11 June 2014

DIY: stenciled paisley curtains, part 2

As I told you yesterday: I really wanted these paisley curtains, but it was hard work making them. It took hours, mixing paint to the proper color and then crawling around the floor while trying to position a paint-laden stencil in juuuust the right spot. Each paisley took at least five minutes to paint, and I had to mix more paint after every seven or so.

But. BUT! I could already tell that I was going to love the end result that night. And the following morning? I clapped when I saw them.

A few words about placement. As you can see, I didn’t start the design at the very top of the curtains, nor did I continue it off the edge at the bottom. I also painted the same pattern on both curtains, in such a way that it could NOT have come from a single piece of fabric (if it had, one of the curtains would have two outer “offset” rows with a higher middle row). This was intentional for the look I wanted: hand-painted, custom curtains. If that’s not your intention, you should probably tessellate the pattern starting at the very top, and if you’re cutting the panel in half, paint the whole panel intact before cutting in half.

But I LOVED the end result – especially since I didn’t do an Illustrator mockup first (whaaaat? I know!). I loved them even more when I took the tape off:


The morning light also revealed that my few paint smudges from the night before weren’t as bad as I thought they might be. You can barely see the smudge at the top of the paisley in the foreground, right? Or the smudges around the leaves at the bottom of the one in back?

Honestly, they’re as noticeable in real life as they are in these photos (as in, you wouldn’t notice unless I pointed it out, and even then it’s hard to see). Even with high-contrast colors like this, it’s not so bad. It probably wouldn’t have happened if I’d washed the stencil even once, but I wanted to keep going and get these dang things finished THAT NIGHT.

And if anything, it just lends to the hand-painted charm.

That’s with just one coat, by the way. I wasn’t about to try to line it up and go for a second, so it’s a good thing I liked the look of the single coat!

Okay then, time to get these on the wall. After some loud grunting (during which Mr. P came from the other room to investigate what the heck was happening), I managed to get the curtain rod secured to the wall. Then we put them UP! YAY!

Not yet hemmed, but crazily enough, the pooled look is starting to grow on me in general. Who knew?! And less work in the end, so BONUS.

I decided that ugly shelf to the left was harshing my beautiful curtain buzz. So I finally got it out of there so I could enjoy my curtains even more!

Now that they’re up on the wall, it’s obvious that it was the right call to cut the single panel in half. If the curtains were twice as wide, you wouldn’t be able to see the design, and they’d probably start obscuring part of the window. Not to mention it would have taken TWICE AS LONG, UGH.

It was also the right call to skip hemming the cut edge. I just made sure to hang them with the finished edge in front of the window. And can you spot the unfinished edge? Barely, if at all!

It’s funny: in the grand scheme of things going on in this room, these curtains aren’t a HUGE addition. And yet somehow, they magically transform the space into a much more cohesive, finished room. It’s the first time since we’ve moved in that I don’t hate this room. Just with curtains!

How about a cost and time breakdown for this magical transformation?

Time spent:
Subtracting the two (2) trips to Chicago for the IKEA panels and the errands to find five (5) additional bottles of paint, it took nearly an hour to iron the curtains, an hour to cut the panel in half and mark off the stencil placement, an hour (cumulative) to mix the proper paint color, and three hours to stencil. Hanging on the wall took an additional 30 minutes (including measuring and marking off). If you have all your supplies including a pre-mixed paint color, it would take you about five hours to paint the curtains, plus time to hang them and, if desired, hem them.

IKEA RITVA panel: $10 (they come in a set for $20, but I only used one for this project)
Stencil: $25 including shipping
Craft paint: $7
“Spouncers”: $3 (I only used one)
Painter’s tape, dropcloth, various supplies: already owned
Total cost: $45

Not the cheapest curtains I’ve ever made (that prize goes to my silver beauties made from a $5 bolt of fabric). But they’re exactly what I wanted and well worth every hour and dollar spent! For the first time ever... I smile when I walk past the office.

I’ve got more plans for that corner, not to mention the rest of the room. It’s starting to come together!


Miranda said...

So nice!

Mary Beth said...

Sarah, these are gorgeous! You should open an etsy store and sell some of your crafts. I know I would buy them!

Rachel C said...

These look so expensive! I can't wait to see what else you do in the office.

Janice said...

They turned out fantastic! Did you know Amish women purposely stitch a "mistake" into each quilt they make? They do so because "Only God is perfect" and it's a reminder to everyone of that fact. So, don't worry about a little smudge. You were right, no one would notice it anyway! LOVE the look of them!!