Adding curtains to a window can make a room look much homier and can add a personal and colorful touch to a room. By sewing these curtains yourself, you can customize your curtains to be the material you want, the size you need, and the style that best suits you. While this project may at first seem daunting, don’t let the idea of sewing your own curtains intimidate you.
Measure the Window
The first thing to do is to measure the window. Using a tape measure, carefully determine the height and width of the window. The dimensions of your fabric will not match the dimensions of the window. Double the width of the window to determine the needed width of your curtains. Add eight inches to the height of your window, or if you want longer panels, add additional height. Write down these dimensions.
Prepare the Material
Curtains can be made from almost any kind of material. From polyester-blend bed-sheets to organza, find a material in a style and color that matches the home decorations in your room. Wash and dry the material to prevent shrinking later on, and iron the material if needed. Cut the material to the needed dimensions. To make two panel curtains, you will cut two pieces of identically-sized material, each measuring the whole width of the window and the height plus eight inches or more.
Sew the Curtains
After your material is prepared, you can use a sewing machine loaded with thread that matches the color of your material to hem the edges of your curtains. To do this, fold each side and the bottom over one inch, then again one more inch. Pin the folds in place and sew your hem to prevent fraying.
To present a nice edge to your curtains, iron them. Fold the top the same way, but after the second fold, bring the top down three inches and sew a seam right through the middle. Sew another seam one inch from the top to form the rod pocket. Use any extra material to make tie backs to match your curtains. Use the proper hardware to hang your new curtains in your window, and look back on your project with pride!
A perfect activity to bring children together with their parents or grandparents, or a relaxing way to connect with nature, building a birdhouse can be easy! Whether you plan to use your finished product as an indoor decoration, a garden garnish, or a functional home for your winged backyard friends, your birdhouse will show your craftsmanship and remind you of the fun time you had making it.
Make a Plan
First, decide whether your birdhouse will be purely functional or decorative. While colorful and decorative birdhouses are a joy to look at, birds prefer to make their homes in more natural, plain and weathered unpainted houses. If you are serious about attracting birds to your finished product, do some research on the types of birds you are interested in. Otherwise, you might consider the size and color you want your birdhouse to be.
Once you have a plan, gather your materials. You will need enough wood for the floor, four walls, and roof of your birdhouse. In addition to wood, you’ll need galvanized screws, nails, sandpaper, wood glue, paint, polyurethane finish, and a dowel to serve as a perch at the door of your little house. In addition to your materials, you’ll need tools. While constructing your birdhouse will be easier with the assistance of power tools, many people find satisfaction in using hand tools to put a more personal touch into their creation. Whether powered by electricity or human labor, you’ll need a saw (either hand, band, table, or scroll), a drill, a hammer, a tape measure, a carpenter square, a screwdriver, and a paintbrush. Gather your materials before you begin construction to ensure you have everything you need.
While it’s important for everyone attempting this crafty endeavor to consider safety, those working with children need to be especially aware of the safety precautions. This is a great opportunity to discuss the importance of tool safety with your children or grandchildren. Work in a well ventilated area, and be sure to wear protective equipment such as gloves, goggles or safety glasses, and closed-toe shoes. Avoid wearing loose-fitting clothing. Be particularly conscious of safety around the power tools and/or handsaw. With a few precautions, this activity will be safe and enjoyable for everyone.
Cut & Assemble
Once you have your plan, your materials, and your wits about you, begin construction. First, measure your wood and use your carpenter square to ensure right angles. Mark your birdhouse’s dimensions on the wood. Be sure to measure twice so you only have to cut once. Once everything is measured out, cut your pieces. Before attaching any of the pieces together, go ahead and cut the hole for the bird entrance and the little perch just beneath it. Use the wood glue and nails to assemble the pieces. Don’t forget to leave the bottom unglued for easy removal for cleaning between seasons. Sand the birdhouse, then decorate according to your predetermined plan. Congratulations! You’ve built a birdhouse!
If you have antiques or want to start your own collection of heirloom quality furniture, you need only a desire and a checking account. Heirloom quality furnishing and items make a terrific statement in your home as to the care and quality of your furnishings as well as enhance your decorations with their natural beauty.
An heirloom is a treasure. It can take the form of jewelry, linens, furniture or any other item that you and your family treasure. You great-grandmother’s wedding ring is an heirloom as is your mother’s dining room table – provided they have value to you or someone else. Most heirlooms are especially well built and last for centuries with proper care.
Shopping for Heirlooms
If you don’t already have heirloom quality pieces of your own to decorate your home, you can shop for them in a variety of ways.
The first is to visit estate sales in your area where families are selling items from the home of their departed relatives. These estate sales might offer you terrific bargains on heirlooms, but they may also require a bit of refinishing and care to bring them up to the quality of their past.
Another option is to visit antique options or shops. Trade fairs, displays, shops and warehouses of antiques offer a collection of items gathered by those with a presumable eye for quality and beauty. Browse the collection for items that appeal to your decorating sense and budget. Don’t be afraid to bargain and always ask plenty of questions.
While heirlooms often seem old, there is nothing stopping you from buying items such as grandfather clocks that will become an heirloom in the future. Seth Thomas clocks, for example, are a fine statement in any home and will be treasured by generations to come. Find quality craftsman through select furniture stores or by referral from design agencies and have your furniture crafted by hand.
Decorating with Heirlooms
When using heirlooms to decorate, be sure to place the items in areas where they will be protected. Use table runners and placemats to protect surfaces and consider sheets of glass on top of dressers and tables to keep the wood preserved. Clean and polish the heirlooms regularly to protect the finish and be sure to properly insure any pieces of value.