How to Sew Curtains

July 17, 2008 by  
Filed under Home & Garden

how to sew curtainsAdding 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.

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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.

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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!


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How to Match Furniture in a Bedroom

July 17, 2008 by  
Filed under Home & Garden

how to match furniture in a bedroomIf your bedroom is an odd assortment of furniture pieces, you may be able to make them match more easily than you think. Here’s how to match furniture in a bedroom.

Decide on a Décor

Your first step is to decide on a pattern of décor for the bedroom. Some styles are easier to use as a basis for making furniture match than others. If you have your heart set on traditional styles, you may have a harder time than casual, eclectic, or even southwestern decor. Find a kind of style your comfortable with.

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Take an Assessment

Your next step is to take an assessment of what furniture is already in the room. Are there various grains of wood or just different styles? Are some pieces of the furniture modern and other pieces classical? Look at other rooms of your home for pieces that you might be able to move into the bedroom to make a more unified look.

Start with a Core

Now, find a core. Do you have two matching pieces and only one or two unusual accents? If you have two coordinating pieces, such as a chair and dresser, make those your core. Then you have only to deal with the other pieces such as night tables, headboard and accents.

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Paint

One way to help match furniture in a bedroom is to paint all of the pieces the same color. You may also choose to paint only some of the pieces. For example, if you’ve selected a casual style, you may opt to paint the uncoordinated pieces a creamy white. These white pieces will offset your chair and dresser you’ve left their natural wood color.

Fabric

Another way to match furniture in a bedroom is to use fabric to simply cover up the unsightly pieces. You can easily create a headboard cover using fabric, a staple gun and some cushioning. You may even choose to create an entirely new headboard using fabric and plywood. Side tables that don’t match can be hidden under fabric tablecloths.

To make them unified, find two circles of MDF or plywood and place the circles on top of the existing tables. Then drape the new table clothes over the circles to make two round bedside tables. You may choose to make only one new round table which can still coordinate with another wooden table on the other side of the bed.

Accessories

At the very least, use pillows, curtains and runners on dressers and side tables to help bring the room together. Use the fabric in a chair, headboard or linens to select patterns and colors, then lavishly cover the room in throw pillows and drapes. Soon, your disjointed bedroom will be a comfortable, matching place of rest – even if nobody sees it but you.

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How Hang a Shower Curtain

July 17, 2008 by  
Filed under Home & Garden

how to hang shower curtainsShower curtains come in all shapes and sizes, but hanging a shower curtain is almost universal. Of course, if you want to dress up your shower a bit, you can hang your curtain with extra flair, which is simple enough. Here’s how to hang a shower curtain.

Buy the Curtain and Accessories

When begin shopping for a shower curtain, take note of the many styles of hanging accessories. There are simple metal rings, colored plastic rings, decorative glass rings and many more. First select a shower curtain. Then find a set of coordinating curtain rings. You may choose to buy a set of curtain rings that match your bath accessories such as trashcan and soap dispenser, or you can opt for the basic plastic rings in a color that coordinates with the curtain itself.

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If you’ve selected a fabric shower curtain, you’ll need to find a liner to protect the fabric from water. A liner is inexpensive and comes in a few different colors of vinyl, however your best bet may be a transparent curtain to let in the most light in the shower. You can easily use the liner as the shower curtain if you’d prefer although it is bathroom décor at it’s simplest. At the end of your shopping trip you should have a liner, a curtain, and one set of curtain rings.

Hang the Curtain

To actually hang the curtain, unfold the vinyl liner and lay the top of the liner underneath the top of the curtain. (You may wish to iron your new shower curtain – follow manufacturer’s instructions.) There are prepunched holes at the top of each piece, align those holes and thread a curtain ring through.

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Start with one end or the other to ensure your liner and curtain are aligned properly. Then also check to be sure the outside pattern of the rings, if yours has one, is facing out on the side of the curtain, not the liner. If your rings lock together, don’t lock them yet.

Once you’re treaded all rings into all holes, carefully lift one side of the curtain up to the bar above your bathtub. Again start on one side to avoid miscalculations. Fit the ring over the bar and lock it into place. Repeat with all of the rings. Your curtain is now hung.

For extra variety, purchase a second bar to go over the tub. Hang the liner separately on the standard metal bar. Then place your new bar slightly higher than the original. Hang your decorative shower curtain with rings on this bar. Now you can open each curtain individually to let in more light as needed.

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How to Decorate a Guest Room

July 17, 2008 by  
Filed under Home & Garden

how to decorate a guest roomGuests should be welcomed into a warm and inviting space, and your decoration in a guest room can help make guests feel welcome or more like an intrusion. When you decorate a guest room, be sure to think of as many small touches as you can to ensure your guests know you are delighted to have them – even if that’s stretching the truth a bit.

