DIY Project: Painted Curtains

We finally got around to hanging up some curtains in (our 8-month-old) KP’s room. Yes, she has had bare windows for the last 3 months, so it was time to get on this. I convinced myself I needed to make something special and custom for her, but then took my sweet time getting it done.

KP finally has some curtains!

What do you think?

Part of the reason I felt a need to customize is that I wanted something special for her, but I couldn’t find anything like what I had in mind to purchase. I did a lot of looking around and found lots “close”, but they were all either too expensive, wrong size, wrong shape, or just not quite right for one reason or another. Here’s my inspiration:

Inspirations curtains from my Pinterest Board

To customize her curtains, we bought some green panel curtains from Target and did a fabric paint treatment on them. I would have loved to sew her something, but realistically that would have taken another 3 months to get done.

For the fabric painting I used the freezer stencil method. There are a ton of tutorials on the web for this, but I’ll do a quick overview of my method.

– Freezer paper

-Razor blade/craft knife

-Fabric paint


-Scrap cardboard

Begin by drawing your design on the non-shiny side of the freezer paper. If you are an artist you can freehand something or it is easy to trace it too. You can get as complex as you’d like, but I think the simpler graphics are much easier to cut out!

simple design

Then use your knife to cut out the design. Remember to cut out any inside circles too!

I’m spoiled enough to have a Cricut cutting machine that takes care of the first two steps for me- but I have done this by hand several times and it is almost as easy! (I used the Cindy Loo cartridge if anyone is interested).

Next iron your stencil onto your fabric. If you have a complex design or something with inner parts, just gently iron the entire thing onto the fabric. Don’t stress too much- you can peel it up and reposition it if it isn’t right the first time. Once you are happy with the position, peel away the design, leaving only the stencil. Go over it with the iron and make sure you do a good job of pressing down all the edges.

Iron down stencil- keep the "inner part" in place to help with alignment!


Peel off the part you want to paint- make sure to leave any inner parts that you don't want to get filled in with paint!

Next you paint! I use a sponge brush, but a normal paint brush would probably be fine too.

The paint will bleed through most fabric so be sure to place that scrap cardboard under your fabric to protect what is underneath (yes- I’ve learned this lesson the hard way!). Use enough paint to get good coverage, but don’t get too gloppy with it.

Like my fancy pallet? Brush a smooth coat of paint over the entire design.


You'll need multiple stencils if you want a repeating design.

Now my favorite part! Once the paint is dry you get to peel off the freezer paper stencil and see the finished product! If you did a good job with the ironing you’ll be impressed at how crisp the edges come out!



I repeated the process 9 times on each of KPs curtains to get the “vine” look I was going for. If I was cutting my own stencils instead of using the Cricut, I probably would have tried just making 3 large stencils for each, but that might have gotten a little wily to work with.



I love doing this craft! I’ve done it on baby clothes for shower gifts and to spruce up tote bags. I’ve also seen great projects on throw pillows and even rugs, so I’m sure you’ll see more projects like this pop up around here.

Anyone else used this process for home decorating projects?

3 comments to DIY Project: Painted Curtains

  • I feel your pain on finding the “just right” fabric. It’s taken me 2 years to find our dining room curtains (but I haven’t made them yet..)

    The stencil turned out really well! I’ve seen a lot of freezer paper tutorials floating around but was skeptical about how well it would actually turn out, but these look great & simple.

  • Katie

    I really like how the curtains turned out! There were already curtains in our LR and DR when we moved in, so we didn’t have to worry about those. The boys’ curtains were the special light-blocking ones we got from Target in navy blue. (simple enough.) Our bedroom curtain is really a tapestry Michael’s parents brought back from Guatemala.

    You’re so crafty! I look forward to seeing more Made by Melanie posts from you 🙂

  • OMG that is SO COOL!!!!! I love those! What a great way to add a little personal touch to curtains. Good idea!