pocket at the edge and the openings to the pocket are pointing to the bottom of the curtain.
Front view - no tape is showing at the edges (top or sides)
           2. After pinning the tape to the table cloth, stitch along the top edge, sides and bottom edge                      with a straight stitch.  Be sure not to stitch closed your pockets for your hooks. To keep this                  from happening, use the orange broken line on the tape as your guide.  It will also help                         keep you sewing in a straight line!  See...I told you this was possible.

The arrow is pointing at the orange broken line.  Use this as your sewing guide.
        3. Next step is to insert your hooks.  Remember, there are 2 types of hooks in the package.  4 end hooks and 10 pleater hooks.  You will start and end with an end hook.

Starting at one end, I suggest the inside edge (meaning the edge that will come together with the other panel once they are hung and closed).  Insert the "end" hook at the edge.  Then count 5 openings and insert the first prong of the pleater hook.  See photo above for spacing.  (You can change the spacing if you want.  This is the spacing I used for my curtains.  I used 2 end hooks and 9 pleater hooks per panel using this spacing).  I recommend reading my first post if you are confused. 

pleater hook
Inserting a pleater hook to the pleater tape

how the tape looks from the front side after the pleater hook is inserted. 

Continue inserting all your hooks on both panels.  Remember you will end your panel with an "end" hook.  With using 2 - end hooks and 9 pleater hooks and a spacing of every 5, there will only be 4 spaces between your pleater hook and your end hook on the outside of the panel.  This is why I suggest starting at the inside edge.  The slightly off spacing will be less noticeable at the rod end vs. in the middle when they are closed.

          4. To hang your curtains, slide the Curtain rod clip rings - click HERE for sample onto your                       curtain rod. Then simply insert the hook thru the small circle hook on the clips.  That's it!                       Your curtains are finished.  

It took me approximately 1 hour from start to finish for my curtains.  And when I say 1 hour, I mean they were hung and ready to be admired in 1 hour!  Quick, simple, budget friendly and professional looking! 

These curtains cost me less than $20 total (see the pricing in my first post).  Don't you thinks it's worth some savvy shopping, basic sewing skills and 1 hour of your time?  Heck at this price you could have new curtains for all 4 seasons and still spend less than if you had custom drapes made or even premade curtains for that matter.  

Have fun and enjoy!

If you decide to make your own pinch pleat table cloth curtains, please share on our Facebook Page.  I would love to see them.  

Ciao for now! and Happy Sewing

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Simple Budget Friendly Custom Looking Curtains Made From Table Cloths

Want to look of custom curtains, but don't have the budget for them?  Today I am sharing a quick, simple and budget friendly project that will allow you to have custom looking curtains at a fraction of the cost.

Pinch pleat curtains made from simple table cloths.  

For this project you will need some very basic sewing skills.  I know I said the dreaded sewing word.  But I promise you can do this. When I say basic...I mean you are able to sew a straight line.  I would suggest using a sewing machine, but hey, I guess if you are really ambitious, you could do this by hand.  I am not that ambitious (really it's about patience here - I have none).

Our window is 70" wide.  Rule of thumb for figuring out how much fabric you need to cover your window and still have fullness in the fabric is 2 to 2.5 times the width of your window.  In this case, I would need a minimum of 140" of fabric width.  Since we RARELY close these curtains (I mean maybe twice a year) they are really more for looks than function.  We close the blinds for privacy.  

So I cheated. Yes!  I said I broke the rules.  That's the beauty of DIY, you CAN break the rules.  
The curtain police will not come to your house, I promise.   

I only have 120" of fabric width.  If you are doing the math - I am 20" short for the 2x rule.  I used two 60" x 84" table cloths.  If your curtain rod is higher than the window, then I would suggest using a 60" x 104" (or longer) table cloth.  But know you will probably need to do some hemming.  My curtain rod was not higher than my window so no hemming needed!  FAST and simple.  

If you plan to use the curtains for privacy, then I suggest sticking to the 2 to 2.5 times rule. In this case I would suggest purchasing 3-4 table cloths and sewing either 2 together length wise (120" width for each panel) or splitting one down the middle length wise and sewing each half to a full 60" x 84" table cloth (this would make 90" wide panels). If you are sewing 2 pieces together to make fuller panels, choose your print carefully.  Matching could be required here and sewing skills need to increase. Ex - plaids, geometric prints, etc.  Anything with an obvious repeat will need to be matched.

I'm sure you are wondering if I lined these.  NO! (I know, I'm breaking the rules again.)  Again, they rarely get closed and they are white on the backside.  For these, I didn't feel the extra time or expense was necessary.  If the table cloth you choose is a solid color, printed on both sides, the print shows through the backside (usually happens with darker prints) or you want something that keeps the light out, then lining would probably be a good idea.  But again, this is your choice. Remember....this is DIY.

I found my table cloths on sale at Target for a little over $9.00 each! Score!  
Two panels for under $20.

You will also need pleater tape.  I used the multi pleat tape that I purchased at Joann's (there are 2 kinds at Joann's). I would assume Hancock Fabrics or possibly Hobby Lobby would carry it too.  At the store Joann's sells this for $2.99 a yard (online you have to buy a roll).  If you are using two 60" wide table cloths you will need 120" or 4 yards.  Use a coupon here!  Remember....Budget.

$2.99 per yard x 4 yards = $11.96 - 40% coupon (sometimes they have 50% or 60% off) = 
$7.17 for 4 yards of pleater tape.

You will also need pleater hooks.  These can also be purchased at Joann's as well. 
 I suggest using a coupon again. It's all about saving money peeps.  Remember...we are on a budget.  For my curtains, I needed 2 packages.  This will depend on how many spaces you leave between pleats.  I inserted my hooks every 5 pleat pockets.  I needed 2 end hooks and 9 pleater hooks per panel. Each package comes with 4 end hooks and 10 pleater hooks. 

Now I have to confess....for this project, I actually already had the pleater tape and hooks from a previous project so this cost was not factored into my over all cost for the new master bedroom curtains.  

Tomorrow I will show you how to put all this together.  But for now, you have a shopping list.

2-4 table cloths depending on your window size and how you will use the curtains
pleater tape - enough yardage to  cover the total width of your finished curtains
(ex - two 60" wide panels, you will need 120" or 4 yards of pleater tape)
Pleater hooks - They come 10 specialty pleating hooks and 4 end hooks per pack - over buy what you THINK you need, you can ALWAYS return them. 

1 sewing machine OR a lot of patience if you plan to do this by hand
thread to match your soon to be curtains
1 curtain rod (I already had this)
Curtain rod clip rings - click HERE for sample (I already had these)
I used 11 clip rings per panel for my 60" panels.  

Again, over buy on your clips and hooks. You can always return what you don't use.  Since pleating is subjective to your likings it's hard to tell you exactly how many you will need.  Your window size will also play a roll here in how many you need. So buy one extra package of rings and hooks than you think you will need. There is nothing more frustrating than trying to finish a project and having to go back to the store because you don't have enough.

See you tomorrow for sewing and hanging tutorial. But for now, I will leave you with the before and after the master bedroom curtains.
In case you need me to tell you...Yes we are in the process of redoing this room.
Ciao for now! Kellie