I Love Me Some Ombre

Two things I love:  Bower Power and YoungHouseLove’s Pinterest Challenge and DIY Ombre Art!  This is my first time participating in their challenge, but I have read about them since the beginning.

So here are my supplies:

Supplies

11×14 canvas, a large paint brush (I alternated between 2–a 1″ and a 1 1/2″), a tiny paint brush, a tube of color paint and a tube of white paint, something to mix the paint on, water, paper towels

The first stripe is just the color by itself without any white mixed in.

First Stripe

I did not measure out the width of my stripes; I just eyeballed how wide I wanted each shade of color.  Make the stripes much wideer than you think you should.  The stripe above is much too small in my opinion afterwards.

Then, I squirted a drop of green in seven different places on a painters palette extra lid from the kitchen.  I made all the squirts about the same size except the last two, which should be a bit smaller.  Then, I went back and squirted one drop of white paint on the first green squirt.  Then, the next green squirt, I added two drops of white and so on.

Colors Ready to Mix Colors All Mixed

I mixed each one with a smaller brush as I went along.  After it was mixed, I used a larger brush and overlapped the stripe over the previous stripe.

Mixing with smaller brush.

And here is the final project!!

DIY Ombre Art

It is going to go into the craft room, but not just yet.  I still need a few more pieces to go with it.

Budget Breakdown

  • 11×14 canvas (Hob Lob sells them in 2 packs for $7.99 and I used my 40% off coupon)–$2.50
  • a package of acrylic paint (I only used 2 tubes though)–$7.00
  • 3 paint brushes (1″, 1 1/2″, and a smaller brush)–already owned $0.00

Total:  $9.50

What do you all think?  $9.50 for a customized piece of art is not bad.  I love it!  Are you all participating the YoungHouseLove and BowerPower’s Pinterest Challenge?  You should do it!  No project is too big or too small and it will get you to stop pinning and start doing!  Have you ever made any of your pins?  How did they turn out?  Have you ever tried painting your own artwork?  Do you have any tips?

Oh, and here is the original pin.

And, this post has been linked on:  Young House Love, Bower Power, Decor and the Dog, and The Remodeled Life.

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Making a Window Frame a Bulletin Board

Way back in November, I purchased this window frame with the idea to make it into a bulletin board for my desk in the bedroom.  The paint already matched perfectly, so I was excited I did not have to paint it.  But like many projects, it got pushed to the side with the wedding planning, wedding, and school.  It did not get touched again until a month ago.  At that time, I made the hubs hang it up because it had been sitting in the hallway for almost 5 months now and I was tired of having it take up space on the floor.  So then, it sat on the wall untouched for about a month.  But not anymore, I finished the project over the weekend!

So here is the original window frame hung up, but untouched:

window frame, bulletin board, diy

I bought this pack of cork board from Michaels:

window frame, bulletin board, diy

It came with 4 squares of cork board and some adhesive stickers.

Next, I measured a few of the window frames.

window frame, bulletin board, diy

They all seemed to be the same size, so I cut all 4 squares of cork the same size.  To mark where I needed to cut, I used a Sharpie.window frame, bulletin board, diy

Then, I tried several different methods to cut the cork board from children’s scissors, craft scissors, and an Exacto knife…  The Exacto knife cut the best, so I cut the cork board with that.  And I just sort of eye balled cutting a straight line with the two marks I made to mark the measurements.

window frame, bulletin board, diy

The cut did not go all the way through the cork board, so I bent the cork in half along the cut to completely separate the cork board.

window frame, bulletin board, diy

Then, as I mentioned earlier, the pack of cork board only came with 4 squares, but I had 6 window panes to cover.  So I used my scraps to make the other two pieces of cork.

window frame, bulletin board, diy

The first thing I did was cut off the long skinny piece and tossed it.  Then, I was left with 4 rectangles the same size.  I took 2 and put them together with the 2 sides that were not cut touching each other because they were smooth and would glue together better. window frame, bulletin board, diy

Then, I used a piece of cork board that was already cut as a guide and I cut these two pieces.

window frame, bulletin board, diy

Then, I glued them together with glue.  I used Beacon’s Advanced Craft Glue because I had it on hand and I find it works on everything.

window frame, bulletin board, diy

And just pressed the two pieces together for a few minutes until they were secure.

