Monday, November 13, 2017

Teeny Tiny Curtains....!

Pursuing A Dream....

Some of you May recall, Dear Readers, my mentioning that I was not satisfied with the paper curtains that are provided with the Secret Christmas House kits. To begin with, they are very "fussy" and are just not my style. But more importantly in my opinion, they are Flat! As you may have noticed, I have been trying to add a third dimension to many of the pieces that come in these kits...(thickness to books, roundness to teapots and candlesticks, depth to picture frames and door frames to name a few!), so it should come as no surprise that I would want my curtains to appear more realistic and have at least a little bit of dimension to them! How to achieve this and with what materials has been the pursuit of many hours both waking and asleep. There was no way to finish decorating the Secret Christmas House without adding curtains.... and they needed to be added before the furnishings could be put in place. And in case you had not noticed... the Christmas Season is fast approaching! Would I give up on completing this project this year? Or would I try yet again to make suitable curtains....
The above picture will show you some of my attempts. They are a bit embarrassing.... made from coffee filter paper smushed into a curtain-ish shape and painted a color approximating the ones in the kit. Even with lovely gold trim, they just looked horrid when tested in place...

No, this just would Not work!
I decided I was going to need to be very precise with the "folds" of the material... 
and I also decided I would prefer to use cloth if possible!
From there I tried many methods of making the material fold like pleated drapes.... 
I even tried winding the wet cloth through the teeth of a comb while it dried!
But none succeeded in giving me a small enough pleat.
Finally, last weekend I decide to try making a wire "jig" 
to hold the material in place as it dried.

I thought that perhaps if I made a frame of wires in a curtain-drape shape,
 and placed the wet cloth over the wires....
Using a method described by Elizabeth of Studio E Blog...
 (The material is dipped in a watered down glue.... 
thank you for the tutorial Elizabeth!)

And then laid more wires over the wet cloth....
 pressed into the valleys between the first wires.... 
to hold the wet cloth down while it dried....
Then maybe it would dry with small enough pleats!
I also tested the method of just using pins
 to hold the fabric in pleated folds.... 
(which you can see above to the right.)
This method left large pin holes in the cloth 
and not enough consistency to the pleats.
But the wires method seemed to work fairly well...!

You can sort of see the test curtains here.... 
I know they are very pale and you can hardly see the pleats....
 but it shows promise!

I tested more versions with coffee filter paper.... 
but did not like the results.
Paper is out... cloth is in.
I quickly made more with the cloth...

Well, not quickly... it takes a couple of hours for the cloth to dry!
Here I am using an antique silk charmeuse scrap...
it has a very fine weave and a soft and malleable hand.... 
and is also a cream color that could be painted if necessary....

Here I am testing one of the dried panels in the parlor..... 
I think I am getting somewhere!

How about two panels together....?
I think these could work!
Now, Dear Readers, I am getting Excited!!!

Here I am testing the pale silk in the Sitting Room again... 
but I am not happy with the color for this room... 
it is too pale. The curtain just disappears.
And I am not really happy with the way it looks painted... 
that will serve as a last resort... 
but first I want to try other fabrics.

Starting with a green silk....
 the very same green silk I used for the bed curtains 
for the Tree House bed!

Here you can see several of the different versions 
together with the original printed paper kit versions.
The green silk is too "yellow" for the Sitting Room... 
so I try them in the Dining Room....

Oh my...!!! 
What a perfect color match!!!
And the fringe even looks okay!!!
So now I need to make the curtain rods.....

Like so...!

And testing the Parlor curtains......
I have decided to go with the cream color in this room... 
it tones down the pink a bit and won't compete with the Tree....!

And now I have Glued them in place!

The Sitting Room curtains wanted to be a darker green....

Here you can see it drying in the wire "jig"....

And in place in the Sitting Room.
It is hard to get the colors to look the way they are in RL... 
this appears a bit too blue in this light.
But the "green" in this room is a very blue-toned green!

But I must say, Dear Readers,
 I just want to Crow about these curtains!!!
Even though they will practically "disappear" 
when the room is all furnished...
 I think they look Perfect!

See what I mean? 
You hardly notice the curtains!

Here, come a little closer.....

I just Love the way the Light shines through them!
Well, Dear Readers, 
I just can't tell you how Excited I am
 by these tiny bits of cloth...
Catching that Dream....
Teeny Tiny Curtains!


