There are so many “easy” or “cheap” routes to take for any project, and though I am all about cheap and easy; I am also about quality. So here are my 5 best tips for DIY Camper Curtains.
Growing up my mom was always sewing. She sewed everything from barbie clothes to swimsuits. She even made a formal dance dress for me in high school. I designed it of course!
If I close my eyes I can still hear the sound of her sewing machine. However, when it came time for me to learn how to sew in middle school Home Ec. my seamstress skills were far below par…far…really far.
Despite my C average pillow case that turned out to be more the shape of a lopsided hour glass… my desire to learn to sew always lingered.
Well I am still not an amazing sewer, but I have a great sewing machine that takes the intimidation out of all my projects; and I feel like I have gotten pretty good over the last few years.
1. Quality Fabric is Key
When finding inspiration for Tilly, I scoured the internet for ideas and I never really found what I was looking for. So I made myself a little vision board.
It helped to organize my thoughts and made it much easier to make decisions when out shopping; though I still tortured Brett and the kids by staring at fabric for hours.
But if you ever find yourself in the Draper, Utah area there is the most adorable fabric boutique that you have to visit! Thimbles and Threads has the cutest fabric, with soooo many choices that you can’t find at the Big Box stores; and all of it is great quality. They have some things online, but you really need to visit their store to appreciate their stock! This is where I found my fabric for Tilly’s curtains.
2. Reuse and Revive
When making the decision to reupholster the cushions, I was a little frightened of doing them myself. I wanted great quality that would stand up against kids and primitive backwoods camping.
So we bit the bullet and purchased a bolt of heavy-weight upholstery fabric and took it to a professional in Logan, Ut.
I LOVE the way they turned out! He was able to clean and salvage the old cushions which saved us a lot of money; foam cushions can be one of the most expensive purchases you can make when remodeling a vintage camper…one of the
A good way of knowing whether or not you need to purchase new foam is if there are mouse droppings between the fabric and cushion, the foam is crumbling or if there are black mold stains on the foam.
If you do decide to do them yourself, I suggest sewing covers with zippers so that they can be removed and washed. I’ve seen the hot glue method for cushions, or safety pins, but I just don’t see that lasting through any kind of use. But make sure to prewash your fabric. Nothings worse than trying to stuff a cushion back into the cover after it shrunk in the wash.
3. Keep It Simple Stupid
I took a simple approach to making these curtains. Double sided with a double stitched hem. We used the exsisting curtain rods and ring clips because they were still in great shape.
When planning I really wanted to put up a curtain so that Azure could sleep without the glow of the camper lights bothering her.
The problem was that the width of the camper is about 6 ft. I didn’t want a rod that would make the roof sag. I also wanted something small and out of the way since the bunk height is not much bigger than my forearm.
I finally found this and it works great! I chose not to use the clips it came with because I didn’t want a gap between the ceiling and the curtain. I simply made a rod loop on the fabric for this curtain and it slides really smoothly on the cable.
4. Light Blocking
If you have kids, then you know there is something about camping that makes them wake up way earlier than necessary. My kids don’t know how to sleep in past 7am and when camping they always wake up an hour earlier.
If you are like me and like your sleep, I suggest using thicker fabric to help block out that morning sun. You can buy black-out fabric, Duck cloth or canvas, or do what I did and make cotton curtains double sided.
It doesn’t black out the camper, but it keeps it dim enough in the mornings that the sun isn’t beating down on us. I actually like mornings while camping; that fresh mountain air is the only aphrodisiac I need.
5. Sun Prevention
The only thing I wish I could go back and change about my adorable curtains is I wish I would have treated them with Aeronautical Protectant before hanging them up. After almost two years the back sides of the curtains have sun faded a little bit. If I would have used this stuff from the beginning I could have prevented that. Ooops. Shhh… don’t tell my mom.