Sophisticated Sink Skirt — For Dummies

I don’t really know how sophisticated it is. The truth is I was just trying to get a nice trifecta of alliteration in the headline. Nailed it.

The reason why the title is followed up with “for dummies” is because, well, I’m a dummy and I wanted to share the process of my totally F – R – E – E no-sew sink skirt from the bathroom makeover project. This was sort of a last-minute, Aha! project that turned out better than I had hoped.

If you need a refresher, here is our utility sink in all of its naked glory:

It’s pretty blah. Utilitarian. But it does work perfectly fine so there’s really no reason to replace it. That, and a sink switcheroo wasn’t exactly in the budget. The best part of making-do with what you have is the creativity that comes from figuring out a way to make it work.

The wheels started turning and I remembered that I had some leftover curtains from our old apartment that weren’t being used:

I held up one of the panels around the sink and realized what a perfect match it was. After some resizing it looked like it would make the perfect sink skirt. Free Fabric? Check.

It had been balled up in a box since the move so it desperately needed a steaming hot ironing session. I ironed it first, before I measured and cut it, so the dimensions would be as accurate as possible.

Here’s the part of the process wherein I am admitting what a dummy I am. I could totally skip right over this but I feel the need to keep it real so some of you can learn from my mistakes. Or, since most of you are probably smart enough not to make this mistake in the first place, feel free to point and laugh from your desk.

I thought this was how you were supposed to use hem tape: Iron a hem into fabric, place hem tape between folded fabric, iron over the sandwiched hem tape, step back and marvel at your wonderfulness. Spoiler alert: turns out I am wrong.

After realizing that this fabric wasn’t sticking together I pulled off the hem tape to take a closer look. I noticed that only one side had the shiny stickiness, and after a few choice words I finally figured out how to use it. (In my defense, there were ZERO instructions on the packaging.)

A big clue is the word “tape” in hem tape.

Ok, so it’s not my proudest moment, but I figured it out. And now you all know my Achilles Heel of DIY: anything involving fabric.

Once the raw sides of the fabric were trimmed and correctly hemmed I let the whole thing cool down. I realized that if I tried to manipulate the curtain immediately after ironing the hem tape it would sort of just pop off. It seemed to stick really well once it came down to room temperature.

It was time to stick this baby on the sink.

I stuck 4 circles of heavy-duty velcro on each corner of the sink and then called in for some assistance from my lumberjack. I needed an extra set of hands to help me wrap this skirt around the sink, while holding the whole thing taut, and balancing on one foot and jumping up and down. Ok, maybe not that last part but it did feel like quite the juggling act. Once we lined up the velcro on the skirt with the velcro on the sink the clouds parted and the angels started singing. Done and done. It was time to step back and admire our work.

It’s hard to get a good picture of the full-length sink because of the small size of the room, but I think you get the point. One thing you can’t see is the brilliantly-perfect length of the skirt. It hits the floor at the exact right spot and I wish I could say I was just an impeccable crafter; I’m pretty sure it was just dumb luck.

Because these bins are now residing over the shelves above the washer and dryer,

I now have a much-needed spot to stash a laundry basket, or two.

Since this was my first fabric-related project — aside from the upholstered cornice box and headboard, which was really just staple-gunning the bejesus out of them — it has me hungry for more projects like this one. I borrowed my mom’s sewing machine last weekend when I was home, so maybe I’ll try my hand at hemming the too-long curtains in our bedroom.

I’ll let you know how it goes. If I have some traumatic accident and end up sewing through my fingers I’ll have Olive takeover the blog so I’m not leaving you all in the dark.

Happy Friday, everyone! If you live in the Midwest, be careful out there on those snowy roads. When in doubt, just stay home, get drunk, and call it a night.


6 thoughts on “Sophisticated Sink Skirt — For Dummies

  1. Pingback: LaundryBathRoom Mania | The Harpster Home

  2. Pingback: Upholstering, Shmapholstering. | The Harpster Home

  3. Ok, I must really be a dum-my because even after your hem tape explanation, I STILL don’t understand how to use it. Wah. I’ve used it once and did it the way you said NOT to. If the tape is exposed then how do you create the hem?

    • You’re not a dummy! I probably didn’t explain it clearly enough. The type of hem tape I used is used just like regular tape, where one side is sticky (after ironing) and one side isn’t.

      First, you iron your hem (fold over the raw edge, and iron it over so it’s clean), then you put the hem tape down, sticky side on down, and iron it to cover up the inside of your hem.

      Does that make sense?

      The first way that I tried works… but only if you have the right kind of tape. Which is probably the kind you’ve used in the past.

      Hope that helps!

  4. Umm, so I had to google “Why my hem tape isn’t working” and your blog popped up … and I am so glad it did! I thought the same thing! My hem tape didn’t come with directions, and so I had to look them up. The directions said: “Think of the process as a grilled cheese – the fabric is like the bread, and the tape is the cheese.” So I totally thought the EXACT same thing. Thankfully, you have cleared it up for me! Thank you!

  5. Was thinking about doing this exact project for our not-so-beautiful utility sink. Beautiful new laundry room, ugly sink. Considering that our house is always being painted in some area, it would be nice to hide the painting supplies under there so they’re handy but out of sight. For some reason, I never thought of using velcro to attach it to the sink. Duh. Thanks for sharing your story!

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