One Room Challenge: Week 5 – DIY Grid Pattern Curtains

This week we are tackling the window situation in our master bedroom for the One Room Challenge! This room gets a lot of light, which is so, so pretty, but we really need to add some privacy and some light control in here! I’m planning on woven shades for the windows for practical reasons, but I REALLY love curtains in a bedroom. They really help to soften the space and somehow make it feel safer and more comfortable? I’m a big fan.
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The added bonus of hanging curtains is you can make smaller windows look bigger or smaller depending on how you hang the rod. I usually hang my rods high and a little wide so windows look bigger and the ceilings feel taller. It really helps to trick the eye!

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When we were looking at inspiration for this room, I kept coming back to the idea of incorporating a grid pattern, sort of like the the Dash & Albert rug we used Lucy’s dining room. I like that the scaled is modern and sliiiiiightly graphic, but still pretty subtle.

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We picked up three sets of these basic white linen curtains and to try out a DIY with watercolor paint.

I started by laying out one of the curtain panels on a drop cloth and making a small mark every 5″ to help keep the start of my grid lines spaced correctly. You could use painters tape here to perfectly measure your lines, but we were going for a more organic look, so I decided to freehand it.

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I’m am borderline obsessed with following calligraphy artists on instagram and I remembered seeing that one of the artists liked using these watercolor brush pens and thought they could maybe work for this project. I was hoping it would help my lines look more consistent and fluid with the paint constantly feeding into the brush from the well, rather than having to dip and redip every few inches. It looks like most artist just fill the chamber part with just water and dip the brush in their paint, but we filled our brush pen with really diluted watercolor paint to make things really easy and I think it worked great!

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watercolor brush pens

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To get this inky blue indigo color I mixed equal parts blue and black watercolor paint together in a water bottle that I kept handy to refill the pen. Isn’t the color so pretty here?

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When you squeeze gently, the paint pen will disperse a pretty consistent flow of paint, but every now and then a bubble will cause some extra paint to drip out. Instead of worrying about it, I decided to embrace the irregular look and I think it looks so cool! It sort of looks like this shibori DIY we did last year, right? (PS LOVE that you guys are still tagging me when you try these projects!! It’s so fun to see the colors and patterns you have figured out!)

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I let this sample dry overnight and this morning when I came into the studio, it was a little lighter than I hoped it would be. I should have guessed that was going to happen, but now I’m trying to decide if I should just keep going with this color. Do you think I should go a little heavier on the black or do you like the indigo as it is here? Here’s a reminder of the room colors:

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We’re getting ready to install this space soon and I can’t wait! Here are the last few ORC posts in case you need to catch up! And don’t miss out on my fellow participants below! :)

Week 1  //  Week 2  //  Week 3  //  Week 4

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Boxwood Avenue  //  Coco & Jack  //  Shay Geyer  //  Design Manifest

Dwell with Dignity  //  The Makerista  //  Making it Lovely  //  Dabito

Old Home Love  //  The Painted House  //  Megan Pflug  //  The Pink Pagoda

Erica Reitman  //  Sacramento Street  //  Simply Grove  //  Jill Sorensen

Sugar & Cloth  //  BrittanyMakes  //  Waiting on Martha //  The House that Lars Built

  1. Aidel.K

    Does the watercolor mean you can’t ever wash the curtains? I love the look!

    • Jenny

      I’m not sure Aidel! The bottle says this paint works on fabric, but I bet it would lighten a lot in the wash, just like it we had painted with RIT dye or something? Not sure! You could definitely use fabric paint here too and that would be permanent!

  2. Melissa Ret

    Darker indigo color if I’m seeing the colors correctly from your mood board. I live the dark dark dark blue in the bed coverlet
    Love the diy tutorial

  3. wow that’s one amazing DIY curtain! i may have to try it myself as well!

  4. kathy

    very cool! i think it would be better darker.

  5. Anna

    Darker! Love the color while it is wet.

    And thanks for doing a DIY post :)

    Would love a little more detail around correctly hanging curtains. Maybe you can give some pointers in a future post when the curtains are up? I know you said higher… but how high? 2/3rds the way up to the ceiling? And how much wider? Should the panel be able to completely slide past the window frame?

    • Jenny

      I will definitely go into more detail when we reveal the finished space! I don’t like panels hung too high – the highest I’ll usually cheat the panels is halfway between the top of the window and the ceiling. :)

      • Kristi

        Thank you for saying this. Sometimes if you hang them too high they look weird IMO! I’ve got my tricks I use and can’t wait to see yours. This space is going to look fabulous! Love thus diy!

  6. Pingback: One Room Challenge: Week 5 – DIY Grid Pattern Curtains – Kathryn Curry – Blog

  7. Lauren

    LOVING this room. The black lined windows and contrast with the white walls and beam/floor colors are a study in contrasts. Delightful! I can’t wait to see it all come together. I’m with other commenters, I would go darker given the hues in the mood board. When light hits the curtains I think the blue with look even lights so darker is probably the way to go. And I also would have chosen to embrace the free form lines. The organic quality will pair so well with the other lines in the room. I might have to try this one in my son’s room. xo

  8. Nicole

    So I am curious, why didn’t you use RIT dye in the pen? Either way, I think if you line the curtains, the design will show up better/darker. I have been thinking about trying a diy fabric paint project after seeing some Taleo Porter fabric and falling in love. Will be following this project closely!

  9. I’d go darker too. Love how it turned out though!

  10. Taylor

    Ah!! I love this! I agree with everyone about going darker. I’m think I’m going to try it out on a shower curtain (prob not using watercolors though, ha). I’ll make sure to tag you!

  11. Ivory

    Fabulous job. I love this project a lot.

  12. Christina Marie Interiors

    Really love how they look but I would definitely go darker. Can’t wait to see the end result!

  13. Sarah

    I think I must have missed your paint color. Do you mind sharing it again? It’s such a nice white.
    And I LOVE the curtains! Thanks for always linking your products. Makes it so much easier for me to copycat. :)

  14. Abby

    Where are you boots from?

  15. Molly

    I love the idea of trying this on a shower curtain! I agree, it should be a little darker.

  16. Velvet

    I really like the idea of your DIY curtain and to be honest I like the color as it is. I wouldn’t make it darker. (I prefer layering of hues). However, I would consider introducing a diamond shape at some of the nodes in a pale sage color in order to elaborate it a bit. I feel that there’s so much more that can be done with the concept… Just an idea! :)

  17. Kate

    Love these!! What a cool economical option! I see you linked to a 3 pack of watercolor pens…would you mind sharing which size you used? I’d rather just buy the one :) Thanks!

  18. Pingback: One Room Challenge: Week 7 – Gentry Project Master Bedroom Reveal! – Kathryn Curry – Blog

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  20. Steph

    What size watercolor pen did you use? I saw they come in several widths. Love this!

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