Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Making a Balloon Shade from a Panel Curtain (Deployment Projects #148 &149)

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. 


IMG_5384 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!!

    IMG_5396IMG_5395Don’t we have fabulous views out our windows?  :)  What a lovely house my neighbors have, so glad we get to look at it every day! 


Cathy~Mille Fleur said...

Just darling!

Thanks for the info...I might even be able to do this;)!


Teri said...

Very nice! :)

Tara G. said...

That's a much nicer price than what we just paid for blackout curtains for the kids' room. Why does every house we move to have eastern facing windows?!

Amy said...

Wow! You made that look easy - and do-able!

Just found you last week from Nester and wanted to say that as a military wife, your family is in my prayers.

And I have to say: we were stationed at Fort Belvoir last year, and I HATE that I am not there now to follow you around and learn some great sewing/upholstering tips. Or to just pay you to do it for me! ;)

Best wishes to you and yours,

Debbie said...

SWEET!!! I never realized they were that easy!! I think I might make that type of curtain for all the windows in our enclosure!!

-Adrienne said...

That's adorable!!

Nicola said...

Thanks for the great Tutorial - I so want to do this in my little girls rooms!

Infarrantly Creative said...

Wow are those sweet. Are they for Miss C's remove makeover? Can't beat the price of those that is for darn sure.

coryshay said...

What a great tutorial! Easy to be sure but I never would have thought of it! And I must try out this shirring tape! Thanks for always being so generous with your tips and tricks!

Cheryl said...

Cute balloon shades. Love the fabric and the pom pom at the bottom. You have once again made it look super easy.

Jen said...

I've been looking for ways to create a nice nursery for my son on a budget. Looking at the sewing instructions in books on how to make shirred balloon valances left me feeling very overwhelmed. Thank you so much for your post and step-by-step pics!

I'm off to Joanne's Fabrics and I'll have to send you pics of my own finished project.

Katie Olthoff said...

I found this when I googled "balloon shade tutorial." They look great!

How long are they finished? And, since I'm stuck at home in an ice storm and don't have any shirring tape, think I can just run some embroidery thread through in 3 spots and pull it tight to get the balloon effect?


Lisa C. said...

Do you have any tips on how to make the balloon curtain longer AND shorter when it hangs? I want to be able to raise and lower it. I have dogs and want to raise it so they can look out, but lower it to the ledge when it gets too sunny. All I can find on line is sheer balloon curtains. Thank you.

CarlaCarlaCarlaCarla said...

Thank so much for sharing these instructions. I am SO gonna do this with the gobs of unused curtain panels sitting in my linen closet.

Unknown said...

I have used plastic rings and safety pins. The pins to connect to rings in back of curtain placed about
5 to 6 inches apart

Unknown said...

God bless you! been looking for a simple how to and you made my day!

Unknown said...

I have a question. You say that each piece of shirring tape should be the length of the panel, minus abut 6 inches. That seems excessively long, and when I look at the finished panel, there's more than 6 inches above the shirred part that is flat, not shirred, to the top of the panel. Why so long on the shirring tape? In other words, on the finished panel it doesn't appear to have only 6 inches of unshirred fabric. Looks more like 12 or more inches of the top part of the panel is NOT shirred. Explain why you've suggested only 6 inches less length of shirring tape than the panel itself.


Mary Ridenhour

Anonymous said...

Thank you for a step by step way to make balloon curtains from panels.Just what I was looking for and couldn't find. Finally, but I was wondering if you can show me step by step how to raise the curtain and lower it. I have to figure it out without a mount for I have arched windows.

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