October 22, 2011

WWTGS (aka: What Would Tim Gunn Say?)

Last weekend, I decided to tackle my plain-Jane curtains. So while Denny was doing this,

I was turning the lower living room curtains into something slightly more impressive than they were. Which was this:

As I said before, I had this idea of putting some kind of ribbon border along the edge and fancifying it up (like that word?—yeah, I just thought of it now). So I went to Joann’s and came home with several different spools of ribbon, ranging from an extra-wide, white “lattice” pattern to thin, old-fashioned, pale-teal ribbon with a loop border. In the end, though, I decided on a ½” bold teal. It contrasted nicely with the color of the curtains and wasn’t too…quaint? Is that the word I’m looking for? I suppose. The ½” teal was the only one that didn’t look too countrified (a word which I decidedly did not make up but which fits the situation perfectly). So, on it went!

I began by laying out my curtains on the floor in front of the TV with You’ve Got Mail playing (is anyone surprised?) and used some double-sided “Peel’n’Stick” to start laying down the ribbon along the seam at the bottom. I simply took the tape, cut it in half, and pressed it along the ribbon, being careful not to get any outside the edges. However, once I got it finished with the first row, I realized that it needed a little something more, so I got out the 2” painters tape left over from the cabinets and used it to create an even spacer along the entire first ribbon.

The next step is exactly like the first step, except…well, I used double-sided Scotch tape on the ribbon. This is due to the fact that I had to cut the other stuff with scissors to get it to the right width (it was about a ¼” too wide) and therefore gummed up two sets of scissors by the end of the first curtain. However, for the second curtain, I was a little more innovative. Instead of using double-sided tape or trying to cut the “Peel’n’Stick” adhesive with scissors, I got out a box cutter and cut it directly on the roll to the size I wanted. Easy-peasy.

Next, I continued to carefully lay out the ribbon in straight lines with the Peel’n’Stick (which I recommend over the Scotch tape), then finished off the rows neatly. To make it look less like…well, taped-on ribbon, I made sure to line up the edges of the ribbon with the hem lines and also made sure the edges were carefully cut and not frayed. Now that I think of it, I should go back and add some non-fray glue to the ends…

And there you have it! A chic, simple addition to plain-Jane curtains! Of course, I didn’t stop there, though. After hearing about Mom’s new curtains, which have tab backs and thereby a nice pleated look, I decided to create a similar effect on my own curtains. I decided to be resourceful (aka: cheap) and use the extra Peel’n’Stick and ribbon to create hanging tabs on the back of the curtains (thanks for the inspiration, Mummy!).

Again, out came the blue painters tape (I love that it gives me a consistent and removable guideline). Next, I Peel’n’Stick-ed a bunch of four inch cuts of ribbon along the edge of the tape, using a piece of cardboard as a space measure.

I then laid out my curtain rod along the ribbon tabs and used more “permanent” P’n’S to attach the other end of the ribbon (those quotations are sarcastic by the way—can you see where this is going?).

Simple, right? But right away, there were problems, because although the top looked mighty spiffy…

…the hem was just a wee bit shorter than I liked.

And it got worse, because by the end of Sunday night, the whole thing looked like this:

Yeah, “permanent,” my butt. Oh, well. I guess that’s what you get for going the lazy route and trying to tape your curtains up. So, now they look like this:

And, while that is still an improvement over the ribbon-less curtains of a few weeks ago, I just can’t get the memory of those nice pleats out of my mind. Sewing isn’t an option (because I don’t know how to sew them on in such a way that the seams won’t show through the front side) and it’s clear that adhesive simply won’t do the trick. Oh, well. I guess that leaves me two options: either get over it, or get my Project-Runway on and “Make it work.” Which leaves me to wonder, what would Tim say about the tape fiasco? No doubt he’d give me the chin-holding-elbow-propped-stare-down, then shake his head in disappointment. I can just see it now…(and you can, too, right around second 22 of this clip!)


  1. Lol. Oh Tim. Gotta love him. As for you, young lady, get out the IRON and use some heat fused tape! But that means you would have to lower the curtain rod which would be a pain in da azz.

  2. Wait. I just looked at the picture again. Set the tabs higher up on the curtain. That would work better.

  3. I love that you just used double sided tape. That is laziness of my magnitude. Good work, friend!

  4. @Kaydeemcdee - The reason I set them so low in the first place was because I was afraid that if I mounted both ends of each tab on the pocket, it would pooch out. Does that make sense? It does in my head, somehow.

    @Amanda - Double-sided tape is my secret weapon. I use it on everything. Including on my...ahem, cleavage during our senior prom. You know, to keep my dress from gaping open and flashing the whole school. Only I accidentally used permanent double-sided tape. Which, in case you were wondering, I decidedly do NOT recommend.