DIY Painted Striped Curtains (West Elm Knock Off)

DIY painted curtains in a nautical pattern with blue and white

So do you remember back a few weeks ago when I shared my “vision” for my office/craft room space? Well I have some posts to share this week about how I’ve been making my vision happen..and there’s a lot of DIY in the mix!!

First on the agenda was the curtains. My inspiration was this West Elm Striped Shower Curtain.

While I probably could have swallowed the $39 price for each curtain…the 72″ length wasn’t going to work for me-I’m a huge fan of the “puddled” look for my curtains!

So what’s a blogger to do?

Paint my own!

I ordered a pair of IKEA Vivan curtains on eBay… they are normally $9.99 for TWO panels at IKEA but I paid $20 including shipping due to getting them from a reseller.  {Incidentally I’m doing an IKEA roadtrip this week in conjunction with a family vacation-eek!-so excited!}

I then picked up about 4 Grey Valspar paint samples from the local hardware store.  (To be completely honest I picked up one paint sample can at first and quickly realized that fabric absorbs paint like crazy and had to quickly run back to the store and get more samples!)

curtain painting diy Collage

I measured my curtains and divided by seven to determine the stripe thickeness I wanted…it ended up being 14″ for each stripe with my extra long curtains.  Being careful to tape OUTSIDE of the lines of the painted portions I used painters tape to mark off my stripes.  I was also extra careful to really press and seal the tape to the cloth as I put it down.

Then came the moment of commitment…I won’t lie, I was nervous.  Did I just waste $35 in supplies?

What do you think?

DIY painted curtains in a nautical pattern with blue and white

I am absolutely 100% in love with them!!! I couldn’t be happier.  Yes, before you ask, they are more stiff than normal curtains (I didn’t use fabric medium) but I don’t ever plan on using mine for actual window covering, just for decor so I think it was $35 well spent!

Would you ever paint curtains? Have you tried it before?

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  1. These look really cute! I used paint + fabric medium to paint an IKEA rug earlier this year and love the results…would totally do it again – but you are right about how much paint fabric absorbs! Have a great IKEA trip…

  2. Love your curtains girl! These are on my to-do list too! Thanks for passing on that the paint soaks up into the fabric!

  3. Love the crisp, clean lines. Such a great aesthetic!! Always loved stripes 🙂 This are fab girl!!

  4. Love love love!! They look phenomenal. I want to stencil some white curtains we’ve got in our dining room – hopefully it will be a project we’ll tackle soon!

  5. Wowzas…what a huge impact! I am going to try to stencil some curtains in a couple of weeks, so this makes me a little less nervous. Just gorgeous, Melissa!

  6. They turned out great! I can’t wait to hear about your IKEA trip. The closest IKEA is four hours away and many a times I’ve contemplated the drive…can’t wait to see what you get!

    1. Ours is two hours away Jenny and I’ve driven over twice. This time I brought the whole family and I don’t recommend that! I felt a little rushed and its so awesome you really could spend half a day in there.

  7. Stopping by from Practically Functional. Those look gorgeous. I was just thinking about making something new for our windows but I didn’t want to have to go buy new fabric. I think I might try painting some of the solid colored fabric I have.

    1. Thanks Alli! I was nervous to try it but love the end look, they are stiff but mine are for decor not functional so it doesn’t bother me!

  8. They came out just lovely! I did something similar to my living room curtains, but in a more subtle way. But I love the boldness of yours!
    Selene from

    1. Thanks Shannon-just be aware they are stiff from the paint so I wouldn’t use them in an area you want functional curtains to open and close.

  9. Nice work! They look great! I just painted some fabric with a polycrylic to make a rug (floorcloth). Who knew you could just paint fabric like this?

  10. I love this! The nearest IKEA is about 1.5-2 hours from us and I have been mentally planning a trip for weeks. You’ve inspired me to get down there! I’m so glad to have found your lovely blog.

  11. i painted mine and i don’t like how they turned out at all! i don’t like the splotchy look–now i’m back to the drawing board. did you notice that same problem with yours?

    1. Mine weren’t splotchy on the front but they were on the back. It worked for me though because they are just hanging there got decor and no one would see the back.

  12. Your curtains turned out really nice. For thirty five bucks you did good. I love painting on fabric. I always use a medium though and then iron over it the next day to set it and soften it a bit.

    1. You know I couldn’t find fabric medium at my craft store and I was too impatient to wait to order it! I’ll have to try it next time though to see the difference.

  13. These curtains are fabulous! Thanks for sharing!!

    I would like to invite you to link up to my linky party, Thrifty Thursday!
    You would fit right in and we would love to have you!

    Hope to see you there!


  14. I love the curtains! How long does it take to dry and do you hang them to dry? It seems they would stick to whatever you were laying them.

    1. Hi Bonita, I painted mine laid out on a disposable plastic drop cloth in my garage. I let them dry a full 24 hours and had no problem with them sticking. Hope that helps!

  15. These look GREAT. I’m redoing our living room into a beach themed room & need to do something with the bay window, these might just do the trick. Except the pooling at the bottom. I have dogs & I could just see the Jack Russell napping on them and all the Border Collie’s fur caught up in them!

    1. Ah yes, I’m a huge fan of puddling curtains and I was a little excessive with these since they were in my office which is a pet and kid free zone!!

  16. This is awesome! I’ve been wanting curtains, but haven’t wanted to pay the steep price for cute ones. Thanks!

  17. Sorry I’m late to the commenting party but I just found you via (what else?) Pinterest.
    I have the good fortune of having Ikea 20 minutes away. I’m in Charlotte so it’s really clean and organized (love those Sutherners) as opposed to the one in Eizabeth, NJ. We lived in Manhattan so it was a short jump to get ever but …not safe. Icky, too.
    Anyways, I just bought 6 pairs of the Lydia curtains which were $34/pair of 58×108 for my family room. I have enormous windows and super-high ceilings so I’ll use every bit of that length. I ALWAYS make my own curtains because I like a really customized look and the sizes are too difficult to find normally PLUS it’s soooooo much cheaper! One of the times I’ve made a smart move furniture-wise – and there are some real screw-ups too – was having my couch custom made and making its “underwear” out of muslin but a beautiful cotton worn-in apple green and then the fitted slipcover on top is a mushroom color and feels like 100 year old jeans. So I rotate the colors with the seasons and throw new curtains/decorative stuff up so it really does make it seem like a whole different room.
    The 3 colors I’m using to make thin-ish stripes horizontally will be spaced every 16″. The lightest stripe is a golden yellow which I am going to add wording onto with a Sharpie. The other colors are apple green and a darker orange atop linen colored drapes. These are my autumn drapes so I’m thinking of sayings and words like leaf, giving thanks, pumpkins, apples, gather, etc.
    All of this sounds great but we shall see. I’m using the textile medium so I can wash the panels before they get packed for next year. I hope these come out well because I have some good ideas for winter! 🙂

    1. I’d love to see. Pic of your curtains when you’re finished! Charlotte is my closest IKEA but I’m still over 2 hours away!

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  19. Oh I def would paint my own curtains! I actually want to do a similar thing for the dining room, but do gold polka dots somehow. We’ll see how that goes! Did you find that buying the paint samples vs a small can of paint was less economical? Just wondering!

    1. I’m not sure if it worked out cheaper Lindsey but it was a fast fix-I usually shop with three little ones in tow so I probably just grabbed them on the go (It was almost 2 years ago!)

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