window frame, bulletin board, diy

Then, I didn’t want the seam to show, so I used leftover fabric from the curtain and pillow projects I did in the bedroom to cover 3 pieces of cork, including the 2 ones made out of scraps.  I just laid the piece of cork on the fabric and glued the edges of the fabric down on the back of the cork.

window frame, bulletin board, diy

Then, I took all 6 of my pieces of cork and put the little sticker adhesive that came with the package on all four corners and stuck them each in a window pane.window frame, bulletin board, diy

And here is the finished bulletin board:

window frame, bulletin board, diy

And the Budget Breakdown:

  • Window Frame-$11
  • Cork board package-$6.60, regulary $11 with 40% off coupon
  • Fabric-$0, leftover from other projects

Total:  $$16.60

What do you think?  I think it turned out great!  I can’t wait to pin a bunch of stuff up there.  Have you guys made a bulletin board lately?  Or made a window frame into something else?  I love the window frame trend and seeing what everyone is making them in to!

Napkins and Table Settings

On Monday, I talked about how we received new plates as a wedding gift and how I wanted to make beautiful table settings to match, so I made a table runner and placemats.  All that is left now is napkins.

So, I picked out my fabric.  It is a lighter, cotton fabric, so it was pretty see through.  I decided to double up the fabric instead of just hemming the edges (Although, that is much easier to do, so if you are thinking about making napkins, look at picking out heavier fabric that is not see through.).  So instead of cutting out 8 pieces of fabric, I doubled up the fabric by folding it over and I cut through 2 pieces of fabric at a time, so I only had to cut 4 times.

sewing, napkins

I had a store-bought napkin already, so I used that to measure out my cuts.  I left a little extra room on the sides for the seam.  I just eye balled it, but it should be around a 1/2″.

sewing, napkins, diy

sewing, napkins, diy

I cut out four of those.  The particular fabric I used did not have a front or a back that I could tell, so I just pinned them as I cut them.  But if your fabric has a pretty side, make sure to pin the pretty sides facing each other.

sewing, napkins, diy

*Normally, I iron and pin at the same time, so I did to make these napkins.  But when I pulled the fabric through to flip it right side out, it got really wrinkly, so I had to iron again.  So, save you a step and do not iron now. 

So, then, I sewed all four sides leaving a tiny opening on one side to pull the fabric through.  The opening should be big enough to pull fabric through without ripping any seams, but not too big because you will have to blind stitch it later.

sewing, napkins, diy

And here I am pulling the fabric through the hole to turn it right side out:

sewing, napkins, diy

Be sure to make sure all of your corners are lying flat.  I just stuck my finger in each corner to make sure all the fabric was lying flat.

Then, I ironed out all the wrinkles from flipping it right side out.  Be sure to iron the seams, so they lay flat and the iron a crease where the hole is to help you when you get to blind stitching.

sewing, napkins, diy

And now it is time for the blind stitch.  This was only my second time doing a blind stitch and it was a little easier since the fabric was thinner, but I am still no expert, so I will leave it to WikiHow to help you again:

sewing, napkins, blind stitch, diy

And here is my blind stitch:

sewing, napkins, diy, blind stitch

Much better than last time, but still could use a little work.  And here is the final product:

sewing, napkins, diy

I promise the napkins are not as school bus yellow as they come out in the pictures.  They are more of a soft, pastel yellow.

And the Budget Breakdown:

  • 2 yds 44″ fabric-$8, $4 per yard
  • 2 packages of D-rings for napkin holders-$2, $1 per pack of 4
  • ribbon for napkin holders-$0, already owned

Total:  $10 for 4 napkins

And here is the reveal of our lovely table settings for our new plates!!!

sewing, placemats, napkins, diy

sewing, placemats, napkins, diy

sewing, placemats, napkins, diy

What do you all think!?  I LOVE it and so does the hubs!  Since we bought the dining room table, we have never ate there, but I definitely see dinner there at least once a week now!  Have you guys made a table setting recently?  Do you make them for every season and holiday or just one for all year round?  This is the first one I have made, but I would definitely like to start doing them for every holiday too!

Making Placemats

As one of our wedding gifts, we received new dishes!  They are lovely and beautiful and I thought what better way to show how lovely and beautiful they are than by creating a beautiful table setting to match.  I had already made a table runner earlier, so all I needed was some placemats and napkins.  First up, placemats.

