it's curtain time Print out these instructions.


make a curtain rod
All of these materials can be found at a Home Depot-type store. Use electrical conduit for your rod, rather than the galvanized steel pipes that you'll find in the plumbing section  -- you'll save yourself quite a few bucks.

what you’ll need
2– galvanized steel plumbing floor flanges
2– galvanized steel plumbing 90° elbows
2– 1½" x 2" steel pipe nipples
8– #8-12 x 1¼" length plastic drywall anchors with screws
3/4" electrical conduit cut to length (you can use a cheap but nifty little tool called, appropriately enough, a pipe cutter)
drill with ¼" drill bit

1. Decide how high you’ll want to position your rod – just above the window is certainly a logical choice, but there’s no reason you can’t go higher if you like. Mark the position for the bottom of the curtain rod with a pencil.

2. Attach an elbow onto one end of each steel pipe nipple; screw each remaining end into the flange (as shown).

3. Determine the positions for the assembled flange pieces along the wall. The top of the steel pipe nipple should coincide with the position that you marked in step 1, and you’ll want the flanges just outside the width of the window. Mark the positions for the four screw-holes in each flange.

4. Set aside the assembled flange pieces. Drill where you’ve marked the screw-holes.

5. Gently hammer in the plastic anchors for each drilled hole.

6. Line up your assembled flange pieces with the holes, and screw them into place. (You may need to unscrew the elbow to get some of your screws in place).

7. Pop up your curtain rod and you’re ready to hang a curtain.


make a curtain
If you need floor-length curtains, use the ever-useful, supremely versatile flat sheet. Otherwise, you can check the sale areas of fabric and upholstery stores for super steals. I managed to pay just $8 for 2 yards of the heavy fabric used for the curtain for my home office window.

what you’ll need
fabric of your choice
matching thread (if you don’t have a sewing machine you can use no-sew tape for hemming)
grommets, of a sufficient diameter to accommodate your curtain rings (available at fabric stores and hardware stores, although the former will have nickel-finished grommets in addition to brass ones)
grommet tool
shower curtain rings

1. Measure the distance from the bottom of your window to the bottom of your curtain rod to determine the height of your finished curtain panel(s), then add 2" to allow for a top and bottom hem*. Now measure the width of your window. Divide the width by the number of fabric panels you intend to make to cover your window (unless you’re getting funky, that number will probably be one or two)**. Add at least 2" to allow for the side hems. Voila: you have the magic number for the fabric dimensions you’ll require per panel.

*Note: I used a fairly heavy-duty fabric here for my curtain – the better to block out that brutal Arizona sun. If you’re making a lighter-weight curtain – a gauzy sheer, for instance – allow an additional 1" for the height of the curtain. You'll need the extra reinforcement at the top for the grommets.
** If you want some volume to your treatment, double the width measurement to allow for some fullness. A fuller curtain will help block more light, which may or may not be a good thing, depending upon how much sun your window happens to get, and whether you like bright sunny spaces, or prefer cave-like dwellings.

2. Hem the sides of each panel: With the fabric face-down on the iron board, fold the fabric ¼" and iron the seam flat. Fold the fabric another ¾" – be careful to keep that first ¼" flap tucked under – and iron again. If you’re having problems keeping the crease for the hem, you might want to pin the hem in place.

3. Use a straight stitch to hem the sides.

4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 with the top and bottom of the curtain panel. Note: If you’re using a delicate fabric, and have paid attention to the suggestion in step 1 for working with lighter materials, fold the top 1½" instead of ¾" to create a wider hem.

5. Measure and mark the placement for your grommet holes along the length of the top of the curtain panel. You’ll want holes at either end of your panel, of course – additional holes should be approximately 6" or so apart. If you’re using a heavy fabric, you can position the grommets just below the top hem; with lightweight fabrics, you’ll want additional reinforcement, so it’s a good idea to position the grommets within the hemmed area.

6. Use the grommet tool to cut out the holes as marked; if your fabric is being stubborn, don’t despair! Grab some scissors and snip a small X at each mark, just wide enough to accommodate the grommets.

7. Now you’re ready to start attaching those grommets – just follow the instructions that accompanied your grommet tool.

8. Attach the curtain rings and hang up that curtain!


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