Simple DIY Curtains & A Finished Studio Back Entry

I decided to go ahead and finish up the back entry before tackling the half bath, and I had planned to make some curtains to go on the back French doors, and then make some artwork for the walls. But after getting the curtains finished and hung, I decided that I liked the back entry just like it was. Black, white and green. Simple, bold and graphic. Adding artwork with additional colors (or even just black and white artwork) only would have added busyness, and I didn’t want that.

I apologize up front for the dark nighttime pictures. I finished installing these curtains last night, and didn’t want to wait until this morning to take pictures. Plus, during the day, all of my tools show very prominently through the glass doors. 🙂 I promise that when the studio is completely finished, and I get those final “taaa daaa” pictures, I’ll take them during the day and my mess in the carport will be cleaned up.

So anyway, here’s how my back entry looks now. I’m calling it finished (other than the fact that I still need to install the door handle on the French doors).

Now just as a reminder, this back area used to look like this — a very narrow door leading to a dark storage area at the back of our garage with a ceiling so low that it barely cleared the top of the door on the back wall.

And even after the garage was re-framed and the studio began to take shape, that back area still had the very low ceiling that barely cleared the new French doors along the back wall.

It was only because of the addition of the carport that we were able to raise the ceiling in the back entry, and wow! What a difference it made!

Since some of you requested photos showing the height of the back entry, the only way I could do that is with my wide angle lens. That lens distorts things a bit, and makes the back entry look much deeper than it really is. The whole area is only about 7.5 feet deep (i.e., from the studio cased opening to the back French doors), and maybe 8 feet wide. I believe the ceiling is around 11 feet high now.

I decided to stick with very simple white curtains with black and green ribbon accents on the leading and bottom edges. I had originally thought about using a colorful fabric — maybe even the wallpaper design printed on fabric — but I think that would have been disastrous. The only one I could find that even remotely complemented the wallpaper was this Kelly Ripa Make It Rain fabric from JoAnn Fabrics.

That would have been so busy and distracting, and I really think the wallpaper print would have been also. So I stuck with a very simple design. And since the only fabric I could find that was heavy enough and actually white (and not a cream color) was blackout lining, I actually just made the curtain panels out of blackout lining. 😀

Now that the curtains are up, I’m pretty sure that they’ll only be for decorative purposes and not used for privacy. But they also serve another purpose. The studio is so big and cavernous that every sound echoes. It’s annoying to have a conversation in the room because of the echo. So I need to find every opportunity there is to add fabric to the room, especially since I won’t be using area rugs.

So I’ll show you how I made these curtains, although there’s really nothing to it.

Super Simple DIY Curtains With Ribbon Detail

First, I cut two pieces of blackout lining to my finished length (89.5 inches) plus about 20 inches.

With the fabric face down on my work surface, I turned the bottom edge up four inches, and then up another four inches. I sewed that hem into place by sewing through all of the layers along the top edge of the hem.

Then on the leading edge (i.e., the side edge that faces towards the window or door when installed), I did a double 1.5-inch hem, and sewed that into place with my sewing machine by sewing through all of the layers.

Next, I added the ribbon detail. I used grosgrain ribbon and Alene’s Fabric Fusion permanent fabric tape to adhere the ribbon to the fabric on the leading edge and the bottom edge of the panel. I used two rows of ribbon and two sizes of tape to complete the design.

With the ribbon design attached, I then repeated the double 1.5-inch hem on the other side edge of the panel.

And finally, I did a double 3-inch hem on the top edge (after measuring my finished 89.5-inch length) and used woven header tape inside that top header hem to give it some body to hold the pleats.

I feel like I’ve done a thousand curtain and drapery tutorials covering all of those details — headers, pleats, hems, etc. — so you can check those out here if you need more details.

Now obviously, these aren’t professional workroom-quality draperies. 🙂 When making professional quality window treatments, I always avoid topstitching, and would probably sew the trim on in addition to using the permanent fabric tape. But for the purposes of a studio, where they’ll probably eventually get paint on them anyway 😀 , I think are just fine.

Anyway, I’m calling the back entry done. Now I really can move on to finish the bathroom.

What do you think about my “no artwork” decision? Simplicity is best sometimes, right? Simplicity generally isn’t my default setting, but this a rare case where it really appeals to me.

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