Like, OMG. The piano room actually has curtains now?!

Four long months ago I proclaimed I was going to hang curtains in the piano room.

Sounded simple enough. Hell, I already had the curtains. How long could hanging two curtain panels really take?

I tried them out by hanging them on the wall with some tacks…

They were waiting for Noah’s Flood, so I tested out some gray fabric I picked up at ikea. Yup, this little plan I hatched was going to work out perfectly.

I even added this little curtain project to my list of 24 projects I should have finished by now (project #6) {aka I’m a huge procrastinator}.

So why is it freaking January 2012 and I’m just now mentioning them again?

Because of my life mantra – Nothing I do is as easy as it should be.

Really, there were only two tasks to complete this little should-only-take-an-hour-or-so Project: 1) buy and hang two curtain rods, & 2) attach fabric to the bottom of the curtain panels. NOT THAT HARD, ALLISON. Srsly.

And that’s where things went horribly off track…

First off, the panels were dirty so I carefully read the label and washed them as directed.


When I pulled them out of the dryer, to my horror the toile fabric SHRUNK. Like, a lot.


Oh, this is for real, folks. I can’t even make this crap up.


All FOUR panels shrunk. In a moderate temper tantrum, I threw them on my floor and ignored them for a week or so. But then the curtain bug bit again. There had to be a way to salvage these curtains.


Yup, I went all Freddy Krueger on them and hacked the lining right out.


I had originally planned to use only two curtain panels (though I had 4), but once they shrunk to all hell and then I removed the lining, they seemed really sad and thin, so I ended up using two panels per window (I used all 4 panels instead of just 2).

Well, this pretty much screwed me on the gray fabric. I had enough to cover two panels, not four. No biggie… I headed back to ikea to buy another yard.

{Here comes big issue #2 with hanging these dag-gum curtains}

FAIL. Ikea has been sold out of that gray fabric for four freaking months now!

So now they look like this:


Because of the shrinkage, they are now waiting for an even bigger flood than before. {Maybe I should give up on the ikea fabric and just go get some at the fabric store…}

Well, there has been one semi-good thing to come from all this.

I bought and hung two curtain rods!


I say “semi-good” because, well, I bought these rods and hung them before my DIY curtain rod was even dreamed up…

If I could go back in time, I’d do one long rod on the windows in the piano room (like the DIY one in the dining room) instead of the two shorter rods. {sigh}


Eventually I may swap these out for one long one, but for now, these are paid for and hung, so I’m just gonna go with it.

So, now that I’ve been all Debbie-Downer on the curtain rods, let me tell you all about them!

I found the two curtain rods at Wal-Mart for $14 each.


They are nice rods, but man that $2 conduit pipe rod sure sounds nice right about now…

So anyway, I bought two rods from Wal-Mart…


…and also two packages of rings with clips ($7 a package).


I attached the rings the same way I explained here to create a faux pinch pleat.


That’s pretty much it. After four long months, the rods and curtains are finally hung, but I still can’t check this project off my to-do list because the bottom of the curtains are unfinished.


It’s all good though. This large randomly placed basket with no use hides the unraveling edge pretty well.


On a good day, the piano room and entry way are looking pretty good. Not finished, but better than before. (Ben is in a band, so the piano room is usually littered with at least 2-3 guitars, a large amp, a banjo, and his Russian accordion. Yes, I’m married to a musical wiz. I gave up trying to compete years ago. (I play the piano. But, of course, he does that better too!))


I have exactly two sets of curtains hung in this house (pathetic, I know). And you can see both of them at the same exact time:


I like the way the toile looks in the piano room, but man, I just adore my orange curtains. I could wear them I love them so much. 😉

Posts are always WAY more fun with a good ol’ before and after, so here ya go!



I’d say that room looks pretty smokin’ hot compared to the “before”. Only a few more tweaks until I can check it off the list!

I guess in four more months I’ll update you again when I finally have the gray sewn to the bottom of the toile curtains. lol

And, as always, thanks for reading! Make yourself at home. 🙂

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  1. Could you have made me laugh any harder! My favorite was that the curtains were “waiting for a flood.” Thank you for making my day! I am adding you to my google reader! You rock!

  2. Oh, my, your curtain project sounds like the way most of my projects go, hence the reason there is a dining room table laughing at me in the basement….

  3. Our living room (we call ours the piano room, as well)looks just like yours and I still don’t have curtains over the windows. We’ve only lived in our home 12 years now. LOL! Your curtains look great!

  4. I love the orange curtains, too. I also love the curtains in the music room, too. I don’t have any curtains in my house. Not because I don’t like curtains but because, well, you know. ☺

  5. I found the pillows if you want them too. I don’t think they are toille. Well, the shams are but the smaller pillows you would use for the chairs are white with the black/grey piping and ruffled edge. I’ll email you a picture when I get around to dragging them out. (Just don’t wash them!) 😉

  6. This was laugh out loud funny. My husband thinks I’m crazy. He’s wondering what in the world could be so funny on this blog I’m reading. Thanks for sharing your story. 🙂

  7. I would have never noticed they didn’t reach the ground if you hadn’t pointed it out. The fabric is so pretty, it really makes a difference in the room!

  8. Oh My Word, I have got to stop reading blog post at night in bed (or at least the hysterically funny ones)! I woke poor hubs.

    I feel your pain but you are a trooper for sure. I don’t know if those curtains would have ever made it up on the wall if they were in my hands.

    The room looks completely different, very chic!

