Nursery progress: DIY striped curtain makeover

Noah’s nursery is making some slow but steady progress. I managed to give the ole white Ikea curtains a face-lift by sewing broad navy blue stripes on them. These Ikea curtains have been moving around a bit. I have two sets: one has always been in the gray guest bedroom (which is now in the process of becoming the nursery) and the other set that used to be in the dining room has been moved to the second taupe guest bedroom.

The plain white Lenda curtains from Ikea

After shopping around for nursery curtains, there wasn’t anything out there that really appealed to me, so I decided to make them myself. Then began the hunt for fabric. I couldn’t find any patterns that I liked for a reasonable price. JoAnn’s had some cute fabric in the interior design section that ran about $50 a yard ($35 after the 40% discount coupon). Since I needed 5 yards, this came out to more than I was willing to spend.

It was much cheaper to transform the curtains I already had. I toyed with the idea of doing a moroccan stencil pattern with fabric paint, but the stencils ran about $40. Instead I opted to go with navy blue stripes. All I had to buy was the navy blue fabric (about $3 a yard and I bought 3.25 yards) for just over $10.

I cut the fabric length in half, which left me with strips about 7-8 inches wider than the curtain width. I wanted the stripes to be about 12 inches wide, so I cut 14.5 inch sections out of the fabric (because it was about 44 inches wide, so I just cut it into thirds). Then I ironed the edges (fold, iron, fold iron…for each edge) and pinned them on curtains, leaving 12 inches from top and bottom edge as well as 12 inches between the fabric stripes. After sewing the stripes on, I was left with the excess fabric hanging over each side. I trimmed the extra fabric so it only stuck out a few inches on each side, folded the fabric under, then pinned ironed it to the back side of the curtain. It was labor intensive – several hours of measuring, cutting, ironing, pinning, and sewing. I had a lot of second thoughts about my DIY stripes throughout the process, especially when the sewing machine acted up on me a few times. Poor Blake tried to stay out of my way as I became an increasingly grumpy pregnant woman on a mission. Finally, after working on them most of the day, I completed them around 11pm.

Measuring fabric before cutting

Arranging stripes on curtain before pinning and sewing (after folding and ironing edges)

Finished nursery curtains

Back side of curtains

Not bad for $11, right? It was worth the effort – we both really like the way they turned out. We plan on getting some bamboo blinds, both pretty and functional, to keep the baby’s sleeping quarters nice and dark when we need it. We may even line the curtains with blackout fabric in addition to blinds just to make it extra dark.

As part of my nesting process, I’ve been in mad list-making mode. I’m already a list lover, but pregnancy has inspired me to put a special notebook in my nightstand just to contain all my lists. I couldn’t keep track of all there was to do if I didn’t have my handy dandy notebook. Plus there is nothing more satisfying than crossing an item off a to-do list, right?

Here’s a few of the biggies we’ve gotten done:

  • Registered for the hospital
  • Attended childbirth classes
  • Attended breastfeeding class
  • Filled out our birth plan (they gave us a blank one at our childbirth class)
  • Started cooking and freezing meals (we only have about 3 or 4 stashed away so far)
  • Interviewed and chose a pediatrician (I spoke to about three, and the final decision was not an easy task!)
  • Installed the car seat
  • Semi-packed the hospital bag (a few last minute toiletry items need to be added like glasses and face lotion)
  • Washed and put away all the baby clothes, blankets, towels, burp cloths, etc.
  • Set up a changing station and bassinet in our bedroom (where baby will sleep for at least a few months before we move him to nursery)
  • Figured out the baby monitor
  • Assembled and figured out the stroller
  • Ordered the rocking chair (a birthday gift from my sweet parents)

We still plenty of items yet to do, but the list is slowly shrinking:

  • Buy more cloth diapers
  • Cook and freeze more meals
  • Finish making nursery mobile
  • Hang nursery art
  • Pick up rocking chair
  • Buy rocking chair slipcover and ottoman
  • Finish sending out thank you cards
  • (and many more items pertaining to nursery decor)

Then I have many more ongoing lists. Like things to do post-partum, for example:

  • Eat sushi
  • Eat a big deli sandwich
  • Sleep on my back
  • Send out baby announcements
  • Etc, etc (the list goes on and on)

I’ve divided my trusty little notebook into different sections to categorize all the lists. It’s pure madness…and I love it.


9 thoughts on “Nursery progress: DIY striped curtain makeover

  1. Jen says:

    Lists are great. I don’t know what I’d do with out them. I like your “handy, dandy notebook” idea. That would make me way more organized. Right now I have them all over the house…I have several lists of the same kind, i.e. “Things that need done before baby arrives” I start it, put it somewhere “safe” then can’t remember where I put it :(. You are getting quite handy with the sewing machine too! You should check out some of the baby items I pinned to Pinterest that are diy…I think you could handle them!

  2. Rebekah says:

    Lol, Jen I used to have the same problem and ended up with many duplicate lists all over the place. I still make duplicate lists of sorts in my notebook but it is easier to keep track of everything this way. I don’t know about “handy” with the sewing machine…lol. I can sew straight lines and that’s about it! I will check out your Pinterest boards – love that site! :)

  3. Brenda Jones Gupton says:

    so cute Rebekah and I know how excited all of you are for little Noah to get here. enjoy it all……

  4. Jenny King says:

    Thank you for inspiring me! I am going to attempt these for my nautical nursery! Quick question – when you sew the stripes on the curtains, do you just sew them horizontally with the stripes? In the photo you took of the back side it looks like vertical stitching as well so I was just curious how you did that.

    • Rebekah says:

      I did just sew horizontally along the edges. I wrapped a little around on either vertical edge of the curtain to make the front of the curtain look more finished so that is the vertical seam you see on the back side. But those are the only vertical seams.

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