A couple of months ago when the kids had a playdate Ada asked her friend if they wanted to put on a play. Once they were dressed up in their makeshift costumes and ready to start Ada realized she had no curtain. As the show must go on I had to quickly come up with a makeshift curtain by grabbing my afghan so they could hold it up and drop it when they were ready for the play to start. It was adorable as they sang and danced in their dress up dresses and capes. A bit later the girls had another playdate and the same thing happened. As I sat and watched them I came up with this doorway curtain which I kicked into high gear about mid-February when the 52 week sewing challenge called to make a toy. I figured that although this wasn’t a traditional toy like a stuffed animal or something it still fit the bill as the kids would, hopefully, play with it.
I wanted to make the curtain as simple as it could be. Something that wouldn’t be too intense to make so it didn’t matter as much if they went through phases of not using it (I’m looking at you kitchen stovetop cover) yet keep it nice and workable enough that if they love it and use it often it’s not an eyesore. Since I wanted the curtain to be easy to put up and take down I decided to use a dowel or a rod to hold the curtain up and command hooks to attach it to the doorway. I was originally going to check out a hardware store for a wooden or plastic dowel or an extension rod but when I next went to Walmart I came across a selection of wooden dowels, all 36 inches long, in the craft section and picked out one of the wider ones, at 5/8th inches, that ended up being a bit shorter than I had wanted but otherwise still worked great. Once I knew that I had the right dowel I went through my command hooks and picked the ones I thought would work the best; both with the dowel and to attach to the door frame.
Now that the curtain rod and fixtures were decided the next step was the curtain itself. When we were moving I had grabbed a piece of fabric and made a make-shift curtain by tossing it over a clothes rack (we had bought for dress up dresses) to separate the kids mattresses. I found the ‘curtain’ kept falling off so I actually used masking tape to hold it in place as it didn’t matter if the curtain could open or close. The plan with this was to create a wall to help give the kids privacy if they needed alone time and stop them from arguing… in reality; however, I had to keep attaching it to the clothing rack and we eventually only used it upon kid-request. However, once we were fully unpacked I thought fondly of the fabric and wanted to come up with the perfect project for it but beyond unneeded pillows I couldn’t think of anything to do with the fabric so I set it aside until I could think of the perfect project… which was now. The second I thought of making the kids a curtain I knew I had to use it. After finding where I set the fabric aside I examined it to realize that it only had selvage on one side so I quickly knew that was the side that I was going to use to create the channel for the dowel. I started out by using my iron to stop the selvage from curling and then folded up that side, measured it, and clipped it in place.
To create the channel for the dowel I sewed along the edge of the folded over fabric making sure that the created channel was wide enough that the curtain could easily slide along the dowel. This was the only sewing part of the whole project and if you don’t have a sewing machine you could always attach it another way. The first time around I used masking tape (did not stay too long with this fabric type) although I’m sure you could hand stitch it, attach snaps or Velcro, or use fabric glue too. This was supposed to be a quick sew right before going to bed and my sewing machine tried to eat the fabric multiple times. I ended up giving up, tired and frustrated, and saved figuring it out for when I was calmer the next day. I can’t believe such a simple thing gave me so much trouble. And even with the break my stitching ended up not being perfect but in the end the channel was mostly closed, the dowel fit, and I could always go over it again in the future if need be.
Once I was done putting the curtain on the dowel I grabbed my glue gun and used it to add a stopper to either end of the dowel so the fabric couldn’t easily come off. I figure if I ever need to wash the curtain I could always pull off the glue and add fresh glue later. To do this I held the dowel and turned it as I pulled the trigger on the glue gun. I then continued around until I had surrounded the dowel two or three times so the cap would be wide enough.
Finally I put up the command hooks. I put them in the kids doorway and in the door leading into the living room. This way Ada and Zoey can use the curtain if playing in the bedroom or if they want to put on a show for the living room-sat audience. I made sure to use isopropyl alcohol and paper towel to clean off the door frames where I wanted to add the command hooks and, after attaching it, I pressed firmly on it and left the hook, itself, off for a day or two to make sure the base attached properly. Once I knew they were secure I slotted the hooks into place.
With the command hooks in place it was time to set the curtain rod inside.
When making this I pictured showing the girls the finished curtain and having them be so excited to play with it. In reality, the day I unveiled it I had already ‘surprised’ the girls with a preferred lunch, a surprise activity, and a snack so when I showed the girls Ada just asked what my other big ideas were. Zoey seemed more excited but it didn’t last too long as Ada wasn’t playing with the curtain with her. I later asked Ada about her reaction and told her that I thought she liked doing plays. She then informed me that she only liked plays when she had friends over. Yet a day later when I took the curtain down, as I was tired from ducking under it, they were disappointed as they loved going through the curtain to get into and out of their bedroom. Overall, I’m glad I made this as it does get used just not as frequently as I thought it would… at least so far.
Just a warning I made my curtain with a knit fabric so it won’t unravel. If you use an unfinished woven fabric you’ll want to finish your edges so it doesn’t unravel while the kids play with it.
Do your kids love putting on shows? Have you made them a curtain and if so how did you do it? Are you creating your own now? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below, through my Facebook page, or on Instagram. Hope your day is going great.