Thursday, April 12, 2012

DIY Ombre Striped Curtains

Let's get it out there- I know that mine aren't ombre :) I ran out of white paint (translation: thought I had a full bottle at home) and decided to just do various similar tonal shades. However, I can definitely get you the ombre look- two different ways.
Painting curtains is nothing new to me, several months ago I did a POST about painting shower curtains. I bought a curtain rod for a completely different project and when that fell through, I decided to revise my shower curtain tutorial and create something for our bedroom. I love how they turned out, though I'm not sure the I love them next to our bed. We'll see. 
This project was easy enough, but it *is* a bit time consuming- especially if you want to do it right. I learned a few tips and tricks along the way that will really help you to create something beautifully. Be sure to read the bottom- I have another fun idea to share! Here's what you'll need...

Curtains- I got mine at Ikea for $20. They're a nice, heavy canvas sort. You can use any you'd like- as long as they aren't a thin, wispy chiffon sort.
Paint- I used about 32 oz. You'll want half white and half color for the ombre look. If you're doing them in a different color per stripe, you'll need about 4 oz per stripe (on each curtain). I used acrylic. Fabric would have been better, but it's much more expensive.
Paint brush or sponge- nothing that easily loses it's fibers
Water- just a bit to thin down your paint so that it's more fluid and easier to use (HUGE help) not more than 20%.
Protector- whether it's a drop cloth or cardboard, you need something to make sure paint doesn't bleed through.
Masking tape- to mark off your lines!

(1) Iron it. Lesson learned. I tried starting this without ironing the curtains (I'm sooo lazy) and it was a mistake. I had to wait for the first stripe to dry and then iron the curtains in the end.
(2) Tape it. Tape off your sections. I did 12 inches of white and 12 inches of color. Take the width of the masking tape into consideration- that means if your tape is 1/2 inch wide, you need to only do 11 inch sections between for white, once you peel off the tape, you'll have that extra inch back. 
(3) Mix it. Mix your paint- for ombre here is how it goes.... STRIPE ONE: 100% color. STRIPE TWO: 75% color, 25% white. STRIPE THREE: 50% each. STRIPE FOUR: 25% color, 75% white. I used a little salsa jar and it worked very well. 
(4) Paint it. Please- PLEASE make enough paint in advance for each stripe on both sides. Otherwise you'll run out and have a hard time making an exact match- or they won't match on each side. I painted the curtains together instead of painting one and then the other. Make more paint than you think you'll need... you can always use it with the next lighter stripe. 
Mix in a little bit of water (if you're using acrylic) to make it go on smoother. Also, remember to really saturate the curtain- you don't want patches to show through when the light shines in. If you periodically pick the curtain up and check underneath where you're painting, you'll see the spots that need more coverage.
(5) Dry it. Allow it to dry and then hang the bad boy! If you used acrylic, it may be a bit stiff, but it'll start to fold eventually. Again, fabric paint is a much better option. I'm cheap :)

It's nice to paint curtains yourself, it's the best way to get a color customized creation! Here's my suggestion for a different set- it would be really fun (if you're doing ombre) to make much smaller stripes (maybe 2 inches) and either change the color EVERY stripe or every 4th stripe. If you want to do that, just get a BIG jar and put ALL of your color in it. Every stripe, add more white paint in and mix it.
I can't believe another week is almost over. Is it seriously Thursday? It happens so quickly. On a sad note, today would have been my grandfather's 79th birthday. You may or may not know that in 2011 I lost both of my grandfathers to cancer. What a horrible disease. If you think of it, say a little prayer for my grandma, who I am certain is missing her life-long companion and love today. And remember to love the ones you have in your life... you never know how long you'll have to hold them. All the best, and as always... thanks for reading :)
PS: If you're wondering about the ruffle wall behind our bed- the tutorial is HERE.


  1. i can't wait to try this! I have been waiting for some idea to come to my mind to put that finishing touch into my bedroom and i just found it! Thank you so much!

    1. Thanks, Annabeth! I hope you check back again for more inspiration- and i'd LOVE to see your finished project!! <3 auna

  2. Replies
    1. I just saw that you have a fabulous blog, too... following! <3

  3. I love these! I may have to do this when we move into our new house...perfect way to spruce up the curtains we already have!

    1. Awesome, Jen! Let me know how it goes :)


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