No-Sew Custom Window Treatments

dsc00128 I believe that window treatments are like mascara for rooms – you don’t have to have them, but when you do the room looks finished.  I’ve had a long, sordid history with window treatments – not really loving most inexpensive pre-made ones and having limited ability to make more unique ones because of sub-par sewing skills and (cue the standard motherhood excuse) a lack of time.  However, my latest affair with window treatments ended beautifully, both for the wallet and the creative ego.  The key?  A shower curtain.  The cotton beauty came from eBay (for under $20 including shipping), and with a pen, a pair of scissors, some fusable webbing (it’s like permanent tape for fabric), an iron/ironing board, straight pins, drapery clip rings and a rod, I had new curtain panels in under two hours.  Shower curtains make it easy because they already have finished hems and you don’t need to go through the process of pre-washing the fabric because it’s already done.  Here’s how I made mine:

  • Hang the drapery rod where desired (I chose to hang mine right across the top of the window molding)
  • Place clip rings on the rod (I used 10 for each panel)
  • Mark the center of the shower curtain by folding it lengthwise and making a small pen mark at the top
  • Hang shower curtain from the rod, spacing clip rings evenly across both halves
  • Determine how long you would like the panels to be by folding the bottom of the curtain and pinning
  • With hem marked, take curtain down and lay flat on the floor or a table
  • Make one long straight cut where you want the desired hem PLUS 2 inches.  For example, if it turns out you want 60 inches between the top and bottom hems, you should cut a straight line at 62 inches.  A yardstick or ability to follow a line in the fabric pattern helps in cutting a straight line
  • Once the bottom hem is cut, make a straight cut from the mark at the top all the way to the bottom hem; now you have two panels
  • Take one panel, and working the long side first, fold the edge over ½ an inch and iron all the way down.  Then, following the directions on the fusible webbing, make another ½ inch fold over the webbing and iron the seam shut
  • Following the same directions as above, iron the bottom seam, except this time make the first fold ½ an inch and the second fold 1½ inches (it looks more finished when you have a wider hem at the bottom)
  • Repeat for the side and bottom hem on the other panel
  • Hang them up and enjoy the satisfied feeling you’ll have from making one-of-a-kind window treatments for your home!