Continuing with the remodel posts, today’s post is all about the window treatment.
Main Living Area Windows
When Mark demo’d the camper, he threw out all the old cornice boxes. They were dated and we didn’t want to recover them. Instead, we decided that we’d reuse the privacy blinds and I’d sew new curtains throughout.
One of my best friends went with me to Hobby Lobby and helped me pick out the perfect fabric for the camper curtains. I wanted a fabric that would allow us different color options. I didn’t want it to be drab or boring. I also didn’t want it to be an eye-sore. We settled on this.
I love that it has an array of colors. Gray, brown, lime green, mustard yellow, seafoam green, fuschia.
I CANNOT say that Mark loves my choice. I think he used the word “girly” and accused me of trying to feminize him.
Since I love him, I wanted him to be happy with the camper. I made a few adjustments and added a gray panel to the top of the curtains. I hoped it would help.
But before I go into the curtains, lets talk about the curtain hardware.
I saw this pin on Pinterest about how you can make cheap curtain rods.
I went with it because I loved the look. Now in all fairness, I didn’t do it exactly as the website suggested. I bought some beautiful drawer pulls from Hobby Lobby for 50% off. Dowels would come from the hardware store but I found that I’d have to buy hardware to attach the curtain rod dowel to the wall. That pesky hardware drove my cost up per window and turned out to be the straw that broke the camel’s back.
For the each window, the price broke down as follows:
$2 – for the Dowel (average)
$3 – for 2 Drawer Pulls
$3.80 for Hardware to Attach Curtain to Wall
Now that may not seem like a lot but when you consider that we have 8 windows. It adds up to $70. I was even willing to pay that price because those drawer pulls were gorgeous. My MORE frugal husband put the brakes on and said that was not worth it. So I bought these cheap curtain rods for $3 to $4 a piece (depending on the length).
So it cost me just $28 for our (initial) curtain hardware. Initial means I’ll go into that later.
First, let’s go back to the curtain design. I have to tell you about this VERY cool blog, Ana White. She has a tutorial up about how to make hidden tab top curtains. I loved the look of her curtains! So clean and a simple way to sew in hidden tabs. The design makes it so the fabric is not bunchy at the top. (I may sound slightly picky) I decided that was exactly how I wanted my curtains to be and I pressed ahead on making them according to her tutorial.
As I mentioned earlier, I tried to tame down some of the wild colors of my main fabric and appease Mark by adding a gray panel to the tops of the curtains. They were a little more work, but I was sure the results would be worth it.
The problem was, I hadn’t considered the fact that the privacy blinds would be visible when the curtains were open. Once we got the first curtain up, I realized it would not do.
Bummer!! I really didn’t want to have to put a valance up and I wanted the benefits of the hidden tabs. I just couldn’t stomach seeing the privacy blinds all day long when the curtains were open.
So I made valances, not my first choice obviously but I’m happy with them today. I used the same gray color that was at the top of the fabric and my valance hangs down about 7 inches.
But now we had a problem with the cheaper curtain hardware we had bought.
The valance would need to go on the cheap curtain rod and we needed something for the curtain panels.
Hidden Bungee Rod
I found this pin that talks about using a bungee cord for making a curtain rod behind a regular curtain rod.
The pin actually links to some expensive curtain rod, but the description is all we needed.
So Mark went out and got about $16 worth of bungee cords. We got them about 5 or 6 inches shorter than the curtain rod so there would be enough tension to hold the curtain up and snug.
But we found that the bungee cords did not stay on the ends, instead they slid along the curtain rod like this…
Our fix? Screw in a self-drilling screw to the end of the rod so the bungee cord can hook to the screw and not slip.
Here is another view of a self drilling screw tip for those of you who may be as unfamiliar as I was.
Here is a snippet of the before…
(Oh how I wish I had taken better before pictures but you can’t really undo a renovation) And after pictures are here…
I do like how the hidden tabs make the curtains lay underneath the valances due to the hidden tabs. In a regular stick built home, I do the same tutorial in a heartbeat.
Front Window Curtains
So that covers our main window treatments but we still needed to update the front window curtains.
