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Half A Lace Panel Is Better Than None

May 26, 2021

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Did you know you can cut lace panels in half. 

To add a small accent on each end of the window, you don't need to pay for more panels.

Just follow this simple DIY.

Rustic Fall Cottage Farmhouse style living room

Last fall, after almost 20 years, I decided it was finally time to retire my sweet red, bead trimmed living room valances.

It wasn't an easy decision.

Those valances were so bright and clean, the perfect punctuation mark for my living room design.

They didn't block the light in an already dim room.

They didn't add too much extra fussiness to a space filled with pillows.

And the color was spot on.


After hanging up there for so long, there was obvious signs of wear and fading.

It was time to pack them up and find something new.

At first, I was sure I would replace them with valances.

Then, while shopping online, I found some truly gorgeous panels and began to rethink that decision.

Unfortunately, as I've said before, the internet is often a liar when it comes to colors and I ended up buying and returning way too many panels before I finally settled on making my own.

With a little bit of bargain fabric and some ball fringe, I was set.

Red Ball Fringe Trim

Until Christmas rolled around and I put up one of the non returnable, clearance priced velvet panels I'd purchased months before...and I feel in love with the clean, white look.

So much so, that when I put the fall panels back up in January, they didn't feel right.

They overwhelmed me and I needed something different. Again.

I suddenly missed my plain red valances and was at a loss as to what to put in the room.

I even went as far as taking a photo of the room, putting it in PicMonkey and mocking up different curtain looks.

PicMonkey Living Room Mock Up

I shopped for new fabric and ordered samples.

But nothing was right.

So believe it or not that room sat curtainless for weeks.

I know.

The horror.

Then one day, I was in my kitchen staring at my lovely new red curtain panels and it hit me.

Making Red Checked Curtain Panels

I needed that fabric in the living room, as well.

It was bright, fresh, had a definite pop, but unlike the busy floral, the checks had structure and weight to anchor the room.

That's what it was missing.

Plus, the cottage was small enough that it would make sense to repeat the pattern in another room.

It all fit.


Or so I thought.

You see the more I sat with the idea, the more I realized that I did want the living room to look a little different than the kitchen. I wanted a cozier feel in there. And a little more cottage charm.

But how would I get there? 

The obvious answer was trim, but this fabric didn't really call for trim. It's so striking on its own. I was afraid trim would take away from its stately charm.

Then I thought about lace. What if I added a few lace panels to the windows, with the checks?

Not so they covered the windows, that'd be too much lace for me, but what if they just peeked out a bit, from behind the checks? Almost like trim.

Lace Panels With Scalloped Trim

I thought it would warm up the room, add that classic cottage feel, without looking too old fashioned and soften the paneled walls and stone fireplace.

Of course, the edges of the lace panels would have to be super fabulous since that's really all you'd see. So I started shopping and found out rather quickly that lace panels with fabulous edges are pri-cey!

And I needed four. Yikes.

That wasn't really going to work for me, since A) I'm cheap and B) when it comes to decor, I change my mind a lot.

That's when I came up with a new plan...which was to buy 2 cheap panels with slightly less fabulous edges and cut them in half to make four. 

I found these locally for $8 each. Much better.

Lace Panel hanging in the living room

I mean, I was never going to close the lace to cover the windows, that room gets too dark. Remember, I just needed the edges to poke out a bit. So I was good.

This technique would work for those times you just want an accent on a window as well. I have them up there now and they look great alone. Not skimpy at all.

As a matter of fact, their original fullness would've been overwhelming in this room.

How To Cut Lace Panels

Now, cutting lace isn't always an easy task. It moves. It shimmies and shifts. So to cut it, first, I clipped it together with these amazing little green numbers from a kit I got from Santa.

Clipped Lace Panels

Much easier to work with than pins...especially on lace. Have you ever tried to pin lace...with all the holes? Yeah. Not a simple process.

Clips on lace panels

Anyway, I folded the panels in half lengthwise and clipped both top and bottom.

Then I placed my hand firmly on the fabric and cut. What you can't see in the photo is my daughter's hands holding it down in other places.

Cutting a lace curtain panel

To get a straight cut, it was most definitely a two person job.

Once the cutting was done, I just clipped my altered panels on the rod with rings.
And there they'll stay until I get to part two of this DIY.

I didn't bother to hem the cut sides, they're fine and no one will see them. Besides lace can be squirrely to stitch and right now nothing is fraying.

Cottage Living Room with lace panels

And I'm lazy.

When I get the machine out to make the checked panels, I may change my mind, but so far, this little cheat is working out fine.

And that's good enough for me.

For now. 😉

How To Cut Lace Curtain Panels

What are your thoughts on lace?
Kim Signature

Post a Comment | 34 Comments

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  1. I don't think you can go wrong with lace panels. They are timeless! Just curious, did the panels already have the scalloped edges, or did you cut them that way? I love frugal ideas that look like a million bucks!

