Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Nursery DIY Week: Tutorial- Painted Striped Curtains

Thanks for returning to Nursery DIY Week! I hope you enjoyed the tutorial for the Personalized PIllows yesterday. On to Day 2, Painted Striped Curtains!


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I have seen a couple of pictures of bold striped curtains as I have been looking for nursery ideas for the baby boy. Once I saw this one, I was pretty set on them:

from Project Nursery

But, I knew 2 things. 1) The window in the nursery is HUGE and it was going to cost a fortune to dress the window with pre-made or custom-made curtains like that, and 2) I was not interested in spending said fortune on curtains for my third child (sorry Baby Bennett). So, when I saw a couple of tutorials on pinterst for DIY striped curtains, I knew that that was what I was going to do.

I found a couple of sewing tutorials, but I was sewing so much for the nursery already, that when I found the pin for "How to Paint Striped Curtain Panels", I knew that was the way I would go!


So, my tutorial is loosely based on this one from A View Along the Way. Though, as you will see, I changed a few things. So, here we go!!

What you need:

2 White Sailcloth (or Canvas) Curtain Panels- I got mine from amazon.com for $10 each!!! Quite a deal! They are just plain white sailcloth with grommets for the curtain rod.

Acrylic Craft Paint- The amount you'll need depends on the size of your curatins (mine are 45"x95") and the number and width of the stripes you want. I needed A LOT. I ended up getting 12 small bottles of midnight blue, 4 small bottles of bright blue, and 1 1/2 small bottles of black (to make a not-too-dark navy) all for 57 cents each at Wal Mart. Also, you'll need to do several coats of paint since the canvas absorbs a lot and the paint bleeds through the fabric (I ended up doing about 3 coats)

Textile Medium (optional)- You can use this to mix with the craft paint to make the curtains washable. A great idea if you plan on washing the curtains, but I don't think I've ever washed a pair of curtains, so I skipped this.

Painters Tape

Paint Tray

Paint Brushes or Small Roller- I used brushes to start with, but the roller actually worked better. The paint didn't seem to bleed as bad under the tape with the roller, and made cleaner lines.

yardstick and pencil

tarp or drop cloth

Paint Pen to (somewhat) match, for touchups (optional)

My angel sister in law, Beth, helped me with this project, and I would highly recommend having your husband, mom, dad, boyfriend, best friend or awesome sister in law to help. I'm sure you can easily do this by yourself, but it would've taken me FOREVER to do this alone! Especially 8 months pregnant!

SOOO...To begin...

1. Lay out your tarp and lay your panels out on top. Measure down the sides of your curtains and figure out how thick you want your stripes and how many will fit on your panels. I knew I wanted them about 8", and from the seam under the grommets to the bottom, I could get about 6 navy stripes and 6 white stripes on each panel. The bottom navy stripe is about 9", but I was fine with that. So, I measured down each side of each panel and made a small pencil mark every 8 inches.

2. With the yardstick, I connected each pencil mark horizontally to make a straight line, and placed my painters tape across the panel along the yardstick to ensure straight lines. This can be tricky for two reasons. You want to make sure your tape is down really well so the paint won't bleed under it while you're painting. Also, you want to make sure you tape on the outside of your painted stripes. Pretty much, you want to make sure the tape is lying where the white stripe will be, and the edge of the tape gives you an 8" navy painted stripe each time. I hope that makes sense! Otherwise, your stripes will end up being different widths. On each horizontal line of tape, we labeled them "blue" or "white" to keep straight which color goes beneath the tape. It's more for keeping straight where you're taping then for when you're painting. Obviously you'll paint every other stripe navy when you get to painting. So, continue taping off the stripes until you get to the bottom of each panel. I also thought taping everything first and then painting would be easier, and if I needed to continue the project later (which is what we had to do since I ran out of paint!), I would already have all the taping and measuring done and out of the way.

3. Mix your paint. I wanted navy striped curtains, so I mixed bright blue with a midnight blue and some black to get the exact color I wanted. The options are endless as far as color combinations (how pretty would subtle white and beige be for your living room, or red and white for a playroom?!). Just make sure you write down what your secret combination is, in case you run out of paint and have to create it again later (like we did!).

4. CAREFULLY begin painting! I used a pretty heavy hand with my paintbrush when applying the paint, because I was trying to reduce the number of coats I'd have to do later, but I ended up having to recoat the stripes anyway. The sailcloth is 100% cotton, so it absorbs a lot of the paint quickly. Also, like I said during the taping step, make sure your tape is down really well, or the paint will bleed underneath the tape. This happened to me, and I ended up having to go back and touch up several of the stripes to make the lines as clean as possible (it's kind of inevitable to some degree, though, so don't make yourself crazy about this). And like I said above, I would actually scrap the paintbrush all together if I did this over again. The roller was faster and made much cleaner lines and didn't bleed nearly as bad. I absorbed a little more of the paint, but not so much as to make a really big difference.



5. After you have painted all your stripes, let your paint almost dry. Peel your tape off before it's completely dry so it comes off easier. At that point, you can see where you need to touch up, and where you need to reapply the paint to get a homogenous and opaque stripe. I had several stripes that had bumpy edges, so my sister in law suggested touching up with a paint pen, which I thought was genius. So instead of pulling out the 'ole yardstick and tape again, I eyeballed it with the paint pen, and it worked like a dream. Just be very careful and work slowly. I used a navy paint pen, that matched well enough that you can't tell a difference. If you used a textile medium mixed with your paint, after the paint is all dry, you need to set the medium (usually requires ironing the unpainted side of the fabric). Refer to the textile medium instructions to set it.

6. Hang up your curtains and admire your handiwork! They turned out just how I wanted, with an investment of only about $30. Hard to beat that!! They are definitely not perfect; they have some bumpy edges around a few of the stripes, and I did get some drops of blue paint on some of the white stripes, but from a few feet away, you would never notice. And of course, you're always more critical of your own work. But it was really hard finding anything like these pre-made, and once I got these in my head, these were what I wanted. The only ones I could find online were from Etsy and were $120. So, for a savings of $90, I can deal with a couple of imperfections!




I just hope Baby Bennett appreciates all of his mama's (and his Aunt Beth's) hard work on the curtains for his sweet room!

More pictures to come, of course, when the room is complete!!

And don't forget to come back tomorrow during Nursery DIY Week for a SUPER easy, yet very impactful tutorial for Fabric Covered Picture Frame Mats!


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