What do you remember about your childhood room? Chances are you remember the colour of the walls (paint or wallpaper) and the fabric on your curtains and bedspread. Whether you have a large or small budget to decorate your child’s bedroom, the right choice and quality of drapes can make a large impact on the overall look of the room.

Good quality curtains can also become an expensive option. Have you seen the price of fabric in fabric stores today? Fabric for one double paned corner window can set you back $50, before you buy the black-out lining. Fortunately, with a bit of ingenuity, you can create a pair of curtains that are affordable and attractive.

Here are some ideas that we tried in two rooms for 22 month old toddlers.

Firstly, we are fortunate to have a talented seamstress in our family who is confident enough to make curtains. She went with us to a fabric store on United Boulevard, where we chose fabric for a toddler boy’s room and a toddler girl’s room. It was surprisingly difficult to choose a pattern. You don’t want to get a pattern that is too busy and you want something that will go with other details in your room. We plan to use some childhood items such as re-framed retro posters, along with quilts and pillows made by the children’s grandmother. The rooms won’t have a designer – retro chic meets modern – minimalist look that you see in magazines and on TV shows. It’s all about meaning and sentiment in these rooms.

For the boy’s room we decided to add a blue top band and bottom band to add interest to the simple truck pattern on the curtains. A matching set of curtain ties, with blue trim, add interest. For the girl’s room we chose a Precious Moments pattern featuring jungle animals. They’ve proved to be a big hit as our daughter “oohs” and “coos” while asking the name of each animal. The lavender top band and ruffle bring out the colours of the pattern and add an attractive dimension to the curtains.

The fabric and the black out lining for the children’s room came from a fabric store, and the fabric for the sheers used in the bathroom, shown in the photo below, came from a sheer curtain purchased at Jysk in Coquitlam. Since the window in this bathroom is frosted, we could get away with using a simple sheer curtain. If you shop at major fabric stores regularly you can benefit from discounts provided for regular customers through a customer loyalty programme. These stores also have regular deep discount sales when you can pick up fabric at good prices. You can also find large pieces of new fabric at church and rumble sales, and on the shelves of retired sewers. Even active sewers tend to have more fabric then they need. So put the word out, if you are thinking about making curtains. You might be able to avoid the high cost of newly purchased material.

One of the most important roles of a curtain in a bedroom is to block out light. There are a few options that you can try. In the photograph shown below you can see how the blackout lining is attached to the back of the curtains. To achieve this effect you will want to sew the right sides of the fabric and black out lining together to finish the main panel before you add the top band and the ruffle. You can also use fabric curtains with no black out lining, combined with black-out roller shades available at places such as Ikea. Another option is to use quilts as heavy curtains that do not require black out lining

You can buy curtain patterns online, or find project plans in sewing books. If you don’t want to buy a new book, check out the craft section in your local library. The main library in downtown Vancouver has a large selection of these types of books.

Related

Interesting collection of photographs featuring designs for children’s rooms on HGTV

Jysk is a good place to buy affordable curtain rods. If you would like to have the rods put up by a professional, as we did, or would like to have your curtains made, we recommend Eddy Chu at C & E Window Fashion Ltd. (4150 Main Street, Vancouver, BC, Tel: 604.872.8983. They specialize in custom made draperies, sheers, valance, bedspreads and accessories, venetian verticals, roller blinds, pleated roman shades, window screens and curtain rods.

Here is a selection of inspiring Martha Stewart articles about sewing curtains. If you don’t have an older relative around to impart her curtain sewing wisdom, Martha is your next best bet!

Curtains 101

Create Hawaiian island inspired fabric using this template from MarthaStewart.com

How to sew a crisp hem

18 roller shade and curtain projects from Marthastewart.com

Adding coloured silk curtain liner for a pop of colour

Thoughts about curtain styles and lining curtains

What do you think about this topic? Please leave a comment using the comment function below or by visiting our Facebook page. We would love to hear from you!

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