Ikea Curtain Hack

I know you guys think I’ve forgotten I’m supposed to be finishing the living-dining room makeover at my parent’s house, though I am still working on it…and it’s sooooo nearly done!

One of the projects I’ve just crossed off the “to do” list is the window treatments.

There are three large windows (one incorporating a glass sliding door) in the space so it was a biggish job and getting it right was important.

Here they are in my initial concept renderings…

3D Concept Rendering

3D Concept Rendering - Windows

For privacy and light and climate control we started by installing simple white block-out roller blinds which blend seamlessly with the architraves.

White Roller Blind

Practical, yet not so pretty.

Roller blinds are my go-to. They are super affordable, incredibly functional and relatively streamline – which works well if you’re after a clean look. If, however, you want to create a sense of cosiness and make a bit of a statement with your window dressings, they do lack the softness and impact of some fabric treatments. So, we also decided to hang stationary drapes. These not only help temper the lines of the window frames and provide relief from all the “hard” surfaces in the space, though also work to conceal the roller blind cords and ends.

You might recall from one of my previous posts that we went with inexpensive off-the-shelf curtains from Ikea (the LENDA in beige).

Ikea Lenda Curtains

The tie-backs make them look a bit dated in this pic. We won’t be using them.

Ikea curtains are a great option. In general they are quite affordable and come in lots of simple styles which lend themselves to a myriad of schemes and are perfect for further customisation. Also, their proportions tend to be quite generous which allows for mounting them high or pooling them on the floor (if you like that look). More than that though, their ample drop also provides wiggle room for adapting the heading (with ease) if desired – which is exactly what we did!

To give our curtains a more tailored look, we decided to remove the tabs and add little rings. This was a simple matter of cutting off the existing tabs, re-hemming the top then sewing on some heading (pleat) tape.

Curtain Hook Tape

Next, to determine the right drop, we hung them on their rods (mum previously had curtains in the room so we simply used the existing ones), pinned the bases up so they just skimmed the floor then took the curtains down again and sewed-up the hems.

To further customise the panels, I also decided to add a subtle pattern in the form of a trellis stencil.

Moroccan Trellis Stencil

I bought this stencil for a project about three years ago and never got around to using it. I found it here on Etsy. The pattern’s not absolutely ideal for curtain panels though it was fun to use something I already had.

I haven’t really stenciled since I was a teenager and thought it would be cool to make my bedroom look galactic! And I’ve never used a large all-over stencil before. Though despite my initial hesitation it was actually super easy. So easy I didn’t feel it even warranted a proper tutorial, though here are the basics of what I did…

How to Stencil Curtains

1 With a curtain panel laid flat on the floor, I positioned the stencil in the center.

How To Stencil

2 Using quite a dry foam roller (I “off-loaded” excess paint by rolling it back and forth in a small paint tray), I applied a sparing amount of white acrylic craft paint.

How To Stencil Fabric

3 Once one full stencil was complete and dry to the touch (sparingly applied acrylic craft paint dries almost instantly on fabric), I lifted the stencil and re-positioned it as required, working from the center out until the whole curtain panel was complete.

Stenciled Curtain

I started quite cautiously, measuring to the center of the panel, taping down each side of the stencil and using the “registration elements” (small triangular marks you can see in one of the above pics – designed to act as a guide for accurately re-positioning the stencil). After my initial panel was complete however, I decided it wasn’t necessary to be too fussy. I stopped using tape and started guessing where the center of the panel was based on the fold lines. I also gave up using the registration elements and simply eyed the re-positioning of the stencil. It was heaps quicker and the results are identical. If I was stenciling something really prominent, like a wall, I would probably take more care, though curtains are pretty forgiving. Besides, I did want a slightly imperfect “hand-made” look anyway.

Because the curtains won’t be closed, you don’t see the stenciling in its entirety. It’s a bit of a shame because the trellis design is really cool though I do love the way that little hints of pattern peek out here and there, helping to break-up the beige and add some interest.

And I adore how the dots and squares impart a slightly tribal feel.

Stenciled Curtains

Sorry I don’t have any “full” shots…they are coming soon along with the complete room reveal!

As mentioned above, mum previously had curtains in the room so we used her existing metal rods and brackets. And to keep costs down we went with plastic rings and finials.

Yep, they’re plastic. Is that a decorating faux par? Can anyone even tell what they’re made of when they’re seven feet off the floor? I know I can’t.

Hang on then. Just pretend I never told you and no-one will ever know. Shhhh.


Catch up with all posts about this room makeover here.


