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Make Over

16 Can-Do Window Treatments

Courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens®

Outfitting a room with bare windows can be an intimidating task. But with these fast and creative concepts, you can craft window treatments in just one weekend.   

16 Can-Do Window Treatments

White Done Right

Enhance a no-nonsense white room by creating a bold window treatment such as a shade sewn from a fabric remnant. To make, fold one edge over and sew to allow for easy curtain rod slip-on, then hem the other sides to finish. Hang the shade over just the top or bottom half of the window to let natural light in.



16 Can-Do Window Treatments
Get Length Savvy

There’s nothing like sheer. It adds luxury, especially if you hang the panels low enough allowing them to pool on the floor. Here sheer curtain panels in glitzy brown-gold are hung from a curtain rod installed several inches above the window so the panels barely grace the floor. Another plus about sheer: Its neutral color allows you to switch the curtains from one room to another whenever the mood strikes.


16 Can-Do Window Treatments


Paint What You Want

Oversize flower silhouettes painted on an inexpensive roller shade bring bright pops of color to a window. Use a pencil to outline your favorite flower (or other) shape on a shade and fill it in with acrylic paint. Hot-glue a length of contrasting ribbon to the bottom edge to finish it. You can even fashion a shade pull with leftover ribbon and a ring or a charm.



16 Can-Do Window Treatments 

Give Drapes a Second Chance

With a little ingenuity and basic sewing skills, you can get the look of custom-made window treatments for way less. Start with a neutral drape (maybe one you've had for years, but now want to update) and sew a contrasting fabric to the bottom, measuring from the bottom edge of the window to the floor. Cover the seam with beaded trim or ribbon. This idea is great if you recently moved and need to lengthen your old drapes to fit the scale of your new home.


16 Can-Do Window Treatments
Go Subtle with Pattern

Get away with daring patterned window treatments by choosing a muted color palette like these canary and burnt yellow shades. The tone-on-tone style gets noticed, but won't distract from the flashier pieces in the room that you've invested more money and thought into, such as a rug or sofa.






16 Can-Do Window Treatments
Bring It All Together

Tie your entire color scheme together with easy-to-make multicolored panels. Select 3 to 4 colors from your palette and purchase fabric to match. Sew wide strips of the fabric together, starting with the most neutral hue and progressing to the brightest. Try alternating strips of two colors or different patterns in the same color way. Hang the finished panels with drapery clips.



16 Can-Do Window Treatments


Made in the Shade

Origami paper squares are just right for dressing up a plain roller shade. Use squares from the same color family in a variety of patterns to create a grid. Adhere to a plain roller shade with craft spray adhesive (spray both the shade and the back of the paper for best results). For a uniform grid, mark the vertical center of the shade. Start by placing the squares along the bottom of the shade on either side of the center line, then work your way up in rows. Trim paper along the sides if necessary. Glue ribbon across the bottom edge to finish.


16 Can-Do Window Treatments
Create Drama

This window treatment idea will leave you asking yourself, "Why didn't I think of that sooner?" Buy enough sheer fabric to reach floor-to-ceiling and hem the edges. Tie the panels from a curtain rod mounted just below the ceiling, then cinch the sheers with decorative rope or ribbon. It's so easy and it looks fabulous over French doors -- the light gets in, but the treatments won't hinder traffic like bulky ones would.


16 Can-Do Window Treatments 

Set Up an Easy Switch

Cover the top quarter of a kitchen window (or any other window that doesn't need a full treatment) with a bit of cutesy fabric. If you use a sturdy cotton print and cut straight, you won't even need to hem it. Just hang from mini drapery clips and switch out with the seasons. 




16 Can-Do Window Treatments

Fake a Built-In Window Seat

Sometimes a flat wall with an unadorned window isn't a pleasant touch, it's an eyesore. Make the most of the mundane by pushing two bookcases against the window and sliding a painted toy box topped with a cushion underneath. Then pick an unlined Roman shade in sunny yellow to let the light shine through even when the shade is drawn.




16 Can-Do Window Treatments 

Coordinate with Fabric Scraps

If the idea of adding fabric to lengthen a curtain panel leaves you feeling half-done, try "framing" the curtain panels with contrasting fabric to tie the entire treatment together. Sew strips of the contrasting fabric to the original panel, either in stripes or squares. Then sew coordinating loops to hang your embellished beauty.




16 Can-Do Window Treatments 

Reuse Old Curtains

Don't toss out curtains you love if they don't fit your new windows or need to be replaced. Instead, cut and sew them into panel-style window shades with rod pockets. Tension rods hold the shades in place and make them easy to change or remove. This trick also works to make outdated curtain fabrics look trendy again.




16 Can-Do Window Treatments 

Update a Plain Curtain Fast

Got 60 seconds? That's all it takes to jazz up a plain curtain with ribbon stripes. Layer strips of ribbon, trim, and rickrack in different widths; attach them to panel curtains with clips. The look is all the better (and much faster) if the strips are off-kilter.




16 Can-Do Window Treatments 

Add a Touch of Fantasy

Look at sheers in a new light by focusing on what's behind them. Discount-store purple sheers tint the pom-pom trees placed behind these windows for a neat Alice in Wonderland effect. 



16 Can-Do Window Treatments 

Cover Up Those Blinds

Dress up your not-so-pretty but super-functional blinds by hanging country-style burlap or linen halfway down the window. The curtains in this dining room are hung by drapery clips, but you can also use a tension rod if your window is deep enough to accommodate it.



16 Can-Do Window Treatments
Dressed-Up Panels

These flirty curtain panels add charm to any cottage-style room. Simply start with purchased panels and add the ruffle yourself.





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