Sunday, October 24, 2010

chevron curtain DIY


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this project, which i've been plotting and planning for a while, almost was a big, fat, fail. i'd wanted some giant-chevron curtains in our living room for a while. i'd done the shower curtain curtains a few months ago, but for some reason they weren't perfect in this space, to me. i think it was the navy blue and the flowers...something about them was too feminine. i still have them, and i'm sure i'll use them again, eventually, but all i could think about recently was the chevron idea. there is no fabric like this to be found online, so i figured i'd have to do it myself.

i wanted to use fabric dye to make the black zig-zags (so that my curtains wouldn't be "crunchy"), and after a little research and debating in my head, decided to try spray-on fabric dye. this is the brand i used. i got it at hobby lobby. unfortunately, it was a bad decision, as the spray was super-drippy, and kept getting clogged, therefore dripping on my curtains! i also had a ton of overspray, which was really obvious once i pulled the tape from my curtains. so sad. this is what my first attempt looked like:

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see the overspray and the drips? also, the color really wasn't black, but more of an opaque gray. overall, i was really unhappy with the result of that spray! (the bottles seemed like they were only half-full, too, which is not cool, since the bottles are $10 each!) anyone ever had good experiences with fabric spray dye?

anyway, i did some more calculating in my head, and decided to try again today with a new technique. i used just regular ol' wall paint, instead of the dye, and it worked fine. i had crisp lines, once i removed the tape, and the curtains aren't as "crunchy" as i thought they would be (from the paint).

here's how i did it:

i used this little chart from my first experience as a guideline for the numbers involved. it made it much easier to just go back to a chart everytime i needed a calculation, rather than having to memorize or re-measure.
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i measured down 6 inches (just because that's where i decided i wanted my first zig-zag to start) and made a tiny dot:
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then, i did the same thing with the "point" of the pattern - this time, it was 20.5 inches down from the top. then back to 6 inches on the next zig-zag, then over 20.5, and so on.

i bought thick, 2-inch tape so that incase i oversprayed or over-rolled, i'd have a little wiggle room. i taped off the lines. i always use a 5-in-1 to help with breaking the tape off, once i'm ready to tear it. it's much easier to hold it down to whatever line you want, then pull the tape off from there. you can get really sharp lines without having to use a razor.

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kept doing it, according to my plan. this was the first, "mess up" curtain...but you can still get an idea of the taping process. i used the folds of the curtain for my lines to follow! on the second curtain, i taped off lines for the centers (i just found the center of the curtain to begin with, then divided the two halves into halves. confusing? sorry.). either way worked nicely.

here's the second curtain with all of the tape. you can see what i mean by having to find lines down the center (except the very center line, which i just found a crease in the fabric to follow). i used my 5-in-1 to pull the tape off of those center areas.
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after that, i simply rolled my black paint on with a small foam roller. easy peasy! i wish i hadn't have even bought that fabric dye!

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and, the final result again:
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this photo is from last night, so it's dark outside! its super rainy here in atlanta today, so no bright, pretty, sun-lit photos for you guys, sorry. happy monday.





71 comments:

  1. Sounds you are having the same weather as here, I though the house would wash away last night with all the rain! These look fantastic, the large graphic lines are great! I think I would have given up after the first try...Janell

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  2. They turned out amazing! I made some chevron curtains using fabric paint...and mine didn't turn out so well. I never have hung them because when the light shines through, its all splotchy. Maybe I should have just used a roller!

    Good work!

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  3. they turned out fabulously!!!! i wish you lived closer so you could make some for me... i love them!!! maybe i could do it myself... seriously awesome!

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  4. janell - i kind of wanted to. i was so mad, after i did all the calculating and taping! but...i tried a little regular paint in the corner of the first one, and it seemed fine...so i knew i had to give it another shot.

    caroline - yes! i think if your paint gets too heavy, or you are using a brush, that may be a problem. i tried to keep my paint thin, with thin layers, rather than painting it on heavy-handed. some how, it worked! i woudln't have predicted this as being the best way (obviously), but apparently it was. they look fine!

    cassie - you should! i'm sure you could do it. the hardest part is figuring out the lines!

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  5. beautiful job, now what happens when it comes to time to wash them?

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  6. Those look great! Does it depend on what type of fabric you use whether it will be crunchy and stiff or not?

