The Amazing, Transforming Curtains

I mentioned these magic curtains in my post on Grayson’s new bedroom, we’ve moved a LOT these past few years (5 homes in 4 years!) and these curtains have been with us for the past three moves and reused every time. One of the most challenging things with being so transient is having to reuse decor over and over again. All houses are different, what works in one space won’t work in another, but it’s not practical to go out and buy everything new every time either… What’s a gal to do?

Well as I keep getting more moving experience under my belt, I’ve learned a few tricks, and the first one is to pick versatile decor items. It may be all the rage to go with crazy chevron prints or damask patterned curtains now, but in a few years those items will be dated and you won’t want to use them again. Rather, I suggest a solid, color and a length that can be hemmed as needed.

People get intimidated at the prospect of sewing to alter things, but curtains are one of the easiest items to fix, all you have to do is sew one straight line! And, if you’re just not a sewer, you can always chop and glue a new hemline and no one will really be able to tell the difference!

A solid curtain can also be dyed another color, which I haven’t experimented with yet, but it sounds simple enough, you can sew a decorative boarder of pom poms, tassels, etc. to it, you can applique other fabric on top of it, the possibilities are endless!

Here are a few of the ways I’ve been able to reuse a basic set of 84″ white curtains.

Babes in Deutschland, amazing transforming curtainsThis is a photo from our first house after joining the military, we used the curtains straight out of the box for a simple and elegant look.

Babes in Deutschland, amazing transforming curtainsWe moved again while in Hawaii to a larger house when we found out we were pregnant with our second. We had higher ceilings than in our first home with made using the 84″ curtains as they were a bit troublesome… So I chopped them down to 64″ and was able to reuse them again.

Babes in Deutschland, Cover roller blinds with fabric for an inexpensive punch of color in a roomAnd, what to do with the 20″ of curtain that I chopped off? They became valences for Grayson’s nursery. The roller blinds came standard with our base housing rental, and I did appreciate that they completely blocked out the light. Of course, it’s hard to appreciate the aesthetics of roller blinds though, so I covered them with some fabric tacked down with mod podge (it came off quite easily in case you were wondering 😉 ). Making the valances was easy, I just folded the cut edge over and sewed a new pocket for the rod and done!

Babes in Deutschland, applique color block stripes on to plain curtains to update themAnd here they are again, this time updated with a few color blocked stripes sewn on. Another super easy update, all it takes is a little math to get them evenly spaced and you’re done in an hour. Should I decide to reuse them again, I can always seam rip the stripes off and have a blank canvas. 🙂

I’ve definitely made some poor decorating choices in my life (like when I glued cute guys from magazines all over the walls of my high school bedroom…), but I’d have to say that these basic curtains have been one of smarter choices! Do you have any great decor pieces that are really easy to update?


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