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Another Over-Sized Bird Free Printable

Following this previous post (where I offered a free digital download of a large-scale heron illustration), I received a heap of requests for an additional printable to accompany the initial artwork.

Free Printable Over-Size Bird Art DIY | The Painted Hive

And of course, I could totally understand why some of your guys wanted two artworks – hung side-by-side in a long vertical space (such as above a sofa or buffet) or mounted separately to flank an item (such as a bed, cabinet or doorway), a pair of large portrait oriented artworks can create massive impact.

Living Room


Lauren Liess Dining

Botanical Art

Living Room

Ballard Designs

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

Clearly something had to be done. No-one deserves to be left hanging in decor limbo!

So, I went back to the orthinolgy book where I originally found the heron illustration (I thought it was a nice idea to stick with pics from the same book) and selected a complimentary bird.

Crane Free Printable

There wasn’t much to choose from as most of the other illustrations in the book were landscape oriented though I thought this Australian Crane, with his lovely blue-grey plumage, matched beautifully.

Large Scale Free Printables Birds

How amazing would these guys look together in a room? Hello statement art!

You could mount them in inexpensive off-the-shelf frames though I also like the idea of creating simple wall charts using wood trim and string (similar to what I did here).

DIY Wall Chart

Such an easy, affordable and super effective project.

As with the heron I have completely digitally enhanced the crane (this involved removing any gutter shadowing, re-aligning the main image, tidying-up obvious blemishes and increasing the contrast, clarity and sharpness). I also edited the colours to co-ordinate with the heron and added the same subtle canvas texture so it matches perfectly.

And as with the heron I’ve also sized it conveniently to fit standard large poster frames and offered it in three handy download versions optimised for print online through; Officeworks (Australia), Office Depot (USA) and Costco (Canada) – of course, though, you can choose to have it printed through whichever service you personally prefer.

Download Crane Officeworks

Download Crane Office Depot

Download Crane Costco

Note: Remember, the image quality may appear poor on your computer monitor as the canvas texture I’ve applied can present strangely on screen due to compression. If you zoom in (magnifying glass icon at the top right of the screen) the depicted quality should improve within a few moments.

Please refer to my original heron post for full instructions and further information.

Free Printable Vintage Bird Illustration Posters | The Painted Hive



Thank you to the Biodiversity Heritage Library for permission to on-share this image.

Free for personal, non-commercial use only.
Republication, reproduction or redistribution in any form is forbidden.

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Re-Love Project 2016

It’s that time of year again!

Do you guys remember these furniture makeovers?

Flat File Drawer Hack

Honeycomb Armoire


Well, I’m super honoured to have been invited to take part in the Feast Watson Re-Love Project again for 2016!

For anyone unfamiliar with the campaign, the Re-Love Project is a charitable collaboration between Feast Watson and Salvos Stores. The project follows seven design personalities as they each up-cycle an item of furniture, using Feast Watson timber finishing products, into a unique statement piece. Things culminate in all completed pieces being auctioned for charity.  Awesome!

Once more, there is a serious line-up of talent including the likes of Mark Tuckey (for a second year) and the teams behind Kip & Co and Norsu Interiors…just to name a few.

For those who don’t know, Feast Watson specialise in premium wood finishes, so the furniture “re-loves” must center around just that; wood. This makes for a refreshing departure from plain old paint, and provides a fun opportunity to get extra creative.

So, here’s my glorious starting point…

Re-Love Project Before

Don’t ask me what I was thinking.

I took a bit of a risk buying this big retro buffet “sight unseen” for just $5. Yep, $5!

Turns out my risk wasn’t particularly well calculated! Or perhaps it was just a little rose-tinted.

You see, I already had a plan in mind for what I wanted to do for this year’s project (it’s something a little more conventional than my previous refurbs), and this buffet seemed to fit the bill perfectly.

Only thing is, it has one or two more, er, ‘flaws’ than I initially imagined.

That’s okay though. In fact, it’s kind of exciting. I have a thinking cap and a decent pair of hands I plan to put to good use.

You with me?

Keep your fingers, and toes, crossed then. Who knows how this thing will end!

2016 Re-Love Project Designers

Be sure to follow along with all the other amazing designers involved!

The Design Hunter | Simone Barter | Norsu Interiors
Aimee Tarulli
 | Mark TuckeyKip & Co

You can also keep up-to-date with the latest in everyone’s projects directly through Feast Watson’s accounts on Instagram or Pinterest.


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Over-Sized Heron Art | Huge High Resolution Free Printable!

