I have always been pretty good at thinking outside the box. I am famous around my house for ‘gerry rigging’ and fixing things. My nickname is McGiver Sandy.

The joke used to be, give Sandy some thumbtacks and scotch tape and she can fix anything. Well I have evolved. Now I use a hot glue gun and duct tape. Times they are a changing.

So yesterday when my bedroom curtains fell off the wall, rod and all, I couldn’t figure out what to do. First of all, I don’t know how I got them up at celing height in the first place, and second place, there didn’t seem to be any hardware to hold the curtain rod up.

I must have wedged one of those spring loaded curtain rods between two edges of the window. Except now that rod is broken and missing an end piece.

Another problem is that the wall where I would have to attach the curtain rod is concrete. And all the window moldings are bronze metal.

I thought and thought and then Voila! I have three beautiful sheer silk embroidered long coats. They are very similar style and trim, but the colors are purple, red and fuschia. If I hung them on hangers, and hung the hangers from the ledge just under the ceiling they would be beautiful ‘curtains’.

My silk coat ‘curtains’

There isn’t really a black space between the coats. That is where the coats and the long sleeves overlap one another.

Just because something is something doesn’t mean it can’t be something else. Originally I was going to go to Walmart and buy a new curtain rod and hardware and also some new curtains to fit.

These silk floral coats are beautiful. They were in my closet just sitting there. One day I bought one, loved it so much, I went back and got one in every color.

Now I know why. They have been hanging in my closet mostly unworn for over five years. Now they are beautifully decorating my bedroom.

How did I get them up there? First I dragged my ladder from the storage closet, then I stayed up till three a.m. trying to think of how to attach them to the ledge.

The key word is ladder. Be sure you own a good ladder. Don’t use a chair. A friend of mine fell off a chair while changing a light bulb and broke his leg. A ladder is a lot cheaper than a broken leg.

My ladder is the Cosco brand. It is yellow and black and has lots of good safety features, handlebars and three wide non slip steps. I think it was around $50 at City Mill at least seven years ago.

My favorite ladder even has a great ‘painter’s shelf’ perfect for tape, scissors measuring tape, etc. Plus a nifty ‘press here to fold’ tab.

Lots of people say, ‘I don’t need a ladder’ and I don’t have anywhere to store it and blah, blah, blah.  (It folds and doesn’t take any more space than a folded ironing board).

Even if you only use it once a year, just knowing it is there gives you ‘peace of mind’. I keep mine at the side of my storage closet, however you could slide it under your bed.

I also have a two step ladder, which is handy for reaching something mid height. And I have a great step stool which is round. It is called a Kik Step.

When you step on it, it locks in place and it is easy to kick around the kitchen. I think I bought this at an office supply store like Staples.

Kik Step

As for how to put the curtain rod up, first I thought of hooks and hot glue. But I couldn’t visualize me doing this without dripping hot glue on my hand. Or worse on my face, which would be directly below the ledge. (and me on a ladder). OK, forget the hot glue.

Then I thought of buying a curtain rod and taping it to the ledge with duct tape. Finally it hit me. Just hang each coat on one of my thin grey velvet hangers and duct tape the curved metal part of the hanger to the ledge.

Perfect! And the width is exactly right. I am so proud of myself for thinking of this and carrying it out. Next time you need fabric for something, be it curtains or a party tablecloth, look in your closet.

And duct tape is so much easier to use than hammer and nails or an electric drill and screwdriver. Especially when what you are working on is three feet above your head.

By the way, duct tape comes in many colors and patterns. You don’t have to settle for battleship grey. Longs drug store, Lowe’s and Home Depot have at least ten colors and Michael’s has a whole slew of patterns, including my favorite, black and white checks.

Now, you probably don’t have three embroidered silk coats on hand, just the size to fit your bedroom window, but this story (and it is a true story) is just to get you thinking ‘outside the box’.

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