The original fabric before was like a seafoam/blueish embossed rose color.
I decided to layer a chevron fabric onto the existing curtains because I wanted the added insulation and didn’t want to have to reinvent the wheel in this area.
I’ll tell you that I laughed at the person who sewed the original RV curtains. Yep, I did. I thought maybe they had a rough night or they got trained on the particular curtains that went into our RV. Pride. You know what they say, pride comes before the fall, (which I’ll go into in a bit). The curtains were sewed so sloppy and they were a mess when it actually came to taking off the curtain hardware.
The hardware I’m talking about is the glide tape. I really couldn’t work with the existing glide tape because the plastic was cracked, brittle, and falling apart. I had actually hoped I could glue it and patch the glide tape but it quickly became apparent that it wasn’t possible so I got out my seam ripper and went to town to remove the tape and rig something up.
Since it was so old and hard to remove, I wasn’t able to salvage it. I ended up ripping the glide tape off.
I ordered 3 packs of 72 inch glide tape from Amazon. The 2 curtain panels measure 86 inches each. So we needed to use part of a 3rd glide tape for each of the panels.
After I pieced my chevron fabric together to get it wide enough I sewed the panels to the top and sides of the existing curtains.
Next I sewed on the first 72″ strip of glide tape and then I started at the opposite end of the curtain top and sewed the other glide tape on (going towards the direction of the already attached tape). I did this to make sure the bracket was positioned near the edge of the curtain and it wouldn’t sag at the end.
So this is the part where I describe my fall after pride. Sewing on the glide tape was comical. For the life of me I couldn’t keep it straight. There is really no way to pin it to the curtain since the plastic on the tape is so thick. You just have to wing it. I tried 3 different feet for my sewing machine and finally settled on my zipper foot.
It was tricky and it wasn’t pretty, but the glide tape was attached. Once I hung the curtains, I pinned the bottom hem up, removed the curtain and sewed along the pinned hem.
The front curtains are busy, crazy and make me twitch. I love chevron, but this was too much. I’m hoping someday I’ll muster the time to add a solid panel somewhere in there. I think that may help stop the motion sickness when the curtains are closed at night. But during the day, they don’t look half bad.
So here is the before and after of the front curtains.
Curtain tie backs were added later to keep the curtains contained.
Now I have one last thing to show you about window coverings.
Fabric Covered Roller-Blind
We have a roller-blind at our door and it was just a plain white plastic. I know I sound slightly obsessed with Pinterest, but this time, it failed me.
When I covered my roller-blind, I ruined it. The Pin above is for instructions on how you use hot glue to adhere the roller-blind to the fabric. Nope, that doesn’t work. The glue is too thick and it makes it so the blind will not actually retract due to the bulk
I had to take as much glue off as I could and remove the fabric. Since I put most of the hot glue on the edges, I actually had to trim the roller-blind edges away. The only way I could find to adhere the fabric effectively was by using this spray adhesive.
And here is the after of the roller-blind when it is down.
The reason why I have a green trim on my edges is because I was using fabric scraps. So I just sewed trim on both edges of my chevron piece to make it wide enough. I centered the blind over the fabric and voilà. A fabric covered roller-blind. The fabric is bunchy and I’m not happy with it. Basically this just so show you how this doesn’t work. Someday I’ll figure it out. But for now, it works fairly well.
When the blind is rolled up, it tends to get lopsided like this…
We have to readjust the blind by tugging it when it’s rolled up.
Kid’s Bunkroom Curtains
One area I haven’t addressed is the kid’s bunkroom. Honestly, I don’t like the curtains in there. I could go on an on about why I don’t like the curtains but just trust me, it’s not worth sharing.
I may redo the curtains in there, but for now they do the job and the room is fairly dark, (I did use blackout fabric). Since that was the goal, mission accomplished.
So that’s it on our window coverings. Our friends call us hippy or gypsy-ish. I have to agree, it has that feel.
If I ever get tired of the curtains, I’ll go with more neutral curtain fabric. I still love that it gives us decorating options with all the colors and you know, we are sorta gypsy-ish.