T Rod Challenge

4 Materials
6 Hours

When we built our house, we created a nice and perfect-sized cubby that just fit our microwave. We did not think about the fact that our microwave did not have a lifetime warranty. Hmmm... really nothing does, right? We for sure, didn’t think about the fact that the size of microwaves might change. Well, we all know how much microwaves have changed since 1985, so our cubby no longer fit our new microwave.
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Okay here we go...I knew I was changing the wallpaper, so first things first. I prepared the wall by scraping and cleaning the old wall paper off. This was fairly easy, since it was stripable wall paper. Just time consuming because I wanted to be sure I had a clean surface for the new paper.
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This is a picture of the cubby almost ready. I will share the painting of my cabinets soon. However, you will be able to see some changes in the pictures.
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I decided to make curtains to cover the cubby, but I did not want to make holes in my cabinets, I knew a tension rod would fit nicely and not ruin the wood cabinets. I have never liked to scar my cabinets by making unnecessary holes. Next step, make the curtains, I used a valance for a pattern. The length was good, but I did not make the curtain as long as the valance since the cubby was not as wide.
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To make the curtain, I measured, cut and seamed the sides and the bottom with a small fold. This was my first attempt at making curtains, so they were far from perfect. I then made a seam for the tension rod to fit through. The way I did this was to put the tension rod on the fabric and place pins where I needed to sew a seam. After making the curtains, I pressed them and decided to use a stencil to create a border of coffee cups.
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I have never been fond of red in my home, but for some reason, I decided to “go red” as an accent color.
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After I finished stenciling the curtain, and it had plenty of time to dry, I heat sat the paint by ironing over the fabric with a dry iron. I also laid a hand towel on the fabric to protect my iron In case some of the paint came off.
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I did not take a picture of the curtain over the cubby, but it was too large. So, I put It over the window using another tension rod. Only problem, I still needed something for my cubby. Gotta say, I was disappointed with myself for not measuring better. I also thought the curtain needed to be divided into two sections for the cubby.
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Do you ever just get plum aggravated at yourself, and you have to walk away for a while? That is exactly where I was. I took a break from sewing and began measuring, cutting and pasting wall paper in my cubby.
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Well, I did much better with the wall paper. It went up perfect! Okay, so now Il tackle the ”thorn in my flesh” cubby again. While checking the tension rod, I thought I will try this without curtains.

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Nope, didn’t like the look. You can also see the vent holes from the ancient microwave. Ugh...
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This time I made the curtains the same as the other one, but smaller and I divided it into two sections. I could not get it to look right and show the items I had on display because they didn’t allow for much open space.
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I made a shorter piece to go in between the two sections and stenciled red checker boxes for a border. This did look better but it was just too bulky.
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I thought I am going to need to make some tiny tie backs, then lightbulb went off and I thought about using a piece of twine. Perfect! The coffee pot was my grandma’s and I wanted it front and center. The yellow pitcher was a thrift find I stenciled on and the other pieces are just some of my stuff. I really love that I could use a tension rod for the curtains over the window and over the cubby. I probably would not have put anything there for now, if it meant having to drill holes in the wood cabinets.
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Not the end yet...had to buy a third tension rod. Threes a charm, right?
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My mom loved my curtains so much, she asked me to make some for her kitchen. You got it, anything for my mom. I used the third tension rod to hang mom’s curtains. Mom was so proud, made my heart happy.
This is the information about the wallpaper many of you have asked about:
I ordered it from Lowe’s, but other sites have it too. Brewster Wallcovering Reclaimed 56-sq ft Red Non-Woven Textured Wood 3D Wallpaper
Item 717816 Model 2701-22319
Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page. More info

Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Cle22798294
    on Apr 28, 2018

    Very cute! I think I like the top one better-the spacing/placement is more even, makes it look more professional/store-bought! However, I like the white spots, hearts, & the swirls in the coffee better on the bottom. Very creative! I really like the balance across the middle with the blocks-adds just enough contrast. What was the red, white, & blue wood? Did you put wood up to cover the remnants from the wallpaper & paint it, or what was that?

    • Susan K Mullins
      on Apr 30, 2018

      I also used the wall paper as a backsplash. I will post pictures of the makeover soon. I ordered the paper from Lowe’s. Amazon also has the paper. It is Brewster Wallcovering Reclaimed 56-sq ft Red Non-Woven Textured Wood 3D Wallpaper

      Item # 717816 Model # 2701-22319

  • Terri Whittaker
    on Apr 28, 2018

    Really like the whole project but have to admit I'd love to know the name of the wallpaper LOL. Do you remember the name?

  • Felicia
    on Apr 28, 2018

    I love the wallpaper! Where did you get it? Also couldn’t you put wallpaper in top of cubby to cover vent holes. You would be able to see more of the beautiful paper too with your items in it without the curtains. Curtains are adorable! But this space looks too small for them. Just my 2 cents. I really would love to know where you got the wallpaper. You do very nice sewing! 😊

Join the conversation

4 of 64 comments
  • Michelle
    on May 2, 2018

    Love it.

  • K
    on Jun 21, 2018

    Thank you for sharing your struggles & sticking with it until you came up with a solution that works. I think sometimes it looks like the DIY-ers are just getting it right all the time & makes it look too easy, when, in reality, even somewhat simple projects can have issues of their own.

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