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