What to do with your old curtains

sound-of-music-curtainSpring is the time of the year when it’s out with the old and in with the new. But sometimes it’s better to reuse and recycle when you can. It saves money, is kinder to the environment, and can be a fun, creative project.

Do you have old drapes lying around? Here are a few ideas with what you can do with them.

1. Use curtains over an alcove or closet without doors, to create out-of-the-way storage. Install a tension rod and simply hang rod-pocket curtains from it. With other curtain styles, such as tab-top, tie-top, or flat-panel curtains with rings, install a pole rod on inside-mount brackets instead.

2. Can one ever have enough throw pillows? Make your own by cuting out two matching squares, rectangles or circles into your old curtain fabric. Then sew the two sides together (with the decorative sides facing each other), but leave an opening in the corner. Turn the fabric inside out, stuff loose batting into the opening, and neatly hand stitch it closed.

3. If you have an unattractive section you’d rather have out of sight, like a messy storage area, pile of boxes, or plumbing pipes, drape a curtain in front of it. This will let you keep your storage area, without it detracting from the aesthetics of the room.

4. Make an interesting, attractive and inexpensive nightstand or end table. Just drape a large curtain over a stack of sturdy boxes, file cabinet, or something similar. For a more elegant look, make a small topper for a round table by cutting out a square of curtain fabric, and sew a one-inch double-folded hem into all four sides.

5. If you have old sheer curtains, you can reuse them as a romantic picnic cloth. Sheet curtains are strong and durable, so they’re perfect for throwing over a picnic table. Just cut the material into the size you need, and you’re good to go. For an extra special look, hot glue frilly trim or artificial flowers onto the fabric.

6. Make decorative “raggedy roses” for various craft projects. You’ll find five ideas here from making artistic rose-themed picture frames to cute roses to glue onto shoes for a fun look.

Whether you have old curtains in storage that you don’t know what to do with, or you’re replacing them with new curtains for an updated spring look, you don’t have to throw out perfectly good material. While some of these ideas are practical and others are decorative, they’re all ways of upcycling something old to give it a new life.

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