Clever Custom Window Treatments

clever-windows_thumb.JPGI’m thrilled to introduce new contributor Paige, a home décor guru among many other things. Today, Paige shares a ridiculously clever idea for custom window treatments:

“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) 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 edges (you only have to finish the sides that you cut) 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:

Cut the shower curtain length to fit your window:

1. Hang the drapery rod where desired (I chose to hang mine right across the top of the window molding).

2. Place clip rings on the rod (I used 10 for each panel).

3. Mark the center of the shower curtain by folding it lengthwise and making a small pen mark at the top.

4. Hang shower curtain from the rod, spacing clip rings evenly across both halves.

5. Determine how long you would like the panels to be by folding the bottom of the curtain and pinning.

6. With hem marked, take curtain down and lay flat on the floor or a table.

7. Make one long straight cut where you want the desired hem PLUS 2 inches. For example, if you want 60 inch curtains, cut a straight line at 62 inches. A yardstick or the ability to follow a line in the fabric pattern helps in cutting a straight line.

Cut the shower curtain into two panels:

8. Fold the shower curtain in half width-wise and make a straight cut from the mark at the top all the way to the bottom hem. Now you have two panels.

Finish the raw edges:

9. 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 fusable webbing, make another ½ inch fold over the webbing and iron the seam shut.

10. Follow the same directions as in step #9 for 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).

11. Repeat for steps #9 and #10 for the second panel.

12. Hang your new curtains up and enjoy the satisfied feeling you’ll have from making inexpensive, custom window treatments for your home!”