Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Plumbing pipe drapery rod

Let me tell you about the time I bought vintage Fortuny draperies for $1.50.

What is Fortuny? I almost didn't recognize the Italian company's signature metallic cotton. What was yards and yards of it doing in a dusty junk store?

The two panels of irregular widths sported fading and water damage at the edges.

Not perfect enough for Ebay, but they'd add an unlikely richness to my '50s ranch.

I hung the Fortuny on metallic clip rings (a $3 thrift store bag) strung along a 9-foot aluminum plumbing pipe ($2). I trimmed the pipe using a hack saw.

We'll paint the matchstick blinds to look like tortoiseshell tomorrow. I had also hoped to give the rod a bronze finish, but now I like the silver raw.

(Regular readers, let me beg your pardon. When I returned from the doctor, I realized that the tone of the earlier post just didn't sit well with me. I've since edited for brevity.)

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Meredith-
This was a neat post. I clicked on the links to the Fortuny site, and got a lesson in something I hadn't known about. I always learn a lot here! I would love to see a bigger picture of the draperies, or one taken from a little bit further away so I can get a better idea of what they look like in whole. They look like they have some beautiful colors in them. How old would you estimate them to be?
Susan

Anonymous said...

Just beautiful...

Brenda

Meredith said...

I have no idea, because the pattern is one of the old originals produced for years and years.

I would estimate from the dry feel of the lining that they are from the '50s--but that's totally a guess.

It has rained here for two days and I can't get enough good lighting for the full shot.

After we paint the blinds I will do a before-and-after of the whole window wall at once.

Amy said...

Wow! What a find, Meredith! I need to get better educated in antiques and figuring out items of worth. That is something I might have overlooked because I did not have the knowledge needed to recognize something like that. Thank you for always being so good and sharing this info!!

Anonymous said...

Those are beautiful. I am so glad that you are making good use of them.

I have used some old drapes found at a thrift shop to make some wonderful things. I do not have pictures to share, but they were made into drapes for another room, I had enough to make a bed spread, to match the drapes, plenty left to cover the cushions of our travel trailer, to do the cushions of my sister's travel trailer, with matching curtains for both travel trailers, and believe it or not I still have some of that fabric left. These were huge drapes from a comercial building, so I think there was something close to 30 yards of fabric. Yes, I took the time to "unsew" all the seams and press the fabric. It sure saved us a lot of money over the cost of NEW store brought fabric...thanks for sharing...your blog is always full of great ideas. Roxie

Julie Q. said...

Beautiful drapes! I love finds like this. I'm impressed that you followed through and made use of them (I, on the other hand, usually save projects forever...waiting for that perfect block of time that never arrives.)

The Nester said...

I'm just an ol country backwoods girl whose never hear of that high dollar fabric. Ain't it purty!

Shannon@Idylwild said...

These are gorgeous. Hubby and I are always having the perfect/new vs antique/imperfect debate. Pieces like these drapes just make a whole room feel luxurious. And your right - the rod looks great.

I finally got a picture of our dedication gown up. Finally seems to be my middle name:)

Anonymous said...

woo-HOO! What a find! Thanks for the quick education, too. Looking forward to your tortoiseshell treatment.

deb meyers

Anonymous said...

Lovely. Meredith, only someone with a sharp and discerning eye can score on the things that you do. You truly recognize those diamonds in the rough. I'm a fan of the clean, country Scandanavian look myself, but these are gorgeous for you "Southern Living" gals!

Shannon@Idylwild said...

I forgot to say I hope Elise feels better soon!

Jane said...

I am learning that reading those decorating magazines pays off in recognizing the treasures hidden in thrift. Thanks for these daily lessons. Hope the babe feels better soon.

Miss Mary said...

Meredith

I have a recent (November) photograph of the Fortuny store in Venice with, what looks like, your fabric in the front window. The fabric was HUGELY EXPENSIVE. So expensive, I can't even remember the price per meter - well over $200.

I would like to email the photograph to you, but would like your permission to send it. (I hate when someone sends me a large attachment without me knowing it is coming...too many bad things floating around)>

Miss Mary

remodelingthislife said...

