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Custom Window Coverings and Treatments -Sewing Whimsical Curtains

Updated on June 22, 2011
Window fashion - more than just a purpose.
Window fashion - more than just a purpose.

Dressing up your tired windows can add just the right spark to your room.  A little whimsy goes a long way in adding pizzazz.  Do you have an odd size window? Or, are you tired of traditional styled curtains? Try sewing your own window treatments or be creative with store bought curtains. They don't have to be hung in the usual way.

I like to sew my own window treatments whenever possible. Rarely can I find exactly what I want already made and never in the right size for my window. I also like to embellish a little. It adds a little more character into the room and thus brings me joy! Another plus for sewing window treatments, is being able to choose the fabrics. There are so many more choices available. I always feel like a kid in a candy shop. When I sew, I don't always like to follow the rules. Instead of sewing tabs for the curtain pictured, I used wide ribbon. Not only was it a whole lot easier, I liked the change in texture and color. I used the same ribbon as a tieback.

I dropped the curtain rod lower than the top of the window on purpose. This bathroom looked out to the backyard woods. I needed just a little privacy with the curtain but wanted to bring light into the room from the top and side. To add some weight to the top of the window, I placed peaberry garland in the same colors as the fabric at the top of the rod. Techniques like this can be done whether you make your own curtains or buy them. Just use your imagination to accessorize your windows, kind of like accessorizing your wardrobe.

Hang panels where needed for privacy.
Hang panels where needed for privacy.

Super Easy Straight Panels

For the beginning sewer, this option is super easy. Simply make straight panels, by sewing your fabric to your liner material, and attach them to a decorative rod with rod clips. In this example, I again used ribbon for tiebacks.  Other examples would be rope, beads or garland.  You can't get any easier than that!  Of course the garland, draped over the top, just adds a little extra finesse.

Use a tablecloth runner!
Use a tablecloth runner!

No Sew Option

 Get creative with household items.  Here is a unique idea for a laundry room valance.  Instead of hanging a rod, I just tied clothesline rope to two hooks.  You can hang pretty much anything decorative from the clothesline, attaching it with clothespins.  For this example, I used a tablecloth runner.  You could use doilies, pretty napkins or even a scarf.  Just use your imagination.  I used clothespins since this was in a laundry room but you could use regular rod clips as well.

shade with paint
shade with paint

Blinds and Shades

If your windows are all covered with budget blinds, you are all set for privacy - now it's time to spruce up. For small windows, you could simply hang a shelf over the top and display some of your favorite items. It would be nice to maybe include some potted ivy which could overhang down the sides. A common idea is to hang scarf holders on each side with a scarf draped through for a valance. If the holders are flat on top, you could have them act as a small shelf. Again, small pots of ivy on either side would be pretty.

The picture to the left of the white blinds in the blue room show another hassle free option.  The plain white blinds become part of décor themselves the way they are incorporated with the white wainscoting.  With the walls painted blue, the blinds and wainscoting really pop.  The addition of the blue chair in the room sets off the window nicely.  Notice how the vase with florals, on the table next to the window, is really all that is needed to decorate the window space.

Maybe you are going to put a shade on the window.  There is no need to keep the shades white. Painting them can either make them disappear, by painting the same color as the wall, or give them drama by choosing an accent color. With shades you have a few more options with paint. You could sponge paint, do stencils or even try stamping. There are so many options of design. Whatever your mind can think up, you can do!  An example is shown in the bottom right picture of a shade that was stencil painted and then trimmed in fabric.  This gave the shade a nice custom look.  You can get stencils and paint at a craft supplies store so it doesn't take an artist to do this!


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    • Song-Bird profile imageAUTHOR

      Renee Hanlon 

      7 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks vocalcoach! That is one of my favorite window treatments. It was so simple and inexpensive to do.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Well, Song-Bird, I had to push 2 buttons on this one. Absolutely love the idea using clothespins in the laundry room to hang a valance. YOU are something else! :)vocalcoach

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Wow... my mum will like this a lot.... she always keeps tinkering with curtains.



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