Saturday, December 26, 2009

Dollhouse Curtains ~ Hangin' Hem Free!


If you want to make curtains for your dollhouse but don't want to pull out the sewing machine or switch out the bobbin and thread here is a small idea.
Here is what you will need

  • fabric
  • shish kabob sticks
  • beads
  • miter saw and/or utility knife
  • tacky glue
  • fabric stiffener spray
  • needle and thread
  • velcro with sticky back
  • paint and brush (optional)
  • scissors
  • iron
  • ruler
  • chip board (or something with similar thickness) cut into 1/4" wide strips
Fabric
Step 1: Measure out your length and width. For a standard single dollhouse window I created 2 panels at 2 1/2" wide x 6" long. This size will fall just a tiny bit below the bottom molding. For longer ones measure out a longer piece but don't forget to add the 1/4" fold for the top. Cut out your panels.
Step 2: Fold down top about 1/4" then iron. Spray with 2 bursts of fabric stiffener. I would recommend doing this over the sink for less of a mess.

Step 3: Using the boards will create a more realistic look to the fold in the curtains, instead of a sharp flat fold which real curtains just don't have. Lay fabric front down and iron over top fold again. Put first piece of board along right edge. Fold fabric over and run iron across it. Put another piece of board down, fold fabric back and run iron across. continue these steps.

I made 3 pleats that come away from the rod (show in front of the curtain) for mine but you can add as many as you like depending on how wide the boards are and how wide you cut your curtain. Just be sure your last fold has the good side of the fabric showing up. Let cool. Trim off any extra.

Step 4: Take all the boards out carefully. Give the top of the curtain one gentle touch with the iron to get the top a bit flatter.
Curtain Rod
Step 1: Measure rod to hang beyond window molding just a bit. I measured mine around 3 1/2". Mark and cut shish kabob stick using a miter saw then use the knife to be sure the ends are clean and smooth.



Step 2: Paint rod if you want. Let dry then dab both ends with a blob of glue. Let that dry just so it gets tacky. Dip the side of the bead that will touch the rod in a bit of glue and press on beads on both ends. Let dry. If you don't like the tiny holes showing on the other side of the beads you can put some spackle or wood filler on the tip of your finger and work it in and touch it up with paint.
Assemble
Next you will be attaching the curtain to the rod with thread so that it has the appearance of curtain hangers behind it. Take your thread, knot the end and push the needle in from the top back of the curtain on the first fold that touches the rod, (see photo) and pull it through then go back in very close to where you came out. You don't want the stitches to be seen to much from the front. Now do this again a few times but be sure to wrap it around the rod over and over as you go then move to the next fold and do the same. Knot and cut the thread. Do this to the other panel on the other end of the rod as well.

Once your curtains are on the rod you can snip away and threads that frayed.
If they are uneven then pinch the fold at the base of the curtain base flat between your fingers and trim with scissors. You can also do this anyway just to have a clean bottom.

Lay curtain with rod sewed on upside down on table. Cut small pieces of sticky back velcro. Put soft side(loop) on the back of curtain just under the rod. Then attach the hard side (hook) to that and peel off paper but put it back on while still holding it so your finger doesn't get stuck to the sticky back. Then peel it off.



Stick to your window by gently pinching the front of the pleats over top of where the velcro is. Try to get it right where you want it on the window molding the first time (it is a bit difficult to rip off and move but not impossible). Then press and let go.

There you have it, a nice window treatment with out a sewing machine! You can also add ribbons, lace or bows to the base or top for a fancier look.
Email me if you have any questions!

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