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Playing With Drapes

The bedroom drapes were a yet again a "try something new" moment inspired by a dollar store visit.  I have an independent party/dollar store near me that I discovered a few months ago.  Amazing craft section!  But, in the hardware area they had a grommet press (like a hole punch) with tons of tiny grommets for $2.50.  I couldn't resist.  All I could think about were drapes.

What I Did

I pre-washed my fabric to remove some of the sizing and make it easier to pleat.  Each panel is roughly double the width of the window (like real drapes).  I then, using my sewing machine, hemmed the top, bottom and sides. 

I made rough folded pleats to determine where my grommets should go.  It really depends on the look you want for your pleat.  Also, in my case, the fabric was thicker, like upholstery fabric, so it didn't have a flow to it, therefore, tight pleats worked well.

Something New!

After placing my grommets and being left with a sore hand, I used my iron to press the pleats into the drapes.  I normally would have used my paint brushes to act as my pleater with my fabric soaked in glue water.  This time I wanted to see if iron pleating would be an improvement.  Also, the fabric is thicker and stiffer then normal, so I was worried it might not drape over the paint brushes.  I still wanted the glue bath to set the drapes and make the pleats hold over time.

Iron pleated

The Sticky Bath

I mixed about 1 shot glass worth (3oz?) of white glue into 1/4 cup of warm water.  

Then soaked the iron pleated drape in the bath, careful not to submerge the metal grommets.

I put strips of wax paper between the now wet pleats.  I was worried the drape would dry into a single pleat.

Then I placed the drapes between 2 books (covered again in wax paper).  Grommets were left out to stay dry.  After 24hrs I still found them rather damp, so I took the books away and lay them on a towel.  I think this is what caused a bit of the crumple in the drapes, but I was too lazy to fix it.

Science Sucks

What happens when water meets metal and they mingle for a while? RUST.  The thought didn't escape me.  No, I had the thought as the panels were soaking.  I literally ran down to my basement the following morning hoping there would be no rust on the WHITE drapes.  Incorrect.  I would therefore consider marking, but not grommeting, until after the drapes are glue soaked and dried.

While nicely pleated, there was some rust around the grommets.  I was able to grab some ivory coloured paint and touch up the fabric.  All was well!

Finishing It Off

I was smart (for once) and had found a dowel that went through my grommets BEFORE I started the project.  Did you feel the earth move?  I painted the dowel gold and fed the drapes on.  Very, very snug and lots of fiddling but I got them on!

I mounted the eye hooks into the wall.  The drapes are stiff enough that even if the drapes are tugged, the drape is tough and long enough to support the hooks from ripping out.  

Annnnnnnnd, you might say, but what do the drapes look like up?  Ha.  Forgot to take that picture.  Oops.  It will be in the bedroom reveal photos!