10 Bargain Window Treatment Ideas

Instantly transform simple store-bought panels into something special with these quick and easy window treatment ideas.

Designed by Elaine Koonce

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green w/white block panel
Blocked Beauty

    From traditional to modern, this treatment is perfect for any decorating style. Sheer blocks allow some light into the room but do not take away from the privacy functionality of a solid panel.

Blocked Beauty: Make It

    How to Make It

    -- Lay panels flat, then place three poster boards cut to 14 x 22 inches on top, making sure the distance between the three boards is even.

    -- Use a white chalk to trace around the boards; remove boards.

    -- Cut out squares.

    -- Lay your sheer fabric over the holes, pin into place and cut the sheer to size.

    -- Move the panel to an ironing board. Lay flat again and use iron-on adhesive to secure in place. (Make sure iron is on medium heat so you don't melt the sheer.)

    -- Use 7/8-inch chocolate grosgrain ribbon to finish off front cuts and secure with a 3/4-inch iron-on adhesive.

    -- Iron both front and back to help adhere the adhesive.

Say It with Stencils

    These floor-length panels are great for a kids' playroom or bedroom. Not only will your little ones love seeing their names in big letters, but they can help make these easy treatments.

Say It with Stencils: Make It

    How to Make It

    -- Purchase 9-inch oil-based board stencils.

    -- Overlap boards so letters are at the desired distance apart.

    -- Trace stencil with a pencil; remove the cardboard stencils.

    -- Paint inside the drawn lines.

Button Burst

    Fun and whimsical, this unique look is simple to duplicate. All you need are a handful of buttons and some creativity.

Button Burst: Make It

    How to Make It

    -- Arrange the buttons in a pattern you like on the panel.

    -- Using fabric glue, glue the buttons into place.

    -- Lay flat to dry.

Ribbon Masterpiece

    It's never been simpler to take an existing window panel and make it fabulous. If you are new to do-it-yourself projects, this embellished window treatment idea is perfect for you.

Ribbon Masterpiece: Make It

    How to Make It

    -- Purchase three colors and sizes of ribbon

    -- Cut large ribbon to 8 inches, second size to 6 inches, and small to 4 inches.

    -- Iron all ribbon in half.

    -- Line up the three sizes together, pin in place and sew a quick stitch at top to secure.

    -- Draw a line across the panel where embellishment is desired.

    -- Pin ribbon blocks in place. Then stitch across the length of the ribbon to secure it to the panel (you can also use iron-on adhesive to make this a no-sew project).

    -- Using an iron-on adhesive, secure medium and small ribbon in horizontal strips, to complete the look.

Branching Out

    Achieve a designer look at the fraction of the price with this creative design. Search your local fabric store for discount fabric that can be used to create window panels. Then put your creativity to the test by sketching out a leafy design that fits your style.

Branching Out: Make It

    How to Make It

    -- For one large branch, trace out the pattern first with a white chalk.

    -- Make three size leaves on card stock; cut out pattern.

    -- Trace the leaves on the branch pattern.

    -- Using acrylic or fabric paint, hand-paint branch and leaves.

    -- Let dry. Use a cloth to wipe off excess chalk.

Trim & Ribbon Treatment

    You can take any pair of plain drapes and dress them up in a few easy steps. Because the panels are embellished only in thin stripes, the more detail the better. We chose to use several types of ribbon, buttons, and beaded trim for our treatment, but the list of embellishments is endless.

Trim & Ribbon Treatment: Make It

    How to Make It

    -- Purchase several different ribbons, trims and buttons in the color combination of your choice.

    -- Plan an arrangement of layers.

    -- Measure and draw a line across the panel to line up the beaded trim. Continue to add the other layers above and below the center ribbon.

    -- Use an iron-on adhesive for the ribbon and flat trims.

    -- Use fabric glue for the smaller, round, and irregular shaped trims.

    -- To complete the look, glue on buttons.

Diamond Masterpiece

    Jazz up any room with high-style panels like these diamond masterpieces. Contrasting diamonds add definition to the plain blue drapes and will give any room a more modern appeal.

Diamond Masterpiece: Make It

    How to Make It

    -- Determine the size of diamond you need to line the edge the panel.

    -- Print the diamond shape on a piece of card stock.

    -- Cut out the diamond and trace around it on back of green fabric with pencil or chalk.

    -- Paint penciled edges with fray glue. Let dry.

    -- Cut out.

    -- Iron panel to get flat.

    -- Line up fabric diamonds and attach with hot (steam) iron and iron-on adhesive.

Flower Style

    Faux flowers find a new use on these panels. Randomly placed flowers add dramatic visual appeal to plain green window panels. For a look that's not as cohesive and a little more fun, choose a variety of faux florals for a flower patch panel.

Flower Style: Make It

    How to Make It

    -- Go to a craft store and find faux flowers that fit the look you're going for.

    -- Pop flower heads off the stems.

    -- Arrange flower heads on a panel and glue in place with a hot-glue gun.

    Tip: Lay down protective covering on working surface to keep glue from leaking through.

Top It with a Scarf

    Scarves are a great way to add color and texture to your treatment, yet still maintain a tailored look. If you're having trouble finding two of the same kind, opt for scarves that have similar patterns or colors.

Top It with a Scarf: Make It

    How to Make It

    -- Purchase two women's dress scarves in patterns and colors that fit your decor.

    -- Cut in half, hem.

    -- Lay them over top of panel and pin in place.

    -- Sew one at a time (bottoms scarf first).

Sheer Elegance

    Romanticize any room with this bold drapery that beckons the princess inside us all. A pretty two-tone effect adds visual interest but does not take away from the beautiful delicacy of the detailing in the sheers.

Sheer Elegance: Make It

    How to Make It

    -- Make a cut at the top of the sheer, tear (do not cut across).

    -- Fold over and iron, repeat.

    -- Sew seam.

    -- Fold sides over (twice) and iron and sew.

    -- Sew the top of the sheer to the top of the panel.

    -- Cut the bottom length 2 inches longer than the panel; iron, fold and hem.

    -- Finish off with a diamond belt clip.

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