Tag Archives: curtains

Clearance curtain upgrade

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A few weeks ago, I scored these plain white curtains off the Target clearance racks.

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BEFORE: Clearance white curtains

Of course I wasn’t going to just leave them alone.

I was inspired by the curtains in this Better Homes and Gardens room, but I knew they must be some kind of fancy designer that I could never afford. So I decided to try my own version with pretty fabric and fusible web. If you remember, I first used fusible web in my star mobile project. I was emboldened to use it by Make it & Love it and I want to thank her for opening up a whole new world to me. Really. I’m not being overly dramatic.

This is the type I chose to use.

It’s not as stiff as what I used for the stars because I wanted the fabric to still feel flow-y. It sells at for $3.99 at JoAnn’s and I used one package on each curtain. I was pressed for time, but I’m looking for a better deal on this stuff. I’d appreciate any tips. Of course, JoAnn’s has coupons so with a 50% off coupon it would be $1.99 a pack.

Here’s what I did:

1. Using about ¼ a yard each of 5 different cotton fabrics, I attached the fusible web sheets. (Following the directions, you just iron the fabric and stick down the sheet. Easier than pie. Way easier.)

2. I drew leaf shapes of varying sizes on the back side and cut them out.

3. Arranged them into a mosaic-inspired flower design onto the white curtain.

4. Once everything was in place, I peeled off the other side of the fusible web backing and ironed it on. (I used my handy new ironing pad of course!)

Now I have a one-of-a-kind set of curtains.

AFTER: Mosaic flower curtains

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Clearance shopping

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It’s been a slow week on the blogging front: Boo-Boo got sick… then I got sick… Between a clingy, nursing baby and my 100º fever I’ve been in more of a survival mode than an organizational one. But, I’m still working on my project by doing some planning and a little shopping, too.

When I was at Target waiting to pick up Boo-Boo’s prescription, I decided to hit up their clearance spots.

Here’s what I found in the home, office supply, and Valentine’s Day sections:

 

Score! I’m super excited for the curtains as they were exactly what I was looking for to hang in the craft/play room.

When I got home and unpacked my prizes, I started thinking about how I feel so much more excitement finding great deals than if I just went out and paid full price. Of course, because of home economics it’s not always possible to plunk down $25 for new sheets. But I think that even if I had the money I’d still shop this way. Do you agree?

Here are a few tips for clearance shopping that I’ve learned along the way:

1. Know your discounts. At Target, items usually start at 15% and then go to 30%, 50%, and eventually 70% off. Seasonal items will go down to 90%. A lot of times I’ll spot something I like at 30% and then wait for it to go down to 50%. In my experience, a lot of things don’t make it down to 70%. It’s a little bit of a gamble (I guess that’s part of what makes it fun) and sometimes you’ll wait on something only to never see it again because someone else bought it. I consider several factors in my decision to wait for deeper cuts or buy now. If I really love it and need it and there aren’t many left, I’ll buy at 50% or maybe even 30%. For example, the curtains I bought this week were only 50% but there were only three panels left and I knew I wanted them for a specific, immediate purpose and they were exactly what I was looking for. Another time, toddler shirts were on 50% clearance. They had an entire rack. I thought they would be precious on Boo-Boo for next fall. But I waited it out and got them at 70%.

2. Scan it. Target is usually good about putting a little red sticker on anything that’s on clearance. But sometimes things get clearanced before they get a chance to mark it or things get put i the wrong place. If you see something that seems out of place or large clearance sections with several different % off signs, use those handy scanners to check the price. This is especially true for seasonal items. Scanning is also a good task for bored husbands or older kids to do while you are rummaging through the clearance selection.

3. Weekday late mornings are best. I usually find markdowns happening on Tuesdays-Thursdays around 9:00 or 10:00 AM. Usually by the weekend all the best deals are gone. I know it’s difficult if you work during the day, but shopping during the week is much better.

4. Set your price limits. It’s really easy to get carried away with awesome deals and buy things you won’t use or too much of something that might not work in the end. Maybe you give yourself a weekly allowance or a project budget. Yes, you are getting great deals, but you are still spending cold, hard cash! Buying clothes on clearance for the season ahead can be especially tricky. For adults, not much is going to change from one year to the next, but when buying for kids, well, it’s a shot in the dark. I have limits for what I’ll pay for future wear. If it’s for a year or more in advance, I’ll only spend $5 and under. That way, even if he can’t use it I’m not out that much money and I can feel okay about taking it to the resale shop with the tags still on it. (Or giving it as a gift!)

5. Think outside the (bread) box. Being able to envision items as something else will help you get what you need at a fraction of the price. Seasonal and speciality items are often quick to get marked down and usually hang around because people think they are out-of-season or not useful. Whenever I see something on 50% or 70% off, I think about how I could use it in a different way than it was intended. For example, I’ve found plus size dresses for under $5. Now, I don’t wear plus sizes but that material can be cut up and made into something like a pillow or curtains or a smaller dress. I think this creativity is what I like best about clearance shopping. I’ve done one or two posts about repurposing something I found on clearance. For your budget’s sake, it is important to be reasonably sure you have a specific plan and that you will follow through.

Anyone else love clearance shopping?

Monday is bedroom day.

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This week I’m sharing my household cleaning routine. Monday is bedroom day. I usually wash the sheets, dust, and do laundry. Lately there has been a lot of re-arranging of clothes due to the change in seasons and growth in Boo-Boo. One thing to know is that Boo-Boo sleeps with Hubby and me, so when I say “bedroom” I do mean everyone’s bedroom.

We made the decision to keep him in our room when I was pregnant. But at some point in my last trimester, my hormone-addled brain decided we should make the second bedroom the family bedroom instead of the master. So it wasn’t until a few months after he was born that I finally got all the clothes and furniture moved into our current room. I can’t remember exactly how long this project took, perhaps a few weeks. (I don’t want to pretend like I did this all in one day or anything–did I mention that I have a baby?)

This snap is of the one side of the room that underwent the most drastic change. We had just gotten rid of the television in this “before” snap and I was in the middle of cleaning out some boxes of old classroom stuff I had stored in there. That hideous brown blob is a make-shift light blocking curtain (a sheet) that Hubby pinned up there one sunny morning. It was odious yet effective.

Once the chest of drawers was moved in from the other bedroom, I organized our clothes and my jewelry and bags inside. I got some proper light-blocking curtains on clearance at Walmart. They are the color of dirty snow–I guess that’s why they were $5–but I hung them on the inside of our blue curtains so they don’t really show. I went through the storage items: two large boxes and a hanging file crate. And divided them into the classic “keep,” “trash,” and “give away” piles. The give aways went to a teacher friend and my keeps are in a small box. That box is elevating the paper lamp in the corner. I felt like it needed to be taller than the chest of drawers for better scale.

Since this photo was taken, I have had to remove the nightstand. I didn’t imagine Boo-Boo would be able to pull it down on top of himself! This had caused a problem with unruly cords, but that’s a project to be tackled later.

Another easy/cheap idea in this room is the canvasses above the bed. They are just plain canvasses with fabric staple gunned on. The one in the middle (there are 3, one is not pictured) is one of the king-sized shams that came with the bedding set. I can’t deal with pillows you aren’t supposed to sleep on, so I cut it up.

The closet space is an ongoing issue and I’ll be honest–all my drawers aren’t organized. These are topics for another before & after! But at least now we finally have all our clothes together.