Drop Cloth Curtains, with Tutorial

Alright, I am about to attempt my very first tutorial.  Writing this is harder than I thought, I hope this makes sense.  If not please feel free to email or comment.  I might be making it sound harder than it is. This EASY, and cheap way to make back tab curtains must be shared with the world.  This is NOT a professional way to make a drape. If you are looking for classy professional sewing instructions, please leave now.  I am not proud of the way the back of these curtains look.  The pride lies in the EASY, FAST and frugal aspects of this project.

I believe I have stated in other posts how I have been blessed to have very large windows in our home.  Sunlight is hard to come by in the Pacific Northwest during the winter, so I welcome any and all that wants to trickle in the windows.  Curtains to cover these windows cost a fortune!  Our bedroom has two enormous windows that almost fill two walls.  We want curtains that not only provide privacy but that are a little heavy and can block out some of the cold air that seeps through the old window above the headboard.  Because of this, I decided to do drop cloth curtains.   If your windows are small enough, or you don't need your curtains to close, you could use one drop cloth and make two panels out of it.  Our windows are large enough that I needed two drop cloths per window.  Good thing a 6x9 paint drop cloth from Lowes is only $10.  I've been asked by a few people how to determine the width of your curtains.  Measure the window and multiply by 2.  Thats ALOT of fabric, so I usually pretend.  If your curtains are going to remain closed though, you really want that extra fabric to provide some pleating, or "give" so it doesn't look like you hung a sheet over the window.  The stripped curtains in my living room are not functional, so there is not nearly enough fabric, but I don't care because I never close them, I use blinds.  I would rather not have all that fabric take up wall or window space out there.  Its really up to you, and what you want for the space...thats what I think anyway.

Ok enough rambling...
The first thing I did was take the drop cloth and wash it!  Use a little soap and a little bleach.  Drop cloths are stiff and this will soften it a little.  Once its dry, hang it over the rod till you get your desired length. I wanted my drapes to hit the floor.  Then I took into account seam allowance for the top (mine was 4.5 inches of what was hanging on the back of the rod.  Then I measured how much I needed to cut off.
Cutting. A lovely friend gave me a cutting board with a rotary cutter for Christmas one year.  If you sew and you do not have one of these, you have no idea how much easier your sewing can be!!!  GET ONE! It makes ALL the difference!  Ok, so I measured and used my rotary cutter to cut the tops off the drop cloths.  I did not touch the side or bottom hems on the drop cloths...ever!
 Get your iron as hot as it will go, these guys are tough to iron.  I love short cuts so I only ironed the first 9 inches or so since I was not doing anything with the rest for a while.
 I ironed down about a 1/4 to 1/2 inch. This is the part to turn under.  Then I folded over and under again but this time I did a 4 inch fold, this makes the rod pocket.  Now,  it is at this point you must make a decision.  You can stitch the top and bottom and slide the curtain rod through the pocket and be done, or you can add tabs and make a curtain with back tabs which is what I chose to do.

When I cut up my old curtains to make my stripped curtains.  I cut the old tab tops off and saved them.  I now want to add them to the back of these curtains so these will be back tab curtains.  This is not going to look pretty, I'm warning you ;0) ( No old tab top curtains? You could use ribbon or  the portion of the drop cloth that you cut off the top if need be).

Start pinning on your tabs. So  in the picture you hopefully can see that we have not stitched anything yet. The tab is pinned to the right side and it is even with that first fold that we did.

I did my tabs just over 4 1/2 inches apart, I thought I was going to do 3 inches apart when the photo was taken, but I wanted bigger space between them.  Once they are pinned in place.  Sew them.

I just sewed the whole width of the drape, because I didn't want to cut threads all night.  Then sew the top side of the tabs.

When you are done, fold down that 4 inch fold you ironed in and sew on the fold, this makes the top of the rod pocket.  Then attach the bottom of the rod pocket to the drape, by sewing along that 1/4 inch fold, but this time you are attaching it to the front of the drape as well.
 You should end up with tabs and four seams on the back and two seams on the front.

