DIY Drop Striped Cloth Curtains

Something I learned on my latest DIY bender is that drop cloths can truly be your best friend.  They are cheap and the material is pretty decent quality!

Now back it up about 2 years, when Will and I first got married I stumbled across the idea of drop cloth curtains.  It went on the list of things to implement someday.  I hadn’t had the opportunity yet, but when I was planning Will’s office redo I knew that it was the PERFECT time.  The texture and color of the material were perfect for the scheme I had chosen.

Originally the office only had these little valances I had made one afternoon with the cheapest red fabric I could find a JoAnn’s.  I had planned on keeping them, but decided against it.  I did not want to chop the room off or make it dark… part of the reason I was redoing it was because it was chopped and dark.  BUT I did use those valances to choose the right color of paint for the curtains (yes. You read that right. We’ll get there), and they ended up being repurposed into tie backs (props to Emma).

see the lovely red tie backs behind Hubster there!  Good work Emma!

I did a lot of reading on drop cloth curtains…. In the end, it didn’t really change my plans at all.  But I will say this, if you plan on washing your curtains, or you want them to be super good quality then I would suggest buying fabric medium to mix with your paint.  I was on time and budget constraints so I skipped that step because I decided I didn’t mind if the paint cracked whenever I wash the curtains in the future.

Supplies:

  • Drop cloths (I used two 6’x9’ drop cloths)
  • Painters Tape
  • Tape Measure
  • Paint
  • Fabric Medium (Optional – see previous paragraph)
  • Paint Brush
  • Sewing Supplies

How to Make the Curtains:

First, wash and dry them.  This really softens up the material and makes it more workable and attractive. Plus, they DO SHRINK… and they don’t do so uniformly.

Sew them how you want them.  I did this last, but in hindsight I would do it first as the sewing machine isn’t fond of going through the painted areas.  As I mention I used two 6’x9’ drop cloths.  There are only two windows in the office and they are both pretty narrow.  The 6’ wide cloths were big enough for me to cut in half and then have two curtains on each window.

Emma past on some wisdom to me and told me When you sew the top (assuming you aren’t doing grommets, tabs, or some other cute idea) be sure to leave some extra room at the top.  I don’t know how to describe what I am talking about so here’s a picture of it.  I have made curtains without at that little “ruffle” before, and Emma is right – they do not hang/lay as well.

The part that sticks up at the top is what I am referring to.  Mine is about 2" tall.

Once they are sewn, decide where and how big you want your stripes and begin the taping process.

the measuring process.

ready to begin.

If you are going to use fabric medium be sure to mix it into your paint.

this is the paint that I used.  I opted for a small can of interior paint rather than a dozen little bottles of craft paint given the amount i needed and the durability I wanted.

When painting your curtains, I found that it was best to either put the tip of my brush on the tape and brush into the stripe area or just dab along the edge.  Too much pushing against the edge of your tape lends to the paint bleeding out aka…. Not crisp lines.

Let them dry.

part of the way there

Here they are hanging to dry.

Hang them up and enjoy your hard work!

you can see one of them here.  It's hard to get a picture of them with my cell phone because of the back lighting from the window =(

I have another drop cloth project to share as well.  I will give you a hint, it’s in that last picture.

Enjoy your weekend! Go try something new!

~Dev

DIY Marquee Letter

Continuing with the affordable, DIY projects that I started with the Crate Bookshelf a couple of weeks ago, today, this is also a cheap and easy DIY.

I had been seeing these marquee letters ALL OVER on pinterest. I first saw one around Christmas time and knew instantly it was one of the projects I pin that I actually was going to make sure happened.

The letter P was the obvious choice.

Before I tell you how to make this happen for yourself I have to give a shout out to my little sister Carrieli and my good friend Emma who did the majority of the work on this eye-catching letter.  I skimmed several different tutorials to see how people made their’s, and found out there was a wide range as far as quality & price goes.  Some people made very sturdy, time and money consuming letters from wood and outdoor lights. Me on the other hand being on a time and money crunch decided to go the cardboard and Christmas lights route. Before this Marquee P Will’s office had this lamp…. he loved(s) that lamp. But now it’s hiding in the attic. I will give him props for his taste in the lamp stand, but not the lamp shade.  It was olive green and khaki gingham. Not attractive and definitely did not match the office.  Will happens to be an ambient lighting sort of guy anyway, so I knew this Marquee P was the perfect solution – cool lamp relocated until a better looking lamp shade materializes, AND hubster still gets his ambient lighting.

Some mood lighting right above his desk.

