DIY: Before and After FAIL edition

Finally, a last word on the completed fireplace/mantel makeover:


And my last word on that? I'm pleased! I really love the new look of the insert … and aren't my childproofing locks so classy?! I also repainted the chalkboard with chalkboard paint in a can and I am very happy with the results. I also learned about "conditioning" chalkboard paint (you let it cure for three days before use, then rub the flat side of a piece of chalk all over it and then wash with a wet cloth. Ta-da!). The surface is now much more washable and the chalk doesn't stick as badly (however it does stick. It's not going to ever look perfectly clean, so keep that in mind when you're dreaming up a chalkboard project.


("For good reason joy is in our hearts.")

And speaking of chalkboard projects? While I had the paint out I went nuts and did a pantry door in my kitchen!


("plans: survive; drink coffee" … Monday was a rough day.)

This satisfies my need for a chalkboard surface in my house. I have now canceled my plans for a wall o' chalkboard in the dining area. I can now move on with my life.

And for my last trick? I was planning on finally finishing out my pinned-on curtains using this no-sew tutorial. While John and Syd were out on a daddy-daughter date this week I got out my ironing board and went to work.

I hung them up and … WAY too small. BAH.


I know they don't look that bad in the photo but they are seriously just flat on the window. This type of curtain looks way better when they are gathered on the top in my opinion.

So then? I moved them to my front door and finally replaced the ugly shower curtain curtains I made when I was pregnant with Elijah. Win!

And then? I just bought some curtains at Target for the naked window … which are still not quite right. I think they are too long? 


How long should curtains be behind a piece of furniture? How do you determine the proper length for curtains anyway? I do close the drapes sometimes and it looks odd with the little chest in front of them. Should I try and hem them no-sew style? Doesn't that defeat the purpose of BUYING curtains? What would you do? Just scrap the whole thing and buy a white faux-wood blind (that's my other idea right now. Even though I HATE blinds)?

And now? I shall stuff nachos in my face (oh WHATEVER. Jillian can WAIT).

Here's the before:


(Yeah, there's not going to be an after photo. NOM.)


5 thoughts on “DIY: Before and After FAIL edition

  1. MamaBub says:

    I like the length of the curtain. Doesn’t a longer curtain make the window look bigger or something? Still, I’m impressed. I cant even sew a button back on to… anything.

  2. Salome Ellen says:

    “Traditional” (I’m old) curtain sizing says they should hang even with the top of the sill, the bottom of the window molding, the top of the baseboard, or brushing the floor. Also, when buying, 1 1/2 times the width of the window FRAME is a minimum for nice hanging.

    That said: currently I don’t have a single curtain in my house. We’ve lived here for a year and a half, and still have the (vertical and mini) blinds that came with the house. I don’t love them, but they don’t inspire hate, and they’re free. But someday…..

  3. Elizabeth says:

    I love the fireplace! Way to go!

    I think for that window, since you are going to be opening and closing them and you have a piece of furniture in front of it and the short curtain looked funny, I would do a roman shade. I love the look and it’s easy to put up and down…

  4. K says:

    I am a fan of your healthy (read as: AMPLE) dollops of sour cream on those nachos.

    I am very pro-sour cream.

  5. elz says:

    Have you thought about a Roman Shade, maybe with a valance on top? I think the Nester has a no sew tutorial for that. Longer curtains would, in my opinion, look a bit strange with that piece of furniture. Plus, small hands can’t pull down a Roman Shade! Good luck!

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