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Rods and Tie Backs ~ Update on It’s Curtains!

The story of 18 curtains on a shoe string budget using poorly made fabric unsuitable for anything else continues with yet more money saving moves to create curtain rods:

We purchased 1.25″ diameter closet pole rod stock made of unfinished poplar at $1 per foot to use as the curtain rods. This saved us at least $4 per foot over what we would have paid for prefinished curtain rods. The closet rod stock is just fine for this project.

We finished the rods in white oil based paint to match the walls and woodwork. We cut pole mounts using 3/4″ Baltic Birch plywood scrapes. These were cut out, routed, predrilled and finished. Here is the result laid out on the cutting mat so you can see the dimensions in half-inch increments:


The smallest U shape is there so I can add a 3/4″ dowel to hang lace or sheer curtains later on if the sun proves too strong within the classroom.

We mounted the rod holders and rods Saturday, slipped the curtains onto the rods and spritzed them with water to let the fabric relax overnight. Even with the high heat and steam of the ironing process not all the wrinkles released out of the fabric from h*ll.

I made tiebacks. The curtains hang loose across the windows to block the light usually only during nap time. Here’s a finished tie back:


First I found some stabilizer that had proved too stiff to use in other projects so it was “free”, too, like the fabric, right? It was perfect sandwiched between two layers of the denim:


The fabric was ripped to give two straight edges to line up the “stack and wack” and cutting began:


The edges were “Merrowed” together in a quick and easy edge finish. Here is the Merrow 2-DNR machine with bright red poly Highlights thread from Superior Threads. I like to use 2 strands in the looper and one in the needle. You can see some of the other colored threads I use in making educational materials in the background. Have I mentioned that I love bright colored threads?


Here’s the finished product. The stabilizer adds a nice body to the tie back:


Only because I had already purchased the pliers years ago when first designing educational materials, did I use the #8 brass colored Dritz grommets from Hancock Fabrics.

There were 36 grommets and my hands were not strong enough to set them. The client, HusPartner, had to do it but he did not take care and crushed most of the fronts as well as the backs. I was not happy with the misformed results but the “client” was fine with it and the job got done.


Next, I have to hem the curtains. Since they’ve been wetted and allowed to hang I am hoping that some of the off-grain problems will have solved themselves. I’ll take the iron, 68″ x 30″ padded board and the portable Janome 1600P into the building to do the hemming on site, hemming each panel separately. I have mentally hemmed these curtains many different ways, including just serging the edge using the Merrow machine but since they’ve nung overnight they seem to be a bit straighter. I do expect tons of problems with them, though, due to the bad fabric.

They sure look good against the white walls and I’ll post “It’s Finished!” photos when I am done. I’m certainly glad I’m not in the drapery making business!


About Mary Beth

I am fascinated by changing patterns and colored threads. I sew garments and am teaching myself to machine knit. Since selling the building that housed my workrooms, The Stitchery, I'm searching for a place to set up the knitting machines again. There must be room here somewhere!

One response »

  1. Curtain rods that are made from aluminum are the best since the are very light and strong.


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