2 hacks: Ikea Bygel rails as curtain rods & bed sheets into curtains

I can finally check another item off my should-have-done-this-a-year-ago to-do list. My son’s curtains have been sitting in his closet since we moved in almost 2 years ago. Why has it taken me so long to hang them? Because I am the Master Procrastinator.

But they are hung and looking fly if I do say so myself. I hung them the same way I hung them in our previous house – using two Bygel Rails from good ol’ Ikea. They come in two sizes. For the curtains I purchased the shorter ones.

These rails are made for the kitchen to hold accessories on. Ikea also suggests using them as a towel rail or to hold pot lids on. I like to “hack” products from Ikea and use them in unconventional ways, so I used these as curtain rods!

In our last house I had two extra ones just sitting in my stash and it dawned on me that I could totally use them as curtain rods.

They aren’t functional rods where you can drag the curtains across your windows, but they do work great if you want decorative curtains. I left the old rails at the previous house so I had to purchase new ones for this project. They are super cheap though; only $2.99 each.

Here is the window before:

And the poor wrinkled curtains. I actually made them using twin sized bed sheets and added some orange grosgrain ribbon down the edge.

After ironing, and ironing, and more ironing it was finally time to hang them! I figured out where I wanted the rails hung, threaded the curtains onto the rails, and attached them with some wall anchors. To easily hang the rails I used a level on the rail and just marked where the screw holes were. So much easier than math.

Our ceilings are a foot lower in the bedrooms in our current house than in our previous house. Because of this, I realized they would need to be hemmed. I decided to hang them first and then hem them for the most accurate length possible.

I just set up a sewing machine on a little table and hemmed them right there! It was so easy. I started by pinning them exactly where I wanted them hemmed and then just sewed them at the appropriate length.

Now Travis has pretty curtains hung high and wide to accentuate his window and make it look bigger. I obviously need to scooch the big orange star over now that the curtains are overlapping it.

His room will come together eventually. I pretty much put all rooms on hold while renovating the kitchen and dining room. Now I’m slowly starting to make more progress in the kids’ bedrooms. I’d like to just get them totally done once and for all so I can stop tinkering in there and start working on other spaces that need my attention. I would really like to get him a full-sized bedroom set, so we are just kind of in a holding pattern until I decide which set I want and have enough cash saved to purchase it.

Here’s a fun side-by-side. Curtains just make such a huge difference!



Capiz chandelier in the dining room

Now that the dust has settled from all the renovating, I’ve finally installed a new light fixture in the dining room. Can I get a holla?!

Let’s start with a good ol’ “before” picture. It just makes the final reveal that much more shocking and fun, am I right?! Be prepared to bleach your eyeballs.

Okay, okay, it wasn’t that bad. In hindsight I can say I liked the curtains (my ones from the previous house that I do plan to hang again soon). The floor wasn’t bad (we replaced it so all the floor would match). Um, what else? Nope, that is all. I’m not a fan of anything else in there.

Let’s just zoom in on that awesomesauce light fixture.

Ah, there it is. Now, I don’t think it is particularly nice to talk crap about stuff that came with this house, or my dislike for paint color choices or anything, especially knowing there is a pretty good chance the previous owners read this blog. (I have really matured over the last 5 years, haven’t I?!) We have mutual friends (I learned this by looking them up on facebook before we bought the house) so I’m sure they know about the blog and maybe even follow along. So what I will say is one of the many awesome things that makes this planet so great is that there is so much diversity and differences of opinion. My personal taste is very different from the previous owners, and I personally am not a fan of this light fixture. Therefore, I donated it to Habitat for Humanity and replaced it with a new one.

Check out our new light fixture!

Yup, it’s the same exact fixture that I installed at my old house. I’m boring, I know. Before you get your stink eye on me too hard, I used this fixture because I love it and it was free. Way back in 2011 when I hung this West Elm Capiz Chandelier at our old house, West Elm screwed up and gave me a used light kit (the shell shade was still brand new). They mailed me another entire new one (light kit and shell shade), and told me to just toss out the old one or donate it because it wasn’t worth it to them for me to ship it back. Well, I saved it. And it has sat in my garage for 4 years. And because I LOVE IT SO MUCH, I decided to just hang it again in the new house (the buyers of our last house loved it too and specifically requested I leave it when we moved – good thing I had a 2nd back-up one!).