When I first got my sewing machine a few years ago, my mom printed me out directions on how to sew placemats from a blog she follows:  Stone Gable.  So, I dug out those instructions  and gathered up all my supplies and I was ready to start.

The first thing I did was fold my fabric in half.  The placemats are reversible, so you will need 2 pieces of fabric for each placemat.  So instead of cutting out 8 pieces of fabric, I folded the fabric in half and just cut through 2 pieces of fabric at a time, so I only had to cut 4 times.  Then, I marked the measurements out on the fabric (14.5 x 22″).

sewing, placemats, diy

The puppies even helped me measure everything out.

sewing, placemats, diy, puppies

Stone Gable said to cut 14.5 x 22″and with a 1/2″ seam it would make them 13.5 x 21″.  However, once I cut my first one out, I realized that was just too long for what I wanted.  So, I cut one 14.5 x 20″ and compared the two to see which one I liked best.

sewing, placemats, diy

I decided to go with the 14.5 x 20″ because I liked the look better and our table is smaller, so it would fit better as well.  So I trimmed 2″ off the first one I cut and cut all the rest 14.5 x 20″.

A tip to cut straight lines is to use tile grout as a reference.  Just line up your marks you made with the grout and cut inside the grout.sewing, placemats, dit

After all 4 placemats (8 pieces of fabric) were cut, I was ready to pin them together.   Pin the fabric with the two pretty sides facing each other.  *There is no need to iron your fabric at this point because when you flip the fabric, so the right side is facing out, it will just get wrinkly again.*

sewing, placemats, diy

Then, it is time for the sewing machine.  Sew a 1/2″ seam on all four sides.  However, I did not measure it out , I just eye balled it.

sewing, placemats, diy

Be sure to leave a tiny opening on one of the sides.  It should be big enough to pull the fabric through, but not too big because you will have to blind stitch it by hand later.

sewing, placemats, diy

Then, pull the fabric through that hole.  I did not get any pictures of this step because it is really a two hands process, but you will want to make sure not to pull too hard and rip any of your seams.

Now, the fabric is ready to be ironed.

sewing, placemats, diy

Be sure to iron the seams, so the placemat lays flat and also, iron a seam where the hole is to make it easier when you blind stitch it.

So, I keep talking about this blind stitch step.  This was my first time doing it.  I just got over my fear of my sewing machine, but still have very little experience sewing anything by hand, so I am not an expert at blind stitching nor very good at it.  So that being said, I will not try to give you instructions on how to do it.  However, I will give you the instructions I used from WikiHow:

sewing, placemats, diy, blind stitch

Here is my completed blind stitch:

sewing, diy, placemats, blind stitch

So it is not too pretty and I can most definately use some practice, but as long you dont look at that one corner, my placemats look pretty good!

sewing, placemats, diy

Budget Breakdown:

  • 2 yds of 54″ wide drapery fabric-$14, $7 per yard

Total:  $14 for 4 placemats

So what do you all think?  Have you tried blind stitching before?  Blind stitching and I just did not get along!  Do you have any tips?  Do you make your placemats or do you always purchase them?

*I will be back on Wednesday with the how to make the napkins and the reveal of our table setting!!

First Dance Art

I have seen this project idea all over Etsy and Pinterest and fell in love with it.  However, certain stores on Etsy were starting at $75 for the size I wanted or for around $25 you could get the print with the lyrics and your picture, but then you would have to go buy the frame still.  So I thought I bet I can do that for much less.

The first thing I did was pick out the frame.  I waited until Hobby Lobby was running their 50% off wall frames sale and then, I went frame shopping.  I thought a 16×20” frame with an 8×10” picture would be too big and I would not have enough lyrics to fill the mat, so I decided to go with this 15×17” frame with a 5×7” picture.

wedding, first dance, diy, michael buble, wall decor

Once I got home, I decided how big I wanted my words to be printed on the frame.  I decided about a ½ inch would be enough room for me to write the words big enough to read and enough to fill up the mat.  So, I marked each ½ inch all the way down the mat on both the left and right sides and down the middle very lightly in pencil.

wedding, first dance, michael buble, diy, wall decor

wedding, first dance, wall decor, diy, michael buble

Then, I started off writing the lyrics very lightly in pencil as well.  But I could quickly tell that plan was not going to work.  The pencil was smudging all over the place and once it smudged it did not erase as easily, so I scrapped that idea shortly into the project.

