I knew when we moved that I wanted to hang curtains on all of our large windows downstairs.  The assumption on my part was that curtains would be much less expensive than blinds. Wrong! After spending weeks looking for just the right fabric, at just the right cost, I was empty handed.  Drapery fabric is (apparently) super expensive!

I started searching for alternative drapery ideas on the internet, and came across quite a few sites where people had painted drop cloths with a stenciled pattern.  So began my search for just the right stencil.  I found this Marrakech Trellis stencil on Amazon and knew it was perfect.

My plan was to stencil on drop cloths, but then a friend suggested the Merete curtains from Ikea.  They are more expensive than the drop cloths, but they are already hemmed, have grommets at the top, and are a fairly heavy curtain.

I decided to just use a regular interior paint from BEHR, because anytime I get this stuff on my clothes, there’s no getting rid of it! Some websites suggested mixing a medium with the paint to make it a fabric paint, but I did a sample sheet of fabric with this paint, washed it, dried it, and ironed it, and it came out fine.

spread out two giant pieces of cardboard on our floor, with a plastic drop cloth spread out over them, and painted the drapes on top of the drop cloth.  To paint the fabric, I used a 3 inch foam rolling brush and tried not to put too much paint on it.  People who are familiar with stenciling, might have an easier time with this than I had.

me Depot, and spray painted it with Oil Rubbed Bronze.  The same color I used on the chandelier, the hardware on my pallet coffee table and the knobs on my dresser.

I chose to use conduit piping because I needed two 10 foot poles and one 16 foot pole for my windows, and normal drapery rods are just too pricey for me.  I got all of the piping I needed for under $60.00.  Great deal!!

I forgot to take a picture of the poles while spraying them with the Oil Rubbed Bronze, but you’ll be able to see them finished in the picture after this one.  Prior to spraying anything metal, I use this primer specific for metal products.

Note to self:  Don’t spray paint on plastic again.  As the spray paint dried, it was peeling up off the plastic along with the poles, so I had giant pieces of paint hanging off the poles.  It was easy to pull the paint off, but it was an unnecessary step.

There were a few mess ups, some big, some small, and I think there’s even an iron burn on one of these panels, but once they’re hung, you don’t really notice any of it.

I think, all in all, they turned out pretty nice.  I still have 10 panels to paint, for the rest of the windows in the house.  Phew! That’s a ton of work…

Let me know what you think, or if you’ve ever done any stenciling and have any suggestions, please let us know on our home improvement page