show me and/or let's talk about cabinet curtains instead of doors

dirtymartiniNovember 10, 2010

Ok, my kitchen reno is not going to happen anytime soon. I have been living with it for over a year now, but it is time to do something inexpensive to make it look presentable.

I have the original kitchen cabinets (mid 1970s) made of particle board, with tacky contact paper showing. THERE ARE NO DOORS ON THE CABINETS! Yes, you heard me right. No doors. Apparently at some point the original cabinets had a white formica face put on them. That part (the frames, I guess you call them) look pretty good.

I don't mind leaving the top cabinets open, with no doors. I have my pretty plates and glasses and some cookbooks displayed up there. I will line the shelves and maybe the back of the cabinets with something pretty.

The bottom cabinets look really bad, plus I keep cleaning products and not so pretty stuff down there. I don't keep anything related to food or cooking on the bottom, because the cabinets are so gross, it would just be unappetizing.

I bought 10 yards of burlap. I want to attach the burlap onto the cabinets. But how? Sticky Velcro? Should I put the burlap up inside the cabinet, so the top is behind the countertop? Or should I adhere it on the face of the cabinet? I want it to drap down to the bottom of the cabinet. There will then be several inches (I guess about 3", you know, the standard amount) between bottom of cabinet and the floor that will still be visible.

I got the idea this link. I am using the Stitch Witchery like she did. It is a lot harder to cut and "hem" the burlap than she makes it out to be! Also, I am SUPER DUPER UNCRAFTY! I just don't want to spend a lot of $$$.

Thank you for any input.

Here is a link that might be useful: burlap curtain inspiration

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I would hang them flat, not gathered, because I think gathered they'll collect a lot of dust bunnies and other things. I'd also give them a great big scotchguarding treatment because we know that stuff dribbles off of countertops. You could hang them flat by using a strip of heavy stiff cardboard (they make it for applications like this) or even a strip of thin but strong wood kind of like a paint stirrer. Fold the top of the curtain around the strip so it's hidden from the front, then staple or nail the strip and the part of the curtain that will be behind it, onto the face frame of your cabinet. You'd need a heavy duty staple gun, or you could also use upholstery staples (kind of like u-shaped nails). Or, yeah, you could do the same thing with velcro, adhering the velcro to the cabinet with the upholstery staples. I wouldn't do fringe on the bottom... dust bunny broom. Maybe just cut it as clean as you can with a teensy teensy fringe and spray the heck out of it so it doesn't unravel and is sort of stiff. This way you might just get away with not even having to use stitchwitchery.

Did you think you'd like to have a way to keep them open when using them? Something in the bottom corner that will temporarily attach to something in the top catercorner? ... piece of velcro, grommet/hook, button/loop...

    Bookmark   November 10, 2010 at 6:36PM
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I'm not sure how I would like burlap as my curtain. I would rather have a tighter weave...maybe even shower curtain fabric....that's easier to wipe off.

Check out this link to a nifty 'hinged' curtain idea on the Better Homes and Gardens website.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hinged curtains for cabinet doors.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2010 at 7:08PM
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I bet you'd like the swing arm rods but the last time I looked they were a bit pricey. I would not have chosen burlap for several reasons. You can't wash it. It's stiff. It will be very hard to get Stitch Witchery to hold it. I'd use a hot glue gun. Just dots would be enough to hold it, not a full line of glue. Burlap brown is kind of a yawn color but the other colors won't be color fast and if you get them wet....ugh! I wonder if you would be able to live with small tension rods? I just bought a couple packs of two at Menard's and I think they were around $3 for the pack. I would try to find someone who would sew the casing and hem for you. Just a straight stitch is enough. If I lived near you, I'd do it. I think I would check the dollar store for a twin sheet that I liked. I'd cut it up and make the curtains out of that. The stitch wichery will stick that together. Be sure to steam it enough that it doesn't pull apart but not so much that it all soakes into the fabric and there's nothing left to "stick". You might watch the second hand stores, goodwill, Salvation Army, garage sales for curtains. I doubt you'll find all you need in the same pattern but you might be able to mix and match. Rit still makes dye;-) Old tablecloths make great curtains.

