Introduction: $7.25 Bay Window Curtains!
Need easy, fast, and cheap curtains? Then here's an instructable for you!
Step 1: Finding Cheap Material
I always watch my local thrift stores to catch those great deals, and finding these fabrics was no exception. The sheer blue fabric with the amazing details was found at my local thrift store for just $1.00 (marked down from $4.00)! It was a 44" x 96" piece that I pulled out of the rubber band to make sure it was complete--as some of the fabrics at thrift stores will be chopped up and missing odds and ends. The golden yellow fabric was actually a 36" x 96" rectangular table cloth (BONUS! Means the hemming will already be done!).
So I scored these two amazing deals for just $3.00 (plus a little tax)!
Step 2: Great Hacks to Make Cheap Curtain Rods
So I only had a few dollars and needed to make a miracle happen. I needed to figure out a cheap way to make "tension rod"-esque curtain rods to hold my soon-to-be curtains on. Rods, even at thrift stores, were far and few between where I live, and new rods in the store were at least $6 a piece. This may not sound like a lot, but when I have just $5 left in my pocket, it's a lot! Lol :)
I moseyed on in to my local Dollar Store and More (yours may be Dollar Tree, Dollar General, Dollar Dollar, etc) and wandered around looking for something--anything!--that could work for cheap. Finally, I found some gardening skinny bamboo sticks for just $1.25 for 5 (and they were long so I could cut them down)! They were dyed green but who cares (they'd be covered up anyway by the curtain). These are perfect because they're good and sturdy. Now to find someway to hold them up in the window. At first I thought of those curtain rod holders where they're a circle and have the top open to slide the bar down in to (usually used for closet rods or the like). But then, as if a light was descending from heaven, I saw these towel holders for just $1.00 per 2 pack! Eureka! I bought 3 of them and spent just $4.25 plus a little tax on all of it. Ahhh....the lovely sound of savings :)
Step 3: Sewing the Curtains
For this step I didn't take pictures of this process. I didn't know I would be posting this instructable, so the thought never occurred to me at the time. But it's SUPER basic.
1. Bay Window Curtains:
I measured the width of my windows. I decided early on that I wanted the entire fabric length because I just LOVED the design from top to bottom. This put the curtains at above my halfway mark on my windows, but I don't personally care because they still look FABULOUS! So, my window widths were 33". I put my fabric on the floor and measured the seam allowance first (about 5/8" to match the white fabric end at the bottom that I'd be hemming up later). Then, I marked it at the top (because this would be hidden by my curtain rod pocket--more like a tube? I don't know the lingo lol), and measured 33" from this mark. Marked that, then measured another 5/8" for the other seam allowance on the other side. When I got to the end of the last seam allowance, I made that line longer then the other lines so I knew which lines to cut. I repeated this process two more times for the remaining curtains. (So: from the last mark I measured 5/8" and marked, then 33" and marked, then 5/8" and marked etc.) Lastly, I cut my curtains at each longer line and--voila!--three curtain pieces!
Next, it was time to sew. I set my sewing machine to a straight stitch (I used white thread because that's what I already had in my thread and bobbin--but obviously dark blue would've been good, if not better) and set my tension to about a 2-3. I didn't think it'd have to be this wide, but it was pulling my fabric at lower tensions so you just have to set it for whatever works for your machine. I stitched up all three sides (the two side hems and the bottom hem). I originally was pressing and pinning the fabric hems down, but that was WAY to time-consuming and didn't work any better then just folding the hem over as I sewed...so I changed tactics and blasted through it.
Now to sew the top curtain rod pocket (tube). I folded the top over about 1.5" and made the same straight stitch (as on the sides) along the bottom. Done! A basic, but beautiful, curtain. Repeat this process two more times and you have yourself three stylish bay window curtains :)
2. Side Drapes:
I originally thought I'd use the golden yellow tablecloth on the bay windows--either as a backing to the blue curtains or as the middle curtain (instead of the blue curtain). But, I decided I wanted a more elegant looking entry to the bay window seating area--not to mention I had all my other curtains in the living room and dining room hanging on sisal rope--so I made what you see here (bringing in the sisal rope through the rest of the room).
To make these, I stuck with the same basic principles of above. First, I cut the fabric in half. Being only 36" wide to begin with didn't make very wide curtains, but that's all the more reason I wanted to use them as side decorative drapes. Then I just eyeballed the hem width (I'd say about 3/8"). My tablecloth--for whatever reason--didn't have a hem on the other side (it was just the hem-less fabric end that was all held together nicely), so to make it uniform, I sewed my same width hem on that side too. The bottom was already hemmed. For the top, I just did the same thing with the 1.5" fold over and bottabing-bottaboom I was done! I mounted these on sisal rope tied across the whole length of the bay window area (to give the illusion it was full-window drapes) and gave a little, elegant sisal rope tie-off at the middles so they draped nicely (and looked a little fuller). Done! Now to sit back and admire :)