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Curtains for My Bookcases

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Today I’m going to show you how I made curtains for my bookcases! It was easier than I expected, once I figured it out, and decided which fabric I would use.

Fabric Wholesale Direct sent me this gorgeous silver velvet. This velvet is very stretchy, and a wonderfully good quality. You may know that velvet feels soft when you rub it in a certain direction. Depending which direction you hang it, it can change the color. I think I may have hung it upside down, because it seemed to show lighter that way. : )

silver velvet curtains on bookcases decorated for Christmas

I absolutely love my built in bookcases that I designed. I need the storage desperately, and cannot afford to just style them for pretty. In fact, we have so many books that I even had to double shelve them, hiding my less favorite ones in the back!

It is a blessing to have so many books in my own personal library, and to be able to lend them out if I wish. But I do get tired of the cluttered look. So back in May as part of a DIY Challenge, I covered them up!

tv and entertainment center neatly organized

While I really enjoyed how this looked, it wasn’t practical. Most of the time some of the boards were out of place and it was annoying having them lying around. But doing that project helped get my creative wheels spinning for another way that I could make these bookshelves look better. It often happens that way.

Here is how I made my clutter disappear— again!

It is hard to keep my built in bookcases looking nice, because I have to store all my books there. I can’t just style it to look pretty.

So I had an idea to use tension curtain rods and hang fabric to hide all the mess, yet still have everything accessible (piano books for kids, etc).

So I sewed a simple rod pocket, then overlapped the fabric on the ends of the rods.

Doesn’t this silver fabric look so much better?!

Here is the left side all decorated for Christmas.

The fabric drapes and hangs so nicely.

Here is the middle area. Perhaps I should make a silver cover for my TV so it coordinates better, but I’ve used a variety of TV covers and enjoy it.

And here is the right side. Have I given you a simple frugal idea for hiding your own clutter? I hope so!

(And…. here is what it looks like at Valentine’s day!)

So you can see it wasn’t that hard to do. I did not even hem the sides or the bottoms, although I may do that in the future. The fabric does not fray.

What do you think? Should I make a silver TV cover to match in the center?

Just an FYI, the velvet fabric was a bit tricky to sew. My ancient sewing machine kept skipping stitches. I changed needles and adjusted the tension. What seemed to help the most was buying new thread and having the same new thread in the bobbin as well. But it still wanted to skip a little.

I also had a little trouble sewing straight seams. Normally, I would cut the fabric straight, and then sew my seam following the straight cut of the fabric. But this velvet curled up when I wanted to cut it. Perhaps now that it has been hanging for awhile, it would be easier to cut straight.

I was a little afraid that the fabric would be too heavy for the tension rods, but it is not. The rods have stayed in place just fine. Now I can change the look in my living room whenever I want just by adding new curtain panels!

I have more plans for my velvet leftovers. When I finish, of course I will show you. I already made these gorgeous pillow covers.

What would you make with silver velvet fabric?

step by step directions with pictures of curtains for bookcases
curtains for a bookcase step by step directions

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