DIY Tutorial: Easy Window Treatment

24 Jul

As promised, I’m breaking down the list of DIY projects I’ve done recently around the apartment. Today’s tutorial may seem a little overwhelming, but I promise it’s just a matter of symmetry and a little creative thinking. This is one of the “mock” window valances I made:

Big windows, huh? I call them mock valances, because they’re not your typical 3D box type. They’re just a single piece of fabric, because, well, that’s a heck of a lot easier and our windows are ginormous.

Now, I know what you’re thinking if you have big windows like these: “Are you kidding me? The fabric’s going to cost a fortune!” Well, my friend, now it’s time to divulge my little secret. Ready? The fabric I used was not only from a thrift store, but in it’s past life it was … a bed sheet. This is where the creative thinking comes in. Take a look at places other than fabric or craft stores, like a discount home goods store, a thrift store, or an estate sale. First of all, you may find ready-made valances, and that will save you the trouble of making them. Second, you may find some really awesome fabric in the form of bed sheets, tablecloths, or even full-length curtains. Then, it goes a little something like this:

What you need:

curtain rod

Fabric measuring (at least) the length of your curtain rod

scissors

chalk/pen

measuring tape or yardstick

fray check/fabric glue/tacky glue

fabric pins

sewing machine (optional)

minimal drawing skills

minimal sewing skills (optional)

Step 1.

If you’re making a custom curtain rod, like so many people do now from metal conduit, measure the length of your window, plus any length you want the curtain rod to extend past the edges.  Fortunately, the previous tenants left the curtain rods (along with some very scary window treatment,) for me to use. If you already have rods, lucky you, just measure the length. Don’t worry about  allowing for seams, because there won’t be any – yay!

Step 2.

Cut your fabric to the length of the rod, then fold in half, lengthwise, so that the back of the fabric is facing out. This is so that the lines you draw won’t show, and the design you choose will be even and symmetrical.

Step 3.

Decide what type of design you want on the bottom edge of your fabric. I chose the shape of a curly bracket or brace.

Draw half of the design in chalk, or pen if you’re that confident in your drawing skills, right onto the fabric.

Step 4:

Leaving the fabric folded, cut along the line you drew.

Step 5:

Unfold the fabric, and use your fray check (fabric glue and tacky glue work just as well) along the raw edge you just cut. (If the top of your fabric also has a raw edge, use glue on all edges of the fabric. I used my finger by putting a bit of glue on the tip and dabbing it onto the edges of the fabric. You shouldn’t have to worry about it sticking to the surface you’re working on, but just in case you can use a cheap drop cloth. You can also wait until you have the valance hung on the rod. I did this, and though it was a little tiring, it worked just as well.

Step 6:

Turn your fabric over so that the back is showing again. On one edge, fold your fabric so that it measures about 1 1/2 inches and pin it. Continue to measure at intervals all along the fold to keep it straight, and keep pinning it down.

Step 7:

Sew a straight line along the pins to create a loop to fit the rod through.

Note: If you don’t have a sewing machine, use fabric glue to glue your fabric to itself, rather than sewing a seam. You can use the pins to secure the fabric while the glue dries, or put some heavy books on top to weigh the fabric down.

Step 8: 

Push the curtain rod through the loop and hang!

Gentle hugs,

Chels

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