P.S. my cabinets were the same as yours but the doors were still there and looked pretty good. Open the doors and YUCK! I never allowed anyone to see in there. Updated in 1950 near as I can figure. . They were the original cupboards to the house and built right on the wall. Nice pine 1x12 shelves though - covered with antique contac paper that I couldn't get off.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2010 at 8:08PM
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Fori is not pleased

O no, not burlap! A few years ago I made a Halloween costume out of it. That's all I'm gonna say. Don't do it! But the idea has merit. Old sinks used to have skirts, like oilcloth or vinyl (for a modern version). That might work better and NOT FRAY!! There are some good looking shower curtains you could cut up...check TJMaxx type places and maybe get some cheap?

    Bookmark   November 10, 2010 at 8:23PM
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I love burlap! I'm having a hard time picturing your kitchen, though - could you post a photo so we can see and figure out the best way to hang the burlap?

    Bookmark   November 10, 2010 at 8:34PM
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you guys are awesome. I appreciate the feedback, even the negative. I totally "get" what you are saying about burlap.

bigdog-Scotchguard is a GREAT idea. Never really thought about how porous burlap is. Also, I did get that "fray check" stuff, so I can indeed spray the edges and get away with no stitch witchery, maybe! Remember, tho...I gotta also cut the burlap to fit the opening. So it will be cut on all sides. I don't mind it looking rustic.

I am not really worried about keeping the burlap open. I really do not have much stored there. My DH made me an awesome walk in pantry that I have tons of storage in. Plus, I still have boxes labeled "kitchen" in my garage! I am not completely unpacked, but living just fine without all those gadgets and extra plates, so maybe I don't need them!

kompy-that is very cool! I do want to keep this project VERY simple. I don't want to put much money into it, nor to I want to involve DH and/or tools. If I can cut the burlap and attach it simply, I don't mind having to change it out after a few months. I would like to think the burlap will only be in my kitchen for about a year. Then again, I thought I would have a brand new kitchen by now, so who knows?

pinch-Yeah, I hear ya about the natural burlap color...but it kind of goes with the house..we have a 3 stall barn on the property, and my floors are wood, the cabinets are just kind of "works"... colorwise but also theme wise. I am realizing now (after reading everyone's comments) that maybe I could have chosen a better material. The tablecloth idea is a good one. I would like to use the burlap first and see what happens. It was $30 for 10 yards, which will cover all that I need and then some. If it ends up not working out, I won't mind, unless I spend tons of time tailoring it. Then I will be mad! So I will have to just work on this and decide.

Thanks again to all 3 of you.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2010 at 8:36PM
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Whatever you put on the fronts will get dirty and you'll need to clean it somehow - velcro would let you take it off and wash it (I've done that method, and it works), or if it was oilcloth or vinyl you could wipe it down in place. Like others have said, burlap wouldn't be high on my list of choices to do it with.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2010 at 8:38PM
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Here is a little more inspiration for you. Rie has curtains under her kitchen sink and on her lower cabinets in the laundry room. She used canvas dropcloths (9x12 at HD are 2 for $10 right now)

Here is a link that might be useful: curtains

    Bookmark   November 10, 2010 at 8:39PM
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We had curtains in the kitchen we just took out, although that was because the door fell off (woohoo!)

From that very limited experience, I'd say:
- We hung them with a tension curtain rod inside the cabinet, which worked very well. Great way to do it, I think.

- Burlap (or canvas) actually could be a plus since it's less likely to be used as a makeshift towel, which was a big problem with ours (I was as guilty of that as anyone!) For sure you will want to wash them periodically, though, so choose an approach that allows for that.

- We used tab curtains, simply because we already had them and knew it was a short-term solution. They did NOT work well at all---you could see through sections, and they didn't cut off the space well which was an issue since recycling was kept behind them. If I were doing curtains for real, I would make them gathered (or some other strategy that closed the gap).

    Bookmark   November 10, 2010 at 9:07PM
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****Pictures of my horrible kitchen below!****

Fori-LOL, I see you had a bad experience with burlap??? So..shower curtains, huh?

kevin-arrgh! I am starting to realize I should have come to this forum before buying the burlap! I am so bummed!

young-THANK YOU! see, that is the look I am going for...rustic. That looks really good, might work way better than burlap apparently!

artemis-I cannot picture a tension rod. First...I want to cover as much of the cabinet as possible, leaving just a little white edge around the burlap. Plus, some of the cabinets (in the link bleow, to the right of the pic) are also missing drawers, so I want to cover both openings in one fell swoop. That is why I am back to adhering velcro to the top of the face (just under countertop edge) and attaching the curtains that way. BTW, I am LOL that people used your curtains as hand towels! Too funny!

mamabear-I attached a pic for you!!! I am VERY embarrassed of it! You must understand, this is our DREAM HOME and we love it so much. We don;t want to rush to renovate...but we also feel life is passing us by and we want to enjoy it! The kitchen is what needs the most love, which is ironic because I love to cook and entertain. BUT, we saw this as an opportunity to eventually build our dream kitchn. Problem is...when we come into a small amount of money here or there...we don't sock it away to apply towards the kitchen, there are plenty of other items that can use 1k here or 3k there, etc. Such as landscaping, paint, or maybe the A/C breaks, or DD needs get the idea!

