How To: Bed Cave Curtains
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Janel Laban
Feb 19, 2009

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Title: Bed Cave Curtains
Name: Laura
Time: Two Weekends
Cost: $120

A perfect (and fun!) solution for a shared bedroom. Click above for pics, below for the how-to and be sure to give Laura a THUMBS UP if you find this project helpful....

Tools:
KEA Kvartal curtain track system (buying guide available at IKEA's website will help you determine exactly which components you'll need for your project)
drill
plaster wall/ceiling anchors
mitre box
hand saw
fabric for curtains, inside and outside
sewing machine
thread
pins
knee pads
twill tape

Steps:
I have a seven year-old daughter and a five year-old son and only one kid bedroom available. Privacy, differing bedtimes and different reading habits (my seven year-old will read until midnight if allowed) were wreaking havoc on our peaceful little home. I realized that giving each child a private little area in which to dress, hang out and read would solve more than a few problems. Plus, it would give me something to do post-holidays to avoid that after Christmas crash, if you know what I mean.

Weekend 1: Sew Curtains
1) Measure from ceiling to floor to determine how long your curtains will be; measure around bed and multiply by 1.5 to determine how long curtains need to be. For now, just imagine one long piece that surrounds the bed; we'll be making two separate curtains out of each big piece later. Go buy fabric! I bought much of the fabric from this project from the Salvation Army. They have giant, king-sized bed sheets for $4. 2) For the outside of the curtains, join pieces of fabric with your machine, making sure to sew with right-sides together to hide the seams, until you've made a piece of fabric that matches the measurements from step 1. You can get really, really creative in this step and sew patchwork, stripes, you can add appliqued pieces here and there, or you can be boring like me and do a rainbow!
3) For the inside of the curtains, I used black fabric to block light and to give the inside of the curtain area a cave-like feel. I bought two loooong pieces of black broadcloth and sewed them together on the horizontal. In other words, there is a horizontal seam running along the inside of the kids' curtains, but it's not very visible and does not detract from the look.
4) Here's where the knee pads come in! Take your two giant fabric pieces and lay them out on the floor, right sides together. Make sure your finished interior piece is the same size as your finished exterior piece and trim if necessary. Cut curtains in half to make two separate curtains, then pin together the front and back of each curtain all around the edges, leaving a small space to turn curtains.
5) Sew together the inside and outside of both curtains, leaving a space for turning. Use a 1/4 inch seam allowance.
6) Turn and press curtains.
7) Edge-stitch each curtain, stitching closed the open space as you go.
8) Sew twill tape to the inside top of each curtain. Use a zig-zag stitch to tack the tape down to the curtain at 1/2 inch intervals. You are creating a space for the curtain hooks in this step, but you don't have to be totally accurate in your measurements. After this step, your curtains are done! OR, you can always stop at step 1 and go to the store to BUY some curtains for this project. Just make sure they have a strip of fabric and string at the top that will allow you to hang them using the IKEA Kvartal hooks.

Weekend 2: Install Track and Hang Curtains
Before the weekend, you need to determine how much Kvartal track you will need. Referring to the Adobe Acrobat .pdf buying guide available at the IKEA website, measure around bed to determine how much track you will need and how many ceiling components you'll need. I've found that one 52" length of Kvartal track combined with one corner piece easily clears the end of a double bed along its width--just a little FYI. Then go to IKEA and buy your supplies. What? No IKEA nearby? Kvartal is available for purchase on their website and will be shipped to your door, so no sweatsky Wayne Gretzky. Once you have your Kvartal supplies on hand, just follow the installation guide that comes inside each package of track. A few Kvartal tips: **Make sure you aren't leaving even the tiniest space between track pieces: the closer together the pieces are, the smoother the curtains will open and close. **You will most likely need two people to finish the job, but I was able to do most of the install alone, right until the final moments of placing the track in its entirety onto the ceiling. Once the track is in place with the little plastic curtain hangers waiting for you, hang the curtains on the Kvartal hooks at regular, even intervals. Remember, you've sewn twill tape to the inside of each curtain, making little areas for the hooks all along the curtain. Voila! Bed Cave Curtains for your little guys.

Sources:
The Salvation Army is a great resource for cheap fabric.

Give Laura a THUMBS UP if you find this project helpful....

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