Friday, September 28, 2012

Pants On The Ground

I've wanted to add curtains in our living room for a long, long, time.  Evidence: this post.  We installed two inch blinds just after we moved in, and they're nice enough, and certainly functional.  They just don't really add anything style-wise.  This picture is obviously (see baby Madison?) from a year ago:
Because we're pushing really hard right now to finish baby step three (if you don't know what the heck I'm talking about, click here , but if it turns you into a penny-pinching cheapskate like me, don't say I didn't warn you!), I put off spending money on curtains for the room until about a month ago.

Here's what happened.  I'm a member of a Facebook trade/sell group, and someone I know posted that they were looking for a twin bed.  Guess what?  We had a twin bed that was going pretty much unused, and it really wasn't working in the space.
So I sold it.  This started off a huge chain reaction of selling pretty much everything that wasn't tied down or that we didn't love or need.  This whole getting paid for things you don't want anymore thing can be pretty addictive!  My goal was to sell enough to buy a new futon for the space.  Well, after selling everything and buying the futon (it's in the room, I love it, and I'll share pics soon), I still had about $50 burning a hole in my pocket, so we of course headed for IKEA.  The plan was to get a $15 rug for the living room (we had already done the big rug swap, and the living room floor was bare) and then just see what happened.

So we headed off for Madison's first IKEA expedition.  I was a little apprehensive, but she loved it!  The drive there and back was another story, though.  Anyway, I suppose a few pictures of the shopping rookie are in order:
Madison LOVED the meatballs!
  We left with the rug, four panels of white curtains, and something else that I was just dying to have, but can't for the life of me recall.  I guess that's one way to avoid buyer's remorse.  : )

We excitedly brought the curtains home.  Then they sat on our lovely new chair in their lovely plastic packaging for two weeks.  We had neglected one important thing: curtain rods!  No, we didn't forget, they were just all too expensive!  Especially for stuff that looked so cheap!

My first solution was this idea of using electrical conduit and spray painting it (as seen on Pinterest), which I still totally want to do.  Maybe even in the living room!

But it was still gonna cost something, and we didn't have $omething to spend on the house (this is why I said "cheapskate like me").  Well, I guess we spent a little for what we did, but...whatever.  I'm getting ahead of myself.

My next solution was to use dowel rods, because those are ridiculously cheap, and Walmart sells them (unlike electrical conduit).  The appearance of them wasn't really such a big deal because the curtains we bought have rod pockets, so most of the rod was going to be hidden, anyway.  The problem with dowel rods, at least in the diameter we got (3/8"), is that they're not super rigid.  If we tried to hang the curtains traditionally, the rod would sag in the middle, or even potentially break.  We had to keep the lengths pretty short to make sure they were strong enough to hold the curtains plus Madison, because you know she's a swingin' from the curtains kind of girl.  Actually, you don't know that, because I haven't blogged about her for a very long time.

Okay, I'm back from my kicking-myself-for-not-documenting-the-last-few-months session.  Where was I?

Oh, yeah.  We needed to keep the lengths of the dowel curtain rods short to be safe.  So that's unconventional thing numero uno about these curtains: they don't actually close.  They just kind of hang there like really flowy art. In my dreams, anyway.

The second super unconventional thing about our curtains is that we used a belt to hang them.  Well, I guess technically we used a belt and galvanized nails.  It all started when I saw this (on Pinterest, of course):

I really wanted to have a place to use this idea, but none of my dressers could really work with this style, so I pinned it and moved on.  But then, when I was trying to figure out how I was going to attach the rods to the wall using only materials we had on hand, this came to mind.  So naturally, I got out the hack saw and chopped one of my seldom-used belts into eight fourish inch lengths.  I only used the part without holes.  Once the lengths were all cut, Patrick took them outside, folded them in half, and drove nails through the ends.  We figured it would be easier to hammer the assembled loops to the wall than to try driving them through the leather and into the wall at the same time. 

Hanging them was super easy.  We actually nailed them to the wall with the rod and curtains already attached.  It took about five minutes, including a few "assists" from Madison.  I'm not loving the height of the rods, but I knew I wasn't going to be hemming these bad boys any time soon, so the length of the curtains kind of dictated placement.

You've already seen them out wide:
 Here they are a little closer. 
See how they're all up in the trim's business?  Not my favorite.  Oh well.  One day when I've got unlimited time and energy, I'll pull them down, hem the curtains, rehang them, and then putty and paint the holes.  And if you believe that, I've got a boatload of African royal inheritance money to share with you as soon as you pay the shipping of $500 by money order.  Just make it out to Kelli Philpot DBA Dirty Rotten Scammers Unlimited.

 I had to take all of these pictures pretty late at night, which explains the lighting and the decision not to include all of the curtains in any one shot.  I'm glad Patrick is back home now to tell me to stop working and go to bed!  You can see the general idea here, though.

 My final (for now, anyway) verdict?  I like them enough to leave them this way until I don't like them anymore.  Wow.  With revelations like that, maybe I should go into politics!

Oh, and you might be wondering (if you made it all the way through the post, anyway) why I titled this "Pants On The Ground".  You know how you never realize how much you use something until you don't have it anymore?  Well I've had three occasions since demolishing my "seldom-used" belt where I've wished I had it back.  Whatever.  At least I love am kind of okay with the end result, right?

Happy Friday!!!


  1. Funny. I like the title. I like how you hung the curtains too. Very cool.

  2. i think the curtains are kinda cool. also, i am quite entertained by your writing style. Im happy you started blogging again. I have a question about this debt free program you are doing. Where does school loan debt go? Cause i don't own a house but i own a house worth of grad school debt.

    1. Thanks! I'm happy I did, too. It's fun!

      He groups all student loans, no matter how big, with baby step 2 (the debt snowball). It took us about two years to get out of debt the first time, paying off about $15,000, but only making like $25,000/yr. Our big oops was that we never finished our full emergency fund, so when Madison was born we went back into debt (just by a few thousand). We learned our lesson this time; baby step 3 is important!