Window Treatment Ideas for Less

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

Fresh Tulips

Plain white fabrics are the ultimate blank canvas for DIY screen-print projects. Graphic, oversize tulips climb the height of these curtain panels, adding unexpected hits of color.




Fresh Tulips: Make It

To make these cheery curtains, repeatedly print a tulip shape using a trio of colors. Stagger the motif to add interest to your curtain panels.

Exotic Ikat

Edgy yet elegant? Check. Bold, carefree painting on the draperies gives this sophisticated dining room a little sass.

Exotic Ikat: Make It

To make these curtain panels, you'll need plain drapery panels, fabric paints, and 1- to 2-inch-wide paintbrushes. Hang a plastic drop cloth on a wall using strong masking tape, then hang a flattened drapery panel over the plastic, taping it to the wall at the top and bottom. Mark desired column widths along the taped edges to use as guides for your painting. Apply paint freehand from the top down. Let dry. Set paint according to manufacturer directions.

Make hanging curtains easy with our tips and tricks for measuring and installing these simple, yet stunning window treatments.

How to Hang Curtains

Learn the right way to hang curtains for perfectly dressed windows.

Whimsical Florals

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 adding whimsical pom-poms.

Whimsical Florals: Make It

High ceilings call for a lot of yardage, but custom window treatments don't have to break the bank. A low-cost floral fabric and black pom-pom embellishment offer the perfect amount of sweetness and sophistication in this nursery.

Spray-Paint Squiggles

Permission to graffiti: granted. Shake up your decor style with some spray-painted squiggle curtains.

Spray Paint Squiggles: Make It

Start with a freshly pressed white curtain. Place a strip of tape across the bottom hem and hang the curtain up vertically. Place a protective piece of plastic behind the curtain to prevent bleeding onto the wall. Using a spray paint made for fabric, spray the portion below the tape to create a border. Next, remove the tape and spray free-style loops across the rest of the curtain.

Scripted Style

You can take any pair of plain drapes and dress them up in a few easy steps. Subtle hand-lettered lines lend a sweet note to dining room drapery. We chose to use a simple script treatment, but pen lyrics to your favorite song, poem, or mantra for a personal touch.

Scripted Style: Make It

Use a white permanent marker to write a repeating word or message on cream-color curtains panels. Tie a pink satin ribbon in a bow around each panel for a sweet effect.

Give plain curtains a bit of personality with this easy painted stripe technique.

Cheap Window Treatment: Add Stripes!

Purchased white window treatments become instantly chic with the addition of painted stripes. Watch and learn how to re-create this stylish look.

Color Reverse

Looking for window treatment ideas for a bedroom? Add unexpected pattern to solid-color curtain panels by simply lifting the pigment.

Color Reverse: Make It

We used a product called DeColourant to lift color from our fabric to create this scalloped look. Position a cheap plastic protractor horizontally on cotton or silk fabric curtain and apply DeColourant to the inside of the protractor using a stencil brush. Move the protractor horizontally across the fabric and repeat to create rows of scallops. Let the design dry, then set an iron to the highest steam setting and press it over the fabric. When heated, the DeColourant removes the pigment from the fabric.


Free-Form Trellis

Give rooms a splash of color with a quick paint refresh. A shapely diamond design on crisp white drapery panels adds interest without overwhelming, and a stenciled geometric pattern can be as perfect or organic as desired.

Free-Form Trellis: Make It

Trace your desired stencil shapes onto a piece of cardboard and cut out. We used two sizes of a diamond shape and one football shape to make this design. Lay a plain, ironed curtain flat on a protected work space. Starting at the bottom left-hand corner of the panel, trace around the first shape with an artists brush and slightly watered-down teal paint. Place a second shape above the first and trace with the paint. Alternate shapes to the top of the panel, then start another row next to the first. 

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