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How Can I Make my Own Window Treatments?

Leftover fabric can be used to make window treatments.
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  • Written By: Sherry Holetzky
  • Edited By: R. Kayne
  • Last Modified Date: 06 September 2014
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There are many simple styles of curtains, shades, valances, and other window treatments that you can easily create to dress your windows. The key is to keep things in balance, rather than overpower the space with too many contrasting fabrics.

If you are already using several fabric treatments in the room, choose more subdued window treatments or use a matching fabric. In this case, simple fabric shades are a great way to tie in patterns and colors. Best of all, they are easy to make.

Using two of the same fabrics already featured in the space, (this may be left over material or new material), cut pieces from each one that are large enough to cover your windows. Always cut the fabric a bit larger to account for seam allowances. A half inch to one inch on each side is sufficient for window treatments.

Lay out one of the fabric pieces, "face" up, and the other, on top of it, "face" down. Make sure the faces of the fabrics are together. Sew along the top edges and both sides. Turn the shades right-side-out, and sew the bottom edges closed. These window treatments can be hung from ribbons sewn along the top. Add ribbons at the bottom as well, so when you want the shades open you can tie the bottom ribbons to the curtain rod. When the shades are open, both fabrics will be displayed.

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If you can hang a curtain rod--or persuade someone to do it for you--you can create dramatic window treatments in five to ten minutes, by draping scarves or lengths of luxuriant fabric over the rods. This is a lovely no-sew window treatment that anyone can make.

For window treatments that afford more privacy, make tab top curtains. Use heavy fabric, and measure it to the width of the window and the desired length. Don't forget seam allowances. Hem all sides to create a smooth edge. To make the tabs, cut out strips of fabric about eight inches long by four inches wide. Fold the strips in thirds, lengthwise, and sew the edge down. You may need to iron them. Make sure the sewn edge is not visible when attaching the end of the tabs to the top of the curtains.

A valance is another favorite among window treatments, and usually used for purely decorative purposes. You will need a piece of fabric approximately twice as wide as your window and about sixteen inches long. Start by hemming the sides and bottom to create smooth edges. Next, fold the top edge over about four inches, toward the backside of the fabric. Sew a straight line at the two-inch mark, to create a ruffle, and then sew just above the four-inch mark, to attach the bottom edge. This will create a rod pocket. Slide the valance onto the curtain rod, and scrunch and fluff as desired.

Even if you don't have a lot of decorating or sewing experience, you can make your own window treatments. They are simple and fun to make, and when your guests compliment the look, you have the added bonus of saying you made the treatments yourself.

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FirstViolin
Post 4

Don't be afraid to play with fun fabrics when making your window treatments. Both swags and drapes can look really cool with a sheer chintz or a sari fabric. Or it you'd like a tougher fabric, some dyed canvases can look very nice, as long as they're not too stiff.

Another really good one for a simple, clean look is linen. Linen window treatments work particularly well if you want the light that you get in with a sheer fabric, but don't want the "sheer". Linen also tends to look really clean and nice, so it can freshen up a room really well.

Whatever fabric you do choose, remember to wash it periodically -- so many people neglect to wash their window treatments, and they become breeding grounds for dust mites!

galen84basc
Post 3

Is it possible to make window blinds at home? Right now I've got some kind of chintzy window valances (the owner before me was apparently into discount window treatments), and while I'm not opposed to window treatments like valances on principle, but I just think blinds would work better for these particular windows.

Is it possible to make these at home and still make them look good, or should I just buy some?

StreamFinder
Post 2

One thing to remember when making window treatments, especially curtains, is to measure your top and bottom fabrics very carefully, as any fabric hanging out the bottom of your curtains just looks messy.

This is true for all window draperies, but especially window treatments like drapes and swags.

So remember to keep your measurements tight and your hems clean, and you'll have fantastic drapes in no time.

knittingpro
Post 1

Silk scarves are a great way to make your windows more exciting! Old sheets can be sewn into curtains really easily.

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