Accommodations

When decorating your guest room start first with furniture that is accommodating for your guests. If most of your guests will be young single friends or young couples, a futon and blankets may suffice. But if your elderly grandmother is coming to stay, consider a raised daybed or full sized bed to ensure her comfort (and safety.) Two twin beds are also more accommodating than a full size or queen size bed. A couple can easily stay in a full bed, but two brothers may be more comfortable in separate beds.

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Welcoming Décor

The décor in the room should be tasteful and welcoming. You don’t want to overwhelm your guests with bright colors and odd lighting. Stick with the most traditional welcoming accents when you use pineapple décor – the pineapple was a sign of a home friendly to visitors historically, or use something more exotic but try to keep colors and accessories tame.

Thoughtful Touches

Be sure to include as many thoughtful touches as you can. For example, put black out curtains under the drapes in the room to keep it dark should your visitors be battling jet lag or fatigue from a long journey. If you have a coordinating bathroom, leave plenty of towels and washcloths out for guests to use. Also prepare a guest basket of travel sized soaps, shampoos and lotions you can leave in the bathroom cabinet until needed.

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Be sure to offer guests a place to put their luggage. Keep an inexpensive luggage rack in the closet or clear a dresser or desk and cover it with a towel so that guests don’t have to dig into their bags on the floor which may be challenging for that elderly granny. Finally, be sure you provide an alarm clock in the room along with a bottle or two of water so that guests don’t have to feel their way around your kitchen or bathroom at night when they are ready for a drink.

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How to Prepare a Nursery

July 14, 2008 by  
Filed under Home & Garden

how to prepare a nurseryAh, the nursery! When a new baby is on the way, the nursery presents the most fun and the most challenges. It doesn’t take long to realize you need more than a crib and a few outfits, but how do you know when you’ve gone overboard? Need to plan a nursery? Here’s how:

Pick the Room For Your Nursery

Your nursery should ideally be a room that is away from loud traffic or the neighbor’s barking dogs. You might prefer it have a western window to help your baby sleep later in the morning without the sun streaming in as it rises. It does not have to be large, but it will probably help to have a closet and some wall space for furniture placement.

Pick the Theme

How is the rest of your house decorated? Will this room be similar? Sketch out a rough plan in your head of what you would like the room to look like. What colors do you like? What kind of furniture do you need? Will the wood be dark or light?

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Buy the Linens

While it might seem like the furniture would be next, you should buy the linens. The dust ruffle, crib bumper, sheets, quilt and curtains will determine the color and overall look of the room. Neutral will suit future babies in the room, while gender specific colors and patterns can be more fun. Sheets will get the most use, so buy a few extras. Quilts can’t be used in the bed until much later, so consider buying a rod and making it a wall hanging for decoration.

Paint Your New Nursery

After you have the color scheme, buy paint and/or wall paper and get busy putting color on the walls. Remember to let Dad do the painting; pregnant women should avoid the fumes if possible.

Buy the Furniture

Now it’s time to buy a crib, dresser, changing table and any other furniture you might need in the room. Changing tables are often used only for a year or two, so it might be better to get a pad for the top of the dresser. Also consider putting a full or twin bed in the room for times a parent wants to sleep near baby. Be sure to get coordinating linens if you do get a bed for the room. The furniture may take some time to be delivered, but set it up once it does arrive.

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Buy the Rocker or Glider

You should have something to rock your baby in. Gliders are popular, and traditional rocking chairs will also do the trick. Buy one that is comfortable and sturdy. You’ll be spending a lot of time in this chair.

Buy the Decorations

Up to this point, you’ve taken care of the big items. You’ve painted, and you’ve set up furniture. You’ve got the linens. Now you get to buy decorations. Buy picture frames, rugs, wall signs or letters, toy boxes, lined baskets and anything else that suits your fancy.

Buy the Extras

Don’t forget to include the extra baby items in the room as well. You’ll need something for wet and dirty diapers, storage for clean diapers, a mobile, a place to store toys and linens, possibly a white noise machine or fan, a humidifier, and a baby monitor.

Buy the Layette

Now, it’s time to buy the layette. Layette is a fancy word for all the clothing and blankets a newborn needs. You should buy a few clothing items in the newborn size along with receiving blankets, burp clothes, washcloths, swaddling blankets and socks or booties to be ready. Be sure to pre wash all linens including sheets and blankets that will come in contact with baby’s sensitive skin.

Put Your New Nursery All Together

Finally spend a few days putting it all together. Remember to get help moving and setting up heavy items and take your time. Put the linens on the crib and hang curtains in the window. Hang pictures and place your rug. Then put the layette into your new dresser, sit in your rocker and anticipate bringing that new baby home.

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