Over the past few months, I’ve been feeling that the drapes in my dining room were just way too heavy. They were custom treatments that I rushed into like 2.5 seconds upon moving into our house, and they blocked too much light. I knew that they had to come down once I realized that I was going out of my way to keep them from being photographed.
Once the curtains came down, I loved how light and airy the room felt. I wanted to put new treatments on the windows, but I wanted to make sure they let enough light in. Oh, and I wanted a super cheap solution.
I ultimately decided to hang drop cloth drapes like you’ve seen all over Blogland. I will admit, I really hated the look the first few times I saw them online. However, I’ve grown to love them (beat it into my head enough and I might change my mind!) and thought they were a nice solution for my dilemma.
My windows needed a little more “oompf” than just plain drop cloths, though. They needed something with a natural texture. They needed something to highlight one of the window’s arches. They needed 99-cent Ikea bamboo placemats.
I’m pretty sure ‘Hojta’ means ‘really cheap placemats’ in Swedish. Thanks, Ikea!
The light color of the placemats wouldn’t work for my dining room, so I headed out to my garage and spray painted both sides of each placemat with dark brown spray paint (Espresso by American Accents). I didn’t want them to have an even color – because when do you ever seen an even color in nature? – so I randomly hit them with a little left over Krylon Hammered spray paint in Chocolate Brown.
In order to make sure that both sides dried without getting messy, so I strung some twine across the rails of my garage door and hung them with wire.
Then, I apologized to my neighbors for turning our street into the ghetto for a few hours. I swear, they must always wonder what in the heck I’m always doing in my garage.
After the placemats were dry, I took them inside and fired up my trusty glue gun. I overlapped the ends of the placemats and glued them together…right there on my living room carpet. Don’t worry, Tom! I
didn’t get any glue on the floor later picked the bits of dried glue out of the carpet pile.
The valance was a little wider than I wanted for my window (and I didn’t want to cut it because it would mess up how the bamboo was strung), so I rolled it up on both sides and glued it together.
Next, I grabbed my drill and drilled little holes in the top of each section that I glued together. I then used a plastic needle and threaded some thin black ribbon through each hole.
I already had a double curtain rod hung in my dining room, so I just tied each black ribbon to the top of the 2nd rod. When I stepped back, I had a gorgeous scalloped valance.
I was originally planning on using invisible thread to pull up the middle of each placemat so the valance hung straight across, but I was so pleased with the scalloped look that I scrapped that idea. Don’t you love it when things work out like that?
So, just remember that you don’t have to spend big bucks to get a great custom look. I spent about $10 on my valances, and I think they are so much more exciting than anything I’ve seen in stores.
Love the look? Check back for tomorrow’s Teach Me Tuesday to see a very elegant way to update those plain drop cloth drapes. You’re gonna love ’em!
Added to Kimba’s DIY Day at A Soft Place to Land…
Emily@remodeling this life says
I get to be the first one to tell you that you are a genius.
St. Michael's Wife says
The scallops just make the whole look! Love it when a plan comes together!
Nadir @ Hodgepodge says
Love it!!! The scalloped look is awesome.
Susan @ Your home, only better. says
Well aren't you clever! If I was your neighbor, I'd be offering to help so I could learn from you! 🙂
They look awesome! I absolutely love unconventional decorating!
"Then, I apologized to my neighbors for turning our street into a ghetto for a few hours."
Heh. You crack me up.
By the way, the picture of the placemats hanging out to dry turned out really cool…
That really turned out great!
Embellished Bayou says
Genius idea, they look great!
ooh, I like it! I love using things in unconventional places! In college, I used similar beach mats as roll down blinds.
The valances look fabulous in your dining room….great job!!!
rachel @ perfectly imperfect says
that is SO cute- great job!
Those look soo great! I never would have thought to do that (which doesn't say much since I'm not all that creative!!) Love it!
Infarrantly Creative says
Yep that pretty much rocks. Nice way to think outside of the box!
First let me say I LOVE YOUR BLOG!
You are so creative and inspire me to look at things in a whole new way to see what I can create!
Thanks for sharing all of your crafts and ideas!
Jenny@ L.O.T.s of Love says
Seriously thought I was going to hate it! I was wrong! Looks great!
That looks just lovely! I used bamboo placemats as a valance in my kitchen – I love how they look – so simple yet stylish!
I really like the scalloped edge. Is there anything that can't be fixed by spray paint. Love it.
Amanda @ Serenity Now says
Lindsay, they are just lovely. 🙂 The best part is they LOOK like big bucks!!! 🙂
Atelier de Charo says
Great idea!!! Congrats
Lindsey @ Better After says
Wow, I love that! Now I'm looking at all my window to see where that would work…
the BLAH BLAH BLAHger says
I've seen these in person and can vouch for their FABULOUSNESS! Glad you finally blogged about these! PS – I think Hojta now means HOORAY!
High-Heeled Foot in the door says
Oh great idea! I would have never thought of it!!! Love it.
I was one of the most recent bloggers to take on drop cloth curtains. I had lots of windows and it was cheapest option!
Let me know what you think of them: http://high-heelfootinthedoor.blogspot.com/2009/09/diy-hardware-store-window-treatments.html
Dogmom Diva says
Lindsay, fabulous, just fabulous!
Cindy B.of Montana says
Thank you….now I will be leaving to head on over to Ikea…smiles.
Craig, Blair and Turbo Skousen says
WOW that is a creative idea! I give you a gold star. I always wonder what my neighbors think of me and my spray painting habits in the back yard…
Catherine Hansen Peart says
I was really wondering how you were going to use PLACEMATS on your windows and then you just go and do such a fabulous job!!!! Well done!!
BLJ Graves Studio says
You are just too smart. Love it.
Funky Junk Interiors says
Love this idea Lindsay! I've been looking for those el cheapo beach mats to surface for some windows I wanted to do the same thing on. But I think this would work just great! Thanks for the inspiration!
Ok those turned out fabulous!
That is sooooo cool. I love it. Very creative. Thanks for sharing.
Post-Modern Jen says
I love this idea, thanks!
The Montalbos says
Wow. I LOVE it. How did you come up with that???
No way! I never would have thought of that! I really enjoyed looking around your blog! What great ideas!!
i'm not sure about the drop cloth curtains. i want to like them…but, not sure. what brand should i look for? and where? home depot?
I have a stack of these placemats and I think I'm going to do this immediately in for my living room! Thank you so much for your terrific ideas. I just ran across your blog the other day and I love it!
ashley s says
sweet project! i am going to try it soon! also, you crack me up! i think your neighbors wouldnt mind you turning your street into a ghetto for awhile if they knew the awesomeness that was taking place! 😉 thanks for the ideas!
I remember reading this post years ago, and it was the inspiration to changing our living room look. I keep thinking that I need to send you a photo! 🙂
Yes! You SHOULD send me photos! How fun!
Jane Fiedler says
I love the bamboo valance! My stove top/hood area has 2 windows, facing south. The screens are never really clean, don’t want to replace w/new screening. Plus the evening sun can be blinding. What do you think about using bamboo … do you have any ideas?
Geri Juen says
Love the looK! I am a little confused at how they look scalloped when they were rectangular to begin with – could you clarify? Also, I cannot open the pictures – how do I do that?