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School bus windows: the draftiest part about living in a school bus conversion. As we were in JoAnn’s looking for fabric to make curtains and couch cushions, we saw this Insul Shine insulated fabric. We were all about it to keep the R value in the bus as high as we could. Even at $21 / yard (originally $35 / yard, but you can always find coupons at JoAnns), you can’t put a price on luxury. Since you are probably adding some type of curtain or blind to your skoolie windows for privacy, lining them with Insul Shine insulated fabric is definitely worth it.
- Your chosen window fabric (JoAnn’s)
- Insul – Shine (Amazon or JoAnn’s)
- Thread (JoAnn’s)
- Eye hooks (Hardware Store)
- Hook & Eye Turnbuckles (Amazon or Hardware Store)
- Heavy duty fishing line (Amazon or Target)
- Sewing machine (Amazon)
- Pins (Amazon or JoAnn’s)
- Iron (Amazon or Target)
- Ironing board (Amazon or Target)
1) Measuring & Cutting Your Fabric
Measure your windows & cut your fabric. Add your desired extra width inches. The normal amount of fabric to add to the width is 2 1/2 times the measurement, but hey, we live in a bus so we added 6″ to give a smidge of a drapey feel and to save fabric. Also, make sure to add in another 2 inches to the width on top of the number above to make your folds. For the length, add an inch for the bottom fold and at least an 1 1/2″ to the top, depending on what you are using to hang your curtains. Just cut the curtain material for now, we will cut the Insul Shine later.
2) Folding & Pressing
Fold in your sides and bottom 1/2″ then another 1/2″. Use the iron to press this down. Fold your top 1/2″ then another 1″ and press this down.
3) Measure & Cut Insul Shine Insulated Fabric
Measure the length and width on the inside of your fabric, as the Insul Shine insulated fabric will be sewn to the fabric on the fold. Then, cut your Insul Shine fabric to those dimensions. When I was making our curtains, I added a few inches onto the sides when cutting the insulated fabric so I made sure the Insul Shine was going to fit inside the fabric. If there was extra fabric that didn’t fit inside, I would simply cut off the excess.
4) Pin Insul Shine to Fabric & Start Sewing!
Take your sewing pins and start pinning the curtain fabric to the insulated fabric. Make sure you leave enough room on the top of the curtain to fit your fishing line or your curtain rod through. Start sewing!
5) Time to Hang Your Insulated Curtains!
Now, you can hang them however you like, but I’ll tell you how we hung ours. We drilled into the metal right next to the window, tied our fishing line around the eye hook, and put the eye hook into the metal. We drilled a hole and hung eye hooks in between every window to give it extra support so the curtain didn’t sag. Then, we strung the fishing line through the top of the curtain, through the eye hook, and through the next curtain. As we were finishing up a row of windows, we measured how much more fishing line we needed (the more, the better. you can always shorten it later). Then, we tied the fishing line to the eye end of the turnbuckle. Make sure the turnbuckle is all the way loose. That way, when we hook the hook end of the turnbuckle to the eye hook, you can tighten it so the curtains don’t sag.
That’s it! Here are our finished insulated skoolie curtains! Let us know if you made it like us or a different way down and how it went in the comments below!