The nursery used to have some pretty horrible-quality roman shades in the windows. We always knew we would get rid of them eventually but wanted to wait and see what the best solution for a replacement would be. I knew, after painting the room, that I wanted curtains in the nursery for two reasons: 1. I love the look of curtains and how they add a richness and softness to any room and 2. I didn’t want to worry about safety issues with blind cords, etc.
The next step was finding the right curtains. I needed them to be pretty long in length (98″) and had such a difficult time finding that length in our budget. Most of the curtains we could afford were the typical 84″ long but I knew I wanted to hang them higher up to add some height to the room. It’s an optical illusion you have to try – seriously. So, to Ikea we went. Or, rather, to Ikea’s website we went! We have an awesome business here in town of a few people who make monthly trips to Ikea and then deliver your order right to your door for quite a bit less money than Ikea charges for their own shipping. Love them!
We decided on the AINA curtains from Ikea and I am so incredibly happy with our choice. I wanted a soft gray color since the room will eventually have a lot of pops of color and patterns going on. Also, if we end up painting the room in a few years, the neutral gray curtains should still work well in there. Not only are they the perfect 98″ in length but their width covers the windows and much more. The best part is that they come with two panels to a package! Most curtains I was looking at only came with one which would double the price since we, of course, needed two panels. But the very very very best part is they were only $50 for the pair! Such a steal when it comes to curtains at that length.
As happy as I was with our curtain choice, there were still a couple of problems. 1. They were extremely difficult to open/close when directly hung on the curtain rod… something I know would be an issue when I have a newborn in one arm and only one arm left to operate these. 2. See how they lose their bunchiness on the ends toward the middle of the window? I know, not a huge deal but my perfectionism was annoyed and this little bit irked me every time I looked at them. 3. I wasn’t thrilled with how very little sunlight they blocked when closed. The nursery gets a ton of natural light, which I absolutely love, but I know I won’t love that fact when I’m trying to help our baby sleep later into the morning or during naps.
So, we went through a couple of options, one of which failed miserably and ended with a return at Home Depot. Finally, I decided I could create some DIY blackout curtains on my own on one single condition… they had to be no-sew DIY blackout curtains. Jo-Anne Fabrics was where I found and purchased my blackout lining material. I found it for $4.19 a yard and was able to purchase 5.5 yards for just over $20. Pretty good considering most of the blackout curtains I looked at purchasing were around $150! Blackout lining not only blocks out light but it also helps reduce outside noise and heat/cold so it’s a great option for nurseries.
I then laid out the fabric and measured it to be 2 inches shorter than the length of the curtain panel. That way it wouldn’t be peeking out the top or bottom. I cut out two equal panels from the lining (thankfully the width was already perfect so I didn’t need to adjust that). Then, I took my curtain rings we purchased and clipped the lining to the curtains from the back, a few inches below the top. The reason I clipped them this way was we already had the curtain rod hardware installed on the wall and I knew the curtains would be too long if I had to add a few inches to the height to the due the rings. Also, clipping your curtains this way creates a beautiful custom look as you can see in the below photo.
Next up was to hang them! I still wasn’t super impressed with the light flooding the room around the edges but I knew that was fixable. I simply took super strong magnets and hot glued them to the wall and curtains. One on each side of the window and two in the middle where the curtains connect.
So much better! The room isn’t 100% pitch black which I’m actually okay with. That way I can still get around the room without tripping over something or fumbling in the dark. But it is definitely dark when these are closed and will be perfect for daytime naps. I love love love how they hang now – they look custom sewn and you can’t even see the curtain rings behind them. So nice! And yes, I am very much against ironing, thank you very much.
I am absolutely thrilled with this project and how it turned out. I love how they look and more important love how they work. We spent way less money than we if we had purchased blackout curtains already made and it probably only took 30 minutes! Here you can see the before and after:
Top Row = Curtains without lining or rings opened and closed
Bottom Row = Curtains with lining and rings opened and closed
Such a difference! I’m sure Baby O will appreciate the darkness for morning sleep and nap times… at least I’m hoping she will! 🙂 Next projects up are hanging the Ikea shelves we purchased and making the DIY mobile!