Simple Faux Roman Shade Tutorial

My husband and I recently bought our first home and have been working our tails off renovating it. The bulk of the work has gone into the kitchen, which was a touching homage to outdated 80s and 90s style. Thankfully, there weren’t any major issues to repair, but from the heavily worn-out blonde laminate flooring to the honey oak cabinetry to the baby blue countertops–yes, you read that correctly–it needed some serious updating.

After installing new dark wood flooring, repainting the cabinets to a crisp white, replacing the light fixtures, sink, and especially the unusual countertops, we had a fresh-looking kitchen that was a lovely blank slate . . . but it was in serious need of some color. A bright and happy curtain on the picture window above the kitchen sink seemed like a great way to introduce some personality to the room.

Image

Since I have no plans to actually use this curtain as a true Roman shade, I came up with a simpler, easier way to create the look of a Roman shade with much less work involved. It was quick and easy and only took about an hour to pull together. And I love the vibrant color and pattern it brings into my kitchen!

Start by measuring your window–mine was 53″ horizontally, and I wanted my shade to fall about 17″ vertically. Add 2″ to your horizontal measurement for seam allowance, and 3.5″ to your vertical measurement for seam allowance and to sew a ‘pocket’ for the curtain rod to pass through. (So, for my window, this came to 55″ x 20.5″.) Iron your fabric well, and make your cuts. (My fabric happened to be 55″ exactly, including selvage, so I only had to cut the vertical measurement.)

Image

On to the sewing! We’ll start with the two horizontal side seams. Fold the short sides (the 20.5″ long sides) in 1/2″ and press; fold in another 1/2″ again, press, and pin.Image

Use your sewing machine to stitch down both sides, close to the inner folded edge.

If your fabric has a top end (mine didn’t), fold the top long edge in 1/2″ and press. Then fold it in another 2 inches, press, and pin. Stitch along the lower folded edge, creating a pocket.

Image

Now fold up the bottom edge 1/2″ and press, fold another 1/2″, press and pin, and stitch (just like the sides).

Done with the sewing! You should have a nicely hemmed rectangle, ready to hang. I used a tension rod to hang this in my window space. If you like, you can of course leave the curtain just as it is, hanging straight.

Image

Or if you prefer the Roman shade look (I do!), it’s simple to do. Just find a ribbon that coordinates with your curtain fabric and cut two pieces of it that are twice the length of your curtain, plus a few inches (I just draped the ribbon over the curtain after I hung it up, let it dangle a few inches past the curtain length, and cut it). Loop the ribbon over the curtain, cinch it up until it’s a length you’re happy with, and tie a bow. You can either roll the fabric a bit inside the ribbon loops, or just fold it a little so that it sits nicely in the ribbons, and you’re all set!

Image

If you’d like to see more pictures of my kitchen renovation, DIY projects, etc., come visit me at Maybe Matilda!

— Rachel —

(Linking up this post at Brassy Apple, Making the World Cuter, Keeping It Simple,)

Advertisements

Handmade Liquid Hand Soap Tutorial

Have you noticed all the blog posts lately about making your own laundry soap, dishwasher detergent, dryer sheets, etc.?  I have, and I confess that I have been a little slow to hop on the “make it yourself” bandwagon, at least when it comes to home cleaning products.  It’s not that I’m adverse to the handmade aesthetic – I love to sew, I love to make homemade bread, and I really, REALLY love a good home-grown tomato!  I confess that I have enjoyed the laziness ease of driving to the store and picking up a bottle of liquid soap.  Done.  Just like that.  Don’t have to worry that it’ll fit, taste right, or be perfectly ripe.  Another deterrent has been my affinity for messing up even the easiest of craft projects.  (Just ask my girls – they think I should start a blog called “Kathleen’s Krappy Krafts”.  Sadly, I think I have plenty of content for such a blog.)

What moved me to finally try making my own liquid hand soap was the idea that I could control what goes in it!  Yes!  No worrying about products that will dry my skin, no more worrying about soaps that contain so many weird ingredients that it takes a biology major to figure out what’s in that little bottle.  Plus, I can fragrance it with whatever delectable scent I want (limited only by which essential oils are in my cupboard)!

So I finally did it – I made my own liquid hand soap!  And I have to say that I’m sorry I waited so long!  It was easy-as-pie to make, cost me about $2.00 to make over two and a half quarts, and because I used all-natural soaps to start with, I know it’ll be good for my skin.

Now that I have you thinking about making some yourself, I’ll share with you the super easy directions:

Gather up your ingredients.  This is all you’ll need:

  • 2 bars of soap of your choice (about 4 ounces each).  I used Yardley Almond and Oatmeal and  Kirk’s Coco Castile soap because that’s what I had on hand.
  • 2 tablespoons glycerin (you can buy it at Walmart or Target.  Ask at the pharmacy counter if you can’t find it.)
  • 8 cups of water
  • Essential oil of your choice.  I didn’t show this, because it’s really optional.  If you don’t use it, your soap will smell like the soap bars you started with, which is still pretty nice.

And then you’ll need these supplies:

  • a grater
  • bowl
  • large pot
  • a spoon (which I neglected to take a picture of)
  • something to store your extra soap in (like this lovely recycled milk jug)

Okay – here we go!  Start by grating your 2 bars of soap:

It’ll look like this when you’re done.

Pour 8 cups of water, the 2 grated bars of soap, and 2 tablespoons glycerin into a large pot.  Stir over medium heat for a few minutes until the soap dissolves completely.

At this point, I got a little worried because my “liquid soap” was basically soapy water.  I thought for a minute that I had created another post for Kathleen’s Krappy Krafts.  I tried pouring some in the blender and whipping it up for a minute or two to see if that would help.  Bad idea.  It instantly turned into a mass of foam and erupted out the top of my blender.

So don’t try that.  Be patient (I know – it’s hard!).  At this point, I walked away (in frustration) and didn’t come back for a couple of hours (so there, soapy water mess!).  But when I did come back, lo and behold, it had thickened A LOT!

It was thick, but it was gloopy, not smooth and creamy, as liquid soap is supposed to be.  So I braved it one more time and poured some in the blender.  After just a few quick twirls, this is what it looked like:

Ha!  Success!  At this point, I added a few drop of lemon essential oil.  Only thing left to do was give it a test run.

There it is in all its creamy, lemon-y goodness.  I’m so excited – healthy, non-drying, sweet smelling soap for pennies a bottle.  Hooray!

And I had lots left over, so I poured it into a recycled milk jug to save for later use.

So there, Kathleen’s Krappy Krafts!  Try it yourself, and let me know how yours turns out.