Clever Ways to Personalize Window Treatments
Ready-made curtains, blinds, shades, and tablecloths are just the starting point for these stylish window treatments.
Everything In This Slideshow
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Add Pretty Details
Add fun flair to a plain window shade with a pretty rosette.
How to Make It: Cut a 4 1/2x48-inch strip of patterned fabric that matches your bedroom decor. Press the strip in half lengthwise, wrong sides facing, and coil the strip into a rosette shape. Hand-stitch the rosette to a circle of interfacing. Top-stitch through the center of the rosette and trim away excess interfacing. Pin rosette to the curtain.
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Use Sheers to Lighten Up
Dark-color curtains are great for privacy, but they can also darken a room. Add style and light at the same time by adding a band of sheer fabric across the top of plain panels.
How to Make It: Cut across the panel about 1 inch below the top edge. Sew a sheer piece to the 1-inch strip and then reattach the original panel to the bottom of the sheer (shorten the panel as needed to fit your window before sewing the raw edge to the sheer fabric). Use fusible web or fabric glue to apply decorative ribbon over the seams. Tack sheer ribbons to the back of the 1-inch strip and then tie them loosely over the rod.
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Add Texture with Burlap
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Add Elegance with Stripes
How to Make It: Cut 8-inch-wide strips from ready-made linen curtain panels for each curtain. Create frayed edges by carefully pulling threads from the fabric along the sides and bottom. Place the 8-inch strips over the top of the plain panels. Stitch along the base of the rod pocket and lightly tack the tops of the rod pockets together.
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Add Drama with Shine
How to Make It: Cut coordinating curtain panels in half. Sew three strips together (placing a coordinating color in the middle of two same color strips).
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Give pretty panels a modern touch with grommets.
How to Make It: Buy grommets (sold in sets of 10) and follow the instructions on the package. To install, cut a small hole in the fabric, insert both pieces of the grommet, and use the tool that comes in the kit to press them together.
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Top It Off
Punch up plain panels with a valance made of decorative napkins.
How to Make It: Cut square napkins diagonally to create triangles. Fold the cut ends under and stitch them to the panel's top edge. Cut more napkins into strips and gather into a ruffle, which you can stitch along the bottom of the panel and the tieback.
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Modern Take on Lace
Update your favorite lace panels by inserting a horizontal band of patterned fabric. This block of fabric adds a modern edge and also gives privacy.
How to Make It: Cut across the panel about 6 inches below the top edge. Sew the patterned fabric piece to the top panel and then attach the original lace panel to the bottom of the fabric piece (shorten the panel as needed to fit your window before sewing the raw edge to the fabric). Use fusible web or fabric glue to apply decorative ribbon over the seams.
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Tied with a Bow
Give plain draperies a sweet makeover with pretty ribbon bows and coordinating stripes.
How to Make It: Create simple two-toned bows from coordinating ribbons. Attach bows to each pleat at the top of the panel. Use fusible web or fabric glue to apply decorative ribbon to the bottom of each panel.
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Add a Border
Dress up plain curtain panels with decorative fringe found at a crafts store. Choose trim in the same color as the panel for subtle drama.
How to Make It: Measure the width of the curtain panel and cut six sections of fringe in the measured width plus one inch. (The extra 1 inch allows for 1/2 inch of trim on each side to tack behind the panel to hide the raw edge.) Starting at the bottom of the panel, measure one inch from the hem and stitch on a row of trim. Continue with the next two rows. Stitch fringe onto panel leaving one inch between the top and bottom of each row.
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Paint On Style
Add artistic flair to a plain curtain panel with stencils and fabric paint.
How to Make It: Lay the curtain panel flat on top of several sheets of scrap paper as a blotter under the area being stenciled. Cover the back of a stencil with spray adhesive and then press it on the panel. Using fabric paint and a stencil brush, cover the design with a pouncing motion. Remove the stencil. When the paint is dry, repeat the process to create the desired pattern.
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Pretty Painted-On Flowers
Add a fresh theme to a plain curtain panel with a floral-design stencil.
How to Make It: Lay the panel flat on top of scrap paper. Cover the back of a stencil with spray adhesive and then press it on the panel. Using fabric paint and a stencil brush, apply paint directly onto the curtain with a pouncing motion. Remove the stencil. When dry, repeat the process as desired.
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Add Style to a Roman Shade
Add style to a window with multiple treatments. A Roman shade and curtain panels work well together. Customize a plain Roman shade with a stenciled design in a color that coordinates with the curtain panels.
How to Make It: Lay the panel flat on top of scrap paper. Cover the back of a stencil with spray adhesive and then press it on the panel. Using fabric paint and a stencil brush, apply paint directly onto the curtain with a pouncing motion. Remove the stencil. When the paint is dry, repeat the process as desired. Hang Roman shade and curtain panels.
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Jazz Up Roller Shades
Add flair to a plain roller shade with a fun paint treatment. All it took to transform this shade was a stencil and paint that coordinates with the room's color scheme.
How to Make It: Lay the panel flat on top of scrap paper. Tape off stripes on the plain roller shade. Press the tape edges to seal. Apply latex paint with a foam roller, remove tape immediately, and let dry. Next, spray the back of a stencil with spray adhesive and then press it on the shade. Using fabric paint and a stencil brush, apply paint directly onto the shade with a pouncing motion. Remove the stencil. When the paint is dry, repeat the process as desired.
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Rethink Cloth Napkins
Turn patterned cloth napkins into cafe curtains by joining their edges with jean rivets and grommets. You get a pretty window treatment with no sewing.
How to Make It: Purchase a rivet and grommet kit from a fabric store. Join the edges of two napkins together with jeans rivets spaced every 2 inches. To install, cut a small hole in the fabric, insert both pieces of the rivet or grommet, and use the tool that comes in the kit to press them together. Repeat until all napkins are attached and the panel is wide enough to cover your window. Add the large grommets along the tops of the panels and thread onto a curtain rod.
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Pillowcase Turned Shade
Create a colorful window treatment from pillowcase and ribbon.
How to Make It: To make a shade from a pillowcase, remove the seams and press flat. Cut the case to size and fuse the hems. Fuse ribbon down the center of the shade. Look for fusible products that are washable.
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Fuse Fabric Cutouts
Personalize a ready-made Roman shade by selecting a fabric with bold designs that you can cut out.
How to Make It: Lay the shade flat. Cut out the chosen designs and attach them to the shade with a fusible product, following the package directions. Use ribbon along both sides to custom-fit a standard shade to your windows or to add a custom trim to the shade. Add trim along the bottom edge, if desired. To reveal trim along the Roman shade's bottom edge, remove the cords from the bottom rings of the shade and retie the cords to allow the shade bottom to hang free.
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Try a Throw
Create a cozy window treatment from a wool or fleece throw.
How to Make it: Fold over the top edge of a throw to make a valance. Attach clips to the top edge and hang.