I finally have curtains in my master bedroom for the first time ever and I absolutely love them! If you are new around here you can read about how our master bedroom was the most neglected room in our house (mainly do to some ugly furniture I had no desire or no idea how to decorate around). But I am slowly turning into our beautiful master bedroom that we love on a very little budget.
I had thought I was going to just use some basic white IKEA panels but decided I really wanted some pattern in there. I found out that Kohl’s carries 95 inch length curtains online and ordered a few to see which design I liked best. This was my favorite when I saw it online and my absolute favorite when I got it too.
You saw it back in this post along with some other options. I definitely liked a white curtain with a gray pattern on it. The gray background was just too dark for my walls and room.
Although I did love that quatrefoil pattern.
But at $75.00 for EACH panel (I would need 6 so $450) there was no way I could swing that in my budget for this room. Even on sale for $52 with a percentage off would still be $40 or so each would still be almost $250 for curtains. So I came up with a DIY version that was MUCH cheaper!
Supplies you will need:
- Vivan curtain panels – for however many windows you have
- Stencil – I used the Rani Paisley Damask Allover Wall Stencil from Royal Design Studio Stencils
- Paint – I used regular latex paint – the same paint on my walls (Magnet by Behr Marquee) but you can use craft paint or a sample pot of paint if you wish.
- Tape – for taping down the curtain panel and stencil
- paper or dropcloth to put under curtain panel
- stencil brush or foam roller
- pan for paint
- large flat surface to stencil on
I picked up 3 sets of Vivan curtains from IKEA – they come as a pair in a package for $10 – so only $5 for each panel. I really like Vivan curtains – they are probably the thickness of a sheet, have a nice hidden pleated top, are LONG at 98.5 inches, and you just can’t beat the price. If you are wanting a thicker curtain that is more like linen, the Ritva curtains from IKEA are another option and still a great price at $25 for the pair.
It was the closest design to the curtain panel I liked and also it was sheet stencil vs. just a single design stencil. This was my first time doing any stenciling and I figured having a repeating design on an allover stencil would make it easier to match up and eliminate all the measuring.
So here’s my tips for stenciling curtains:
1. Prep your fabric or curtain panel. I washed and dried mine with no fabric softener and on low heat. I wanted to get rid of the package creases and stiffness and also take care of any shrinkage. I also ironed each panel before stenciling.
2. Get your paint ready. I just used regular latex paint for this – the same paint on my master bedroom walls – Magnet by Behr Marquee. You can use craft paint if you wish. And you can add fabric medium to your paint if you want it to be not as stiff on your fabric and to make it more washable. I have painted stripes on curtains without fabric additive and didn’t opt to use it this time. The design on my panels is a bit stiff but the curtains still have a nice flow to them. And just like you wash your painting clothes and the paint doesn’t come off – the paint won’t come off these either and I know I rarely if ever wash my curtains!
3. Decide whether to use a stencil brush or a foam roller. I started out using a stencil brush and finished using a foam roller. Read below for my pros and cons on both.
4. Prep your surface to lay the curtain panel on to do the stenciling. Find the largest, flat surface you can to work on – basement floor, kitchen table, board in the garage… Cover your work surface with paper or a sheet or drop cloth you don’t mind getting paint on. I will explain a bit later – but I think if I stencil curtains again I may try actually putting paper on the wall, then taping up curtain panel and actually stenciling on a wall just like I was stenciling a wall. The less times you have to move your curtain panel the better.
I started stenciling on my kitchen table. I taped down the corners of the fabric and taped down the stencil on top.
First stencil done! It was so much easier than I thought and the stencil came off clean and was easy to match up. I immediately became addicted to stenciling after the first stencil!
There are little markings on an all-over stencil that you match up with the previous design you stenciled to make sure you get everything lined up. I did NO measuring at all – just lined up the stencil with top and edge of curtain panel where I wanted the first design to be and then made sure I matched up the pattern each time. And if you get a tiny bit off on this kind of a design, you will never notice. If you are doing a quatrefoil or line/stripe type of design that might not be the case.
