Looking for a budget-friendly way to update and freshen a room’s decor? The quickest and easiest method is to hang new curtains, drapes, fabric shades, or valances.
Buying window treatments can get pricey, but you can easily make them yourself. This will help save a boatload of cash and 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.
First, A Few Budget Fabric Tips:
- Look at bedding sheets, especially when they go on sale. They can be transformed into lovely drapes, and the prints you find nowadays can be pretty 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 an extra touch of charm.
Window Dressings On A Budget: Tips & Tutorials For Every Style
To make browsing easier, I’ve organized the projects into different sections (i.e., No-Sew, Blinds, Pleated, Burlap, Drop Cloth, Valances, etc.).
There is A LOT here, and some projects fit nicely into more than one category, but I tucked it where I felt it worked best. Keep browsing if you don’t find what you’re looking for in a particular gallery since I may have it stashed lower down on the page in a different category.
As always here on Tipnut, the tutorials included in this collection have all been hand-picked by me and are 100% hassle-free. This means no fees are charged, no memberships are required, and no email addresses to submit to review the instructions or download any templates (if needed).
If that has changed since being added here, please let me know in the comments section below so I can remove it.
Directions: Click on images to visit the project page; a new browser tab will open & save your spot here
Here’s a simple and accessible way to create custom window treatments without requiring any sewing skills or equipment. Using techniques such as fabric glue, fusible webbing, and clip rings, you can craft stylish curtains that match your decor, save time and money, and easily update your living spaces.
Craving a touch of charm and a dash of romance in your space? Ruffles are your answer! With their gentle cascades and inviting coziness, these curtains do more than dress up your windows. They infuse your room with an irresistible charm that welcomes you whenever you walk in.
Tie-Tops / Loops
These feature tie tops or loops along the upper edge that can be easily tied onto a rod, adding a touch of casual elegance to your windows. These curtains offer a breezy, boho vibe or a cozy rustic charm, making them a versatile choice for different room styles. Whipping them up yourself allows you to achieve a unique look, easily personalize the length, and add a charming, relaxed character to your living spaces.
How To Make Tabs & Back-Tabs
Tab or back tab curtains feature evenly spaced fabric loops (tabs) along the upper edge that slide smoothly onto a rod, creating elegant folds and a clean, sleek appearance. Whether you seek a polished, traditional look or the understated charm of minimalism, tab-top curtains present a versatile canvas for expressing your window decor vision.
Draperies with grommet tops are designed with evenly spaced, metal-reinforced openings (grommets) along the upper edge. These grommets enable the curtains to glide effortlessly onto your rod, resulting in clean, sleek lines. If you’re aiming for a metropolitan vibe or to blend style with practicality, grommet tops offer a tastefully modern solution to transform your windows with panache.
This style features drapery rings (made from wood, plastic, or metal) fixed into place along the curtains’ top hem, which slides smoothly across the rod when opening or closing. It’s a straightforward yet stylish choice for your window decor.
Pleated drapes showcase a refined touch with precisely folded fabric along the top edge. When hanging them, you’ve got options like drapery hooks, ring clips, pin hooks, or curtain rings with eyelets. Your choice of hooks and their arrangement plays a key role in achieving the desired fullness and spacing for your drapes, adding a tailored elegance to your home decor.
Rod Pocket Style
The rod pocket design showcases a stitched pocket along the top edge, providing an easy method for sliding a curtain rod through it during installation. This style offers a clean and simple look, making it a preferred choice for those who appreciate a classic and effortless design. With no visible hooks or clips, it creates a seamless and uncluttered appearance, ideal for effortlessly achieving a minimalist or traditional aesthetic. This style is well suited for the beginner seamstress!
Valances are charming fabric accents usually positioned at the upper window frame. They enhance the visual appeal of window treatments, adding texture and style while also concealing curtain rods or hardware. They are an ideal option to keep costs in check and relatively simple to match your room’s look and size.
Kitchen / Cafe Curtains
Curtains lend a warm and inviting aesthetic to the kitchen, creating a cozier atmosphere. Their practicality shines in this space due to ease of cleaning, a crucial factor considering the potential for grease and grime buildup, especially compared to blinds. Cafe-style curtains, a short window treatment covering the lower half, are favored in kitchens as they strike a balance, allowing natural light while ensuring privacy, making them a practical choice.
How To Line Curtains
Lined curtains are sewn with two layers of fabric, adding structure and body to the drapery. They enhance insulation, manage light effectively, and ensure long-lasting durability. These curtains deliver a polished and refined appearance and elevate your room’s style while prioritizing comfort and privacy.
DIY Blackout Window Coverings
Sewn with specialized blackout lining, these light-blocking wonders offer the perfect solution to keep your space comfortably shaded and maintain privacy. They enhance sleep quality by blocking out unwanted light and contribute to energy efficiency, making them an essential addition to any home.
Privacy window treatments are customized coverings designed to safeguard your indoor spaces from curious onlookers while welcoming the soothing embrace of natural light. Their tailored nature seamlessly matches your existing decor, striking the perfect balance between functionality and aesthetics.
Drop Cloth Projects
Discover how easy it is to elevate your home decor with the humble drop cloth. Whether you’re captivated by charming ruffles or drawn to the cozy rustic minimalism, this selection highlights the practical versatility and inherent beauty that drop cloths bring to the table.
Handkerchief / Napkin Coverings
Transforming pretty vintage handkerchiefs and charming fabric napkins into unique window treatments adds a touch of character and timeless elegance to your home. This budget-friendly project is a delightful way to upcycle fabric that might otherwise be discarded, giving new life to cherished textiles.
Tea Towel Projects
Learn how to turn simple tea towels into charming curtains, perfect for adding character and style to your living spaces. This budget-friendly endeavor is fun and offers a sustainable way to repurpose everyday household items into unique home accents.
With its natural texture and earthy appeal, burlap imparts a rustic and budget-friendly charm to living spaces. For those yearning to infuse their home decor with the warmth and authenticity of ‘farmhouse chic,’ this DIY project is the perfect choice. You can readily source this material from your local craft store or online retailers, making it accessible for all crafty decorators.
DIY Window Shades / Blinds
Window blinds and shades are instrumental in managing light and ensuring privacy, all while presenting various stylistic choices. Moreover, they positively impact energy efficiency and are remarkably low-maintenance. When contemplating the choice between blinds and shades, weighing your aesthetic, the room’s function and the design you aspire to achieve is essential.
Assorted Projects & Creative Tips