I erased one word at a time and then rewrote the word with a fine tip scrapbook pen.  Since it was a scrapbook pen, it was acid free and should not harm the picture over time, so my grandkids should be able to enjoy this little project.

wedding, first dance, michael buble, diy, wall decor

Here is a picture of the mat once I was done adding all the lyrics:

wedding, first dance, diy, michael buble, wall decor

I made so many mistakes writing those lyrics.  I had forgotten the word “falling.” However, I noticed it by the time I had only written one more word, so I thought it couldn’t be that bad if I whited out just one word.  And unless you get up close and personal with the frame, you can’t really notice it either.

Then, I missed the word “swimming.”  You think I would have learned my lesson after the first time!  But this time, I did not notice it until I had written, like, an additional 3 whole lines worth of words, so I decided to live without swimming.  We will just have to deal with, “You’re like a pool on an August day,” instead.  It is still the same idea and looks better than 3 lines whited out.

And, I am a little upset with how the lyrics written on the part of the mat where the picture is cut out turned out.  My straight lines get all sorts of funky during that section.  So a tip for those of you trying to recreate this project would to be mark ½ marks along the inside of the mat where the picture cut out is too.

And then, towards the end, the chorus repeated itself, so I got confused where my place was when I was writing the lyrics and wrote the wrong chorus, but it turned out for the better because it helped fill out all the mat with lyrics.

So after I finished with the lyrics, I taped my picture to the back of the mat with four pieces of tape.  I used scrapbooking tape because it touches the picture so you want to make sure your tape is acid free, so it doesn’t ruin the picture overtime and you can keep this project for years to come.  And then, I put it in the frame.

When I turned it around to look at it, I realized I had made yet another mistake and one that is definitely noticeable to everyone and not just those who know the correct lyrics!  I used the entire mat when writing the lyrics on it; however, a slim amount of the mat is covered by the frame when it is in the frame, so a part of my lyrics are halfway covered in certain spots!  So if you are going to try this project yourself, please mark how much of your mat is covered when inside the frame, so you do not make the same mistake!

So here is the finished project:

wedding, wall decor, first dance, michael buble, diy

wedding, wall decor, michael buble, first dance, diy

And here is the budget breakdown:

15×17” frame-$14, regularly $28, but they were having a 50% off sale

8×10” picture-$1.50

Scrapbook pen-free, already owned

Total: $15.50, much less than what they were going for on Etsy!

I am a little upset with how it turned out.  I still like it because it reminds me of our lovely wedding day and how much time we spent rehearsing our first dance, but I wish part of the lyrics weren’t covered.  If it starts to bother me too much, I can always go to Michaels or Hobby Lobby and buy a piece of mat board and have it cut down to the size I need and redo the project.  And even if I buy more mat board, it will still be less than what it would have cost on Etsy!  I think I will live with it for a while and see how much it still bothers me overtime before I redo it.

What do you all think?  Should I redo it?  What do you all do with your wedding pictures to display them?  Do you do anything special or just a wedding album?  What was your first dance?  Ours was Michael Buble Everything!  Love that song!

*You can check out how I saved sentimental items from our wedding and put them in a shadow box here

My Interview with Sherry Petersik

I am so excited for today’s post.  Last week, I got to interview Sherry Petersik from YoungHouseLove!!!!!!!!

younghouselove, sherry petersik

YoungHouseLove is my favorite DIY blog for numerous reasons:  their great style and projects which come with excellent step by step instructions and pictures, but most of all they seem like very down to earth people with a passion for DIY and sharing their story as they go. And that seemed even more evident within the short time I got to spend interviewing her.  So without further adieu, here it is:

Heather Marshall:  How do find inspiration for DIY projects and room ideas, since you post 1-2 times a day that is a lot of inspiration to come up with?

