New Old Dining Room Drapes

This is a repost  – fixing some formatting glitches!

My dining room drapes are brown, thermal, back-tab curtains.  They’re cotton canvas, and they’re generally pretty boring.  They’re also too long for the current drapery rod, and ever so slightly too short in width (we pull them shut and have to finagle them to hide the crack of light in the middle.)  They’re a transplant from an old apartment window where they were perfect.  Now they’re purely functional until I get around to them.

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Boring in a shocking kind of way. 

Ok, so I knew I needed to “deal” with them somehow.  The color was something I could work with for the new kitchen colors.  And finally, with the kitchen about to be painted, I didn’t want to put ugly boring old curtains back up.  I was just in need of inspiration.

Until I saw these on sale at Pottery Barn’s website:


For $79 per 84” panel.  COUGH! HACK! GAG! COUGH!  (love how PB’s sales are still pricier than anywhere ELSE you could buy the same thing)  Ok, fine, they’re silk, but still.

Translation: No freakin’ way, dudette! 

There’s just no fun in spending big bucks on stuff like curtains, because when you get tired of them, then you feel guilty and don’t want to change anything “because they were so expensive”!  Plus, who wants silk drapes on a back door where people are constantly yanking them open and shut? Too fancy for function, I say.  Yes I do. 

But despite the price, something about those untied ties really struck me.  I never would think to leave my tie-top curtains UNTIED……but how much fun could you have with those?  Ribbon, fabric, rope, you name it!

So I’m going to work with my good’ol thermals (curtains… not underwear) and see what I can come up with.

First things first – they have a unique hanging system in that picture that I needed to recreate.

I found these little clip rings a while back on sale.  They’ll be perfect 🙂 


Currently they look kind of crappy in my sad attempt at temporarily dressing up the panels, but that’s ok because we’re moving forward.


Next I needed the “middle rings” like the PB picture uses between the panel and the clip rings.  Binder rings are perfect.  I picked some up at the office store for $6 and spray painted them oil-rubbed bronze. 

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Now I need another set of panels, since the brown ones are not quite wide enough.  I’ll just hang the second set on half of the same rings on each side. 

So I found these cotton sheers at Kmart for $15 each and I really like the stripe in them.  (Buying stuff at Kmart always reminds me of the line in Sweet Home Alabama: “so, do you KNOW Jaclyn Smith??”)

I feel like $15 per panel is a little much, but I bought them anyway.  (This is why I really need to get a cheap sewing machine!)

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I went looking for some cotton ribbon and tied a piece to each clip ring to give my panels the “untied ties” look that PB had.  I opted to use both white and brown twill ribbon instead of just brown, to tie in the sheers a little more. 



Finally, I needed to raise the rod.  Since my kitchen is soon-to-be green, I want this whole back-door-wall to be fabric to balance out the color.  Floor to ceiling as much as possible.  I spray painted it first:

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And moved it up several inches (with enough space for the future crown molding). 

Here they are!


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Whoo hoo!  “new” window treatments!  They cost me officially: $30 for the sheers, $8 for the twill ribbon (didn’t have a coupon sadly), and $6 for the binder rings, but I only used 20-30% of the package, so they’ll come in handy for other things. So…around $40 .  Better than $89 per panel, that’s for sure.

However…..there’s a big space up above the door now.  I don’t mind it, but I got a fun idea to fill it up that I’m going to try out for a while.  I’ll show you tomorrow!!!

I got a couple other projects done this weekend too, so stay tuned!

Update!  Since the kitchen has been painted, the curtains look much prettier:



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