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
House, You Did What at Your Age?