I didn’t bring the curtains I made last year when I moved. The pleated curtains only fit the windows they were made for and my mom wanted the block print ones. But mostly, a new apartment is a chance to decorate in a new way and making curtains is fun.
For both sets of windows in our new place, I decorated white cotton Lenda curtains from IKEA. In the living room I dip dyed a yellow ombre, and in the bedroom I stenciled a pattern inspired by the designs inside Matthias Church in Budapest.
The stenciled curtain was pretty easy. I sketched the pattern onto a sheet of cardboard and cut out the open spaces to make a stencil. I put the stencil over the curtain and applied fabric paint with a sponge roller. Some times the thin parts don’t come out very well – I’d rather have a little too much paint than a part missing, so I ran over the thin lines a couple extra times. I put dense stenciling at the bottom of the curtain, thinning out at the top.
The dip dyed curtains were a bit more difficult, mostly because I don’t have a good space for dyeing. If you have an outdoor area you can make a bit of a mess in, this would be pretty easy.
The trick to getting the ombre look, where the color gets lighter and lighter, is to dilute your dye as you go along. I started with a very intense dye – I put in about 2/3 the recommended amount of water into a bit more than three packages of rit dye (three packages of goldenrod and about a quarter package of brown to get this color) and dipped in the bottom section of the curtain for 30 seconds or a minute. I twisted and squeezed the dye out, and left the curtain on a piece of plastic to wait. I did the same thing with the other three curtain panels, then added a bit of boiling water to the dye bucket. I dipped the curtains into the slightly diluted dye so the already dyed section and the next section above it were both in the dye for 30-60 seconds, and twisted and squeezed just like before. I kept diluting the dye and dyeing a larger and larger portion of the curtain, until only the very top was undyed. Then I threw the curtains in the washing machine, where the excess dye that washed off dyed the top section. I didn’t wash the curtains before dyeing them, so they shrank quite a bit in the wash, but they were still longer than I wanted and they had each shrunk a different amount, so I hemmed them all to the same length and hung them up.