SHEER DELIGHT

in
April 1, 2018
These pretty curtains are easy to make using a burner tool to cut out the designs. Begin by tracing the pattern onto the sheer fabric. The stencil burner melts the synthetic fabric, sealing the edges around the cuts. A contrasting lining hangs behind the sheers to make a gentle contrast.

Window coverings can be a real challenge. I lean toward a minimalist approach as I appreciate the architectural lines and frame work of a multitude of windows, large and small, as well as unobstructed views. You may prefer the open and bright expanse of large windows and glass balcony doors, but some locations call for privacy. There are many solutions, from a vast selection of blinds and shades to fabric draperies fashioned to enhance your room’s style. When a homeowner approached me for ideas on how to cover up her French doors, I came up with a light and airy design that gave her draperies an appealing and unique look. It’s a DIY project that can be utilized for any room.

I reversed the usual order, and layered frothy white sheers over a solid, coffee-coloured lining. The lining is the backdrop for the sheers. A daisy pattern has been cut out of the sheers using a stencil burner, which cuts very neatly and quickly, and seals the edges so that the fabric won’t fray. You must use a 100% polyester fabric for the heat to melt and seal the edges around the design. Work in a well-ventilated space as the melting synthetic fabric gives off fumes that could be harmful. The burner tool gets very hot; take care and never leave it unattended.

Start by making a template of a daisy, or any other design you like. You can also buy ready-made stencils. It’s easier and more effective to pick a pattern that is not too intricate. Lay the sheer curtain fabric on a flat surface and mark off where you are going to place the cutouts with pins. Use a tapestry hoop to hold the fabric taut. Work over a piece of glass, as the stencil burner is very hot and will damage wood, plastic and rubber. Place the hoop face down so the fabric is flush with the glass. Remove the pins and tape the stencil to the fabric. Draw the pattern with a pencil. Remove the stencil. Carefully cut out the design using the burning tool. Repeat the process until all your designs are cut. Attach the decorative sheers to the background lining along the top and sew a rod pocket for hanging.

Think about alternative pattern ideas for a children’s room. Pick a dark sky blue shade for the backdrop fabric and cut out moons and stars from the sheer fabric. This will create an opposing visual where the moon and stars show up deep blue against the white sheer.

Once you start working with stencils, it can be hard to stop. Applying decoration to plain, store-bought curtains is an easy way to personalize your décor. Try colouring in stencils with fabric paint. Use the dry-brush technique and build up the colour slowly. Practice on a spare piece of the fabric you are using so that you can get the feel of how much paint to use; mistakes are difficult or impossible to remove. Draw whimsical patterns freehand along the borders, hemlines or sides of the curtains. For a subtle effect, pick paint colour/s that are close to the fabric. Glossy and pearlized paint will catch the light for a shimmery effect.

Written by Debbie Travis and Barbara Dingle. Please email decorating questions to house2home@debbietravis.com. Follow Debbie at instagram.com/debbie_travis, facebook.com/thedebbietravis, debbietravis.com.