DIY Budget-Friendly Window Coverings

Tired of the view inside your window? It's time to switch up your window treatments. Designer and While You Were Out star Nadia Geller shares four of her favorite window coverings — so simple you can change them with the season, with the weather or at your whim.

Before you start, decide what style of window treatment will work best for your window. Consider how your window opens and make sure that your treatment won't interfere with how your window functions. For example, vertical shades may not be the best choice for a window that opens horizontally. Fabric panels on a rod are an elegant treatment for almost any window. Box valances can be used on many types of windows and give a designer look. Keep in mind the color, style and fabric of the furniture in your room, and choose window treatments that will harmonize with them.

Valances make your windows look larger while creating a clean, polished look. Create valances with artist stretcher bars from an art supply store. The bars are used by artists to stretch canvas and can be used to create a valance frame that is both cost effective and sturdy. Remember to measure your window first and use your tools wisely!

 

The first two treatments use a window rod. Rods are an inexpensive way to hang window treatments and are simple to install.

 

Raffia-Tied Panels

 

Pretty sheers are a lovely alternative to tab top panels. Try using sari fabric for its vibrant color.

 

Materials: Fabric pinking shears, natural-colored raffia, pins needle and thread, window rod, finials

 

To Make:

1. Measure length of window from curtain rod to floor. Purchase enough fabric to create two panels that will just skim the floor. For more volume, you may want to create four panels.

2. Cut fabric into the desired length with pinking shears. This relieves you from sewing, because the bottoms won't fray!

3. Cut raffia into 2-foot segments. Untwist one end of each segment to make a flat, smooth surface. Pin segment pairs (flat ends on opposite sides of fabric) to top edge of panel. Hand-sew the pairs in place. For a fuller-looking bow, you can double or triple the raffia segment on each side.

4. Tie bows around your curtain rod and enjoy a long, rustic bow that slides easily.

 

Napkin Valance

This window treatment won't obstruct light and creates a fun, quirky look. Napkin valances are a great solution for apartment dwellers who may not want to invest in expensive curtains that might get damaged or dirty from high traffic or excessive sunlight.

Materials: Napkins or dish towels, clip-on curtain rings, window rod

To Make:

1. Tie one corner of each napkin into a knot.

2. Clip each napkin to a curtain ring and enjoy your cute, cozy valance!

 

Denim Basket-Weave Valance

We all have old blue jeans taking up closet space — now they can be turned into a stylish and funky window valance.

 

Materials: Wooden artist stretcher bars, old denim jeans, iron, glue gun Staple gun Picture-mounting materials

To Make:

1. Measure window and purchase stretcher bars for a wooden valance frame that extends 3 inches to the left and right of the window and about 18 inches long (or to desired length).

2. Assemble stretcher bars into a valance frame. Designate top and bottom. Nail extra vertical bars (about four per side) to the back so the valance will stand out about 4 to 6 inches from the wall.

3. Cut jeans into long, straight strips. Press a clean edge into each strip with an iron and tack it with hot glue to hold it down.

4. Stretch the strips across the front of the valance frame. Staple the edge of a strip behind the left side of the valance frame and pull it taut over the front. Staple that edge to the back of the right side of the frame. If your strips aren't long enough, simply add denim strips of a similar width with hot glue and stretch from there. Cut excess fabric.

5. After stapling strips across the frame, add strips from the top of the frame, weaving over and under. Get all strips in place before stretching and stapling the fabric to the back of the frame.

6. Choose a fun ribbon or simple rope cording and glue it along the top and bottom edges.

7. Mount and enjoy!

Moroccan Inspired Hanging Box Valance

Materials: Artist wooden stretcher bars, fabric/paper, cardboard, cording, hot glue gun, staple gun 

To Make:
1. Measure window and purchase stretcher bars for a wooden valance frame that extends 3 inches to the left and right of the window and about 18 inches long (or to desired length).

2. Assemble stretcher bars into a valance frame. Designate top and bottom. Nail extra vertical bars (about four per side) to the back so the valance will stand out about 4 to 6 inches from the wall.

3. Cut a custom design out of cardboard and staple it to the front and sides of the frame.

4. Stretch your fabric over the cardboard frame. To make a smooth, taut fabric surface, stretch and staple the fabric from the middle out rather than from the edges in. Alternate stapling top and bottom, left and right.

5. To stretch around the inverted corners of your frame, cut a diagonal slit through the corner of the fabric. Now you have two flaps to stretch behind the frame.

6. Staple fabric into wood on the back, and hot glue the fabric to the cardboard if it doesn't reach the wood.

7. Glue down a pretty design with cording and attach tassels from behind.

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