Chocolate Rabbit's Beechwood Hall · DIYs · House Remodels

Curtains and the Chocolate Rabbit Parent’s Room

This post is going to sort of combine two topics – unveiling the finished Chocolate Rabbit Parents’ Bedroom, and giving some helpful tips on making curtains for your houses. Teri & Fraser Chocolate are also going to assist me in showing how to hang up those curtains. Fraser was especially helpful.

So, first things first. We’re moving over to the other side of Beechwood Hall finally. I picked the larger upstairs room for their master bedroom. Now, in this case, ‘larger’ is used very lightly – it is the bigger of the two upstairs rooms that can be divided by the swinging wall, or left as one with the wall folded out. But as I’ve pointed out before, sometimes the rooms in Sylvanian homes are rather tiny. I really had a hard time with furniture layout, and maybe you have too? I gave up trying to use one of my actual double beds, and instead decided they like to really snuggle close and made new bedding for a single bed. If I can fit two pillows on it, we can pretend they can both sleep on there comfortably, right?

There was a time gap of several months between my working on the two halves of this house – mostly due to the wallpaper for this bedroom. I just couldn’t find anything I liked in my existing scrapbook paper hoard, or in the couple craft stores I have access to in our town in Hungary. And then we had a trip to the US to see our adult kids, and it included moving items from one storage unit to another – during which I was able to snag my boxes of my old childhood dollhouse items. I basically filled an entire suitcase with the old plastic shoebox bins that had been packed away for over twenty years. I had a dollhouse when I was in High School, and in those bins was a roll of maybe ten old dollhouse wallpapers from the 1990’s, with just a bit of yellowing and some bending on the edges – but still totally usable. And it included a paper that jumped out at me and inspired me to get back to work and finish the Chocolate Rabbit home!

Teri Fraser totally agreed that the paper I found perfectly fit her vision of the room, and matched her chosen curtains and bedding fabric perfectly. So without further ado – Teri and I present their bedroom.

Oh, I thought we were doing a ta-da! presentation. My mistake. Still, here you can see our combined design efforts with the wallpaper and curtains together. And Teri was so appreciative of Fraser’s help in hanging up the curtains. She knows he’s not a fan of heights, but he still climbed up that ladder for his sweetie.

Fraser grabbed a well-deserved rest on his new bed – and see, two pillows totally fit! Teri was thrilled to get to set up her dressing table again and loved hanging up the new photo of her sweet baby twins. The tiny room next to their bedroom – that’s where the twins sleep and we’ll see that room next time.

Let’s Make Curtains!

Now that you’ve seen their finished room, maybe you’d like a peek at how I made the curtains? And a few other examples too. First, an admission – I do know how to sew and have made curtains for my own home – so I’ve sort of taken those principles and well, shrunk them for miniatures. But, second admission – if I can find a shortcut or avoid extra unseen work that won’t mess up the finished product – I’ll do that. Plus, sometimes in miniature sewing too much folding and layers can just look too bulky – so I’ve not done all the edge trim I’d do on full size curtains. And, well, sometimes glue can work just as well, if not better, than needle and thread – and it can be much quicker. Or double-sided tape. So yes, I think you can totally make curtains without any sewing. Also yes, you can sew your little heart out and create lovely curtains for your dollhouse. That choice is yours. I’ll show you some versions of both sewing and just cutting and glue or taping. Or sometimes a mixture of the two. And while I love my sewing machine, I have yet to use it for miniature sewing. I’ve done all my dollhouse sewing by hand, it’s such little amounts it seemed silly to drag my machine out and get it all up and running for the little bits.

For these curtains I hemmed the sides in and sewed them with a simple straight stitch. Mostly because this style of lace can fray easily and I felt if I’d not hemmed it, or not folded in and sewn, they’d end up looking messy quickly, as the tiny threads would unravel along the edges where it was cut. For most of my early curtains I simply used various size popsicle/ craft sticks for the rods. I cut double-sided tape to the same width as the stick, and then attached the curtain in a gathered way for the fold and ruffles. A good general rule of thumb for a ruffled look is to make the curtain double the length of the curtain rod. You can obviously not need to gather it, but just attach it flat as well. I like the ruffled look. Totally a personal preference. On top I sewed the bit of green floral ribbon, attaching it with just a few stitches. Here’s how it looks attached along the window with a couple small balls of sticky tack.

The above were my very first dollhouse curtains, and in the Grandparent’s Courtyard House I used a few variations of similar methods. In their kitchen, my next curtains, I wrapped a fun trim around the lace and attached it all as one to the tape on the craft stick. But by the time I made their bedroom curtains, I had realized wrapping the trim around the entire craft stick gave a much cleaner, more realistic look. You can see the difference here.

The bedroom curtains above were made without any sewing. I cut the fabric very carefully along a straight line to limit any fraying, and then sort of made sure they fold in a bit. I attached them to the craft stick with the double-sided tape again. And this time, for the ribbon I wrapped it behind the stick and attached it to double-sided tape on the back. Pictures from the Chocolate Rabbit bedroom from above show the folded over ribbon trim well. For those I also added another layer, just as we have in full-size homes: with this same sheer fabric underneath, and pulled back double curtains on top.

In the Chocolate Rabbit House I also branched out and experimented with other forms of curtain ‘rods’, besides the trusty craft sticks. I wanted to see the curtain on the rod, such as with cafe curtains. I don’t have a solution for larger windows, but for ones small enough – a toothpick worked great! As I briefly described in the post on the living room, I glued beads onto the ends of the toothpicks to hold everything in place and serve as the tiny attachments – though, shhh, technically they’re held up, again, with some sticky tack. You can also get a preview of the coming baby’s room and kitchen in the Chocolate Rabbit’s Beechwood Hall remodel.

For the bottom curtains that were strung onto the toothpicks in all the above examples, I did fold it in on each side and sew it to hem it – again, because of the type of lace I used and how easily it would fray. But the top short curtains are just ribbons cut to size and taped, no sewing used or needed.

Which brings me to a final point – picking the fabric or lace and ribbons to use. I don’t have a huge collection of such items, my sewing until this past year of creating for my Littles has mostly involved making curtains for my full-size house and some other simple, straight edged items such as pillow cases and table cloths and runners. I’ve never sewn clothes of any sort and while I have spent years scrapbooking and so have lots of paper craft odds and ends, my sewing collection is not very extensive. But I’ve had lots of fun shopping for it! I kept my eyes open for lace that could work just as it was for cafe curtains or valances above windows. And ribbons – oh so useful! I’m rather picky about patterns being the right size and fitting into my Littles’ world properly, so that has often been the hardest part, especially for fabrics. I hunted and hunted for a sheer fabric that could work as ‘sheers’. It was also tricky in that I was buying new items but didn’t need tons of fabric and a few stores would not sell me fabric in swatches smaller than a meter. This is where I wish I lived in a country that had more and better second hand/ thrift shops, it’s just not part of Hungarian culture. My advice is to keep your eyes open and start building that collection of ribbons and fabric bits and pieces. Here are a few of my favorite finds, to inspire you. I’d love to see some of your window treatments! What have you done to attach your curtains? They add so much to a room, often so simply. Happy creating and decorating!

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