So as I said in my recent post sharing my Spring Refresh, I decided to change up a few things in the living room recently – by removing all the turquoise in the room, adding some plants and changing up my vignettes. That was a good start but the turquoise curtains and the stainless steel curtain rod were still sort of throwing things off and so I decided that I wanted to replace and update them.

Looking to convert your grommet curtain header to pencil pleats? Check out my cheap and easy IKEA hack to find out how to do it!

Of course, while I would love to have a huge budget to allow me gorgeous custom curtains on, oh I don’t know, a brass and lucite rod, well, that wasn’t going to happen because I don’t have that sort of cashola. So off to Ikea I trotted and when I spotted the SANELA curtains in the same velvety lush fabric I had previously, I knew they’d be perfect.

Sanela curtains IKEA hack

What wasn’t perfect about them, however, was the grommets (or eyelets as they are also referred to). Now I had grommets on my previous curtains but I wanted something a little different and I knew they’d clash with my plans for the curtain rod. The good thing is that these curtains come LONG – 3 metres long which, thankfully, was longer than what I needed. We’ll get back to these in a second.

First things first, I took down the rail and spray painted it in my trusty Montana Gold Gold Chrome with two coats, gave it a couple of days to dry and then obviously, put it back up. Already a vast improvement.

Converting the Ikea Sanela Curtains from a Grommet Curtain Header to Pencil Pleats

And then I tackled the curtains. Now I am a BAD BLOGGER because I didn’t take pictures of the process of converting them from grommets to a gathered header. I know, I know. But to be fair, I honestly didn’t have a clue what I was doing to start and changed my mind about 5 times through the process and I didn’t even think it would work. But hmmm… it turns out it did.

So I’m going to try to explain because to be honest, it was really easy. So easy.

I could  have done a simple rod pocket here but I wanted something a little more sophisticated so I decided on a loose and casual pleated hem.

How to convert Ikea grommets to a soft pleated curtain header:

I first measured from the rod to the floor to see what the finished size needed to be. I added another 10cm to that measurement.

Using that measurement as the total height required for the fabric, I cut the excess from the top of the curtains where the grommets were (leaving the bottom hem in tact). Then I folded the top over 2cm, ironed it and folded it again another 8cm so the cut part was hidden underneath and the final size was the finished measurement. Then, using super-simple-to-use web tape, I ironed the fold closed. This created a nice sort of placket at the top of my curtain.

I then sewed 3 inch curtain tape to the placket I’d just created, pulled the strings so that the gathers were created, tied the strings at each side, added my hooks and attached them to the curtain rings.

That’s it. Told you it was easy!

Take a look at my cheap and simple IKEA hack to find out how to convert a Grommet Curtain Header to Pencil Pleats

I’m so happy with the new curtains and the colour it brings into the space. We don’t really use them across the whole bay, they are really just to add some softness to the window but I probably would have needed a few more curtain panels if that’s what I wanted to do (simply sewing them together for more width). But the colour combination of the olive green of the sofa and the deep berry pink of the curtains really highlights the touches of cerise pink in here and it all just makes me incredibly happy.

Ikea Sanela Curtain eyelet to pencil pleat hack

But there’s more news… On Friday, I showed you a bunch of wallpaper that I’m loving lately and I told you one of them was going in my house somewhere… well, that somewhere is in here!! Yep, I’m replacing the Cole & Son’s Cow Parsley which has served me well for nearly 5 years – but ya know, it’s time for a change and a chance to create a slightly different look in here.

Find out how to convert a Grommet Curtain Header to Pencil Pleats with the IKEA Sanela curtains.

So, I’m still not going to say which one it will be (even though I got my sample in and fell in love with it) because I’m mean like that and I enjoy torturing you ;) – and also, I like the element of surprise! However, I do intend to get this done in the next couple of weeks so I’ll be showing you that very soon, I promise!

Here are the choices again (maybe it’ll be easier to guess? Hmmm…)

Wallpaper Choices

I also have an announcement on Wednesday that’s kind of a big deal so be sure to stop back then!! I have been having to keep quiet about it for SO LONG but I can finally give you a little hint about what’s going on around here…

In the meantime, what do you think of the new curtains? Is this a DIY you would try?



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