Thursday, February 28, 2013

Magnetic Window Coverings

When we built the house we put in a lot of windows, partly because that is the way the house was designed and partly because I love light, lots and lots of light, especially in the drab months of winter when there is such a scarcity and the hours are short.

Window coverings were easy; blinds. Done. The issue then, has been with the doors. All of our doors allow some light to enter into the house during the day, and the double French doors, as they are so large, have been especially nice in that regard, but sometimes one wants privacy and an extra layer to blanket in the house from the chill outdoors.

I've had the solution in my head for quite some time, but never followed through with it, partly because I have a lot of solutions in my head among the other thoughts and what if's and memories; yet like most, I only have 24 hours in my day.

 They may not look like much from the picture, or maybe the look like the set of drapes just cleaned out of that fix-er-up-er you just bought that hasn't had anything done to it since 1963, but for the room for which they were created, they work.

One of the distinct advantages is that the coverings are fully reversible. On movie nights or when we want something a bit classier; a bit upscale, we go with the solid black side.

On other days, when we want some life in the room, we go with the floral side. The browns and greens compliment the wall coloring while the blue contrasts well with the blue top of the bench seat.

 An additional winning feature is that the doors are metal and therefore the coverings are magnetic. This makes them easy to change from black to floral. It also makes them simple to take down when I want the extra light or perhaps to be able to see the children out to pasture in the back yard. The down side to the magnets is, of course, children love magnets. When they find out the curtains can be taken down with just one forceful tug. . . there's some teaching that has to take place.

If you find that you too would benefit from the installation of such coverings in your home, you should know they are fairly simple to make.
1. measure the window to be covered and add at least four inches extra (two per side) on each edge.
2. With the right sides of the fabric together, sew around all four sides leaving an opening wide enough to turn the fabric right side out. Turn the fabric right side out and press all seams open.
3. Stitch vertical lines of equal measurements (I used an inch and a half) from the top toward the bottom. You will have to experiment some because if you have a larger area to cover, you will require more magnets. For mine, I used 10 across the top, so the top has nine vertical dividers stitched ever 2.5 inches across the top.
4. Drop the magnets in through the opening left open to turn the curtain right-side-out. Distribute them into the pockets created by the dividing stitches at the top and top stitch a horizontal line from the left edge to the right to enclose the magnets in their respective sections.
5. I repeated this process to secure magnets on either side and the bottom. The extra weight holds down the curtains and the extra magnets help to secure the covering to the door to allow better insulation, less light penetration, and less possibility of being observed by investigative neighbors. Also, it makes them less likely to be accidentally pulled down as one passes by them or to be blown away from the door in the back draft created by small parties that may be running through the house at breakneck speed even though they have been cautioned against such behavior. Once you have the magnets where you want them and secured inside, finish off the open edge using a closure of your choice.
Despite the fact that I see myself in a mu-mu of a similar print in not too many years hence, I love the way the design picks up the other colors and gives a little bit of energy to a very subdued room.


  1. where did you get your magnets for this project.

  2. Where did you get your magnets for this project. Thank you.