Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Ten sheets to the wind!

That's right...Welcome Sunshine Home is ten sheets to the wind!  This is a quick and easy (no sew) project and I'll show you how to do it!  Here's a peek at the project in progress...
I don't know about your neighborhood but this isn't something you see every day in Maine.  Why did we go for it?  We have a convenient city lot which requires minimal yard work (yay!) but the trade off is limited privacy.  We have a7ft x 24ft farmers porch that's been unused five years and it's time to enjoy it!  Plus, I think it looks pretty.  :)

It all started last weekend with the purchase of these bountiful beauties. 
We thought hanging the huge purple one on the end of the porch facing our neighbors would block the view of their side door and windows.  We were right!  Here's what it looked like before our porch makeover. 
I started thinking that even more privacy would be better and saw the new secret ingredient for the Iron Crafter Challenge was sheets and pillowcases.  I put the two together and promptly set off to tell Jake about my latest idea.  I expected him to think I'd gone nutty and try to talk me out of it but he happily jumped aboard my crazy train.  We took measurements of everything, loaded up the pups, and headed out for the Great Sheet Hunt of 2010 on Father's day. 
We quickly determined that ten white twin size sheets from walmart at $3 a pop (I can't seem to find them online) would get us the most fabric for our buck.  They are 8ft long and that's in the range we were hunting for.  We snagged six 44"-88" curtain rods for $7 each at Christmas Tree Shop.  We also spent about $100 on some new outdoor pillows, more flowers, and a few other random items (like Scotchguard) during our travels to complete the front porch makeover.

It's tutorial time!
Step 1: Prepare.  Measure.  Measure again then gather all your supplies.  Decide how many curtain rods and sheets you need to get the look you want.  We used one rod and two twin sheets on each 7ft end of the porch, and four rods and six twin sheets across the 24ft front.  I considered using some full sheets ($6) across the front because they are the same length (8ft) but I like the flexibility I'll have to slide the 6 sheets around (I might even pick up two more).  You can pre-wash the sheets if you want.  I didn't bother because I don't mind if they shrink some when I wash them later. 
Step 2: Install your curtain rods.  Jake did this while I got the sheets ready to hang.  Consider the length of your sheets and if you want them to puddle or not.  I wanted our to be a bit off the deck (pretty much even with our bottom rail) so I can easily sweep under them.
Proof that we're level.  Pretty good for a house that's 100+ years old, huh?
Step 3: Remove packaging from walmart sheets and save the fabric pouch for use later in step 7.
Step 4: Let 'er rip!  Find the two top hem corners of each sheet.  Release the side hem (3-4") on each of these corners.  This creates a pocket that a curtain rod can easily slide into.  Use fray block as desired.  I choose not to sew and finish these hems properly because these edges can only be seen from on our porch if you look really closely.  If you're on our porch, then you are family or friends and you could care less about finished edges on my outdoor sheet curtains.  Plus they are easy to just sort of tuck under once they are on the rod.  :)   Behold the wonder of the No Sew outdoor curtains.  See I told ya I could do it!
Step 5: Iron each sheet.  Ok, so, um, I was way too excited to see the finished results to iron.  Let's say I'm experimenting to see if the natural heat and humidity of summer takes care of the wrinkles.
Shark Professional Series Intelligent Electronic Iron, GI490

Step 6: Hang each sheet and spray them with Scotchguard if you want to.  Step back and admire your handiwork thus far, squeal with girlish delight, and get back to work.
Step 7: Find the fabric pouches you set aside in step 3 above.  These make handy tie backs!  Wrap the tab top around the bunched fabric, snap it, tuck the tail in, and fluff it a bit.  This reminds me of the puff on the back of some bridemaids' dresses.  :)  Bonus: you won't have to worry about any colors running onto the white sheets.  I have sisal rope that I was planning to use so I'll probably mix things up soon.
Step 8: Relax with some ice cold lemonade or sweet tea. 
Before (morning)
After (evening)
There are two sheets swagged together between the iron hanging baskets to help balance the opening for the porch entrance.
What do you think?  Would you try this at home?

Secret Ingredient #2 for the Iron Crafter Challenge is Sheets and Pillowcases and I'm linking up to join in the fun again!  I participated in their first challenge here. **UPDATE: We came in third.  Thanks for voting for us!
This week's challenge at The CSI Project is Outdoor Decor. This is my first time linking up!
Kelly's Korner hosts a weekly Show Us Your Life series and this week's topic is Show Us What You Make!   
Show Us Your Life with Kelly's Korner


Jeannette said... [Reply to comment]

Those look amazing!

Staci J said... [Reply to comment]

Wow!! You have amazing pictures, and porch, and yard, and did I mention I'm jealous:) It looks great! Visiting from

noahbythesea said... [Reply to comment]

LOVE this! i love that style porch anyway, and the curtains just make it so much prettier! great job!!