Finish up with the iron...we have to iron the whole thing this time, which actually takes more time then all the sewing.

 I know my room is getting more and more beige, but I have plans to change that real soon with a new fun color - not on the wall...stay tuned!


Fake Spider

Last year Hudson got this fake spider that was small enough to look real.  Since I like to prank with spiders a little, I kept him.  I put him in a jar up on the shelf where I keep my canning jars.

Every once in a while, I look for something on that shelf and spook myself out.  Each time I think, "Man, I really need to move that guy to a drawer".  Well today, one of my canning jars was in the living room (it usually holds colored pencils), there was that little spider.... only he wasn't fake.  I looked closer to make sure he was real, thinking maybe the boys moved the fake one?  Nope.  He's real and he put himself in a jar, very convient to get tossed out the door.  Now I really need to move the fake one before I get completely creeped out next time he surprises me!


Looking at Christmas Decor

So I KNOW it seems early, but it comes so quickly!  We (the ladies of the family) usually sit down before Thanksgiving and decide who has which Holiday and how we are all splitting up the food duties.  I take Thanksgiving or Christmas Day, usually Christmas Day.  It gives me a reason to get out all the decor, because some years, I wonder...... but I do like the kiddos to have memories of mom going all out!  We decorate the tree and then have candy canes in hot chocolate, just like when I was growing up.  Here are some pictures from our Christmas decor last year...

After being inspired by the "Homespun Christmas" look that I was seeing in the Christmas catalogs.  I got some ribbon in red and grinch green and tied it to all my green, gold, red and silver ornaments to update my colors a little.  It cost $3 instead of going and buying the current color of ornaments.  (The colors were inspired by Ballard Designs, and the ribbon hangers by Pottery Barn).  Pottery Barn even had ribbon attached to bells hanging on the tree.  I had some of those bells from a previous year that I had bought at the dollar store.

 I could not justify paying 20-30 for a cheaply made tree skirt.  So I made this one after reading a tutorial over at Shanty2chic.  It added to the "homespun"feel along with my brown paper packages.  (we did have some brightly wrapped ones appear later for the kiddos)

Again with the catalogs: Ballard Designs had the burlap stockings.  I loved them instantly, but again why pay $30 when burlap is so cheap?  So these guys were made.

 I have some sort of complication with making a wreath.  'Grandma' Connie came over and in less than a minute she fixed my disaster.  I still don't know how, despite her patient explanation.

When she came over she brought me this cute little ginger bread man.  He moved from room to room with me so I could look at him!  I LOVE this little guy, he looks great no matter where you put him!  (Connie is a lady in our Church, she is fabulous at all kinds of things and we all call her Grandma Connie.  She has her own grandchildren, but we just kind of adopted her as another one of our grandmothers.)


 Dinning room...  Funny to see the old catsup catsup and mustard paint colors... maybe it's more PB&J?

We went a little rustic to match the rest of the house.  The napkin holders were actually a wedding gift 10 years ago.  We still use them.

And what is Christmas Day with out Cocoa and goodies!!! Once everyone came there were alot more goodies of course!


Teacher Treats

I have been having more fun on Pinterest! I found a few ideas that inspired some teacher treats the first week of school.

It started when I saw these three pins.

Pinned Image
 I found these teacher treats here 

and then this cute apple card here

When I stumbled upon this idea for homemade microwave popcorn here.  
I just had to pass this idea around!

healthy snacks popcorn 
Put them together and what do you get....

 These guys and maybe some happy teachers.  Inside the bag was another bag with 1/2 cup un-popped popcorn, along with microwaving instructions from the above mentioned blog.

Don't forget our secretary!

~ Give a teacher a snack and feed them for snack time. Show a teacher how to make their very own Microwave Popcorn and you give them snacks for life.