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  7. i would imagine that i would be able to hand-wash them. the black paint i used is some serious paint...it's not goin' anywhere! however...there have only been a couple of times in my life that i've washed my curtains...the only part that ever seems to need it is the bottoms, and i use a vaccum on that!

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  8. susan - i think it's best to use a "heavy" fabric. the first ones i did, i did with a light, cheap-o fabric...and i don't think that the paint would've looked as seamless on that. the second ones were cotton canvas curtains, and i think the heaviness/stiff ness of them, to begin with, helped with the natural look of them in the end. we all know canvas was made to be painted! :)

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  9. Your curtains look fabulous. What a great idea. Thanks for trying that fabric dye so the rest of us won't have to make the same mistake!You are so creative!

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  10. Great tutorial for me! I was just about to paint stripes on my baby's curtain's, and maybe now I'll have to do a chevron pattern. Decisions, decisions.

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  11. I am planning exactly this project for my master bedroom, so I have definitely learned from your experience! I was going to use fabric spray paint as well, but now I know better. This actually works out better for me, because I already have some paint I can use.

    Your final result is GORGEOUS!

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  12. Super cute! I love this. Thanks for sharing the whole process :)

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  13. thanks, guys!

    jennae - that's crazy! well, definitely use regular paint, and press your tape down really well, so you won't have bleeding :( the fabric spray is the devil! haha

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  14. Wow - that looks amazing! I wonder if anyone makes a chevron fabric in that scale (since I am not a DIYer).

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  15. I know this is not related to this post but I was wondering if you could tell me where you got your flour, sugar...cannisters? My grandmother had some with red tops just like this. I would love to find some.

    Love seeing all of your projects!

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  16. things that inspire: i haven't seen a fabric like this in this scale (though, i could be missing it!). if you don't want to paint, you could have black and white striped fabric sewn into a chevron pattern, on the bias. just an option!

    lauren: my canisters were from a thrift store looong ago! i've seen them around other thrift stores here and there...keep an eye out! a reader also emailed me and told me that htey were in the kitchen of the "jersey shore miami"....hahah!

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  17. Kristen - your curtains came out great! I love the chevron pattern.

    I recently finished a "stenciled curtain" project, you can view it here:
    http://firsthomemakeover.blogspot.com/2010/10/stenciled-curtains.html

    I have a set of panels in my living room that I'm painting next - and then that's it for me an my stencil obsession for awhile.

    Take care!

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  18. Hi There,

    Your curtains are great! I have been thinking about doing something like this myself. Where did you purchase the actual curtains?

    Thank you,
    Keisha

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  19. Clever does not even begin to describe you... Destiny

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  20. looks awesome!! I've been thinking about big chevrons too, but for an ottoman... I saw your post today and this very cool chevron headboard:http://eliseblaha.typepad.com/golden/2010/10/headboard-project-the-results.html

    great minds think alike?!?!

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  21. Just stumbled on your blog. You are my new blog friend for sure. I love pickled items too :)

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  22. They look great. You are so creative and must have a lot of patience to do some of the projects you do. Love love love your things.

    :)

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  23. ray - your curtains are fabulous! really cute.

    keisha - they're from ikea! apparently they're really hard to keep in stock. when i went to pick up more of them, they were out of them and said they didn't have them back in until december...so i used mine from upstairs until i can get new ones :(

    jenn - i'm about to check out the ottoman asap!

    thanks everyone for the sweet words. this project was not one of those that i was just realy excited about doing...i just wanted it DONE. so, when it messed up the first time, i was annoyed even more, but i really knew i had to get it to turn out right, so i had to try, try again :)

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  24. These are HOT! What a great project and I love the huge oversized zigzags

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  25. I am going to try this with a single damask pattern im blowing it up to fit onto two curtains!.... so nervous! not sure how im gonna get the curvy lines to work for me.. but I gotta at least try. Yours look fabu btw!

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  26. They turned out SO awesome! I've had a huge curtain delma here...I so wanted chevron but the fabric I found cost more then my house! ;) This is an awesome option! If only I were that brave! Love them!

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  27. Love these! I painted a chevron rug a while ago... tried to dye it the first time around... disaster. Ended up painting it... magic!!!

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  28. I'm attempting this this week!!

