Foyer Curtains

In August 2011 I made some magnetic curtains to hang on either side of our front door. A year and half later, they’re looking pretty rough:

Old CurtainsOld Curtain Close-UpThe curtains are slightly too narrow, letting light creep in along the edges. At the top the backing has pulled free, due to the strong magnets. We want curtains covering these windows for a few reasons, mainly: to protect the bamboo floor from concentrated sunlight and prevent fading; and privacy from people looking into our house. I originally chose this fabric because it tied in the blue of the living room walls, and the wood tones of the floor and furniture in the living room. Now I’ve lost interest in the fabric, and the curtains’ poor performance gives me reason to replace them.

Disassembling the Old CurtainsJeremy found me these super strong magnets to hang the curtains (since the door frame is magnetic). The magnets are so strong though that many pulled free from the glue that was holding them to the curtains. The back of the curtains is a light vinyl, chosen because it blocks out the light, and offers a little insulation. Also, it’s white, so form the outside you see white instead of patterned curtain (just like with our blinds). I picked up exactly the amount I needed from a JoAnn’s remnant bin (an excellent score). So, I disassembled the curtains so I could reuse the backing.

New Curtain ConstructionThis time I approached the construction differently. I decided to employ my quilting skills and my binding tool to attach the new fabric to the backing. I cut the fabric an inch wider than the backing, making the binding 1/2″ wide. Then I stitched along with edge of the binding with a zig-zag stitch.

New CurtainsBy attaching the backing this way the curtains will lie flatter than the old curtains. I was also able to maximize the area, making the curtains wider and longer than before. Oh, and I love the new fabric! Jeremy was unsure at first, but I think it is growing on him. The colors are rich and bold, and still tie everything together. Blue, brown, tan, greens and off white – these colors are found in the foyer, living room and media room.

Attach the MagnetsThis time I traded the super strong magnets for the adhesive magnets – from the fireplace vent covers project. I cut inch-wide strips and stuck them to the top and bottom of each curtain. I don’t trust the adhesive, so I also stitched the magnets on each end.

New CurtainsNew CurtainsMuch better! The wider curtains, with magnets on top and bottom, stay in place better and are not letting the light creep through. I was worried about the strength of the magnets, but the curtains have not fallen since we hung (stuck?) them a week ago. With the larger curtains I wondered, would it be even better to make long panels to fill the entire space on either side of the door? I think that would look really cool, and be an easy way to make a big impact in a foyer. Alas, I will not pursue this plan because we’d rather get a new door(s) without windows.

Matching PillowWith some extra fabric I made a throw pillow for the couch. Now you can better see how the colors all work together. The brown and blue birds are a match for the couch and blue throw pillows. My only regret is that I didn’t have enough leftover to make two pillows! Oh well, I love the fresh green mingling with the darker hues upstairs.

Have you reworked any projects lately? What did you modify? What did you learn the second (or third) time around?
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