Easy Window Treatment Projects

If you have bare windows, we have plenty of quick and easy (and affordable) solutions to get you covered.


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Pleated Valance
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Pleated Valance

    We love this window treatment idea: It serves the function of a valance but has the pleated look of a Roman shade. To make this window treatment, back a rectangle of the drapery fabric with a light-blocking fabric using fusible webbing (to prevent light-emitting needle holes). Iron in deep pleats and starch heavily. Stitch pleats into place and glue a grosgrain ribbon down the middle. Tie the ribbon in a loose bow at the bottom.

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Thrifty Fun Curtains

    Save money by using charming vintage tablecloths as window treatments. To make these cafe curtains, cut cloth to size, adding 1/2 inch to each raw edge for the hem. Sew a hem around the raw edges. Stitch or glue loops of ribbon to the top edge to hang the curtains. For a little bit of sparkle, place an adhesive jewel on top of each ribbon loop where it?s attached to the curtain.

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Flowy and Fabulous

    You can dress up purchased tab-top panels with a bit of trim you attach to the edges. Or get a similar look by making your own panels. You can buy yardage at the fabrics store, but you can also shop for table coverings or linens in the kitchen, bedding, and bath section of your local department store. There you will often find discounted or discontinued fabric items that you can cut up and use as yardage.

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Reuse Old Curtains

    Don't toss out curtains you love just because 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 This trick also works to make outdated fabrics or drapery styles look trendy again.

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Accessorize with Tiebacks

    Give drapery panels a makeover with tiebacks for an simple update. An easy-to-make tieback adds a final polish to this window treatment, and also adds a splash of the room?s yellow accent color to the window

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Play Up the View

    Dress up a sunny bank of windows without losing the view with these valances. They're easy enough to stitch up, or simplify the process by using hem tape to finish the edges. You can mount the valances using a tension rod or by wrapping fabric around a small board and securing that to the window frame with screws.

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Fabric Fake-Out

    If you like the look of fabric but your how-to skills lean more woodshop than workroom, try this nifty look-alike. Cut boards in the shape of a valance, attaching the front and sides. Cover the wood with a coat of primer and paint, then finish with a happy floral wallpaper that portrays a fabric look without a lick of sewing. Attach the valance to the wall with L-brackets.

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Pretty Prints

    If dressing your window calls for more than one layer -- for decor as well as for privacy -- then lucky you. Take this opportunity to personalize a purchased shade using paint. You can cut out a pattern, use a stencil, or try a freehand design with paints in different shades for a personal style statement.

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Dressed-Up Curtain Panels

    A cottage-style room would look amazing with windows dressed in these flirty curtain panels. Start with purchased panels and add the ruffle yourself.

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Get Length Savvy

    Purchase sheer curtain panels in glitzy brown-gold, and then hang them from a curtain rod installed several inches above the top of the window so the panels barely brush the floor. For a more luxurious look, hang the panels low enough to pool slightly on the ground. A versatile bonus? Choosing neutral sheers allows you to switch the curtains from one room to another as the redecorating mood strikes.

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Give Draperies 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 drapery (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 draperies to fit the scale of your new home.

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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 will get 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.

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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 drapery panels with clips. The look is all the better (and much faster) if the strips are off-kilter.

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