Sherry Peterisk:  It is really like a combination [of DIY and our life].  I think some of our posts are more on our life and that does not really require more research or things that we have found work for us.  I think that is one thing about having a blog that is the story of your life and sharing that.  Instead of trying to be Real Simple and telling other people how to organize or interviewing experts on how to pick a paint color.  It’s really more of sharing our first person experiences, so it feels less research heavy.  Although, of course, when we tackle DIY projects, we hit the Internet, ask contractors, friends, and leave no stone unturned until we are reasonably certain something is not going to back fire.

HM:  And you have sort of hit on my next question.  Which is when you are doing a particular project for the first time, such as, I know you and your sewing machine are sort of frenemies or anything with power tools can be quite scary, so how do you research the topic and how to do that particular task properly, so you come off as credible sources?

SP:  I think a lot of it is googling and asking experts.  For example, my mom is better at sewing so I might just call her and be like, “Honestly, can I do a zipper?  Do you think I can do a zipper?”  and she will tell it to me straight.

And when it deals with what we would call the heavier duty or more safety conscious projects, we do more research for those just in the name of keeping it safe for our family and also keeping it safe for others who might replicate something.  For example, when we knocked out a wall, we had to go through measures to make sure we don’t need a permit, make sure it is not load bearing.  If it is complicated, we get a contractor to help us.  And we sort of do the same thing with electrical.

We always say what’s the worst that could happen?  And if the worst that can happen is I sew something and it looks ganged up and I throw it away, that’s not the worst that can happen.  But if the worst that can happen is the house burns down or the ceiling falls in, then we are all about experts.  We always tell everyone that the big disclaimer is we are not experts.  We are learning as we go, but we kind of think that is the fun of it.  We think people are following along because they feel like they are like us, so not being experts kind of works in our favor, although, it does require us to figure things out and do some research before reporting to everyone what we are doing.

HM:  How do you guys overcome obstacles when doing your projects?   You guys are always very honest about anything bad that happens, like the sandbox trauma and how the sand ending up being harmful to Clara, so how do you determine what to do next when something goes bad?

SP:  We are always very honest.  I think if our goal was to be Perfect Sally Homemaker and the Tool Slinging Husband, then we wouldn’t share the struggles.  But since Day 1, we have been this is a blog about our adventures and misadventures.  It’s always an interesting curve because at the times it’s always very frustrating when something doesn’t work, but by the time we find a solution and blog about it, it is sort of like a nice arc.  It’s like your half hour TV [program], where there is a conflict and a resolution.  And it’s nice to hear from people who say, “Oh my gosh, you saved me so much trouble.  I would have done it the same way you were doing it and I am so glad you told us it didn’t work and I am so glad you were honest and you saved me time.”

HM:  Like I said, my blog will be for people who are renting, so they can’t really tear out a wall or paint an entire room, so what would be your one tip for people trying to decorate their apartment or rental?

SP:  I always think about this, and maybe it’s hard when you are in an apartment or rental because you see the limits, but I always look at apartments or rentals and see all the things you still can do.  At least 50% of the projects we share, you can do in an apartment or rental because you can paint furniture or you can hang art.  There are so many planes [you can change]; there are the floors, you can add a rug; there are the walls, you can hang stuff or even lean a giant canvas that you have painted to add color.  Then there are all your furnishings, you can add color with pillows and linens, and lamps can be brightly colored.  To me, every single thing in a room is an opportunity to add personality.  I have seen apartments or dorms done so amazingly, then if it’s really your passion you shouldn’t feel limited because there are so many fun things you can do.

HM:  What would be one of your favorite things about doing DIY projects?

SP:  This is going to sound so weird, but I like before, like the planning.  It’s not that I like research, but I like the brainstorming for more creative things because that’s when there is all these possibilities.  A perfect example is when we built Clara a play kitchen.  Like the most fun we had was we went on a walk with her to just get out of the house and talked in code because we did not want her to know about her play kitchen, so we were like, “The kitchen project that we are going to be doing…” but we never said for Clara and we would say things like, “Maybe a bowl could be the sink” to just figure it out.  And it was just a fun walk because we were just thinking and brainstorming together.  And of course, the obvious answer is I like seeing it all come together, but it is very fun to me going into something new because you have all the opportunities.  In the middle of something, it can start to get dodgy because you are committed to something like this tile or this color or this fabric and there are more boundaries.  But I guess in the beginning there are no boundaries and I guess that can be very scary, but it also means like you can decide to go for it and can do something very different and its all wide open.

