of caves, curtains and taking your time

My mother-in-law always laughs at Rob and me for sleeping in a cave. Why? We like our room to be absolutely pitch black at night. And, on those weekends when you get to sleep in? Nothing worse than waking up because the sun is shining in your eyes and not being able to enjoy that extra bit of snooze-time.

My how things have changed since I was a kid and my brothers and I would wake up at 5 on Saturday to sneak downstairs and watch hours of cartoons before my parents woke up. Because, really, does it ever get old watching the Road Runner trick Wile E Coyote over and over again?

But I digress.

One of the problems that we discovered when we moved into our sweet home was that the air vents in each room are placed directly under one of the windows.

So, while we had beautiful lightblocking curtains for our rooms, we couldn’t pull them shut because they’d cover the vent. So, we decided we’d just have to cut the curtains short and that would just be how things in our new house worked.

I hated the idea of cutting the curtains short, however. I adore long floor-length curtains and short ones just look like high-waters to me (to borrow a phrase from my mom). So, I kept putting off cutting and hemming the curtains. So, every night, to block out the light, we did this.

window curtain

Pathetic, isn’t it? But, since our faux wood blinds didn’t block enough light, it was look foolish or sleep badly. Comfort and sanity clearly won.

Also, you may remember the curtains behind our bed looked like this, since we had to keep them closed to block light as well. It was fine. But the room definitely looked more closed off than we would have liked.


This went on for a few months and frustrated us both. But then one day, I was thinking of those roller blinds that we used to have when I was a kid. Not as attractive as faux wood blinds, but stellar at blocking out light. I couldn’t figure out a way to install those along with the faux wood blinds since we had already installed the blinds and didn’t want to move them. But then I got my google on, and found this.

Source: Laura’s Crafty Life

Talk about perfect! This was exactly what I’d been looking for. So I whipped out the sewing machine my mother-in-law gave me and followed the directions more-or-less and made two blackout shades for our bedroom. Look how well they work.

dark window1

Yeah, that’s a picture of our bedroom from the door in the middle of the day.

dark windows2

Amazing isn’t it?

Now, the funny thing is, while the shades solved the light problem perfectly, they created another problem for us. Surprise surprise, right? When we bought the curtains originally, we had thought we were going to have to hem them. So we found the curtains we liked and bought them in the shortest (and cheapest) length they carried. Yeah…exactly. Even though I didn’t shorten them, we were stuck with high-waters.

Cue womp-womp sound.

I let out the hem and it was better still goofy looking. Clearly I was going to have to lengthen these curtains. After much thinking about what kind of fabric would look right with the texture and color of the curtains, I realized – I could just buy another curtain. It would already be hemmed to the right width and I would just have to measure the length and add it onto the bottom of the existing curtains! 

I bought more curtains (along with burlap that I was going to wrap around hemtape to make a stripe to cover the seam where I added the new curtains) and went to work.


window covering

I didn’t even need the burlap.

side curtains

I’m amazed at how much more airy our room looks with the curtains pulled open. And, I love that they are finally the floor length curtains that I love.


AND I had leftover curtain material, so I made a pillow for our library couch. Win win win.

So, the moral of the story: if you don’t like the obvious solution to a problem, wait, keep brainstorming, and google the problem. You just might find a solution you adore. And a bonus pillow.


3 thoughts on “of caves, curtains and taking your time

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