We have this problem window in our stairway. It looks out into our neighbor’s backyard, and sits at just the wrong height (on our side), so that we feel uncomfortably exposed if we aren’t completely decent when we walk by. Which is necessary if we want to go up or down the stairs (our bedroom is upstairs, so this doesn’t leave many options if after we’ve gone to bed one of us starts fretting about locked doors or other things that need tending to downstairs).
Anyhow, this particular window is also an awkward shape for normal drapes. It’s octagonal which, I thought, would make drapes or really a curtain of any kind look odd.
My initial idea was to find some of those capiz shells and hang them in the window. I actually still think that these would be awfully pretty, and might change them some day, but I hadn’t seen any locally, and didn’t have the time to search (local stores or online) for a good deal.
Here enters one of the many wonderful uses of that great product, Sculpey (they aren’t paying me, I promise!). I bought a big block, rolled it out to about 1/4 inch thick, and, using various jars and other circular shapes, cut circles of descending size out of the clay. Oh, and I used a toothpick to make a little hole in one end of the circles.
I baked them in the oven, following the directions, and then painted it with acrylics that I had (I actually mixed the colors to match some place mats that I really like). I think they all took two coats of paint. I still wasn’t pleased with how they looked, so I brushed some ModPodge over the surface to make them shiny.
Then I strung them on clear string that I found in the jewelry/beading section of the store. The hardest part was actually hanging them in the window. I hadn’t really thought it through ahead of time, so I spent awhile just standing there and staring at the window, and at my nice strings of Sculpey beads/capiz shell substitutes trying to figure out the easiest way. I wanted to leave myself the option of adjusting them in the future if I wanted.
I don’t know if I landed on the best option, but I ended up using tiny screw eyes (I got a pack for less than two dollars at the hardware store) in the frame of the window, and hanging the strings of Sculpey on a string that I threaded through all of the screw eyes.
I’m actually pretty pleased with it – it’s not the same effect as capiz shells, but quite nice, and adds more color to that corner of the room than I could have gotten with plain white shells (I don’t think I could have found really cool colored ones like those in the flickr link above). It’s not as filled out as I envisioned – I might add more eventually – but for now it’s a great addition to our stairway window.
Have you made anything (with Sculpey or other things) to resolve problems with your home? If so, please share in the comments!
Anna’s Nest is the craft and tutorial website for me, Anna Warren. It’s also where I keep my blog. Enjoy!