Isn’t Sherry the best!?  I am so grateful she took time out of her busy day and allowed me to interview her!  Thank you again, Sherry!  You provided some great information and I can’t wait to get some more DIY projects under my belt!

Making Sentimental Wall Art

So after our wedding, we had a lot of stuff I wanted to be able to keep and cherish forever, but I didn’t know how to do it without keeping it in a drawer and forgetting about it.  Until, I saw this pin on Pinterest.

wedding decor, diy

So, I gathered all the stuff from our wedding that I wanted in our shadow box and got busy.

wedding decor, diy

And here is the lovely Wilson with the shadow box.

wedding decor, diy

Then, I arranged everything just the way I wanted it and got it ready to be pinned with sewing pins.

wedding decor, diy

And here is the final product:

wedding decor, diy

And the budget breakdown:

  • Shadow Box from Michael’s–$20, I think it was around $40 with a 50% off sale
  • Sentimental Wedding Items–FREE

Total:  $20

What do you all think?  Did you keep some stuff from your wedding?  How do you display it?

Paint Chip Art

I like this project for two reasons.  One, it was pretty much free art (I just had to purchase the frame).  Two, it was a project from my favorite DIY blog, YoungHouseLove.

Here is the inspiration for my project from YoungHouseLove:

diy, paint chip art

So the first thing I did was grab my big purse and head to Wal-Mart.  I felt like I was stealing, but the paint chip samples are totally free, so I stuffed as many as I could in my purse.

After I got home I laid them out.  I chose yellows, greens, blues, and purples to match our bathroom, where I decided to hang it.

diy, paint chip art

The chips got a little messed up in my purse, so I separated them out by color.

diy, paint chip art

As you can see in the picture above, the paint chips I picked up needed to be trimmed a little on the top because it had the paint name and a lot going on the bottom because it had the Better Homes and Garden logo and a punch out circle.  So, I cut the bottom part off on all the paint chips first with a paper-cutter.

diy, paint chip art

Then, I went through and cut the top part off of all the paint chips with the paper-cutter.  I just eye balled the cuts, but made sure it was still bigger than I actually needed it to be, so I had wiggle room when taping them on the paper later.

diy, paint chip art

Next, I had to get my paper ready that I was going to tape the paint chips too.  My frame was 17×11.  I had a hard time picking out my frame because an 8×10 frame was too small for the art and a 16×20 frame was too big for the wall I wanted it on, so we ended up picking 17×11 frame.  So since the frame was 17″ tall, I taped 3 pieces of printer paper together.

diy, paint chip art

Afterwards, I took the color piles and put each color in the order I wanted them in for my paint chip art.  I started by taping the darkest yellow chip in the bottom, left corner of the piece of paper with a loop of scotch tape on the back of the paint chip.  Then, I continued taping all the yellow paint chips down.  Then I repeated that for all the green, blue, and purple paint chips.

After I finished the purple paint chips, I ran into a problem.  The piece of art was not 11″ wide, so there would be a sliver of white showing once it was framed.

diy, paint chip art

That is where those scraps I cut off each paint chip came into play.  I took all my purple scraps and cut a little sliver from the bottom part and taped it to my art to extend its width.

diy, paint chip art

And here is the final result:

diy, paint chip art

diy, paint chip art

And the budget breakdown of my almost free project:

  • Paint chips–free
  • 11×17″ frame–$13.50, originally $30 with a 40% off sale and a 25% off coupon

Total–$13.50

What do you all think?  Have you made any free art recently?  Or any other free projects?  I love free!!

My First Time Sewing

So, I received a sewing machine over two years ago for Christmas, but I never took it out of the box.  To be honest, I was scared of it.  My only other experience sewing was in 7th grade in FACS class where we made patchwork pillows and my was a hot mess.  It had holes every where and that was with help from the only girl in the class who had sewed before.  But I asked for a sewing machine anyways because I had big plans for it once I got over my fear of it.

Well the other day, the time had come for me to get over my fear.  I had bought my material and had researched how to sew curtains in Singer’s The Complete Photo Guide to Sewing and my favorite DIY blog Young House Love.  I took the sewing machine out of the box.  But I did not know what to do next…

Thankfully, my sewing machine came with a DVD Instructional Guide that showed me how to thread the bobbin and thread the machine.  Although all sewing machines are a little different, the concept is the same, so I included a How To Video for those other beginner sewers out there.