They look so fabulous. Can't wait to see a full shot!

Domestic Chicky said...

Wow! Unbelievable find!

Anonymous said...

Looks great! I would like to see how you hug the pipe. Could you get that photo too when you do the final before and after shot. You go Girl!!! Lynn Marie

TJ said...

That is beautiful! I can't wait to see the finished look. I would love curtains, but they just wouldn't look right in our home.

I didn't catch that anyone was sick, but I pray your family is well.

GiddyRobinMama said...

Keep it up, i like the continuing commentary on the drapes creation.

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Hi, Meredith, I came over from The Nester & so glad I did! What a score on those vintage Fortuny panels. You lucky girl! I know all about Fortuny. Would love to find something like that. I look forward to looking around your blog for more fun ideas.

I love decorating projects too, so come by & see me sometime.

Rhoda

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Me again...I went back a couple of pages & I really love your frugal blog! I'm all about cheap too, so can definitely relate to all you do.

I buy my BE minerals on Ebay..have you tried that? Saved much $$ that way. For buying namebrand underwear, I always hit Ross, TJ Maxx. They carry lots of good things in there for much less. I hate the mall & dept. stores!

I'm adding you to my bloglist!

Rhoda

Jenny's Vegcafe said...

I love the curtains!
I took my baby to the doctor today too. We've got infections in both ears. Gotta love those sick babies for putting things in perspective.

September Lady said...

Good! I thought I was losing it! I read your site several times a day because I know you tend to blog randomly.(and that's not a BAD thing! It means you blog more often and I LIKE that!) Anyways, I just KNEW something was different. Glad to know it's not ME. Can't wait to see a full picture of your drapes.

September Lady

Heather said...

Sumptuous! What a find! I need to come shopping at your thrift stores ... it seems like they are a goldmine!

Elise said...

Such a find! I am soaking in tips like these for our new home... blindless, window-coverless. I don't want to simply throw up plastic! Thank you for sharing, and pictorially, too! :)

Anonymous said...

I love this idea! I have needed a rod for a very wide window! Did you just leave the sawed off ends and what did you use to hang the rod? Thank you! Love your blog!
Tarheel Mama

Connie said...

Hi Meredith. What a wonderful find on the Fortuny! Hope you will write more on this as I have a couple of questions.
l. What kind of bracket (thingy) do you use to hold the drapery pole?
2. Do you use some sort of end caps for the drape rod?
You're the best! Thanks. Connie

Meredith said...

Finding some kind of screw-in hook was the thing that delayed my project so long. I didn't want to spend $5/hook or bracket!!!

I finally lucked upon 4 packages of double rod brackets by Umbra at a yard sale, $3 total. Of course, I only need one rod, so I am using the notch on the outer end.

I need to get some kind of plain cap to cover the open ends of the rod. I like it best unadorned, especially after seeing the Pottery Barn contemporary rods without flashy finials.

Carrien said...

OH wow, what a find.

Will you have any left to make one of those pretty pillows. I would if they sell for $500 each.

Jenn @ Frugal Upstate said...

Great find! You have such great thrift stores near you (although I know that your wonderful finds are due to a lot of digging on your part).

I've been keeping my eyes open for fabric/drapes etc for the new house but haven't had any luck and finally broke down and spent some money on fabric to make some valences for the kitchen. . .

If you ever get tired of the semi-industrial look of the rod, you could buy some of that "beaten metal" spray paint. It really works well-YB had to put a new part on an old light fixture, and the new brass didn't go with the old bronzed metal. He used the spray and now it looks like it was all made that way.

Elizabeth said...

Wonderful find.

Have you ever checked out that re-sell curtains and drapes place here in Nashville? I have a friend who found a great deal there. I've popped in a few times but never found anything that worked for me. Plus, you can still spend a fair amount in there even for curtains that show wear. Your thrift store find is much better.

V. said...

I'm so into your blog..!! I'm putting you on Favorites.

Vivian from Winterpeg Canada
www.repurposed.wordpress.com