Friday, April 19, 2013

How to Embellish Simple White Draperies for Less

Way back in January I started talking about replacing the draperies in our room, and yesterday I finally decided and finished! I was originally thinking that a 3" trim on Ikea Lenda drapery panels would be great. However, once I added up the total cost and realized that the trim would be more expensive than the panels itself, I decided to consider another route.

After I finished the DIY Zimba inspired draperies I realized that paint and a border stencil would be the perfect low cost (and time) solution. It only took $3 about and a few hours!! Read on to see how I did it!

I wanted something subtle that would repeat the chevron pattern already in the room.

So I created a 4" stencil in Illustrator and cut it on my Silhouette Cameo. Mixing fabric medium into latex paint, I stenciled along the edge. I then created an inner border using painters tape next to the edge and then a 1/4" away to make a stripe. I kept the paint fairly light so it wouldn't glob up in places. 

*Update: I just added this stencil to my Etsy shop!

I applied a small black pom pom trim to the backside of the panel with Fabri-Tac adhesive. It is similar to the consistency of hot glue, but you don't have the risk of burning your fingers (I did that once and I'll never do it again! SO painful) and I would guess much stronger. It's also washable! 

I ironed the hem and sewed it, but no sew adhesive would work too. I then created inner tab tops by folding the tabs to the back, sewing along the existing to stitches so it would blend in and then cut off the ends (making sure not to cut the front panel too!) This worked perfectly with my cafe rod!

and that was it! Each panel took about 1 to 1.5 hours to finish.

I missed having my writing desk in the room, so I moved it back! I love using it as a second desk!

I used the rest of the mint polka dot scarf  from the euro shams as the cushion cover. I just folded it under, but I plan to upholster it once I pick up some thick white fabric to go underneath. Since I won't be sitting in this chair a lot, the scarf will work ok, but I wouldn't recommend for a heavy use chair.

Isn't lavender the best? I picked a little fresh lavender a few days ago from a nearby bush and adore how it smells great and lasts forever! 

I love how draperies can really make a room! They can add drama and interest, like the Zimba draperies or bring the perfect touch of softness and repetition, like these draperies.

I also love the endless possibilities of paint and painters tape or stencils! You can do pretty much whatever you want at a super low cost! These panels took a tiny amount from a sample size and a quart for {4} Zimba panels.

Price Breakdown: 

Pom Pom Trim: $3 (6 yards @ .50 with coupon) 
Paint, fabric medium and glue (already owned) 

Total: $23

Time Breakdown:

About 45 minutes per panel to paint and apply the trim an about 30 minutes to sew the top tabs and hem. 

Since I was going to spend more than that on trim, definitely a DIY success!!

and thanks Kate for your tip on bright interiors without blowing out windows!

Click to see how Kate did it!


Also, did you know that this is "National Painting Week"?

Stop by to see a few great projects from some amazing bloggers!


  1. Looks beautiful as usual Sarah. I never added the fabric medium to latex paint, because it says on bottle to use acrylic. Did you try both? I wonder what the difference is?

    1. As far as I know if it is a water based paint (with a water based medium) it should work great! :)

  2. Hi Sarah, the drapes look beautiful! It seems like you've changed the style of your bedroom since the last time you posted pictures. Do you plan on doing a blog post on the new room?

    1. Hi Melanie! Thanks so much! We updated our room for the final week of Creating with the Stars,I should have the tutorials for that on my site soon (at East Coast Creative now) and I'll be changing a few more things soon too :) I'll definitely do a post for the whole room once we finish!

  3. I just adore this! I recently bought Ikea's Merete curtains and just might have to add a little something to make them more fun. Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Thanks Charlotte! Adding to white panels can be a great time and cost saver! :)

  4. Lovely! Great way to purdy it up. Really like how it ties in with everything else in the room.

  5. So you can probably tell I'm your new biggest fan considering I've been reaching out through different social media forms quite frequently ;)
    Wanted to check with you--- I have been interested in a Silhouette Cameo... is this similar to what you use?

    1. Hi madi! Yep, I have the silhouette cameo, I purchased through Amazon here:

      I think it's about the same as the listing you showed, maybe just fewer accessories :)

  6. I really love the scarf, where did you find it?

    1. World Market :) There is a link underneath the chair and desk image if you're interested!

  7. I love the embellishments on the drapes. So gorgeous!
    House on the Way

  8. i just discovered your blog and i love all your projects, especially these drapes! I'm pinning several of them now and probably will buy your stencil from this project!

  9. Thanks for sharing the tip about getting rid of blown out windows. I hadn't come across that yet, but it will be a big help when photographing my home, which doesn't get much natural light.


Thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts! I love hearing what you think! :)

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