I have created a second free large-scale download of a beautiful crane to accompany this heron for anyone who’s after two artworks.
Find it here.

After publishing the post about my DIY large-scale art a few weeks back, I received quite a few requests for a free printable version of my edited image.

Free Printable Over-Size Bird Art DIY | The Painted Hive

I did contemplate sharing it originally, though didn’t want to breach any copyright laws or kill my site’s bandwidth due to the large file size.

I have since gained permission from the Biodiversity Heritage Library to on-share the image so decided to look into hosting the download elsewhere to save crashing my blog!

You may recall that in my original post I mentioned finding the image on Internet Archive.
Internet Archive is a digital repository which pools its content from a variety of online sources. The Biodiversity Heritage Library is one such source and was the origin of my Heron illustration.

To make things super easy for you guys, I have reduced the size of my image slightly so it will fit perfectly within any large (60cm x 90cm/24″ x 36″) standard poster frame! How cool is that? If you’re unsure where to find large poster frames, check out your local dollar and discount department stores, do a quick Google search or head into Ikea – they have a few to choose from! Of course, you can always DIY your own custom frame if you’d prefer, or use a thrifted one as long as the proportions will work with the aspect ratio of the image.

Now, onto the printing.

There are heaps of places which offer printing services. If you’re not certain where to start looking, check out your local office supplies store or have a Google around for “print and copy services”. You can visit a store in person or use an online interface. I personally prefer the ease and convenience of uploading my artwork online then having my print delivered direct to my door.

For the purpose of this post I’ll outline how to use three online services; Officeworks (Australia), Office Depot (USA) and Costco (Canada). Of course, you can chose to have your image printed through which ever service you personally prefer, just make sure you meet their particular document set-up specifications.



1 Download the free printable (Heron – Officeworks) located towards the end of this post.

2 Open the Officeworks website, click on the Print & Copy tab and navigate to Posters & Plans.

3 Select Colour Posters.

4 Check the B1 (707mm x 1000mm) option ($29).

Note: You can also choose to upgrade your material to 200gsm gloss or satin paper for an additional $13.

5 Click Upload Your Design then Select File and choose the image you wish to upload (be patient, the upload may take a few minutes).

6 Once uploaded, you will see a preview of your poster. If you’re happy with everything, click Accept Digital Preview & Add To Cart.

7 At checkout you can choose to collect the poster in person from an Officeworks store or have it delivered to your door.



1 Download the free printable (Heron – Office Depot) located towards the end of this post.

2 Open the Office Depot website, click on Copy & Print and then on Posters.

3 Select the 24″ x 36″ ($19.99) option from the Poster Size drop-down and ensure Portrait orientation is checked.

Note: There is no need to check the Fit To Size box as I have already sized the image exactly. You can also chose to upgrade your material from the selections in the Paper Type drop-down.

4 Click Upload Your Files then My Computer and choose the image you wish to upload (be patient, the upload can take several minutes).

5 Once uploaded, you will see a preview of your poster. If you’re happy with everything, click Add To Cart.

6 At checkout you can choose to collect the poster in person from an Office Depot store or have it delivered to your door.



1 Download the free printable (Heron – Costco) located towards the end of this post.

2 Open the Costco website, click on Photo and then on Prints (you will be directed to an external site and asked to agree to some copyright terms and conditions).

3 Click Photo Prints.

4 Click Upload Photos then Upload Photos From My Computer and then the Add+ button and choose the image you wish to upload.

5 Click the Start Upload button.

6 Once uploaded, tick the checkbox beneath the preview of your image then click Order Selected Prints (you will be directed to your shopping cart where you can confirm print options).

7 In the Photo Finish section check Glossy or Matte and ensure As Is is checked.

Note: The 24″ x 36″ print size specifies “Lustre Only” however just to be safe I suggest selecting your preference of Glossy or Matte also.

8 In the Quantity section place a number 1 (or whichever quantity you prefer) in the 24×36 box ($17.99) and click the Apply button.

9 Scroll down to the Prints section and ensure the correct size and quantity are specified in the area below the print preview. If you’re happy with everything, click Continue.

10 At checkout you are asked to enter a Costco Membership Number and a valid Contact Phone Number. You can then click the Pick Up At Warehouse button and specify which store you would like to collect your print from. Click Continue.

11 In the Review & Place Order page under Print Options ensure AutoCorrect is Off. If it’s On, click Edit (beside the Print Options text) and check the box beside Do Not AutoCorrect My Prints.