Ok, click below for my awful kitchen!

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   November 10, 2010 at 9:36PM
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So the way ours were set up, the tension rod was tucked up under the rail---so you couldn't see it. BUT you could see the opening for the cabinet, so definitely wouldn't work if you want to hide that too. We also didn't have a center stile between the two doors so we could run the curtain all the way across, which worked a bit better. There are also the curtain rods designed to attach to the front of old windows, which would work but probably be more $$ than would be worth spending for a quick fix.

You might be able to buy some cheap drawers to go in those open slots, especially if they're standard sizes---could be worth looking into, depending on how short/long-term this fix is. (Ditto for doors, for that matter!) Good luck---looks like a project!

    Bookmark   November 10, 2010 at 9:47PM
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Fori is not pleased

Ooooh. I love that peninsula! Sheesh they used to put a lot of charm into kitchens, didn't they?

Burlap is good for other stuff--save it. Velcro is good, bungee cords are good. Hack! Excuse me...another burlap hair ball in the throat--that costume came out again this year.

I just got some inexpensive curtains at Target in lime green for a vintage trailer. Cheaper than fabric and half the work already done (bonus: those kids that make drapes in Pakistan sew as badly as me so my work looked "correct"). Cheaper than buying fabric. Washable. I think for $20 you could do your kitchen! I'd like to see you in the turquoise.

Here is a link that might be useful: target for example

    Bookmark   November 10, 2010 at 9:49PM
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Hi you only need 7 doors? 3 drawers? I agree you can probably find someone nearby who's redoing their kitchen and throwing theirs away (I had 20 doors/13 drawers taken away in a dumpster just yesterday.) And, your kitchen is white, so it doesn't matter what kind of wood or what color, you can paint them to look new. Perhaps, you can call some local contractors and ask them if they have any current customers who's cabinets are being gutted... Good luck.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2010 at 10:11PM
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I like the idea of tab channels above the top of the upper curtain hem--it would allow curtains to move more easily as you push them aside to reach inside. Use broadcloth in a contrasting solid color. It would also mitigate the stiffness of the burlap. You can also run a strip of the color about 3 inches from bottom of the burlap curtain as trimming, an "in" look.

Here are my temporary tension rod curtains in windows. I wish I'd made the channels for the rods wider, but I was working with a remnant of gridded faux linen fabric that needed to line up horizontally from one curtain to the next, so some of the channels are very narrow, requiring more fussing with when pushing them to side than they should. This is a great temp solution, which only cost the cost of the rods (reusable) and thread and the $1.00 for the remnant at a garage sale.

Your photo indicates that you will either have to put tension rods inside each cubbyhole or make curtains that fall down over fronts of whole sets of openings from a single non-tension rod held out from the cupboards just below the countertop by a hardware rod holder. Not very expensive, and as I said, can be used elsewhere later.

I am sorry I don't understand about the velcro and glue. Anything that is going to get used hard in a kitchen cannot be subject to the craft-project quality that I think is being used in your model.

If you can't sew, find someone who can and buy her a couple bottles of wine or a dinner. Have her teach you and pay attention. You CAN learn to do this.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2010 at 10:11PM
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I bet the fraycheck won't stop burlap from fraying.

Ok. Here we go on a whole 'nother idea. Get some large pieces of cardboard or anything that is stiff and big enough to fit the holes. Paint or wallpaper it or even wrap it with gift wrap. A few drops of hot glue and glue it to the frame, either in front or behind. Consolidate the stuff you do have on the bottom shelves so that you only have one or two doors to curtain/cover. Depending on how many times you have to get in there, sliding a piece of cardboard to the side might be OK.

