I don't know about you, but I love to peruse the Pottery Barn Kids catalog to get inspired, as well as to find inspiration to create inexpensive ways of replicating some of their beautiful products! Well, my youngest baby just turned 3 years old, and it was time to trade in the crib for bunk beds, as my 3-year-old shares a room with his 10-year-old brother. I had been promising my oldest son that I would redo his bedroom when my youngest was no longer in his crib.....SOOOOOOO, that time has come and now I must fulfill my end of the bargain..and redo his room. The biggest challenge is going to be decorating the room in a manner that suites my 3-year-old and my 10-year-old. Well, I knew the first place I was going to start was with the window treatments. I wanted something brighter than the navy blue window panels that hung just above the window casings in their room. So, I began to leaf through the PB Kids catalog the other day and stumbled upon this:
I love the ribbon detail. It dresses the panel up so much, giving it a rather sophisticated look. For one panel 96" long it cost $99. I would need four panels as there are two windows in my sons' room, which would equate to $400....CRAZY!
So, I went to good old google, and starting searching for ways to make these panels myself. I stumbled upon a great tutorial over at Chris loves Julia. Julia used painters drop cloths for the window panels, but I decided to buy the RITVA curtain panels from IKEA. I wanted curtains with the back tab feature, which these had, and they only cost $25/per set for 57" wide x 98" long white window panels.
Knowing I would need a substantial amount of grosgrain ribbon, I again, turned to google and found a great online store, Ribbons and Bows Oh My, that sold ribbon of various widths and had a wide color selection. To get a similar look to the PB Kids Harper Window Panel, I opted to get the 2.25" Navy grosgrain ribbon, as well as the 5/8" navy ribbon. The 2.25" ribbon comes in 5 yard or 50 yard increments. I decided to get two 5 yard rolls, at a price of $2.79/each. I also purchased the 5/8" navy ribbon, which is available in 5 yard or 100 yard increments. I opted to get the 100 yard roll at a price of $14.25. With tax and shipping, my total order came to just under $30 for all that ribbon. Now when you are trying to determine how much ribbon you will need just measure the length of the panel, on the right side and the left side, and the bottom width of the panel. Add those measurements together and multiply that by how ever many window panels you will need. REMEMBER: If you are ordering smaller increments of ribbon, like a 5 yard roll, try to figure out how many panels you can do with 5 yards. For example, you might have a yard or so left over at the end of a roll, but you can't use that as it's not long enough for your window panel. It's best to always order a little extra to be on the safe side!
When I received the RITVA window panels, I washed them in hot water, per the instructions provided by IKEA, and they did shrink. IKEA's website does indicate that these panels can shrink up to 4%. They definitely did shrink, and were very wrinkled once they came out of the dryer. DO NOT, use fabric softener when you wash them or when you dry them, as this will interfere with the ribbon adhering to the panels. I ironed the panels, then I ironed them some more, and them some more. Finally once I had relatively unwrinkled panels, I hung the panels on the rods in my son's room so see if they would need to be hemmed, which they did. Well, three of the four panels had to be hemmed! I pinned them all while hung, so I would know how much they each needed to be shortened. NOTE: each panel shrunk differently. One panel I didn't even have to shorten. So, it's very important to first hang them and then determine how much they need to be shortened. Since, I do not sew, I opted to buy Heat-n-Bond, to hem the panels. All this requires is an iron. Follow the simple instructions on the back of the package and you will have a really nice hem, no sewing required.
Next step, add the ribbon. I started with the 2.25" wide ribbon, and ran this along the side and bottom hem. I began by folding over the top of the ribbon and using my glue gun to glue the ribbon down to give the top a nice finished edge. I then glued the top of the ribbon to the very top of the curtain panel, and did so with my hot glue gun. I glued the remaining ribbon with fabric glue.
This seemed adequate to adhere the ribbon to the panel.
You will notice from the above pictures that I placed a bag underneath the ribbon that was being glued. The reason for this was because the glue did seep through the fabric a bit, and I didn't want that all over my hardwood floors! As I glued more ribbon, I just slide the bag underneath the panel, ensuring that it was always under the area that I just glued.
The hot glue gun came in handy in some places, especially at the tops and at the bottoms, as you are folding over the ribbon to give it a nice finished edge. Where this is thicker, I found the glue gun was better at adhering the ribbon to the panels. When I came to the corners I folded the ribbon back, to once again, give it a nice finished edge, and then I folded the ribbon at a 45 degree angle, so once the two ribbons came together they would form a 90 degree angle like such:
Once I ran ribbon down both sides of the panel, and across the bottom hem, I used my level as a straight edge, and placed it against the inside edge of the 2.25" wide ribbon, then ran the thinner ribbon, 5/8" wide, down the other side of the level, gluing it with fabric glue. Once I came to the corners, I repeated the steps outlined above to create 90 degree angled corners.
Here's the finished product!
After following these same steps for each window panel, I had four beautiful ribbon-embellished curtain panels. Here's a side-by-side comparison of the RITVA curtain panels on the right, as bought, and the RITVA curtain panels with a ribbon detailing on the left. I think they look like entirely different curtains.
Here they are! Forgive the poor lighting. But, I think they look stunning! And, my son likes them, so that to me means SUCCESS!