So after I got my machine threaded and ready to go, I was on to the next scary step…  Measuring and cutting the fabric.  Even still, this is always my least favorite part because I am scared to mess up because once you cut it is final.  So after a lot of stress and research online, specifically the two references mentioned above, I decided what would work best for me was to buy 5 yards of fabric, cut it in half, and hem the 4 sides.  A great tip I have learned is to use tile grout or a rug as your reference to cut a straight line.  But since I was just cutting the fabric in half, I just folded it in half and cut down the fold.

Then, I took one panel and pinned 1/2 inch seam on one side.

sewing, curtains, DIY

Then to be extra cautious, I went back through and ironed the seam in place.  Generally, instructions will tell you to do one or the other, but this was my first time sewing, so I was a nervous wreck and wanted to make sure everything was perfect, so I did both.  And, I still do both because I feel it works best for me, but you can pick what works best for you.  The next step is to hide the rough edges of the fabric and is optional depending on how you want the backs of your curtain to look.  So, if you choose to hide the rough edges of the fabric, you will just measure and fold another 1/2 inch seam.

sewing, curtains, DIY

Then, I took my panel to the sewing machine and sewed the one side that was pinned and ironed.  Don’t mind the band-aid.  It was just a battle wound from all the pinning I was doing.  Did I mention I was extra cautious and pinned a lot!

sewing, curtains, DIY

Afterwards, I repeated folding a 1/2 seam, then folding another 1/2 seam, and sewing each side until all four sides were done.   By this time, it was getting pretty late, so Wilson wanted to help me hurry up and finish, so we could go to bed.  Here he is helping Mommy finish the curtains.

sewing, curtains, puppy

So, I took Wilson’s hint and called it a night and decided we would tackle the next panel tomorrow night.  I was scared of it anyways because it involved more of my least favorite task…  cutting fabric.  The other half of the fabric I bought was missing a chunk from when the lady had previously cut me a sample of it to match it to our bedspread before I bought it.  So before I could begin measuring and marking my 1/2 seam, I had to make sure the fabric was straight.  So I laid it out on a rug and cut off the rest of the fabric to make one straight line.

sewing, curtains, DIY

Then, I could make this panel just like the last one.  Fold, pin, and iron a 1/2 inch seam along one side.

sewing, curtains, DIY

Next, refold, pin, and iron another 1/2 seam to get rid of the rough edge.

sewing, curtains, DI

Then, sew that one side.

sewing, curtains, DIY

And then, repeat until you are finished with all four sides.  If you want you can be finished with your curtains after that step, but I wanted to add black out fabric behind them, since they were for our bedroom.  I bought 5 yards of black out fabric.  I cut the blackout fabric in half to make the two panels like we did for the curtain panels.  Then, I took one curtain panel and cut the black out fabric down to be a little smaller than the curtain panel.  I did all this as an estimate with my eyes; I did not get exact with it and measure everything out.  Then, I did the same thing with the second curtain panel and black out fabric panel.  I did not sew my curtain panel to my black out fabric.  I just clipped them together with the curtain clips.  It is not really noticeable and now I can reuse the black out fabric if I choose to make new curtains for this room, but right now I am in love with my new curtains!  Here is a picture of the back of the curtains and the black out fabric.  You can hardly tell they are not sewed together and from the front of the curtains, you can’t tell at all.

sewing, curtains, black out fabric, DIY

Here is the finished result!

sewing, curtains, DIY

sewing, curtains, DIY

Here is Wilson with the curtains.

sewing, curtains, DIY, puppy

sewing, curtains, DIY

I also bought some more fabric and made some matching pillows for the bed.

sewing, pillows, DIY, puppy

So here is the budget breakdown:

  • 5 yds of 54″ drapery fabric ($7 per yd)–$35
  • 5 yds of 54″ black out fabric ($5 per yd)–$25

Total–$60

I am very proud of my curtains, if I do say so myself, especially since they were my first sewing experience!!  And let me tell you, that black out fabric does wonderful things, like letting me sleep in on the weekends WAY past how long I should.  What do you all think?  Not too shabby for a first timer, huh?  Have you been sewing lately?  Do you have any tips for a novice sewer, such as myself?