    Should I peel the tape off while the paint is still wet or when it dries??

    Renee

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  29. perfection!!! nothing tests my mind power like figuring the math of taping off stripes!

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  30. Just stumbled on your blog, and I LOVE this idea. Thanks for sharing.

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  31. I just found this and I am inspired to try to paint my curtains again. I wanted curtains with large horizontal stripes and I couldn't find any fabric for that, so I taped an old curtain and used spray paint. Don't use spray paint! It took a full can and I only did 2 stripes and it is very splotchy. Plus I nearly killed my family with all the fumes (when the can says use in a well ventilated area, they don't mean your kitchen). I think I'll be getting out the roller and trying again now!

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  32. I too have been noticing the zig zag chevron all over. But I was first reminded of how great it can look in unique places like the royal blue and green zigzag carpet in the Royal Tenebaum's house, Richie's room. I was inspired by that to give this look a try in a small hallway I have. I wasn't sure how to go about it but your directions here have given me some great tips for how to execute the project. Measuring!?! I don't know why free-handing sounded good! Thanks! The curtains look amazing!

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  33. Came upon your post when I googled DIY chevron curtains. Your tutorial was great to use as a framework for my two projects -- painted border on bedroom curtain panels and chevron design on living room curtain panels.

    Thanks for the tutorial! I love your blog!

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  34. Hello there Kristen! I had this post bookmarked for like evah and featured it today in my project curtains post! Great job, they look fantastic!!!

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  35. It doesn't look like a DIY at all! Great job on this one! It made your windows more extravagant. Maybe it's better if you remove or replace your blinds. Cream or black blinds will be perfect for your classy curtain. =]

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  36. This is amazing!
    What brand paint didyou use, and what brand or where did you get the white curtain?

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  37. I somehow just saw this for the first time and I LOOOOOOVE it! Seriously, I want to add curtains to random places just so that I have a reason to make these... so gorgeous!

    -Mel the Crafty Scientist

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  38. Hi! I just LOVE this! What kind of paint did you use? Did you add anything to it to make it un-crunchy?

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  39. This is a fantastic idea, so I decided to attempt it this weekend. The only thing I would add to this is that with heavy fabric I ended up using 1/2 quart on just one panel (3 stripes). I didn't use black, maybe a dark color wouldn't have needed so much paint. And, make sure you put some sort of tarp underneath, as I used a sheet and it soaked right through onto the rug below. Which sucks. But I did hang my solo panel up tonight and it does look lovely. Maybe the next 3 won't be so bad.

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  40. Love these. I have plain white drapes from Ikea hanging in my office and they aren't doing it for me! Hmmm! I think they have a new look coming their way!

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  41. I have been waiting to paint stripes on some duckcloth curtains trying to decide how to proceed.

    Did you take any precautions to make sure paint didn't seep under the tape (like paint white on the tape, etc)?
    Did you consider using a fabric paint additive?

    Thanks so much! Your curtains look amazing!

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  42. this is great, thanks kristen! u've convinced me to make my own chevron curtains and I just finished! i'm so happy with them and they definitely brought life back into my boring looking bedroom =)

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  43. I love this idea so much i'm making them when the weather gets warmer for a fun summer outdoor activity and i really love it to use as a closet door.

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  44. what is a 5-1??

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  45. Love your DIY tutorial (and all your work!). I wanted to ask if you could share with width of the black stripes?

    Thanks!

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  46. Chevron curtain diy is shown in the post here. Useful post

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  47. Sound and Beautiful work. Great Idea to convert old curtain one in new one.I shocked.............awesome

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  48. Can you tell me where you got your curtains? I have been looking all over for curtains to paint but haven't found any I like. Thanks!!

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  49. Can you tell me what kind of paint you used? Wall paint tinted black? Semi-gloss, satin, etc? I think the curtains are the Merete curtains from Ikea, is that correct? Thanks!

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  50. Wow! These look awesome! :) Been wanting to paint my own but too scared....this is great! Thanks for such a detailed tutorial!

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  66. Awesome! My girlfriend really wants to change the interior of our apartment, but here ideas so far are too feminine for my taste (not that I have a problem with feminism). Anyway, I think this is a design that both of us can appreciate! I already have some of the materials, like eco friendly fabric dyes, tapes, paint dyes, and such so I think I can finally use those for this project.

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