  1. Hi Betsy, You are so committed! You wrote that the curtains were perfect because you did not notice them. That is so true. A photo is so revealing and if the colour is not in harmony it certainly jumps out as not feeling correct.
    Amazingly tiny work.
    Regards Janine

    1. I love that sense of something being "right" because they don't stand out! Thank you for commenting Janine!

  2. You are right: teeny tiny bits with great results!!! Your way of making these teeny tiny curtains is just perfect, Betsy, they fit beautiful in these tiny rooms and they give the right color addition in the colorscheme per room, you've done a great job!
    And, it's true that blue-toned green colors sometimes seems like blue on the pictures, I often see the same in the green leaves of my plants ;)!
    Warm hugs, Ilona

    1. Hi Ilona! It is very annoying the way colors can look so different in the photos! But we have to accept that challenge.... I know the colors look better in RL! Thank you for your comment! :)

  3. Fantastic work! I love your mini home!

    1. Thank you Tatiana! I am having fun with this kit! It is very well made... I am just adding to it!

  4. Replies
    1. Thank you Claude! It is so satisfying when we get the results we want! :)

  5. Hello Betsy,
    I commend you for just sticking to it until you got something you were proud of. I just love the final curtains and I think they really add so much realism and texture to the rooms. I don't think the paper ones would ever have given the same magical effect. I especially love the ones in the dining room. They are all just perfect. Well done to you!
    Big hug

    1. Thank you Giac! I just couldn't leave them the way the kit had them! It took a while, but I finally got the results I wanted! I think they really make a difference! :)

  6. I love that it matters so much to you to have everything as close to perfect as you can, even in spaces which when the project is finished will be hidden. You are amazing. (The curtains look wonderful!)

  7. Very well done! Good for you. Perseverance pays off doesn't it?

    1. Hi Sheila! Yes, it does! It took a while... but I am so glad I kept at it! I just couldn't be satisfied with anything less!

  8. Your tenacity to form the perfect curtains was handsomely rewarded! I can't imagine anything looking more elegant for the spaces, and the colors you chose work like magic to further endear this precious little house. I can honestly say after having worked on one tiny house, using bits of lace for window coverings, how much I admire your skill in making these perfect draperies! Well done Betsy!

    1. Hi Jodi! I am so glad I kept at it! I would not have been happy with anything else!
      Jodi, I want to tell you I am having trouble leaving comments on your blog because I am not on google plus and don't want to be! (Old fashioned I am!) But I am loving the details you are adding to your cottage... they look Delicious!!! :)

  9. Replies
    1. Hi Fabiola! Thank you! I think they turned out just right!

  10. Your perseverance in TEENY TINY CURTAIN MAKING; certainly PAID OFF BIG TIME Betsy!!! I am Excited for you too and I think that the drapes in all of the rooms you've done couldn't be Better!
    They soften the room and add a warmth to it and yet don't hide the glass and are in truth- Very Discreet!
    BRAVO my dear Betsy- what an achievement! :D


    1. Thank you Elizabeth!!! I gained some courage from your technique with the glue.... just had to figure out a way to make the cloth stay pleated while it dried! I am so glad I kept trying... I do think the curtains look like curtains!!! LOL!

  11. Fantastic Betsy! Practice makes perfect, and I think at this stage, with all the other detail in this little house, the real curtains had to be!

    1. Hi Shannon! Yes, after adding so many details to so many parts... I just could not leave the curtains alone! I am so glad I was able to make them look right! Thank you for commenting!

  12. Hi, Betsy - I love the simplicity of your 3D curtains. The color that you've chosen for each room is ideal. The curtains drape beautifully and add such richness to the rooms, while staying in the background - as they should. I admire your tenacious spirit; you know what you want, and you just keep at it until the result matches your vision - Bravo! I love this pretty little house and look forward to seeing it all furnished.

    1. Thank you Marjorie! I am so glad I was able to make it work! I was really not going to be happy with anything less! I am really lucky I had such good fabric to work with too! That makes a difference!

  13. Did I ever tell you that you are incredible??? *LOL* This is soooooo you in any way... either if we're talking about the fact that it had to be real 3D curtains or you're patience in trying so many techniques until you find the right one or of course the stunning, awesome result. And on top you've managed to find perfect color matches for the rooms, adding to the elegance of the scenes. Wonderful work... but there's one thing you said that gives me the shivers. Christmas season is fast approaching??? Really??? Oh my... how could this ever happen??? ;O)


    1. Dear Birgit, I am sorry to have to give you the "shivers" .... but how else am I to get to see the Christmas Market??? LOL! And really, I have to confess about these curtains... it was touch and go whether I would need to make them open and close on the curtain rods!!! :):) I decided to spare myself some agony and go for the glue! (I really am looking forward to the opening of the Christmas Market!!!) :):)

  14. What a fantastic set of curtains. A wonderful achievement to get fabric to behave like it is really hanging, in that scale....really good! As you said the curtains add depth which makes the rooms more interesting and more alive.
    I enlarged the last photo quite a bit to have a look at the dining room. It is so beautiful, so many lovely details and those curtains just finish it off.

    1. Thank you Josje! I kept thinking of your beautiful drapes in your beautiful rooms.... all I had to do was figure out how to make the pleats small enough! I am so glad I kept at it... it makes such a difference! :)

  15. Wonderful work!
    Happy Thanks Giving day to you and yours!
    Hugs, Drora