Some people who went for a pattern like this on the daybed might go for something neutral and simple for the windows (like breezy white curtains). Others might pluck one of the colors from the blanket and go for that (bold red cotton panels, taupey-gray velvet ones, etc). We might have been tempted to go with something more neutral and safe if the room wasn’t meant for our color loving kiddo (so the bedding could “be the star”) but since it’s Clara’s new space, and we love kid zones with a few layered patterns and colors, we decided to just go to our favorite local fabric outlet (U-Fab here in Richmond) and see what grabbed us. And by us I mean Clara. It’s her room, after all…
Like a moth to a flame, this happened:
She had some fun playing with a few crazier options (a bright orange one with large coral on it, a dark purple plaid, etc) but this one was definitely something she pointed at a few times – and we thought it actually could work – especially since it has navy and white in it, which are two of the colors we’ve mentioned wanting to add to balance all the pink & red.
In short: Clara’s clearly a decorating genius. Just kidding. The truth is that there are probably a ton of fabric options that could layer nicely into a kids room when it comes to curtains (as long as they’re not too “alpha” they’d fall in line behind the bedding and a bright rug without totally disappearing). But we did like that there was a very very very subtle chevron-ish pattern going on (the blurry linear edges actually reminded us a lot of her daybed blanket). And the price wasn’t too scary…
… especially with a store-wide 20% off sale that was being offered on top of that discounted price. So in the end we got just a smidge over ten yards to make four extra long panels for the room, which each broke down to around $25 per panel after the sale.
When we got home and tucked Clara in for a nap, I rolled out my bounty and started cutting my four panels from the roll (because let’s be honest she’d yank this every which way while I was trying to measure and cut if I tried to do this while she was awake).
The simplest way for me to measure for panels is just to see how long I want the finished curtain panels to be (ex: 89″ high) and then add two extra inches to the length of each panel to account for the hems on each end that I’ll add. So each of the four panels that I cut was 91″ long and then was hemmed to a finished size of 89″, which might not sound that long but I love hanging my curtains on a rod with rod clips, so those tend to add a little length too. That way the rod can be mounted just a few inches below the ceiling like I like it (we left some extra room for crown molding which we’ll be adding in here down the line). Oh and I use the full width of the bolt for the curtain’s width, which means less cutting, and they’re as thick and full as possible that way.
I’m a fan of using one panel as a template for the others. So once I measured out and cut the first panel, I just placed it on top of the fabric under it and made three more of them in exactly the same size for a grand total of four soon-to-be curtains.
Then I used my trusty hem-tape method, detailed here and here. For over half a decade I’ve used the heavy duty Heat N Bond stuff, and it has not only held up amazingly but it can even be washed, so I’m definitely a fan. I’ve also sewed curtains and actually think the hem-tape ones look crisper and straighter since keeping my stitching straight isn’t as easy as following hem tape with an iron for a nice straight hem. Like so:
Oh and it always helps to wash your fabric first (before cutting and hemming it) so it’s all pre-shrunk!
As for the curtain rods and ring clips, we actually had them already (remember we had hung them back here?), we just removed them to paint the room so we could re-hang them at the height of our freshly made curtains. So here’s John’s tricky little tape move for hanging the rods (he folds some painters tape under the hole he’s making so it sticks out like a ledge and catches the drill-crumbs).
For the detail loving folks, we used these plastic anchors (we like to make sure our rods are held in with more than just a few screws in case a kid hangs on the curtains – which we’ve found results in just the fabric slipping out of the ring-clip’s “mouth” instead of the whole rod banging down on them).
Bada bing, bada boom. Clara done good with her curtain choice, we think. They sort of look black and white in these pics, but they’re really navy in person, and we plan to bring more navy into the room in a bunch of other ways (picture some navy picture frames on the wall, a navy pillow or two on the daybed, maybe even a navy light fixture or ottoman in the middle of the rug). That will “link” the curtains to the rug and the daybed a bit more, so they won’t look as random. Should be fun to inch towards a more finished look. You know how impatient I am…
While the room keeps slowly evolving, I’m soaking up the little things. Like the fact that the curtains almost touch the floor but don’t (it keeps them cleaner and helps them hang in a fuller, loopier way). Oh and here’s one more hanging tip: clip the rod rings to the rod and to the fabric and have someone hold them up at different heights until you like the way they hang and then mark the wall and hang them at that height. That way they won’t be dorky short or too long. It definitely beats trying to guess the length of the curtains while hanging a bare rod (if the actual curtains are on the rod they can help you pin down the perfect height).
