Yard Sale Find + Sweet Potato = Custom Curtains

Last summer I found some great curtain panels at a yard sale – nice and thick, neutral colour, great price. I had been wanting to update the curtains in our dining room, but not wanting to spend much money doing it. I knew when I found these panels that I would be able to do something creative to make them fun and unique. I got to work looking up how to paint designs on fabric with textile paint, as well as thinking about what kind of pattern I wanted to use.

I settled on a simple pattern that I repeated all across the panels with a design that I cut into a sweet potato – one potato for the main orange design, and a second potato for the small white diamonds. For the paint I used acrylic craft paint mixed with a textile medium by Martha Stewart that I picked up at Michael’s. The textile medium makes the paint permanent and washable, perfect for this use.

Materials for the curtains

I spread the panel out on top of an old drop cloth on the living room floor, and got to work stamping this bold graphic pattern onto the first panel. 4 Hours later I was done the main orange pattern…. did I mention that I did this on my hands and knees? And that I ran out of orange paint with only one panel done? I called it a night at this point, happy with how the first one was turning out, but not sure how I was going to get more matching orange paint to use on the  second panel when I didn’t have the time to drive an hour back to Michael’s before my sweet potato dried up….

The next day I decided I would just have to try and find the best colour match that I could at the local store that carried a small selection of craft paint. It wasn’t a perfect match, but after an hour of mixing colours I got it pretty close. A few hours later I was done the main pattern on the second panel.

Orange pattern done

Some friends have asked how I mapped out where I put each stamp, and I honestly didn’t do much since I wanted it to have more of a relaxed look and not be too rigid. I simply did one line all across the top, and then a line down the left side, and then just eyeballed the rest of them trying to get them fairly straight.

A couple of more late nights after the kids were in bed, and the panels were done! I will never do this again. Maybe a section of curtain, or a stripe… This took way longer than I had imagined it, but now that the curtains are done, I do love them.

Completed curtains

Amazing what you can do with a yard sale find, a sweet potato, and a little imagination!

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    1. Ursula Stouffer says

      They sure are beautiful, and definitely unique!

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