Check the dollar store, resale shop, etc. for wall pictures. Find some big enough to cover your door holes. Picture frames go for a dollar or two at the resale shops and even less at garage sales. You might find enough large frames to hang them over your empty doors. Fill with.......???? Kids' drawings. Perhaps there is already a picture in the frame. Found objects - leaves, a collage, newspaper clippings, whatever intrests you/your family. Maybe even your dream wall. That's a bulletin board filled with inspiration pictures or things you want.

It's amazing what you can find at a "junk" shop. Do you have a Habitat for Humanity Restore in your area? Google it. If you do they might have something useful.

One more idea. Get some cafe rods the length of your cabinet base. Make your curtain one long length. Install the rod just under the counter or drawers. You'll have a curtain bottom instead of chopped up empty space. You could use those pinch curtain hooks so you don't have to deal with a casing for the rod. Slap anyone who uses them for a towel! Maybe your burlap would work the same way? And a lot less work!

Here is a link that might be useful: cafe curtain rod

    Bookmark   November 10, 2010 at 10:19PM
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I don't think your kitchen is pitiful or awful in any way. I completely understand that you love your house - the kitchen will come in time - and I hate when all those non-fun life things get in the way! Soooo annoying!

Anyway, I think you could make something very charming with the kitchen. I found this picture (Not sure if that's going to work) - I love how she made the curtains go all the way around. You could do separate pieces so you can access a particular space. And the velcro idea is very easy - and used often, so why not?

Go ahead and try it with the burlap since you've already purchased it, and see how it does. To help with the fraying, you can simply use good old Elmer's glue! If it stops working for you, or you don't like it, you can always get other fabric. Do you have an IKEA near you? Their curtain panel pairs are very inexpensive and would give you a lot of fabric.

I don't think you need anything on the open shelves. Maybe you could introduce some color by painting the interiors of the cabinets at the top.

Here is a link that might be useful: kitchen cabinet curtains

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 12:16AM
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If you had some big baskets or even covered some boxes with wallpaper or painted them, would that pass as decor? And you could use them for "stuff" in your cabinets, too. I think especially if they were all the same.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 6:08AM
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ack! My head is swimming. I am looking at this big ole pile of burlap and wondering what to do!

artemis and dar-No, I don't want to mess with doors or drawers at this point. I don't want to mess with hinges or hardware or any of that.

fori-I will consider the Target curtains. Not a bad idea.

Florantha-The peninsula curves, so I think a rod attached might look odd...there will be a gap between the rod and the cabinets.

I also want to stress that I do not go in and out of these cabinets a lot. When I mentioned velcro, it is because I do not plan on opening and closing the velcro very often...maybe even never! I just want to reach in under the bottom of the curtains to grab what I need.

pinch me-Are you saying to permanently close up the openings? What do you mean "slide" the cardboard? I really just want one cohesive look, I would like all the openings to be the same.

mama-That is indeed a cute kitchen! Again, I never considered the kitchen curtain look my "stylë" but at this point I have *NO* style so I gotta go with something!

Again, I appreciate everyone's feedback! So sad, yesterday I was armed with my stitch witchery, burlap, velcro and fraycheck, and I was ready to tackle this job! Now I am slumped over the computer wondering what to do. I should have posted here BEFORE going to the fabric store!

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 6:36AM
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Here are a few images of creative ideas for kitchens.
I know you will come up with something great.

greystone great house Peter

Canadian Cottage

Brooke Gianetti Designer


Newlywed diaries Blog

And Paint can really change a space. Don't rule out paint.
I know it is more time consuming than fabric but wow
can it make a difference.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 7:13AM
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Since you already bought the burlap I just wanted to tell you I made a shower curtain with burlap. I double stitched all seams. It was hung with a liner and used daily X 2 for 5 years No fraying or problems.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 7:14AM
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Florantha, I always love seeing pics of your gorgeous cabs!

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 8:21AM
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Hang in with the burlap, dirtymartini. For eloquent defense of burlap as a cabinet door surrogate, please check out enigmaquandry's brilliant redo of her kitchen on a pittance. In the finished pic's, the burlap is under the farm sink and looks terrific.