Oh man, it still feels pretty empty in here (and that old fan practically pokes John in the eye every time we’re in there) but we can actually picture more things being layered in now. Like our kids table and maybe an ottoman to break up all the pink in the rug plus a ton of playful art to add balance. Here’s the ol’ to do list:
paint the room(more on that here) cut down our old den side table to make a play table(more on that here) bring in a dresser (we’d love to find something secondhand)(more on that here)
make/hange some curtains
add a rug(more on that here)
- hang art on the walls along with a few other 3D objects that we have in mind (how’s that for cryptic?)
- install a new light fixture
- refinish or paint Clara’s new dresser (which we got here)
- paint the chairs a bright happy color to go with Clara’s play table
- turn the junked up closet into an actual clothes closet/reading nook
- add crown molding (along with tackling the other un-crown-molding-ed bedrooms on this side of the house)
- add accessories like more pillows, storage bins for toys, etc
Sounds like a good time to me. I know, I’m crazy. Kids rooms are so much fun though! What have you guys been up to? Anyone else making curtains or letting their kids help with fabric or paint choices? Do you use the hook-the-curtains-to-the-rod-and-then-hang-the-rod trick too? It took us a few years to figure that out, but it seems to be a lot more exact that trying to measure curtain length and account for the height of the ring hook and the rod itself (we used to be off by an inch or two after all that calculating and then we’d have to re-hang them again to fix our mistake). Oh well, live and learn!
Psst- The latest roundup of Clara Conversations are up on Young House Life, and let’s just say there are a few gems – at least according to us, her obsessed parents.
Anele @ Success Along the Weigh says
She’s no doubt going to have a snazzy room when all is said and done!
Kristen | Popcorn on the Stove says
Those curtains and blue pillows definitely help balance out the room. Clara did a great job picking out a fabric!
Julia @ Chris Loves Julia says
She’s a decorating genius. Greta is currently working on a painting for her big girl room and she just keeps adding to it. It’s awesome. :)
Nice job! It really pickes up the theme from the daybed .
Crystal @ 29 Rue House says
I love the fabric – they remind me of some $70 panels at West Elm that I liked! I want a U-Fab! Clara really does have a good eye!
P.S. We finally got our YHL Glass Bubble Pendant up! I love it!!
Oooh so nice!!! I love the subtle pattern, its definitely a compromise between a solid and a print.
[email protected] says
I wasn’t sure at first when you showed the fabric but I really really like them in the room! Way to go Clara. Also, Heat N Bond for the win. I don’t know how to sew so it was the only way I could make our curtains…
Megan @ Rappsody in Rooms says
Ooo I love that fabric. I couldn’t really tell what it looked like on the roll, but I am glad Clara was consistent. They look great. A nice subtle pattern with a pop of color!
Well done Clara, it’s a great choice!
Has she outgrown the need for black out lining or will you add that later?
I’m in the midst of making lined curtains for my brother (you know the ones with ruffle tape at the top?) and there are a few bits that would definitely be easier and look just as good with hem tape! But they don’t know how long they’ll be in their current house and so I like the fact that doing them with needle and thread means they can always let them down later (there’s about 10 inches all folded up in the hem – curtain dimensions be crazy!)
I think we might add that later. There are also window shades behind the blinds, so they might help without needing a liner.
WOW!! At first I was a tiny bit skeptical..but after seeing them hung up I’m in LOVE!!
Ps. Where did you guys get that daybed?! I’m fawning over it for my 3 year old.
It’s from West Elm a while back.
Jennifer A says
I found this cute pillow on Pinterest (originally Joss and Main) that reminded me of this room!!! Unfortunately the event is closed. But, here is the link:
It’s got pink and navy and kinda looks like the bedding.
So cute! I love it.
Are you going to add black-out liner to these curtains as well? I love that pattern.
We’re not sure if she’ll need it (there are also blinds behind the curtains that we can close) but we can always add it later.
[email protected] says
I love the curtains…I am hoping to see more kid like playful adds. Being so young, I know my girls love all their girly flowers and princess, but done with taste!
Love that fabric! And actually, to me, the panels look more grey, picking up what looks like grey in the blanket.
BTW, I’m a professional drapery workroom owner, but for my own house, I sometimes use fusible web for my panels. Shhhh, don’t tell anyone!
Haha, I LOVE IT!
jackie b says
Looks fab! Not gonna lie though, I was hoping that you would add the painted curtains from your book. I love love em!
I love it! Good choice, Clara! It’s really looking fun in there!
So Sherry, do you just clip those ring clips exposed, right on the top of the fabric? It doesn’t look like a pinch-from-behind method (wait that sounds wrong) but its hard to tell!
I’ve been hesitant to do that, fearing it would look like, “Oh look! Ring clips!” But I don’t like the pinched look.
Yup, I just clip them at even increments across the top seam.