Whoops! Yes, definitely PREP your surface! I didn’t on the first set of stencils across the panel and had to stop, clean the table, and then prep my surface. If you are using a thicker fabric, you may not get bleed through but with my Vivan panels I got quite a bit of bleed through.
Royal Designs also sent me a 2” stencil brush which I loved too. I used a small paint roller pan and dipped just the tip of the brush in the paint and then dapped it off where you would roll the roller. Then did a “pouncing” type method to paint the stencil. The stencil brush was easy to control, went on fairly quickly, and was easy to clean.
It took me a little over an hour to stencil my first panel – but that was cleaning up my mess on my table, and being a bit extra cautious learning how to do things.
On my second panel, I decided to try using a small foam roller. The foam roller was MUCH faster – I could have one stencil of the 4 designs done in 1-2 minutes. BUT I did have less control and it was easy to accidently roll off the stencil, get too much paint, and it also made the paint bleed through much more. So there are definitely pros and cons to both. If I was doing a smaller stencil design or on a smaller area, I would definitely use a stencil brush. If I was doing a large stencil design like this on a wall, I would probably opt for a roller just because it goes faster. On a more delicate design like a quatrefoil design, I would probably opt for a stencil brush. It is all up to your personal preference and the design you are trying to accomplish.
5. Move your panel as little as possible maybe even allowing for some dry time in between. My biggest “problem” I encountered was with moving the curtain panel to stencil another section. I could not fit the whole width of the panel across my table so had to move for the 3rd stencil across. I also had to move it down for about 4 “rows” of stenciling across. Because the paint bled through the back of the fabric onto the paper on the table, sometimes the paint left on the paper would then get on the back of the curtain panel. And because they are lightweight white panels you could see it. That is why I say do it on the largest surface possible so you don’t have to move your fabric anymore than necessary. And if you are a perfectionist, I would say use a stencil brush so you have more control and less bleed through, and possibly use a thicker curtain panel like the Ritva panels.
I am not a perfectionist and my curtains will be pulled to the side all of the time so any little mistakes on mine are very hard to see.
I had no problems with bleed through on the actual design of the stencil on the front of the curtain – the stencil was SOO easy to work with! It is made of a nice sturdy thick plastic so it just holds up very well. My last few panels I knocked out in about 30 minutes each.
6. Clean your stencil frequently. I did my 6 panels over a space of 3 days. I would wash your stencil after every panel or if you are doing 2 panels back to back, you may be able to wait until you are done with both panels and then wash. I washed mine in the bathtub with warm water – letting it soak to loosen the paint and lightly scrubbed with my hands or a brush – being careful to not bend or damage the small design part of the stencil.
So here’s the $75 version on the left and my $5 version on the right! The one on the left is definitely more sheer and the design is sort of lost in the window – I just love how mine let light through but you don’t lose the design in the window light.
And here is a pair of my DIY version of curtains!
I did a half design of the stencil on the bottom to make it look it really is a fabric. I also went back to the top and added a half stencil too.
We never close our curtains. My curtains are purely for design and decoration – we close and open the blinds every day for privacy and light. BUT here is how they look if you were to close them. You can see that the design perfectly matches up even across 2 panels.
Oh I just love these curtains!
Here’s a shot of the whole room as it is coming along. Still a long way from finished – need a headboard, wall art, décor, and more.
Here’s a closeup of the design – I love the way the paint looks a bit textured in spots to just give it that look you would see on printed fabric.
And here’s a shot of the back of the curtains.
My $30 IKEA panels + some leftover paint + a stencil + a few hours of my time. Definitely beats spending $250+ on curtains!
And I found a new love – STENCILING! I want to stencil everything in site now . Would love to try a stenciled accent wall one day and have a feeling these won’t be the last curtain panels I stencil either. This same stencil would be so fun to make yellow or coral or navy stenciled curtains – the possibilities are endless and absolutely affordable.
Do you think you would tackle stenciling some curtain panels? What color or design would you choose?