Well folks, I’ve got another one of my cheap rv decorating ideas to share with you – I just made bandana curtains for our camper WITHOUT SEWING! Yeah!!!! I’m not a sewer, but to date every rv we’ve owned (pop up, old travel trailer, newer camper, motorhome, etc.) I’ve made a curtain to the best of my ability, with a sewing machine, while uttering many bad words.
Now this tip isn’t for every window in your recreational vehicle (unless they are all tiny), but you might take this idea and come up with more ideas to make it your own to fit larger windows. Here’s how it all started….we have two short and small windows in the kitchen area of our camper. The shades on them were a nightmare, constantly refusing to go up or, even worse, rolling up on their own without warning and making a terrifying sound. We hated them, the pets feared them – they had to go.
But we are frugal rvers, which means it is time to think outside of the box. Custom shades? No way. The other problem is that they have those fabric overhangs which make it hard to work with…could never mount a curtain rod without taking it all apart…and just not in the mood for that!
Then I got an idea – I tested one of our cheap ($2.00) flimsy tension rods we put in the shower, to hang our towels on, and wedged it up inside of the overhang thingy. To my surprise, I was able to get it in there super-tight, so I knew it would stay put as long as I didn’t put a lot of weight on it. That was a start! I could use it as a curtain rod, without begging Jim to try and hammer anything in that tiny area.
So then I had to decide what I could hang from that rod (something that resembled a curtain), without having to cut/sew and other icky things like that. I wanted something already hemmed, that would fit the short length of these windows. At first I thought of cool, cloth kitchen towels, but wasn’t patient enough to wait until one crossed my path that I liked aesthetically. That’s when it hit me…BANDANAS! They are colorful and just about the perfect height. I started searching and found a cheap pack of them…then placed my order.
Ok…so I had a curtain rod, I had the “curtains” on the way…but how to attach them? Ahh, my rving friends, not a problem! I knew I would be doubling up on them, to keep the sunlight out. I also knew I wanted them to be tight on the rod, so I could pull them open or close them at will. Then it hit me…a $1.00 pack of giant safety pins would do the trick.
I laid two bandanas down, with the light insides of them facing inward, put the rod at the top (I estimated the length I would need by holding them up to the window, but remember that tension rods have a few inches of height to play with), folded them over the rod at the top, then pulled everything tight and put a bottom layer of safety pins across the fabric, then wedged it up into the window and I was done….worked like a charm! On the length of my windows, when I viewed them from the outside, the excess slack showed…so I simply trimmed it off (remember, no one can see these pins, etc. when wedged up in there!). Also, I cut strips of extra bandana off to make “ties” to hold them back during the day.
The only thing I did wrong was I trusted the color…and I don’t like what I got. It said beige, it looked beige, but I got more of a yellow tinged bandana. I will change it out one day, but it is fine for now. I may even just hold out until I find the perfect kitchen towel of my dreams for a new curtain and will then swap it out. But by my pics, you should get the idea of how it all works, even if you think Helen Keller picked out my shade of bandana (just contact me if you have questions).
The bottom line is that for the price of a cheap tension rod, some bandanas and a pack of large safety pins, I was able to throw those rv shades into the trash and have a cute rv curtain in my kitchen. I imagine this would also work on larger windows with pre-hemmed items like pillow cases? If you try it, let me know!
The point is that there are cheap rv decorating ideas out there, if you just take a little time and think about it. You don’t even need a sewing machine, and that is a REALLY good thing! If you’re really artistic, you could even tiedye/paint plain white handkerchiefs and make your own custom colored curtains.
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