Here is a link that might be useful: enigmaquandry's miracle kitchen

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 10:46AM
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OT to Sabjimata,
How kind of you to say nice things about our cabs. Our local guy will be pleased by compliment. [no need to reply]
I keep thinking about these lower cabs. I guess I was focusing on the part under sink, not on curve. Will you run the velcro along the curve under the drawers? If so, consider making a number of narrow panels with finished top edge and velcro sewn behind it, not glued. Panels would have hemmed? glued? bound? vertical edges so that you can reach into cupboard without unraveling the burlap. At the very least do four equal panels for the lowers on the curve so you can reach in from each side, but perhaps better would be this, which is counterintuitive until you think about it: 5 panels in a narrow / wide / wide / wide / narrow pattern. Openings between panels would center on the center of the openings. The wide panels would overlap the stiles between the openings, so that you can reach into the center of the opening, parting the panels at their edges. No need for a curtain rod at all.
Will you gather, pleat, or use flat panels?

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 12:32PM
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Fori is not pleased

I bet you have a nicer shade of burlap than I got.

Anyway, for attachment, what about those flat thumbtacks? They are classy! Just like nailheads in a leather sofa! (I am not kidding, well, maybe a little about the classiness of them, but I really think they can look alright.)

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 1:12PM
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I think your kitchen is going to be absolutely charming!!

Some of these wouldn't work for your curve, but for the sake of brainstorming.....

the kitchen designer


brooke giannetti


design hole

attic mag


movie set

design hole

attic mag

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 2:12PM
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I think you will definitely want to be able to remove and wash the curtains. Otherwise they'll get dirty, dusty, and icky. I think a tension rod is the way to go, and if you don't sew, then look for short cafe style curtains. Some great examples above.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 3:16PM
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Ok, you've already received lots of advice and good ideas, but I have one more to add. :-)
The burlap is fine, especially since you already have it. To hang it on the front of the cabinets, create your own version of a curtain rod. A thin wood dowel (1/8 or 1/4 inch diameter) will flex enough to follow along the curve you have on the peninsula. Then use wire hooks or 'cup hooks' screwed into the bottom of the counter or face of the cabinet to hold up the curtain rod.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 5:05PM
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I was thinking block off most of them with pretty cardboard. I didn't know how much space you needed to keep. Or use cardboard boxes that are as tall as you can find so they would fill the holes mostly. I see there is no center shelf and that makes the holes pretty tall. Your burlap idea is still valid. Just find a way to make it work. and that was the vision in your head before you came here. And for what it's worth, if you got a small diamater cafe rod I think it would bend enough for your curved side. Look for one at Goodwill to experiment with.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 7:37PM
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Fori is not pleased

Cup hooks. Yeah. That'll give you your bend.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 8:04PM
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You guys are so incredible. Thank you thank you thank you!

BTW...I did a little experimenting...the Stitch Witchery does indeed hold VERY well. I was buying the regular weight SW, but the woman at the fabric store told me I should get the super weight (which I did not know existed, even though it was right there on the shelf) and it works great. Of course maybe it will undo over time, but it really feels like it is sealed tight!

Also, the Fray Check definitely *helps* the frayed ends. But anyway, since the Stitch Witchery works so well, I think I will do all four sides.

Also, now that I am seeing pictures and getting ideas, I really think I may have one curtain under the farmhouse sink as pictured a few times above, when I actually do my "real" reno. It is funny how my tastes keep evolving (of in this case, kind of "devolving" in a way, going back in time with this look) as I keep looking.

Honorbiltkit-I had seen that kitchen transformation before, but forgot about her piece of burlap. In fact, I may have remembered it subconsciously, because that thrifty kitchen redo really made an impact on me! Thanks for reminding me of it.

eandhl-That is good to know! Funny, the more I handle this burlap, the more I like it! I know it is a little trendy right now, but I am late to the burlap party!

florantha-thank you for your continued interest and thought provoking questions. Originally, I was just picturing flat panels. Hemmed (with Stitch Witchery) on all for sides. I do like the look of gathered material, but again, I really was trying to keep this simple. That is a VERY good idea about having the flaps open at the cabinet openings instead of on the edges as I had planned. Again, there is not much storage in these cabinets, and because they are so gross and ugly inside, I really just store a few rarely used baking dishes, extra colanders, ashtrays, etc. I really and truly do not need them to be easy to get in and out of. If I ever wanted to REALLY give them a good cleaning, I guess I could use them a bit more, but they are so gross I kind of want to cover them and forget about them!

fori-well, it is just the plain old tan burlap! Very rustic! BTW...just curious...what was the costume made of burlap? I am picturing someone going to a party as a feed bag, lol. I like the nail head look, and since these cabinets are trash and I don't mind nailing into them, that is actually an option!

chicagoan-yeah, I don't know why I did not think of the "non washability" of burlap before. If I can keep this simple, I am willing to replace the burlap if needed. Also, I hope and pray my kitchen reno will start in a year. Then again, I said that last year. :(

kareneg-hmmm...I like that idea. I am just so lost when doing projects like this, I am kind of intimidated. I guess I go to Home Depot and get a dowel, and the cup hooks too? How do I get the cup hooks to screw into the formica? Actually, I think I would rather screw the cup holders into the underside of the counter.

