Carly Rubach

Curtains of Life

By - Jul 24th, 2011 04:00 am
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Ever since I saw Tree of Life, I’ve been hunting for lace and sheer white curtains. Though the film sparked interesting conversations with varying views and interpretations, I just couldn’t stop thinking about those gosh darn window treatments blowing ever so gently in the graceful wind. If you have seen this Malick “masterpiece,” you might be surprised that I managed to focus on a setting detail amidst the dinosaurs, tender brotherly moments, epic nature shots and Brad Pitt.

I couldn’t help it, that house was super neat.

One of our windows already has a mighty fine pair of lace curtains that were passed down from a friend, but I want more! We have a smaller window in our second bedroom and I thought I’d give it more of an accent, so I gathered some old handkerchiefs that I had stowed away and laid them out in rows. Boy did they look pretty.

You can find hankies if you frequent Goodwill or Salvation Army, but they are much easier to spot at antique or vintage shops (more expensive, though). The ones I got ranged from about $2-$4 a piece, and were collected over a period several months.

Mini-handkerchief Curtains

12 white handkerchiefs
sewing needle
curtain rod


Lay out your hankies in a pattern that you like. If some have lace around the edges, consider placing them in the top row so that you can easily thread the twine through and make loops to slide onto the curtain rod.

I tacked all of the corners of the kerchiefs together with twine and a thick sewing needle so they would keep together, but still sag a bit. Try more colorful thread if you’re feeling crazy.

I chose to do two separate panels, two columns wide and three rows long. I think they would also look lovely as one panel (four columns and three rows).

Tie three bowed loops to the tops of each handkerchief in the top row.

Slide the loops onto the curtain rod and admire the beauty of the breeze.


Dumpster Chair

I  recently found a metal chair next to the dumpster that I snagged and reupholstered— I’m always on the lookout for any chance to use a staple gun. I’m going back and forth on spray painting the frame. I like the original off-white, but it could be fun to try a lighter blue. Check out the before and after below, let me know what you think.


Staple gun
Flathead and Philips screwdriver


First, turn the chair upside-down and take out the screws that hold the seat to the frame.

Set the seat on your work surface. Use your flathead screwdriver to lift the staples and take a pliers to remove them from the chair. Remove all staples so you can get rid of the lame fabric.

Next, size out the piece of fabric that you want to use as the new seat cover. Give it about 4-5 inches of excess on each side.

You’re basically wrapping the seat like a gift, but when you get to the corners be sure to gather the fabric and pull tightly so there are no loose areas. Use your staple gun to secure the fabric as you go.

Spray paint the frame if you so choose!


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