I rarely buy anything from the seemingly zillions of catalogs that fill our mail. But, I rarely throw a catalog out without looking through it. Often I find great gift ideas---ideas that I can recreate at substantial savings. Savings that come from either making the item myself or by buying the components for the item at a more reasonable cost. Amy Dacyczyn, long ago in the days before blogging, used the following suggestion in an issue of her newsletter The Tightwad Gazette and in volume two of her book of the same title. She called it Copy Cat-A-Log.
It is very satisfying to be able to Do It Yourself when you can.
Using an idea from a children's gift catalog we made our grand-kids a puppet theater that fit in a doorway. The catalog charged $39.95. We made ours from sale fabric and two tension-type curtain rods for less than $15. You can use old sheets, bedspreads or drapes for the fabric and save even more money.
1. Fit one tension rod at a height that will be comfortable
for those working the puppets. This will be the rod that
holds the "skirt" or lower portion of the theater.
opened and closed during the production.
2. Measure the distance from that rod to the floor and
place the second rod an equal distance above the first one.
This will be the rod that holds the curtains that open and close.
3. Add 4" to measurement between the rods to allow for
hems and rod pockets. Then double that amount to determine
how much fabric you need for both sets of curtains. (Fabric
should be 44-54 inches wide.)
4. Fold fabric in half crosswise with cut edges together and cut
along fold line. (figure A) Leave one piece intact; this is the
skirt for the bottom rod.
5. Fold the section piece in half, selvages together and cut along
the fold line, making the two sections for the top curtain. (figure B)
6. Sew narrow hems down the sides of each section. Fold down
2 " at the top and 2" at the bottom of each section and stitch,
I'd love to know how yours turned out.