One of my favorite features about our house is our large windows. For the first 5 years of our marriage, we lived in a wonderful basement apartment. But we missed windows. We had one escape window and three glass block “windows”. Needless to say, we rarely saw daylight when we were home. So I absolutely love windows now. Windows are good for the soul. However, covering up said windows can become quite costly. I fell in love with these curtains from West Elm, but the $100+ price tag was way beyond my budget. So I began scouring DIY curtains on Pinterest and loved these curtains but had no interest in sewing and the fabric was still more than I wanted to spend. I soon discovered this tutorial on painting curtains. But that still meant I had to buy large white curtains which was more than I was willing to spend (especially if I ended up hating them).
Enter in my painted queen size bed sheets that have turned out ridiculously amazing (in my humble opinion). That’s right, bed sheets! I love how they turned out! And I only paid $38 out of pocket for this project, paint and all.
-2 Flat Bed Sheets (Measure your window to determine which size best fits your area) – $12 each at Walmart
– Plastic or drop cloths (already had on hand)
– Paint (I used just under 1 quart regular wall paint) -$10
– painters tape (already had on hand)
– Textile Medium (makes curtains washable once paint is dried and ironed) – $4 after 40% coupon at Hobby Lobby
Begin your project by measuring your window and figuring out what size of bed sheet you need. Queen sheets worked out perfectly for me. Painting such large sheets proved a little daunting. All the tutorials I had found had people laying them out on the floor or garage and I just didn’t have that kind of space.
So I decided to nail them to the wall. It worked out perfectly! It was easy to see and my curtains weren’t moving on me. Make sure to put plastic underneath your curtains no matter where you paint them. It definitely seeps through.
I liked the look of the West Elm curtains with smaller stripes and I wasn’t sure I’d like the large stripes in my living room. So I happened to grab a post card sitting on my table and used the length of that as my guide. I put little marks all down each side and then my husband and I would attach each end of tape at the same time so it would be even.
I mixed up my paint and textile medium and began rolling two coats (the color is called Mac and Cheese…appetizing isn’t it?). I pulled the tape off while it was wet and let it dry overnight. I had some sticking to the plastic on the back but I just peeled it right off.
I then used curtain clips to hang them up (make sure to buy the correct size as you may end up sorely disappointed that you have to wait until morning to return to the store and get the correct size…not that I know anything about that).
In all honesty, this project took me about 4 days. Two days on each panel. Mostly because I wasn’t about to paint these while my children were awake, so my working time was limited.
I’ve had them up for 1 1/2 years and they still look great. (Side note…I’ve raised the curtain rod so now they just hit barely hit the floor) I get lots of questions about the back. It looks a little weird up close because of the bleeding, but when you’re outside looking in, you don’t even notice. Most of the time, people don’t even realize they are painted and are even more surprised when they find out they are bed sheets.
So, there you have it! Cheap, easy (a little labor intensive), washable, awesome curtains for $38.