99 problems and drop cloth curtains are one

My dining room is shaping up to be the next “finished” area of the house, and one side of it would already be finished if not for what I’m calling the Great Curtain Curse of 2013-14.

Let me elaborate.

First, I apparently decided I was a five-year-old girl who went all Scarlett O’Hara and made curtains from someone’s wedding dress, and bought these:

Gypsy Shabby Chic Ruffled Window Curtain Panel

Um, no. It also created a whole lot of white since the china cabinets on either side of the window are both all white. Moving on.

They were frightful to even live with, so I found these on the clearance aisle at Walmart.

dining room curtains

They were on the clearance aisle for a reason. The color’s odd – not quite gray, not quite beige, not quite sage green. With a shimmer. And they’re several inches too short.

So, I turned to Pinterest and became dead-set on crafting some drop-cloth curtains. With a ruffle. (Like the ones below from A Small Snippet.) Seriously, how adorable are these??

ruffled dropcloth curtains a small snippet

Yeah. Here’s what mine looked like:

dropcloth curtain fail

The last two weekends went something like this:

  1. Find attractive DIY drop cloth curtains on Interwebs. Pin all the pictures. Get excited about all the super-cheap, handy cuteness coming to my dining room. And a ruffle? Ahhhh! Perfect. Am awesome crafty-type person.
  2. Go to Walmart to buy drop cloths. Find one type; wonder if it’s too light. Buy them anyway because, seriously, I’m excited.
  3. Read curtain tutorials on Interwebs again. Determine their cloths are darker; send husband to Lowe’s to find darker drop cloths. Long conversation ensues about differences between khaki, tan and beige.
  4. Husband brings back better drop cloths. Decide skimming through the tutorials counts as reading them, and seriously, how hard could it be? Start cutting all the things.
  5. Hem the sides. Forget to turn the edges over twice to create a clean hem, so spend about 15 minutes trimming unraveling threads. A bit like shoveling while it’s still snowing. Give up and move on to create the ruffle.
  6. Try to hand-pin the ruffle; wind up with something between a drunken pleat and a smushed fold. Figure I’ll fix it later; check final panel length.
  7. Remember that I suck at math.
  8. Send husband to Lowe’s for another drop cloth. Will refresh and follow tutorial. Will succeed.
  9. Am very careful with new drop cloth. Measure and do some math-type problems and double-turn my hems and they’re beautiful, these panels. Am winning!
  10. Google ruffler foot attachment for sewing machine. Watch tutorial on YouTube; decide that North Dakotan accents make me want to read Little House on the Prairie. Spend half an hour on Wikipedia reading about Laura Ingalls Wilder. Find ruffler foot for $10 on Amazon. Sold. How easy will this be?!
  11. Is not easy. Is stupid. Sewing is stupid.
  12. Spend an hour trying to understand why a small strip of drop cloth has no problem getting ruffled, but the longer panel I actually need ruffled REFUSES TO COOPERATE. Finally get it somewhat ruffled by hand-pinning along the top edge.
  13. Can’t figure out how to attach the godforsaken thing to the panel so that it actually looks finished and not just hand-sewn on by an inebriated child. Throw all fabric in a pile and scream at it.
  14. Go back to Walmart and buy a set of khaki-colored panels for $18, add four bottles of wine to the cart, and call it done.

walmart curtains

And, while the color and fabric are much closer to what I envisioned, the panels are still too short, despite the package claiming they’re the exact length I need. *Sigh* I’m thinking of hanging them from curtain rings — and I could always add a ruffle to the bottom, right? 🙂 I think curtains and I need a trial separation.

Stay tuned as I forge ahead in this — and other — rooms.


8 thoughts on “99 problems and drop cloth curtains are one

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  7. This was hysterical!! I’m sorry my tutorial for the drop cloth curtains didn’t work :(. If I could, I’d jump thru the computer straight to your dining room and help you. But…I might’ve just had good luck that day I made mine bc lots of my projects end up just like how you described above! I say…proudly hang those Walmart curtains by rings and call it a day!!


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