12 Once you’re happy with everything, click Place Your Order.


Whilst I have pre-sized this image to fit within a standard large poster frame, there is room to enlarge it (within reason – perhaps by around 30% in order to maintain quality) if you wish to create a larger art piece, and of course it can also always be reduced.

If you would like to custom size, or further edit, my image though aren’t quite sure how to go about it, be sure to check out my Free Printables series for everything you need to know.

Free Printable Large-Scale Art | The Painted Hive

Download Heron Officeworks

Download Office Depot

Download Costco

Note: As touched on above, due to the large file size of these images, I am hosting them externally (on Google Drive) to save killing my bandwidth.
To download, click one of the above buttons to be directed to the corresponding Google Drive page (allow a few moments for the document to load). Once there, click the arrow icon at the top of the screen to download (you may be presented with a Virus Scan message – rest assured, the document is clean). Depending on your connection speed, please allow a minute or so for download.

Don’t be concerned if the image quality appears super poor on your computer monitor. The canvas texture I have applied can present strangely on screen due to image compression. If you zoom in (magnifying glass icon at the top right of the screen) the depicted quality should improve within a few moments.

For the purpose of this post I have created three different downloads in order to meet the different upload requirements of the Officeworks, Office Depot and Costco online services.

:: Officeworks suggests that digital images should be sized in-line with their paper sizes. As they don’t carry a standard large poster size option, I have created a “canvas” at 70.7cm x 100cm (707mm x 1000mm) to match their nearest paper size. The actual printed image will be 60cm x 90cm.

:: Office Depot does allow for the direct upload of 24″ x 36″ images so a larger “canvas” isn’t required.

:: Costco doesn’t support PDF files so I have created a JPG document and reduced the resolution slightly in order to meet their maximum upload limit of 25 MB.

If you intend to use an alternate printing service, I would suggest using the “Heron – Office Depot” image. Just ensure the particular document set-up specifications of the printing company are met.

Have fun!


Did anyone else notice I just published two posts in the one week? I better go and lay down :)

Free for personal, non-commercial use only.
Republication, reproduction or redistribution in any form is forbidden.

Free Printable Bird Posters | The Painted Hive

If you’re after a pair of large-scale bird posters, be sure to check out this post for my free printable crane.

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An Impromptu Coastal Bedroom Makeover | Before & After

Budget Coastal Bedroom Refresh | The Painted Hive

Yes, I’m aware there’s a partially complete room re-do I should probably be focusing my attention on, though I thought it might be fun to throw this surprise one in the mix (don’t question my logic :)

Coastal Bedroom Makeover | The Painted Hive

As a massive bonus, this one is actually finished (and only took me one and a half days – who woulda thunk it?) so I can share the full before and after. It seemed like a nice little way to thank all you guys for being so, so, sooooo patient with me.

Coastal Bedroom Makeover (Pretty Bedside Table Vignette) | The Painted Hive

Although this bedroom transformation took place just last week, the wheels were set in motion a month or so back when I was asked to take part in and style a video tutorial for one of my favourite brands (I’ll share more on that when I can). As part of the styling, I needed to borrow a queen sized bed on mega short notice. So, after I had a little freak out, I turned to Super Amart – a brand I’ve worked with in the past – who totally came to my rescue. Not only could they lend me the perfect bed, they actually decided to gift it to me! Needless to say I was blown away and incredibly grateful.

Only thing was, I didn’t really feel I needed a new bed. Good thing I knew someone else who did!


Before 1

Before 2

Before 3

So sorry for the terrible before shots. Mum had to take them on her crappy old phone a few weeks back before she and dad moved the new bed into place.

This is (well, was) the master bedroom at my parent’s beach house – located in St Leonards, Victoria. It’s a relatively new builder-grade home, so it does lack a little character, though its clean lines provide a nice, neutral canvas for crafting rooms around.

Our plan here was simple…use predominately what we already had to inject some vibrancy and a subtle coastal feel. We didn’t paint the walls, we didn’t change the light fixture, we didn’t switch out the curtains, replace the flooring or bring in new bedside tables. What we did do – new bed aside – was bring in some simple decorative accents and a fresh pop of colour.

Naturally, the new bed from Super Amart (a great buy at just $450) is the centerpiece of the space, however its restrained grandeur means it doesn’t overpower the modestly-sized room or steal the show entirely. If anything, it’s more like a gentle hush. A beautiful back-drop to balance, compliment and quiet the lively blues and greens.