Boxerpups-Ahhhh, I was so hoping you would pop onto this thread! I don't know how you find the stuff you do. I googled "kitchen curtains" and searched web and images and found only a few. Thanks so much.

young gardener-Thank you for even more pictures!

Thanks again, everyone! I promise to post a picture when I am done...whatever it is I decide to do!

    Bookmark   November 12, 2010 at 9:21AM
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This conversation's pretty far along, so this may be too late for you, but if you haven't found hardware, I think this would be a great application for curtain track used in RV's and such. There's even a plastic one that curves, if you need that.

(not a spammer, I've just used these things and find them really handy for unusual curtain placements.)

Here is a link that might be useful: Recmar Curtain tracks

    Bookmark   November 12, 2010 at 9:30AM
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thank you for that link! I will poke around on it when I have more time. I haven't really decided anything...I was working on making the panels today and it was a disaster...I measured them out, then cut and hemmed (w/stitch witchery) and they were crooked looking. I really don't know what I am doing wrong, but I was almost in tears. I am getting frustrated. :(

    Bookmark   November 12, 2010 at 4:17PM
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There are reasons you were warned about burlap. Besides being a coarse textile that doesn't iron or crease easily, the fibers are so loosely woven that the little squares that are formed by fiber overlap in the weave can become diamonds if you pull at the fabric unevenly. Make an effort to hold the fabric on the straight grain to retain the squares--don't let anything pouch it in irregularly and don't let the fabric bubble up before or after the presser foot. Dial down the pressure on the presser foot a bit if you need to, but keep it stern enough to allow the foot to act as a 3rd hand. If you have a machine that has a slow gear, use it.

Make a newspaper or tissue paper sandwich with the burlap in middle if necessary and tear the paper off later. This would help handle the stuff.

Before sewing, tack sew (I'd use zigzag) along the raw edges to nail down the sides so that things don't ravel out; you may also need to run lines of long straight stitching as basting across the whole piece every so many inches, to firm it up.
Consider basting each panel to a backing or lining fabric and treating the whole thing as a single piece. An old sheet, some thrift store garment fabric or such, with a tight weave. Tack the two together with a few basting stitches here and there like a quilt and pick these stitches out later. I would guess this treatment would be happiest if there were a bound edge, not a turned hem.

If all is awful with a sewing machine, sew by hand.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2010 at 5:07PM
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Dear heart....put down the scissors and go buy something else. Burlap is a nightmare to work with if you are going to cut all four sides. Think of it like a cane chair. All nailed down and glued they are great, but if you just wove the cane and left the edges untouched then sat that on a chair someone would go are end first through the chair because there is nothing holding the weave together.

You have basically removed all structure by cutting the sides and left yourself a bias on all four sides....stretchy in all directions and literally impossible to cut straight, even by an experienced seamstress. Really, it's not just are attempting something that is impossible. It won't work unless you can serge the sides (all) as you cut them (you need a serger for this).

    Bookmark   November 12, 2010 at 5:52PM
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DM, I could tell you so many stories about good ideas gone bad in my house. It happens to us all, don't despair. You know, open cabinets (including bottom cabinets) are very in right now. I like Pinch Me's idea of covering boxes. I wonder (others would know better than I do) how easy it would be to use the burlap to cover the boxes? It wouldn't have to be that straight if you were just gluing it onto a box. I once had an island with whole side of open shelves and I put matching baskets on all the shelves, and kept things inside them. It was wonderful. Even if your boxes don't fit perfectly that's OK. If you got them all the same size it would have a uniform look. I'm thinking the boxes that reams of copy paper come in. Put contact paper on the interior and on the bottom exterior so they'll wear well.

