Looking for a budget friendly way to update and freshen up a room’s decor? The quickest and easiest method is by putting up new curtains, drapes, fabric shades or valances.
Buying window treatments can get pretty pricey but you can easily make them yourself. This will help save a boatload of cash and also achieve a perfect fit and design.
Chances of finding a ready-made set in the print or style you want and in the size you need…at a price you can afford… are pretty slim, but by custom-making them yourself, you open up plenty of more possibilities for yourself.
Here’s a lovely collection of free patterns and tutorials for assorted styles I’ve found around the net. Most involve simple sewing (if you can measure accurately and stitch a straight line…you can do this!), but I’ve also included a few no-sew projects. Enjoy!
First A Few Budget Fabric Tips:
- Look at bedding sheets, especially when they go on sale. They can be transformed into some lovely drapes and the prints you can find nowadays can be quite stunning.
- Same with lace shawls, sheer headscarves and pashminas, scoop up a pair when they go on sale then add a few clips and Ta Dah! beautiful panels at a fraction of the price with not a stitch to be made.
- Lacey tablecloths in the thrift store or bargain bin are a great economical find.
- Vintage table runners and linens that have been hand embroidered can be added along the top or bottom hem or appliqued onto plain panels to give extra charm.
Window Inspiration & Tutorials
Two-Toned Button Up: When you want it up, simply fold and button.
How To Fake A Roman Shade: With some measuring and basic skills, you can create these coverings on the cheap.
Tab-Top: Easy to customize and adjust for nearly any size (both length and width).
Burlap & Lace: Panels of lace are attached to sheets of burlap with clip-on rings. Quick & easy no-sew project!
Burlap Window Panels: The transparency of the burlap provides some light plus it’s color and texture gives visual warmth.
Ruffled Valance: Top casing to fit over a pocket rod and 4 tiers of frills, these can easily be made for any size.
Vinyl Blinds Transformation: (slide #6) Transform white vinyl roller shades with latex paint and a roll of painter’s tape.
DIY Drape Shade: Made with faux white linen, seam tape and white grosgrain ribbon.
Frilly Bottom: Made with muslin, this is another set where the picture doesn’t do justice. These have a few rows of ruffles at the bottom, the top hangs from ribbon ties so this one’s pretty easy!
DIY Window Awning: Surprisingly easy with two tension rods, a canvas drop cloth and fabric paint.
More Creative DIY Treatments & Tips
- Lined Curtains: No-Sew Tutorial! This will show you how to get perfect, custom-fit drapes and it will only take you maybe an hour for 2 panels. This is the perfect solution when you find the perfect fabric but don’t have the patience to sit down and stitch huge amounts of material on all the edges and hem.
- Pinch Pleat Drapes Tutorial: If you want a traditional look, pinch pleats, also known as French pleats, are a great option. These triple pleat curtains may look intimidating, but using pleater tape and hooks makes this project simple for sewers of any level.
- How To Make A Roman Shade: You’re basically wrapping them like a gift and hot-gluing the edges, and…Voila! Your very own custom creation! Here’s another tute for making the blinds: Tutorial In 20 Pictures Or Less.
- Tea Towel Window Charmers: Couldn’t be simpler to make, perfect for non-sewers.
- Painted Stripes Design: This transforms a pair of plain, ready-made panels into a striking window treatment with some acrylic paint in the color of your choice.
- Tips To Lengthen Them: If you have your eye on a ready-made set to purchase but the length just isn’t right, here’s a smart way to fix them by adding a print along the bottom.
- Dappled Lace Cafe Style: (knitting) This lacy curtain allows you to enjoy the beauty of daylight and still maintain your privacy. A slightly loosened gauge gives the finished product an airy quality, while the smooth cotton blend yarn knits into a crisp and attractive material.