ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How To Save Money On Window DIY Treatments

Updated on October 10, 2012


The cost of decorating your home can be absolutely overwhelming. It seems today, the price of everything touched by human hands is over the top in terms of cost. Even though most of it is made overseas, the cost of curtains, drapes and window treatments is out of sight!

On a personal note, moving to Central Oregon was a bit of a climate shock for us. We have over 300 days of sun per year here and since it is high mountain desert, the sun can be your friend but it can also knock you for a loop sometimes.

We also happened to moved into a house full of windows – which I personally love. It warms your soul as well as your body. However, how to cover all those windows?

I did not want to obstruct the view because we face a wetlands but at the same time, we needed something to block the sun during the hottest parts of the year.

Come with me and I’ll show you what I did to bring down the high cost of window treatments!


  • Blinded by the light. Most importantly, we needed blinds to cover the windows to block the sun in summer and keep in the heat in winter. However, we wanted blinds that would allow us the most view and that we could actually afford for that many windows.

    It was staggering to think of how many blinds we needed. We found some plantation white blinds at Home Depot and bought them in batches. We did a room or several rooms at a time, had them premeasured and precut and then my husband hung them all himself. Beautiful solution.
  • You decorate my life. But what about the curtains? You can’t just have blinds usually to complete a room. Heavens no – what would the decorating police say? Well, obviously for that many windows, buying curtains was insane. I had several pairs of curtains from our old house that were long billowy tab curtains. I was able to use those in several rooms and then bought another set to cover or accent the blinds for the living room. I wanted something simple and that would not detract from the view or the light.

    On bedroom windows or the kitchen with the blinds, I only wanted a small valance so as not to detract from the window. I priced valances of all kinds – most were roughly about $20 for one valance! How could I possibly afford that? Well, I couldn’t.

    We also had a large odd-shaped window in our kitchen, a window that absolutely floods our kitchen with light. It can be blinding during the summer and creates its own oven. We got an estimate on a "special order" blind for this window that was $1000 – for one blind! So what to do? I ended up measuring it, looking at the curvature of it, and found a beautifully simple curtain rod in a JC Penney catalog for under $20 that would fit the curve of the window. I then ordered 2 balloon type curtains and hung them from the curved (invisible) curtain rod. Beautiful! Cost....because I got them on sale…. $40. That was the most I spent on any curtains. 


  • Come to my window. What I did before I hung those curtains though was to examine them and see how they were made. I quickly saw how extremely simple these curtains were and thought "Audrey - you can do that". I decided to experiment with only 1 curtain first to see if it was as simple as I thought – it was and more!

    How I did it
    : I measured the width of the window x2 or 3, measured how many inches I wanted the curtain to balloon or fall over the window. That helped me figure out how much I’d need to buy in order to "gather it up and balloon it". I then went to the fabric store and bought a cheap fabric to trial out my pattern and some small plastic curtain rings. I made the rod pocket, hemmed the sides, and then sewed the little curtain rings at intervals in columns down the back of the curtain. I then cut a single curtain ring for each row of the columns of curtain rings sewn to the back. This bunches the material and makes the "balloon" and simple as pie, I had made my first balloon curtain. It took me less than an hour to make a full set. I was hooked.

    My first set of curtains are now in Bob’s garage – I know – who has curtains in their garage… but Bob does. Just in case the fashion police wander by.

    I then decided which rooms I wanted to make balloon curtains for and took all my measurements. I then started watching the fabric store sales. I always had a coupon when I bought and I never bought anything that wasn’t on sale. I ended up buying some beautiful designer fabric on super sale with my coupon and never spent more than $15 for any of the rooms. That was for multiple valances – so I saved at least $50-60 per room. They are beautiful fabrics that have lasted for years and basically took me an hour or 2 per room to make.

    I even made one rod pocket curtain just to see if I could do it – that was even simpler. Took about 30 minutes.

    I also made a tab top curtain for a bathroom with some scrap material that I had left over.


In short, you can save money on window treatments.  You can also buy patterns and learn how to make drapes yourself or any number of decorative curtains. 

I’ve had many friends ask me to show them how to do it and it’s about the most simple thing you can imagine. 

If you need to make a pattern, you can do that, too.  I use freezer paper to create patterns if I absolutely have to have one.  That has seemed to work for some of my friends. 

All you need to know is the size of your window and how much extra "bunching" or ballooning you want.  Then you need to know how much extra "crunch" or fullness you want across the top.  Once you figure out the measurements of the fabric you'll actually need per curtain, you've got it made.  You buy your fabric and away you go!

Try this money-saving idea if you need curtains and can’t stomach the high price of buying them.  You can save money using this technique and you'll be so proud of yourself for doing it yourself! 


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      10 years ago from Washington

      Glad that helps, Marie and thanks for stopping by! My daughter was in Australia for about a half year and told me how hot it gets so I know what you mean!!

    • MPG Narratives profile image

      Maria Giunta 

      10 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Hi Audrey, thanks for the tips. Like you we have lots of sun down here in Sydney and we live in a house with lots of windows. It's heaven in winter but our summers can be unbearable. (A few days ago it was over 100 degrees during the day and still 95 degrees at midnight!). It was the hottest night ever.

      Anyway, we have full curtains in our bedrooms (upstairs) but only blinds in the living area, so these tips will come in handy. Might think about making some valances soon.

      Cheers Marie.

    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      10 years ago from Washington

      Thanks for stopping in, Genna - glad you liked it and the others....I have a lot of fun with decorating on a shoestring budget!

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      10 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Such good ideas, as usual. I have bookmarked 2-3 of your hubs, and plan to print them out the next time I go shopping. Thank you!

    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      10 years ago from Washington

      That sounds like a cool hub you should do cheapsk8chick! I'd love to learn to do that!!

      Darski - you are too kind - I dabble in a lot of things and unfortunately my brain eggs me on.....'I bet you can learn to do that' so I try it. There are a few things that I cannot do though - singing is one of them!

    • Darlene Sabella profile image

      Darlene Sabella 

      10 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

      Hey Audrey is there anything you can't do? You are the master of all, I so admire you...this is such a cool hub, and well reseasched, perfectly written and I love the videos. Rate this way up love & peace darski

    • cheapsk8chick profile image


      10 years ago

      Great hub! We save money by not buying blinds and making Roman shades. Vote up!

    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      10 years ago from Washington

      BJ - No referrals necessary - unless of course it is an extensive window treatment....then you must have the referral from a blind. Too funny. Yes, me thinks I am mad about covering my windows - but not all the way now....don't get the wrong impression here - just enough to be decorative (in case the fashion police drop in).

      Pamela - I haven't made drapes but there is always another day, eh? Actually I had a ball making the balloon valances and was so proud that I saved all that $$$!!

      Terri - Thanks so much - and I loved the vids - I'd like to start over so maybe I will in a couple of years!!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Great hub and advice for cost cutting ideas! Thanks for all the videos too , very helpful.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      10 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Audrey, I have made some from my own draperies. I like the detailed instructions that you included in this hub and you did a great job. Thanks for the tips.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      10 years ago from south Florida

      Every bare window who can read will now be your friend, Audrey, since you advocate covering all of them up. And quickly before the window police arrive.

      Just wonderin' - with the new healthcare legislation, do window treatments require referrals from your primary doctor. Or can just any old physician treat them?

    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      10 years ago from Washington

      Thanks, RT - hope you like it on the re-read!

      Jobister - Thanks for stopping by.

    • jobister profile image


      10 years ago from Anaheim, California

      Great hub! Thank you for sharing!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Looking forward to taking a closer look at this great hub and checking out the videos. Good stuff!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)