Robin @ our semi organic life says
Can’t wait to see what the 3D things are!
Wendy @ New Moms Talk says
Children are brilliant! It’s amazing how they “know” when others may not see it or understand fully at first.
We attempted framed initials made of flower photos for Susanna’s room, but were not successful in a finished way-
We did, however, have more success making homemade granola! Purely delicious!
Aw that’s sweet!
Nice choice, Clara! That girl’s got style! Maybe she could help make some decorating choices around our house! If I try to enlist my 3 year old daughter’s help then she will choose something purple every time…possibly my least favorite color!
Gorgeous! You’ve inspired me to repaint my bedroom a light, fresh gray. This “all thumbs” seamstress may even try DIY curtains next! Keep it up, guys. :)
Love how Clara’s room is evolving! She is so lucky to have such awesome parents! I have read ALL of your No Sew curtain tutorials and was wondering if you fold, hem-tape, and iron the edges twice (once for the naked edge and the once more for the crisp edge)? Thanks so much!
Sometimes I do that for a super clean look if I have extra yardage. This time I just did it once since the fabric didn’t fray a lot and looked nice and clean.
Gabriella @ Our Life In Action says
I love them. They flow perfectly with the room not to mention the price (win win).
My little boy’s room is a deep purple (it is his superhero/batman room) – I definately need to get some bright coloured curtains to brighten up the room.
Gabriella @ Our Life In Action says
Love them – they flow perfectly…not too overpowering and the price is a bonus. I agree with Crystal – Clara has a good eye. ;-)
Kelsey // It Takes Two says
Admittedly I haven’t been too sure about this room so far, but the curtains really pull it together! Are you planning on changing the ceiling fan for a different light fixture?
Oh yes, that’s in our to-do list on the bottom of this post :)
Kelsey // It Takes Two says
Oops, that’s what I get for paying more attention to the pictures than the text :P
Haha, no worries!
Love the room! It already looks gorgeous and seems so effortless! I struggle HARD to make things look effortless. Shoot, I’m still trying to find an accent color to go with a brown couch and yellow throw pillows. And what color do I paint? Argh!
You can do anything! Something deep like navy would be fun or something softer like blue-gray or soft celery would be pretty too!
Rachel @ Heroth Home says
I think Clara is in fact a decorating genius! I love that you guys put her in charge!
I think the curtains look great!
I tried the “hold the curtains up on the rod” thing for our nursery and will ended up with high-water curtains. Opps! It’s not super noticable, so I’m just ignoring it. Hopfully this baby finally comes soon so that the room will really be complete! (I’m five days overdue, still patiently waiting.)
Rebecca @ the lil house that could says
I used the good old clips for my son’s curtains and what I did was I hemmed the top only, hung them, then pinned the bottom at the length I wanted and hemmed them after. I was 9 months pregnant at the time, so it was way easier than playing with the rod height :)
[email protected] Colonial says
Love that fabric! And I’m glad to hear that you prefer the way the no-sew curtains turn out over sewed ones….that will keep me from ever feeling like I should try sewing them ;)
Love the curtain panels! Curious if you will add anything to block out daylight behind the panels for naps/sleep ins? I have to do something similar in my bedroom so I’m curious what you will use. Thanks!
Meghan, UK says
These completely won me over – they’re so gorgeous next to the rug, blanket and cushions! Having seen you use the heat n’ bond so many times I’m now rather tempted to attempt making my own curtains for our little one (due July!) Thanks for the continued inspiration you guys :) x
Aw thanks Meghan!
Looking good. Have you thought to reprint the ceiling fan blades? Perhaps with a navy blue chevron?
Oh that fan isn’t staying! If you check out our to-do list at the bottom of the post we have a new light fixture on the agenda!
I like the idea of using clips to attached the fabric, rather than threading the fabric onto the curtain rods… Much better for a child! I remember swinging on my bedroom curtains when I was about Clara’s age… and pulling the entire curtain and curtain rod down..
mary @ B&G JOURNALS says
wow, the curtains make such a huge difference in making that space look more “finished”—and you are slowly convincing me of the miracles of that fabric tape…
Wahoo! Curtains are the unsung hero of decorating I think. Everyone talks about how paint changes a room, but I think curtains have equal power. Ha!
Heather W says
I completely agree Sherry… Curtains and/or a good rug.
Wow y’all! I’m not sure I would’ve paired those curtains with the rest of the room, but you’re so right – they work beautifully together! Great choice, Clara :).
They look great! Sherry, did you also hem the long sides of each panel? Is that necessary?
Oh yes, I hem all four sides with the iron-on hem tape.
Nicole @ Liberty Belles says
I’m not the biggest pink fan, but with those curtains the room is so much more balanced. They work SO well with all the other colors and patterns…well done Clara!