Budget Friendly Coastal Bedroom Makeover | The Painted Hive

To keep things classic we went with simple bedding. A white quilted doona cover which mum already had (originally from the Bed, Bath ‘n’ Table clearance store), some gorgeous deep green velvet cushions which mum made herself from inexpensive fabric she found at Spotlight, and my absolute fave – charcoal ticking sheets.

Charcoal Ticking Sheets | The Painted Hive

What is it about ticking? To me those gentle stripes are the epitome of timeless, casual elegance.

Those of you who are familiar with my blog and home will know of my love for ticking. Sadly, my ticking sheets went to heaven a month or so back after my super helpful husband put a massive tear in the fitted sheet whilst trying to stretch it over our mattress! I knew they were due for replacement, though still, I just about cried. After searching for a comparable replacement for ages (it seems charcoal ticking sheets are rather rare here in Oz) I eventually came across some at Taylor Road – a New Zealand based homewares store. Although a bit of a splurge for me, they are gorgeous and totally worth it. So, whilst these sheets are technically mine, I couldn’t resist using them in this makeover. And they are just so perfect I think another set might be on the cards!

Green Bedside Table Makeover | The Painted Hive

We knew we wanted to lighten-up the dark bedside tables (originally found on eBay for around $30 each) though couldn’t decide on a colour. Surprisingly, mum didn’t want blue (which was the obvious choice) due to a nearby bedroom already having blue accents. We threw around the idea of a neutral (white, taupe, cream, grey) though that felt a little safe. Eventually we decided on quite a zingy green (Dulux “Pretty Maiden”) to reference the green in the artwork.

Coastal Bedroom Makeover | The Painted Hive

It’s actually quite refreshing having this unexpected colour. I think it takes away from any coastal cliche.

We also added new polished brass label pulls (from D Lawless Hardware) for a hint of glam.

Brass Label Pulls | The Painted Hive

The rug is the Osted from Ikea. Mum bought it almost a year ago to use in her living room though then changed her mind. It’s been lying in her hallway (still packaged) ever since. I wasn’t sure if its dimensions would work in the bedroom though we decided to try it out anyway. It’s perfect.

Coastal Bedroom Makeover | The Painted Hive

I found the original artwork in an antique bazaar for just $25. The lovely thing about this piece is that it actually depicts a nearby beach (the location is handwritten on the rear).

Coastal Artwork

The gorgeous glass lamps are from Super Amart (you might recognise them from this previous post). I picked them up over a year ago for just $70 each though sadly they’re no longer available. That said, if you Google “verre table lamp” you might find them being sold elsewhere, albeit probably at a higher price. For use in this room we switched out the large drum shades for slightly smaller tapered ones from Freedom. I don’t know why, I just prefer a tapered shade.

Bedside Vignette with Glass Lamps and Vintage Finds | The Painted Hive

Mum already had the end of bed bench. It’s actually an antique piano stool from a secondary school. A year or so ago she replaced the wooden top (which wasn’t original) with an upholstered seat which just happens to co-ordinate with the new bed. I was a little concerned it might look too matchy-matchy, though there are subtle differences which actually help make it work.

Coastal Bedroom Makeover | The Painted Hive

The wicker basket beneath the stool is an antique hope chest. It was passed down to mum from her great aunt. I love the way a dash of wicker injects instant cottage charm! To further the cottagey feel and provide a link I also hung some simple cane baskets on the blank wall beside the window.

Wicker Basket Wall Decor | The Painted Hive

All of the decorative accents we already had.

Pretty Bedside Vignette | The Painted Hive

Most of them are from charity stores or antique bazaars.

Vintage Bedside Vignette | The Painted Hive

The shell and sea sponge are from the beach (duh!) and the lovely plant is a Lemon Button Fern (Nephrolepis).

Lemon Button Fern | The Painted Hive

Never had one before though apparently they’re excellent indoor plants and very hardy – we’ll see.

Beside Table Vignette | The Painted Hive

Some simple white blooms compliment the scheme beautifully.

White Flowers in Blue Ginger Jar | The Painted Hive

Sorry I didn’t get many “full” room shots. It’s a reasonably small space so was hard to capture without using a wide angle lens (and I’m not a huge fan of using wide angle lenses because they tend to bend the image, throwing off proportion and creating distortion which isn’t great for interior shots).

Anyhoo, here’s a before and after…

Budget Friendly Coastal Bedroom Makeover Before and After | The Painted Hive

Did you notice the stool and wicker chest are missing from the above shot? Oops, I forgot to put them in place for some of my pics.

All-in-all it was a busy, yet fun, day and a half of decorating!

Coastal Bedroom Makeover | The Painted Hive

Have a lovely week all.


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