Friday, December 7, 2012

Ballard Designs take 2!

Anyone know what Ballard Designs is? If not you have to check out this link...
To me they are a cross between Pottery Barn & Restoration Hardware. I LOVE all the decorating ideas & tips they have in their catalogs.
I got the idea for this project when my mom referred me to one of their catalogs, about a year & a half ago. I have been looking for curtains for our den ever since we bought our house which will be 7 yrs ago in January. There were already some ugly custom design drapes over the top of 2 huge bay windows in our den. Nothing covers the actual windows...anyone coming to the door can look right in & at night...when the lights are on? that's even worse...PLUS in the winter time, trying to keep that room warm is rediculous.
I needed new curtains.
Which brings me to another problem. This den was added by the previous owners I'm guessing in the...70's. The walls are real pine paneling & as "lovely" as that is actually hard to decorate....for me anyway! Fortunately I married into a family of horse men...
cowboys if you will. Matt has several trophies, belt buckes & horse related photos displayed in this room.
Better in there than my formal living room!
So I've pretty much rolled with mother in law & I have gotten rustic decor to help make it homey & I really do like the rustic, shabby style so I've made it work. Someday we plan to do an addition on our house & redo the den...when that happens, hopefully I can still use my rustic touches, but without the paneling wall. If anyone is gasping at the thought of me detroying this epic, real wood paneling...don't worry. It's going to a new home in the "man cave" better known as the barn. Kinda perfect dontcha think?
SO finally getting to the point & conclustion of my project...NEW curtains that will match a rustic style room, but be elegant enough to look good when we redo the room but something my husband can live with too.
Light bulb! Burlap!!
 I love burlap & had talked to my mom about finding curtains with that look. She found a plain burlap style panel in the ballard designs catalog & directed me there...they were simple, no fuss, no design, just regular burlap looking curtains...which was what I wanted. 
That's when I saw these...
Burlap Crewel Damask Panel
And also this...

Burlap Crewel Damask Panel

Item: FD073
$179.00 - $229.00
That's would cost me over $700 for 4 panels !!!
Believe me, it's true...I "checked out" without actually putting in my credit card info & the tally was like...whoa.
So, new plan... I liked them, had to have them so I tried to find knock offs of these particular curtains. What I found was about 3 bloggers who made them themselves. Each one was a little different, but they made them...sounds simple enough! So I dove right in....
Fast forward to November 2011 (about 6 months after the first initial sighting). I had found a fabric store online with reasonable prices. They sent me swatches so I could compare different burlap that was recommended for window treatments & after all that I finally ordered around 12 yards of my choice. When it came in, it was one huge roll (as I expected) so I knew I would have to mearsure & cut each panel. In those 6 months I had also shopped for a HUGE damask stencil...I found one I loved on didn't look anything like the original design, but I like being different & I'm pretty sure no one will have these same who wants to be original?
Moving on...I bought fabric paint, 3 different kinds of sponges to use while stenciling, & liquid stitch...because I don't own a sewing machine & tend to take the easy way out =) So all in all everything I bought including the fabric, stencil...everything...was under $100!!! Score for being savvy & saving $600 =)
Yeah if anyone remembers...I also happened to be
 8 1/2 months pregnant in November 2011!
I had this nesting thing going on where I thought it would be easy to measure a huge roll of fabric, cut it & spend hours on my hands & knees...painting. I was going to get this done by the time the baby was born...about 2 weeks away. YEAH RIGHT...that didn't happen. Huge & swollen meant once I got down on my hands & knees to work...I don't think even Matt could get me back up.
Hence, the LONGEST lasting project of all time!!
The roll of burlap sat in a corner for a total of 6 months...that's right. Greyson was about 4 months old when I actually took it out of the plastic. We had some friends visit & that's the only reason things got rolling again in the first bff Jodi & I went shopping for curtain rods & her husband ended up taking the old custom drapes down & hauled them off while Matt was at work. Then my mom came to visit a couple weeks later & helped me with the main task...& that also included keeping Greyson occupied because at that time, the child never napped & it was impossible to get anything done at one time...
 We used the open hallway as our "workspace"
Then we "hemmed" the bottom & top for the curtain rods to fit through by ironing the rough edges under & using liquid stitch to secure everything. Worked like a charm...we hung them over the banister upstairs to dry...& since it takes about 24 hours for it to be good & dry...I left them there for another 3 months just to make sure...-_-
FINALLY when I got around to it again...I measured a panel for the placement of my stencil. Once that was done I was able to start the painting process. I worked in my basement & laid plastic down so that the bleed through wouldn't mess up the floor...& if any missed the's the basement so no harm done. It only took me about an hour or so to finish one panel start to finish.
I loved the way it was turning out!! Just 3 more panels to go!
Well...being the procrastonator I am, it took me another 3 months to get a 2nd panel done & by this time it was the end of November 2012. JUST this week I finished the last 2 panels (within 2 days)& Matt hung the curtain rods. I can finally CHECK this project off my list!!! 
Believe does not take this was SUPER easy & could probably be done in a few days if you have the work space & no distractions. I had a lot of distracions...not much motivation during the summer & a fast growing baby that finds the most interesting things to get into! I finally worked on it during his naps & got the last 2 knocked out pretty quick. Also, since it's winter again & the evenings turn cold, I wanted something to help keep the chill out near the windows.

Matt wasn't a huge fan of the way they just "hung" I created some tiebacks with some twine I had on hand. I plan to make a small stitch in the back to keep the twine attached so they can easily be untied to close at night if we want to...& retied to "open" them to let the sun in. So far, we have left them tied & I like the look.

 Just a little different for drapes with THESE windows, but I made them with the new room in mind. I would love to put them in front of some french doors leading out to a deck or some floor length windows. I like the contrast using rustic fabric, but dressing them up with the stencil. They will be easy to match whatever wall color we choose to someday do the new room overall, I am happy with them!
If you ever plan to make curtains of this sort...make sure it doesn't take you over a year to execute. That's my advice!


  1. So creative! I understand the time element! Been there....done that....on too many projects! lol!

  2. I love them Megan!! Your mom sent me a pic a longggg time ago so it is nice to see them all done.

    LOVED this part :

    "Worked like a charm...we hung them over the banister upstairs to dry...& since it takes about 24 hours for it to be good & dry...I left them there for another 3 months just to make sure"...

    so funny, but isn't that the way it goes!!


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