What you Need:

  • a large piece of cardboard (I took mine from a paper box)
  • Ruler
  • Pen
  • Scissors or Xacto knife
  • Hot Glue
  • Spray paint
  • White Christmas lights.
  • paper clips or twisty ties

Here’s how to make assemble it:

  1. Draw out your letter.  This is where Carrieli helped me.  She is very gifted.  Draws us pictures at Christmas and handmakes cards all of the time.  I would had to redraw this letter about 5 times, but Carrieli drew it up in one quick try.  This one is about 18 inches tall.
  2. Cut it out.  the base letter and then measure and cut out the strips that make it three-dimensional. My edge pieces stick out 2 inches.
  3. Glue on the edge pieces.  Marquee Letter (2)sorry for the blurriness.  It's hard to hold the camera still while gluing things together.
  4. Paint it.  Emma handled the painting and the light bulb placement.Before Emma Painted It
  5. Count how many lights you need to fit into the letter and then make the appropriate number of holes, evenly spaced around the letter.  Since we had a lot of small lights Emma did two rows of lightbulbs sticking through.
  6. Use paper clips or twisty-ties to hold all of the extra cord together behind the letter, so it doesn’t show anywhere and you have a clean, professional looking marquee letter.there it is!  2 rows of lights poking through and none of the excess cord showing.
  7. Ta Duh!  It’s not very heavy so you can use the clusters of cords on the back side to hang the letter up.  Ours has an extension cord running to it so that we can easily plug it in.

this is what it looks like not lit up.  Still awesome!

Marquee Letter (1)Marquee Letter (9)

Two Years – Part 2 – Cotton Anniversary

Do you remember the jingle from back in the day “The look, the feel of Cotton.  The fabric of our lives.”?  I always think that the materials they assign to wedding anniversaries come from left field. Except that jingle helps cotton make a little sense.

cotton anniversary

Perhaps the thing about cotton that pertains to marriage the most is how woven into every part of our lives it is.  Only two years in and it’s already hard to remember our lives without the other person.  Our habits, mannerisms, idioms, even our personalities have changed, have been colored and strengthened by the other person.  It’s true that marriage is God’s main tool of sanctification – but that is what takes it from a fresh puff of cotton to a beautiful, storytelling piece of fabric.

Anniversaries are a moment to intentionally celebrate the story that God is telling with our lives.  This year we knew we would be celebrating the official start of our friends’ Jared and Ruthann’s story just a few days after our anniversary, so we opted to string our celebrating out into “Anniversary Week” (like how we celebrate Birthday Week) rather than go on a vacation to specifically celebrate it like we did last year.

We kicked it off with an awesome trip to the Newport Aquarium where we reminisced snorkeling and swimming with the stingrays on our honeymoon.

Newport Aquarium  Please notice the HUGE gator behind Will's head.

For our actual anniversary, I made gluten free lemon berry sweet rolls for breakfast that we ate while we read last year’s entry in our special anniversary journal, reminisced, and started this year’s.

Will had flowers, a card, and Reese’s waiting for me when I got home from work, and he had planned a picnic.   Chick-Fil-A at the pond at our church.  It was a perfect evening!  Both of us love being outside, so it was a perfect relaxing way to slow down in the middle of a couple crazy weeks.

On our Picnic.   I always try to wear white (my shirt was white) and wear my head band and shoes from our wedding.

Here are some of the presents we gave each other.  That journal in the top right - the pages are 100% cotton; that was Will being clever.

When we headed to Virginia Beach/Norfolk for our friends’ wedding we had planned to spend a little extra on hotels because it was still our anniversary week, and this was our vacation.  We got a hotel near the beach one night and hotel downtown on the bay the next.  Which meant we got to see the beach at sunrise and have some fun breakfast excursions.

the beach at Sunrise

best Gluten Free Waffle ever!   Check out Sunnyside Cafe if you're ever in VA Beach!

That is the USS Wisconsin.   There were all kinds of jellyfish in that water.

Will scored some crazy doughnuts in downtown Norfolk

Fancied up for the Rehearsal and the Wedding

On the way home, we arranged our flights so that we would have an 11 hour layover enabling us to go walk around in NYC.  I had never been to New York City before, and it has been a goal of ours to get there.  We want to go back for a weekend, but those 15 miles we walked and all that we did see was great!  The perfect adventure to end our second year and kick off our third year of the everyday adventures of marriage.

Grand Central Station ...where you can't store bags because of bombs.

Time Square

Central Park

these shoes have seen me through a lot of adventures in the last two years.  And they'll see me through even more as I follow Will wherever our adventures take us!