Ann @ makethebestofthings said... [Reply to comment]

This is absolutely gorgeous! I also use the $3 Walmart sheets for lots of projects. Your porch looks wonderful. Don't mind me, I'll be in one of the chairs reading a book....I wish. Beautiful redo!

LaVonne said... [Reply to comment]

I love it! It is beautiful. So summery and clean. Thank you for sharing all the great photos and the tutorial. Now all I need is a big porch :P


The Autocrat: Haley said... [Reply to comment]

I have to admit, I didn't think I was going to like them when I first started reading your post. But I really do love them!! They look really fabulous!!! Great job on using the sheets!

Unknown said... [Reply to comment]

Love love your porch! It is such a pretty and generous space. Lucky you! The curtains were a great deal and look fabulous. I became a follower.

FlyAwayHome said... [Reply to comment]

You have such a beautiful home and your porch just looks amazing...Great job!

Sharlotte said... [Reply to comment]

I love this! Your porch is my idea of relaxation and now with these curtains...WOW! Thanks for the looks fairly easy with a little help. Gotta love using sheets...and NO sew projects! {Now I just need to get a porch!}I LOVE IT!
Ms. Sharlotte's...Southern Reflections

Michella Marie said... [Reply to comment]

I LOVE THEM!!! What a great idea!!! I love your house too :)) It is just beautiful!! I love to see ordinary (and cheap) everyday items being used for other things!! Way to go!!
And your Jake... definitely a keeper!!!
Treasure him with all you have...
I have been married to my sweet husband for almost 19 years!!! Time flies when you're having fun :))
I would love for you to come visit and see some of my transformations!!
Have a wonderful day relaxing on your porch!!
~ Michella ~
~ ~ xoxo ~ ~

a little bit of everything said... [Reply to comment]

Great job. Love the look! I used sheets for bedroom curtains. They work very well for so many projects.

Diane said... [Reply to comment]

OMGosh... your front porch is gorgeous! Lovvvve those curtains.

cherry said... [Reply to comment]

This turned out wonderful.
Happy 4th to you & yours
hugs from Savannah, Cherry

Yolanda said... [Reply to comment]

It's just like a story book porch. I love it! Sigh!

Kenzie said... [Reply to comment]

It's gorgeous! Love it!

Joy@Thrifty Parsonage Living said... [Reply to comment]

I love your porch...I would love to come over and sit there and have a chat.

Stephanie Cameron said... [Reply to comment]

Looks really great! I couldn't do this at my house, because the wind in my area is ridiculous...they would be ripped to shreds. But I love the idea! Thanks for visiting my blog!!

Gloria said... [Reply to comment]

Hello there! This is my first time on your blog. I LOVE the curtains on your porch -- you did a fabulous job! And your hanging baskets look so, so pretty. I will be back to visit again!
Best regards,

Unknown said... [Reply to comment]

Yes,I would definitely do this. I think your's turned out great. I just finished some porch projects. Maybe I need to consider this. Love it. Thanks for sharing.

Decorchick! said... [Reply to comment]

Your porch looks AWESOME!!! I would love to have curtains like that! I could do that on our back patio, but the weather is so funky in Texas I don't know how it would hold up. Great job though! So glad you found my site and I'm a new follower now. :)

Renee said... [Reply to comment]

Your porch looks amazing, what a difference sheets make.

M.O.T.B said... [Reply to comment]

LOVE this, I have been attempting to put curtains on my porch and it hasn't been working!!!! I love the look! New follower!

Amanda @ Healthy House on the Block said... [Reply to comment]

I love your porch. I could sit out there and relax the rest of the summer! You did a wonderful job!!

Life in Rehab said... [Reply to comment]

OMG, that's exactly what I used as curtains throughout my home for YEARS, just slitting the top casing! And Walmart is where I got them. Great minds...Your porch looks inviting and fresh.

Maggie said... [Reply to comment]

Wow - I absolutely love it!

Katie @ On the Banks of Squaw Creek said... [Reply to comment]

This looks gorgeous! Love the sheets!

Tania Pelletier said... [Reply to comment]

I love your front porch, the sheets are perfect too!


Ali @ Honey and Maple Syrup said... [Reply to comment]

I love it - it looks so dreamy!

Pine Tree Home said... [Reply to comment]

I love using sheets as curtains. White ones are the best. I love your idea of using the SG for the outside. Your porch looks like it is out of a magazine. Great transformation.

Shell said... [Reply to comment]

You have a beautiful porch! Love it!

Shabby Anne said... [Reply to comment]

Your porch looks so welcoming! I wish I had one like that so I could do the curtains. How often will you have to wash them? lol

KJ@letsgoflyakite said... [Reply to comment]

amazing! looks like a vacation getaway spot.

Fawnda@Fireflies and Jellybeans said... [Reply to comment]

Your Poarch turned out BEAUTIFUL!

I wanted to let you know that you made it in the top 10 Iron Crafters!