    1. Hi Kristy! Thanks!! I'm loving the lace, too. Mye panels came that way, ith a scallop. I just Googled scalloped edge lace panels and lace curtain panels with trim. So many came up with gorgeous details. Like I said though, some were upwards of $40 each...which was not something I was able to justify. The more expensive ones had some lovely, dainty trim. My scalloped ones were more basic, but a bargain at $8. Hope that helps!

  2. Replies
    1. Very summery, Penny! I'm excited to add the pop of red to soon as I find the motivation to drag that machine out again. 😉

  3. I LOVE lace curtains Kim especially for the summer! I have lace curtains on my windows too and I love them!

    1. I've always loved laced curtains, Julie. I had them on every window in our first house. Here I have lace valances in the kitchen and on our back door. It's nice to have have them return in panels to our living room...and you're right, especially for summer!

  4. I thought I was reading a post I did. I have done the same thing. I have bought many things off the internet only to return them because they did not look the same. I like what you did and so far it looks great with a cozy spring cottage look. I will have to make some posts of the things I have did, like buy a desk only to find out it did not fit well in my spot and I could not return it, but someone else got it and it looks great. I will try to make that post soon.

    1. Betty, I'm sorry you've had some of the same mishaps, but I'm glad to know I'm not alone!! Sometimes it's really hard to get it right without seeing the items in the room. I do hope you'll share that post soon. I'd love to read it!!

  5. Well you know I am going to say YAY to white lace sheers! These are so pretty with the scalloped edges. Genius to cut them too. They looks so pretty flanking the windows for summer.

    1. They're growing on me, Kris! They really are so light and airy.

  6. Kim, you know I love this post. Have you noticed all the windows in my Cottage? I think your windows look fabulous with just the lace panels. They look so charming with your walls and for summer the look is fantastic. I do love your r/w checks too so I'm sure they will look so pretty, but I am a lace lady and I think you can never go wrong with it. I have even filled a motorhome's windows with lace and tied panels back with pretty ribbons. In my opinion, it always works..xxoJudy

    1. Judy, I love lace. In our first home, I had the pretties lace panels in our master bedroom. It was my favorite room in the house, so romantic. I'm glad I'm bringing a little lace back here. It just feels right and your motor home windows sound charming!! xo

  7. P.S. I forgot to mention all of my lace is from Walmart. I don't think I paid over $8 a panel for any of them and they go into the wash and the dryer and still look brand new, of course I bought them about 20 years ago or more..xxoJudy

    1. I'm falling in love with Walmart lately. I was surprised at the quality of some of their items. I'll share that soon!!

  8. You're so smart. Lace is timeless and love the scallop edge.

    What curtains are next?

    1. Thanks Cindy! I'm getting ready to make the red checks to go with the panels. My pantry distracted me. 😉

  9. You never stop surprising me with your creativity! They really look good and I can't wait to see them with the red check.
    PS - does your hubby ever say - "again with the curtains!" Ha!!

    1. Thanks Mari! So far, no comments from him. So far! I actually had all the old curtains in the house up for more than a decade, so this is a newer obsession....and I think he's happy with the fact that it's just curtains and not couches!! 😂Haha!!

  10. Hi Kim,
    The lace panels look gorgeous all on their own in my opinion. So summery.

    1. Thanks Heather! They're still up there alone. I kind of like them that way.

  11. I absolutely love lace curtains....they are perfect cottage decor!

  12. The original Cottage had lace panels in the living room and dining room. I absolutely ADORE them, not only for the look, but they allow light to come through while still offering some privacy. Open or closed, they're a win in my book!

    1. I had lace in my master bedroom in our original cottage, too, and I adored them. They were so very romantic. I'm loving them here, too. It might be a contagious addition...spreading throughout the house! Haha!!

  13. I think lace curtains are romantic. We had them in our bedroom for awhile, I loved when I had the windows open and they blew gently from the breeze. xx oo

    1. That is a lovely vision, Carla. Farmhouse fabulous...xo

  14. Very pretty and light for summer!

    1. Thanks Melanie! They do make a lovely addition.

  15. Kim,
    I just love your Living Room and love the lace panels....Lace is coming back in with the new Cottagecore style that I have been hearing about...Nothing new to you and me who have been around long enough to know that things from some time ago are coming back in style....I hope you are having a great Holiday weekend.. It has been pouring here since Friday afternoon but we do need the rain and it is supposed to be much tomorrow!!

    1. Oh Debbie, it rained all weekend here and it gave me time to play with decor. The curtains are a welcomed throw back, for me. I had them in my first cottage and I'm happy I decided to put them up again. I hope you have a drier weekend this week!!

  16. Lace is a timeless classic! I love them... and I love the scallop detail too. I was nervous for you cutting the lace, I am so glad it worked out!

    1. Thanks Cara! I was a little nervous, too. However, in the past few years, I've made several lace curtains so I'm getting more comfortable cutting it.