Katie @ Suburban Fervor says
I want those for my room! Clara has fantastic taste. The pattern gives the room an extra textury layer.
hey guys, quick question for you (or anyone else who might know) – while I love the idea of far & away curtains, I have electric baseboard heat which sticks out from the wall… so curtains can be a fire hazard. I hate how short curtains look, but are there are other options besides blinds or roman shades?
I would totally do pretty fabric roman shades. You can go with a fun pattern or color so they look special.
Have you ever used the Heat N Bond on sheer fabrics? I’ve a fabric picked that I want to do for my mother-in-law but would like to avoid sewing so it doesn’t pull.
I haven’t. Has anyone tried it with info for Mary?
I have, and it’s difficult because the iron sort of pulls on the fabric against the tape and it’s all so thin. Sort of hard to describe. I found it was best to just press the iron on one spot and hold it, then lift straight up and move to the next spot. Took forever, but it worked.
I used Ikea’s hem tape on sheer panels once and it wasn’t great. You could clearly see the solid line of tape at the bottom of each panel because the fabric was too sheer to hide them. I’ve never used Heat N Bond, though, so maybe it’s more sheer (Ikea’s hem tape was sort of gauzy, but still solid enough to show).
Kelli from LittleCottageOfMine says
Well done! Clara has excellent taste! I love that she’s going bold, she’s not playin around!
Our house is only 850 sq. feet so Lily’s room is itty bitty. We’re working on building her bed up so she can play under it. I wish I could have it done to submit to creating with the stars, it would be awesome to pair up with you!
Katy @ The Non-Consumer Advocate says
Looks great. A nice neutral pattern for Clara.
I started using the hem tape method last year when my mother was out of the state and had *sob* taken her sewing machine with her. I too love the crisp way that curtains hang.
Clara must be the most excited girl on the block to see her big girl room coming together.
Hoping to get the name/ model of the curtain rods you used. Where did you get them?
Also , did not have luck finding the post which mentions the red color used to paint the xmas deers. Please, please…. Can You send me and email with both these infos?
Thanks a lot
They’re from Target. We love them and they’re so affordable (ring hooks are from there too, they’re all in the oil-rubbed bronze finish if that helps you find them).
Sarah E. says
I totally wasn’t sure of it just seeing the fabric (just couldn’t picture it with the rest of the room) but I LOVE what it adds! It looks amazing!
I have a question if you get a chance. We have 2 windows in one room (a living area) that are next to each other but with 24-25 inches of wall in between. Would you suggest one long curtain rod and 3 panels or 2 separate rods and 4 panels? I can’t tell if the space is too big to do 3. And I do like to widen the look of my windows so I don’t know if the panels (with 4) would be too close or if it would just help “shorten” the wall space between. Any thoughts for me?
Oh yes, I’d do one long rod with three panels!
It looks awesome!!! I think I need you to design my (soon-to-be) 2 year old’s big boy room, because at the moment I have zero ideas – eek! :)
Ooh sounds fun!
Christina @ Homemade Ocean says
Ohhhhh I love them, but you wanna know what I love even more?
That you let HER pick them out…you guys are the best parents ever!!!
Jess @ Little House. Big Heart. says
How does the hem tape stand up to washings? With all the fur flying around the Little House (literally and figuratively) our curtains get a once-quarterly washing, so I sew everything.
Can’t wait to see the rest of the room come together!
We’ve washed it a few times (we’re not washing them every month or anything, maybe once every 6 months to a year?) and it all still looks great and has a secure hold. Of course you have to follow their washing instructions (save the hem tape to consult the back label for washings). Hope it helps!
I am curious what kind of mattress you are using on the day bed.
It’s just an old twin mattress (not organic, but since it’s so old we don’t think it’s off-gasing much – and we’ll add an organic mattress pad). Hope it helps!
Clara did an excellent job. The curtains look perfect. Love the room so far!
Jen @ Domesticated Nomad says
Hi, guys. I know you are in the middle of things, so it just might not make sense yet. ;) But I am super curious about the placement of Clara’s bed. Each time you show pictures, it just looks awkward. Maybe that’s just because it’s pictures and not in person? I think the closet is on the left, but why the space on the right? Some furniture or storage planned for there? It seems like you have some tricky window placement to deal with in that room. (I have that problem with my boys’ room.) Anyways. I’m sure you have all the time in the world,;) but if there is any chance to see a floor plan, that might help us to see the vision.
We just centered it on that back wall (there’s a dresser centered on the wall across from it, so in person there’s nice balance that way). Once the room fills in I’m sure it’ll make more sense for ya! We definitely have a plan for making that off-centered window look a lot less wonky down the line :)