Hi Friends! I’ve been getting a TON of questions over on Instagram about my drapes. I thought I’d (finally) share my tutorial for how I customized some boring Amazon black out drapes to work in my living and dining room. Plus, keep reading for some light bulb tips.
When we first moved in, the windows only had light shades and at night you could see right in. The house next door is super close and we have a potty training toddler (aka a naked little boy- lol), so we decided we needed more privacy.
I was on a super budget- moving is expensive and it felt like we were spending money left and right on everything needed to make this house a home. So I did a TON of research to find what I wanted for as cheap as possible and ended up with these drapes for $28 for a set of 2 panels and these drape rods for $16 each from Amazon.
The problem was, when the drapes arrived they were a grey color that I didn’t like. So I decided to try dying them to see if I could make them a prettier color! Here’s the full tutorial:
Tassel drape diy
Step one- start by dying your drapes. I did mine in a sink because they were too big for over the stove (although, since my drapes are made with Polyester, I should have done them over a hot burner). Get the water as hot as possible. Put in the dye, mix it well, add in one set of drapes and wait 20 minutes. Wear gloves so you don’t stain your hands.
Step two- remove the drapes from the dye. Rinse them out. Let them dry- they will lighten up in color as they dry. Honestly, I wanted mine more pink than purple, but I am fine with how they turned out. The color is better than the original grey (to me).
Step three- attach the tassels. Pull out your sewing machine or hot glue them on.
step 4- hang the drapes up on your curtain rods. Step back and enjoy your privacy! I choose 84″ long drapes for our standard 8′ ceilings. I hang them so that the bottoms kiss the floor.
That is it! You are done! For months, we had the drapes up with just the purplish dye. Just last week I decided to add the tassels when I found the trim on Amazon for super cheap! I love the pop of color they add in a subtle way. They are definitely a fun look! I think white tassels would be stunning too though.
Another way I’ve been letting the light in is with my light bulbs. I recently made the change to smart LED bulbs from Sengled and I wanted to let you know all about them. I love that going LED is good for the earth since they last longer (less waste) and they run on less energy! Plus, that saves you money in the long run. I love when doing things that are good for the earth are also the budget option.
First of all, I feel like light bulbs have gotten so complicated! If you are like me, I’m going to make this simple for you. Remember when you used to go to the store, buy bulbs based on their wattage and then call it a day. Now you have lumens and kelvin to deal with- ugh, I never understood it. I thought I would do the shortest explanation ever and provide a little cheat sheet for you.
Lumens- think L= LIGHT
Lumens is how bright they’ll make the room. So if you have covered bulbs (by a shade or opaque glass), you’ll want 800 lm (which is like a 60 watt bulb). If you have exposed bulbs, you’ll want 375 lm (which is like a 25 watt bulb).
Kelvins- think k= COLOR
Kelvins is what color the light will be. You can get anything from a super blue light to an orange light. But for inside a house, I recommend sticking with 3000k which should be labeled on the box as “soft white.” This color is described as soft, warm, and pleasing. Another favorite for inside homes is 2700k which is called “warm white.” It is described as friendly, personal, and intimate. It is more orange than soft white.
So now that we understand LED bulbs better, let’s talk about why to choose a smart LED bulb like Sengled Element. Here’s the benefits:
- app control
- it pairs with smart home devices and does voice control (via Alexa and Google Home)
- Energy use tracking
why smart bulbs?
Evidently, this is the post where I confess all of the things that I don’t understand, but I didn’t under smart bulbs either! I’ll explain what I learned in case you’re like me too! To make the Sengled Element smart bulb work, you need a hub. The good news is that they sell a starter kit with two bulbs (that are 2700k) and a hub.
What’s a hub, you ask? Well, its connects to your wifi router so that your bulbs can be powered by the app. Once they are connected, you can control the bulbs by the app and schedule or dim them. That is what I do and it’s been SO nice to be able to pull out my phone and dim the lights or turn them off whenever I want to.
The (free) app is also nice because you can see how much power the bulbs have consumed and how much money you saved. See, it pays to learn about lumens and kelvins because your power bill will go down!
I don’t have a smart home device, but now I really want one. Evidently, you can pair your Alexa or Echo to your bulb and do fancy things like voice activation “Alexa, dim living room to 25%” Or you can set it up so the light bulb turning on is your alarm clock- how cool is that?!
cooler light bulb
In addition to the starter kit, I also tried out an Element Classic bulb in 5000 kelvins. This is a much cooler bulb than I’ve tried before and it is recommended for an office or kitchen since it is more “energizing”. I used it at my desk and it is nice and bright for my work station.
Anyway, if you are interested in trying out a smart bulb, the Element Classic Kit is a really good option because it is very affordable ($40 for 2 bulbs and a hub- such a good deal!) and then you can add on $10 bulbs to complete your smart home as needed.
So, that was the longest post of all time! Those are the ways I have been letting the light into my house. I hope the drape tutorial was helpful if you’re looking for ideas of how to customize drapes. And if you’re interested in LED smart bulbs, or didn’t understand them like me (lol), fingers crossed that it helped explain them to you.
This post is sponsored by Sengled. This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.