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You Did What at Your Age?

Designed New Drapery Hangers on a Budget

The beautiful draperies in the living room of the house we bought back in 2008 were already out of style when they were installed, but I didn't have the heart, the cash, or the gumption to change them. We lived with these drapes for 12 years before I decided they had enough dust on them to warrant getting new ones. When we first moved in, I spent a fortune dry-cleaning them because the house reeked of cigarette smoke, and I figured this time around I could buy new drapes for what it would cost me to clean them again.


I took down the heavy green drapes, the waterfall valance and the boards they were attached to, as well as the white, hundred-piece double curtain rods. I put roll-up window shades in their place until I finished the project. The original drapes on one wall were hung to give the appearance of a large picture window behind them, although the window was only 36" wide.  I decided to install draperies that actually fit the windows this time around. I ordered four white panels from JC Penney's (on sale!) that had the large grommet holes for hanging, and set about coming up with a simple drapery hanging system that would still look nice exposed. I'm still in the make-do mode, so I scrounged around in the garage and the house for things I could use.

I found some small, finished shelves that I cut to make four end blocks (3 deep) to mount rings that would hold the 5' x 1.25" wooden rods. I couldn't find anything that would work for the rings, so I headed to the hardware store and walked around until I found some inexpensive stainless steel hose clamps to use. I attached them to the wood blocks and then screwed the wood blocks to the wall at about 8' high (our ceilings are around 10' high). I stained the wood rods, and they were ready to go. 

For the finials, I found four small, matching canning jars and decided I would fill them with different colored beans (kidney, black, garbanzo & black-eyed peas). There were two ways this part of the project could go-- downright ugly or interestingly attractive. I love how they turned out, and the drapery hangers cost $11 per window. The gallery shows the project from beginning to end. Click on the big picture to see captions.

Donna Van Cleve

November 2020

House, You Did What at Your Age?

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