Cass @ That Old House said... [Reply to comment]

Lovely porch project!
Not many people add curtains to their front porches, although there is a nearby house with deep plum-colored velvet-looking draperies on their open front porch -- it matches the window trim on their Victorian and looks amazing.

Thanks for stopping by That Old House! Yes, old houses ROCK ... sometimes literally. In fact the MOST amazing thing about your porch post is that your porch is LEVEL. Level. Just an elusive dream in most old houses.... :-)

I'll be back!
Cass said... [Reply to comment] this, now I just need a porch!

A GAL NEEDS... said... [Reply to comment]

I absolutely love this idea! I am a lover of privacy at certain times and this would render that without being too in your face! And it looks very pretty! Thanks for the tutorial. This is getting bookmarked!

Nicholette said... [Reply to comment]

Okay, I LOVE your porch! That's a dream of mine, a beautiful porch like that. Lucky! Thanks for linking up!

Unknown said... [Reply to comment]

SOOOO beautiful! Thanks for joining us for Anything Related #14!! ~Bridgette

Kaysi @ Keeping it Simple said... [Reply to comment]

Oh wow!!! Those look great! I love that you used white, it's so pretty!!

Melissa said... [Reply to comment]

This is such an incredible idea. I love the elegance and serene feeling of the white! So creative!!!

Tete said... [Reply to comment]

Best make over I have seen in a long time and it made such a difference! Good job to you for the idea and the guy who went along with it. He's such a smart man!

Raspberries and Rose Petals said... [Reply to comment]

Oh My Word! This looks GREAT!!!! Love it! And you can't go wrong with that price! Great job! If I had a porch like this, I would definitely consider doing this! Thanks for the inspiration!

Happy White Wednesday!

Miss Gracie's House said... [Reply to comment]

Love romantic!

Jaybird and Me said... [Reply to comment]

Wow! Of course, you had me at "before" - your porch is awesome!!

Maryann @ Domestically-Speaking said... [Reply to comment]

What a beautifully inviting porch! I hope you enjoy it this summer.

Vintage Market Place said... [Reply to comment]

I would so try that if I had a porch like that, I dream of one day owning a home with porch like that.
It looks so beautiful and you can just feel the breeze in the evening listening to those crickets chirp.
Ah, summer

Rebecca said... [Reply to comment]

Love the transformation-simple-yet elegant!

Jeannie B. said... [Reply to comment]

I really do like it and have think it wouldlook nice on my back porch to keep the afternoon sun out. But....what about the rain? Seems like a lot of trouble to take done when it rains!

★Carol★ said... [Reply to comment]

Your porch was pretty before, but now it's absolutely gorgeous, and very romantic! I would love to do this on our porch too. I'm going to check out the rest of your blog now, and go vote for you too!
Happy White Wednesday!

AUDRA said... [Reply to comment]

These look fantastic. Great job!

I love for you to stop by and link up to Socialize with me Monday til Sunday. Going on now! :)

awal.ny said... [Reply to comment]

Oh my gosh, how funny. I picked up two king sized sheets to cut in half and do the same for my back deck. Great minds think alike. I love how your porch looks.

Andrea @ The Dawley Fam said... [Reply to comment]

Oh my gosh, this is the cutest thing ever! It looks like something out of Southern Living magazine! Great job! ~Andrea

Katie @ Team Skelley said... [Reply to comment]

What a beautiful porch- and adorable pups! Over from the CSI Project! :D

Tammy said... [Reply to comment]

Awesome look. I have a huge porch like that on my old house too..might have to do it. I already have dropcloth curtains on the back screen porch..well this is awesome. Now off to vote for you...

The Denmark Family said... [Reply to comment]

THat has to be the PRETTIEST porch I have ever seen!!!!!! love love love it!!!!

Candylei said... [Reply to comment]

Perfect! Your porch is beautiful with your handiwork!

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

Love this!! And yes I plan on doing it very soon! Now I know where to get the sheets =) Did they come in any colors??

And oh how I miss Maine, look at everything looking so pretty =( Miss you Maine!!

Michelle said... [Reply to comment]

I would absolutely do that if I had a wonderful porch to do it to!

Jenn said... [Reply to comment]

Love your porch! Very beautiful! :D Thank you for sharing on Mommy Madness!!

Green Door Girl said... [Reply to comment]

I LOVE this - I never thought about using sheets! I want to redo my outdoor kitchen/porch and this is EXACTLY what I want it to look like in the back - $6 sheets - hello that is awesome! :)
Thanks for stopping by my blog - loving reading your top projects for the year!

Reimer said... [Reply to comment]

If you're on our porch, then you are family or friends and you could care less about finished edges on my outdoor sheet curtains. Plus they are ...

Unknown said... [Reply to comment]

Can you say where you got the lantern? Or how big is the lantern?

So, what do you think? Don't be shy...we're all friends here. :) We love hearing from you and read every note you leave us!

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