I think your kitchen is very charming and LOVE that curved cabinet and the peek we're getting of what looks like a French door to the outdoors.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2010 at 7:38PM
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thank you for making me feel better.

florantha-well, I wasn't warned about the burlap until after I purchased it! I had to at least try. Also, remember, I am not sewing, I am using stitch witchery. I am using the super weight, it works great on the burlap.

igloochic-*hanging head in shame* I admit it...I give up! You are exactly right, this stuff stretches and is so hard to deal with, especially for a novice like myself. I definitely bit off more than I can chew with this one. And that damn blog post I posted a link to made it look so easy! So...thanks for letting me no it is "NOT* me. It's the burlap! At one point yesterday I had tears in my eyes and actually said out loud, through sobs, (I am alone in my house, mind you) "I can't do anything right"!!!

bigdoglover-Thank you for the ideas. Yes, it is a beautiful view out those french doors....pool, brick pavered patio, palm trees, no neighbors behind... This house is so awesome and I love it and I just want to do it justice with our extremely limited budget.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2010 at 10:42AM
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Projects like this often have a lot of starts and stops for just have to think of it as a learning experience. Burlap is a no-go for me, after making the same mistake you did (aka trying it out and realizing it's a nightmare.)

Do yourself a favor - go get yourself a fairly stiff fabric that doesn't stretch a lot (it may not drape that well, but that's the compromise) or else something with a stripe you can follow. Also, I find that a large carpenter's square helps. And measure many times...all along the seam, not just at the ends.

The problem with the stitch witchery is you can't rip out the iron it without the stitch witchery first and measure measure measure.

Learning by doing is slow, but you don't forget the lessons!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2010 at 11:47AM
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Fori is not pleased

This just might be great!

(My burlap was a dark brown and used for a rustic monk robe.)

    Bookmark   November 13, 2010 at 12:28PM
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*hacking up a burlap hair ball and showing fori*

That sounds cute! Maybe I will use this burlap for a costume. I need to get it out of the house. It is sitting on my table, mocking me.

Thank you so much, Deb. I did kind of consider getting a piece of fabric with some sort of geometric design so I can foloow that and "cheat" a bit. I will see what I find. I will post a pic if I get anything done today!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2010 at 3:20PM
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You have gotten so many wonderful ideas in this thread. I just wanted to add one that I am thinking of for the base cabinet/open shelves in my new pantry. I am planning to use mini(3/8") crane (swing out) rods with 3/4" clip rings to hold tea towels as curtains. No sewing! I figured I could launder the towels as they got dusty or dirty.

Out of all the great ideas here I know you'll find something you're happy with. Best of luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: mini crane rods

    Bookmark   November 21, 2010 at 12:52PM
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WAIT! WAIT! ON THE GEOMETRIC FABRIC!! These days (cheap)fabric is not woven it's printed and usually not printed straight! If you cut and follow the patteren you will be more crooked than with the burlap!! DON'T DO IT!! And by cheap, I mean even the $15 a yard stuff. You can tell if it is printed straight by looking at the cut edge. If you can pull one thread and have that one thread across disect the exact same place in the print then it's printed straight. You MAY still need to straighten the fabric piece yourself before you start! You need someone to show you. Maybe it's on youtube. Everything else is.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2010 at 2:28PM
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My post got long .. here's what I wanted to say.

I believe that 30 , 3 minute videos, watched one after
another . which means they would have to be downloaded
together.. not picked and watched from youtube.. is the
best way i've learned to understand new topics i want
to learn about.

With this in mind if someone can help , not by using a
one at a time converter. but by a bulk , 30 video downloader for Youtube or google video, I will be glad to
explain why it's the best way to learn. and I'm willing to
make a nice donation, of $30 or more to a charity of the
choice of the person helping with the method to bulk
save about 30 or 40 videos at a time.

I said i would explain why in detail if you want I'm
glad to do it. And i'm willing to donate because it's
a good time where people need donations and I have the
money to donate. and it's something i'm asking for.

Thanks for listening and reading. I spent hours trying to
write something useful but it got confusing and so finally
you got the gist of what I meant to say. : ) All with good intentions for me, the group, and people who could benefit
by the assistance of a technical helper.

I posted here because people in this thread were the type
who were the type I think would benefit by the type of
learning I've had success with using youtube and many
downloads. But what I offer is too much to suggest . .
to people with not much time. That's why I needed a helper to create the downloader routine. Yes there are some
already but the ones I've used are 1 at a time and that's
too slow and tedious in my experience. I wanted to help
everyone and this group was one I thought i could help and explain why .. : ) Be well

    Bookmark   December 5, 2010 at 12:33PM
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