  9. It’s coming along nicely though! That fabric is beautiful. I’m about to embark on a few curtain projects myself and I’m so torn on what color/patterns I want to use. I’ll have to remember the shrinkage problem. lol

  10. You crack me up! I literally was groaning when the curtains came out of the dryer! My hats off to you for finding a work around solution. I would have thrown a HUGE temper tantrum and cried as I skulked off into a corner with my dunce hat firmly in place.

    Here’s hoping to get this checked off your list BEFORE Noah’s flood arrives! 🙂

  11. Boy! I would be so frustrated. When those drapes shrunk…ack!!
    They are beautiful though!
    Good luck

  12. Haha…you sound like me! We sold our bedroom set (excluding the mattress and box spring) with plans to buy a new one back in April. We just ordered it the weekend before Christmas. We took a mini-trip back to college and slept on the mattress on the floor for a better part of a year because of my procrastination. Now, if only I could get around the making the curtains for that room…

  13. I love your mantra – nothing I do is as easy as it should be. I think we all feel that way at times. The curtains look lovely!

  14. You always make me laugh! Your curtain experience sounds like what would happen to me!! LOL!! Your 2 sets of curtains are 2 more than I have!!!

  15. Wow, I can so relate to your problems. I think every project I do goes like that. My latest involved making subway art from old mirrors and realizing when I went to hang them that they were all upside down. Seriously though, the room is worth all your hard work. And since you have to work so hard to achieve it, you’ll appreciate it more right? At least that’s what I keep telling myself!

  16. You amuse me greatly. Just sayin’.

    I also have curtains in my living room waiting for a flood, but that’s because I didn’t know enough about curtain lengths before and just threw them on up there. That was a year ago. Whooops…

  17. Oh no what a bummer, at least the chairs cover it up ! Go pick out a new gray and whip them bad boys up, you can do it 🙂

  18. Ter'e Crow Lindsay says:

    Have you thought about painting the frame around the mirror your beloved orange color?????? And then, maybe, popping a little orange around the room?
    Everything looks fabulous………but that piano room is crying for a little touch of orange. (even orange and white?) Especially since you can see the two rooms at the same time.
    I cannot believe the difference you have made in this room. GORGEOUS!!!!!!!!!!! Unbelievable!!!!!!!!
    I’m juuuuust sayinnnnnnnnnnn

  19. What about using turquoise on the bottom or maybe adding it in a ribbon trim between the curtain fabric & extension? It would look nice w the mirror.

  20. I’m so glad things don’t go as planned for you sometimes…and I mean that lovingly!! I wouldn’t crack up nearly as much if everything went well all the time. That’s my kind of sense of humor!!

    Just a thought here. Does IKEA sell your fabric online?

    Happy New Year to all of you out in Blogville!!

  21. I think they turned out great! Awesome job!

  22. that turned out great! it’s crazy how curtains really change things up

  23. Eh…We moved in our house in April and have exactly 0 curtains up…and only one room painted. Don’t feel too bad 🙂

  24. Well you are hiding the flood very nicely! I wonder if hemming tape would work to add fabric to the bottom. You could just do it right there in the room and not even take them down 🙂

  25. Ah SNAP! Girl that freakin sucks! Dont worry…. you really cant see much of the bottoms for now so from the pictures they look lovely! Your room looks beautiful! I love the large family pictures. I wish you luck with your Ikea fabric 😉

  26. Allison, I love your beautiful room! And I love that you are honest about your struggles, we all have them and I find it refreshing and encouraging that you share yours – and with such humor. Your room is getting better looking as it ages, and let’s face it, we all want to hear that, right? 🙂 I adore your orange curtains as well!!! Have a fabulous weekend!

  27. You are not alone. The only curtains up in my house are the ones my friend hung up for me because “she likes hanging curtains”. Yeah, I don’t get it either. I have all the curtains, rods, everything! Oh, well. One of these days, right?

    Oh, and throughout your post whenever you mentioned the curtain shrinkage I kept thinking of George Costanza yelling, “I was in the pool!” 😀

  28. Allison I Loved your room and I think you should paint your piano in black, so it goes with the curtains and the wall frames.

    Love your ideas


  29. love your curtains….but especially love your homemade curtain rods in living room….we are so doing those. with regard to your toile curtains….you could sew a solid pattern on the bottom to bring them to length thanks for all of your wonderful project information!

  30. Such fun. I was looking for ‘how to’ on taking store-bought curtains and making them fit a WIDE window and stumbled on your blog. Entertaining as hell and actually full of help! The shrinking curtain is so annoying. I have a bunch of OLD curtains that I didn’t want to pay a ton to be dry-cleaned so I just threw them in the washing machine. Whoopsie! Curtains shrank some but liner didn’t…looks like someone’s slip is showing. I could salvage them…but they’re still ugly…so I’ll let someone else do that because I’m onto using your ideas and making readymades wider. Thanks for the hilarity.

  31. Love your post! I have just purchased 10m of sheer drapery it comes 9ft height and I have to cut it down to fit 8ft ceilings. Any bright ideas how to cut a straight line accross 10m? I also bought 16m of drapery and lining, to make two panels for a 12ft wide window. All because it was on half price, now what do I do?

  32. I love you! You are so intrepid. I googled custom curtain rods and came to this site. I am going to try your idea! I’ve made curtains for years and haaaate those seams in store-bought rods. I think I will try the metal primer first, as I’ll be drawing the curtains for years (I hope) and suspect the finish would quickly wear off. Please keep those posts coming 🙂

  33. Love your dining room! What’s the paint color name? Thanks!

  34. Love both of the curtains. If you would like the toile curtains longer, simply stitch on a hunk of solid black fabric on the bottom

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