You may notice that my project #’s are out of order this week - - I had written this post last week but I forgot to post it! :)
I picked up a set of pink gingham panel curtains at a local thrift store for $2 each. After I got them home, I decided that I really would rather have them as balloon shade toppers instead of long panels. So, here is the quick and easy tutorial of how I did it!
Start with one of your long panels. Trim off somewhere around 21” from the bottom of your panel. I did this for two reasons: 1. the total 72” is too long for a balloon shade, it just makes it way too bulky and 2. I wanted to make some matching pillows, so the 21” from each panel is sufficient for two pillows.
Next, you will need to hem the bottom of the curtain - - just folding and ironing over the edge twice and then sewing it along the bottom. I decided to add a ball trim to the bottom edge of the curtains, of course this is optional.
Next, you are going to use 1” wide two strand shirring tape. This is the best stuff! You can find it buy the yard at most fabric stores in the upholstery and drapery supplies section. You are going to need three pieces per panel, each piece cut to the length of your panel minus about 6”.
Attach the shirring tape by sewing a straight line down the outside edges of each piece. Just be careful not to sew over the solid white line. The white line is where the string is hiding that you are going to pull to make your shade bunch!
You will be attaching 3 pieces of shirring tape to each panel. One on each outside edge and one in the center. To be honest with you, I just eyeballed it and sewed it on - - it is going to be bunched together, so it doesn’t have to be too exact. Make sure that at the bottom of the tape, you secure all the way across the edge. I like to sew across the bottom edge of the tape 5 or 6 times just to be sure that I catch those strings in there - - otherwise when you go to pull them, you will just pull the string right out.
Now comes the easy part. Grab the two strings and just start pulling. Your fabric will gather as you pull the strings and you will probably have to ease your fabric down along the tape, but just work with it and pull it until it give you the tightness (or looseness) that you are looking for.
Continue this for all three pieces of tape. When you have those strings pulled tight, take the two from each tape and tie them in a knot.
And that is all - - -see, I told you it was super easy. Not bad for $4.00! It took be about a total of 20 minutes to do both panels. Since the panels already had rod pockets in them, all you have to do it put them on your rod and hang them up. I think the hardest part it just trying to take a good picture of curtains hanging in a window!!