To install the new/used light kit, I had to clean it up (it was really dirty and used), and then fix the mangled wires that came with it.

I cut the wires and then used some additional wire I had on hand and extended it by about a foot. (Not pictured)

Taking the little wrappers off the shell shade is really tedious. You have to be very careful to not break the shells or the fishing line holding each shell to the shade. It does sound like a pretty wind chime while you are working on it though which is relaxing.

The light takes three bulbs so it is very bright which I like. The more light the better! I may install some type of dimmer eventually for mood lighting in the evening.

Even more than four years later, I still love this light fixture. I was so mad when West Elm screwed up on my initial purchase, but now, years later, I’m glad they did. lol. Isn’t it pretty?

Then and now!



A mini master makeover (bedding & curtains in the master bedroom)

Do you ever go through phases with decorating or crafting or whatever? It’s like I get tunnel vision or something. I’ll get on a DIY tangent, or a crafting tangent, or a decorating tangent. Lately I’ve been on a curtains tangent. And a sprucing-up-the-place tangent. I haven’t done many huge DIY projects or crafting lately. I’ve been focusing on just tying up loose ends and sprucing up the place so it feels more cohesive and livable.

I just blew through a master bedroom tangent, in part thanks to my blogging-turned-in-real-life friend Jenn. Jenn is literally the bomb dot com. She texted me a few weeks ago and said she bought a Nate Berkus king sized comforter and shams and didn’t like how they looked in her room and wanted to know if I wanted them.

Um, hello? Seriously, this chick is just so awesome. Love her! So of course I said, “hellz ya!”

I’ve been sporting an 11 year old comforter (don’t tell anyone I said that, mmkay?) and in addition to needing a new comforter, this one is Nate-freaking-Berkus so of course I want it.

Now, back in 2011 I found a fab white duvet from Target for supeh cheap and I blogged about it. Turns out it didn’t really fit the bed very well, so I didn’t keep it for long, but just in case you have been reading for that long and have the worlds best memory, I thought I’d throw that in. Here was my laughable “after” picture with the new duvet.

Yikes. With a double ikes. Seriously. I was going to say my room had seen better days, but unfortunately this was actually an improvement. My poor room is the most neglected in the house. But not anymore! I’m no where near finished at.all. but the bedding did light a fire under me to purchase some sheets that match, grab a few king-sized pillows, and pick up those jumbo shag pillows from the ol’ costco. I also even added some new curtains.

So, let’s talk about the curtains for a minute. Why did I wait so long to put up curtains? Curtains can be inexpensive and will spruce up a room quicker than anything. I should have done this the day we moved in, not three years later. Eye roll.

I found some pretty white nubby curtains from ikea

…and paired them with two sets of my famous (or are they infamous? wink) DIY curtain rods that I spray painted silver. All in all? Less than thirty bucks. Wham bam thank you ma’am.

And just because I cleaned the heck out of this room and it might be the only time that it will ever be this clean, here’s the rest of the room. It’s coming along. Baby steps, people.

See those dressers? I inherited them from my late grandparents who purchased them in the 1950s. Heirloom, baby. Except back in 2002 when I had no clue what I was doing, I stripped and re-stained them. And they look terrible. They are officially on the to-do list. I can’t justify painting some antique solid-wood mid century furniture though so they will be getting stripped and re-stained again.

Finally I’m no longer embarrassed to leave my door open when we have company over. And I’m still shocked at how much of a difference some curtains, new bedding, and a better furniture arrangement can make in a room.

What’s more fun than an old fashioned before and after comparison? Um, nothing.

And on a side note, last weekend I attended the SNAP blog conference. It was so fun, but for all you non-blogger readers out there who really could care less about reading a blog conference recap post, I’m saving you the torture by not posting one. You are welcome. If you really want to see some pictures from my weekend getaway with my blogging friends, where we played way more than we actually learned, you can visit my instagram feed.

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