Monday, August 12, 2013

Going Paperless: A Window Treatment Transformation

For the past five years, I’ve been on a mission to destroy all of the temporary paper shades that we put up to cover the windows when we first moved in our house. It’s been a slow process because A) I just don’t want to spend a lot of money; and B) some of our windows are odd sizes which makes it a bit tricky. But so far I’ve gotten through our living room and master bedroom, and this past weekend I finally de-papered the guest bedroom.

Close-up of the shade in all its pleated, papery glory

This particular window is about 45” wide by 46” high. Based on my experience, I hadn’t seen any window treatments to fit those dimensions, and I wasn't going to pay to custom order something. So I was going to have to get creative. There's definitely no shortage of DIY curtains on Pinterest, from drop cloth curtains to tablecloth curtains to no-sew roman shades.

I ended up wandering through Hobby Lobby and Hancock Fabrics trying to figure out my options and what would be the cheapest (and easiest). I wanted an all-white curtain for this window, so that narrowed down my options considerably. I wasn’t having much luck, but then a new idea crossed my mind. What if I found a fabric shower curtain that would also look good on a window? It could work.

With a new objective, my next stop was TJ Maxx.  There I found a cute, ruffled white shower curtain by Cynthia Rowley. It was $17—not too bad. I snatched it up and then headed to Lowe’s to get a cheap tension rod for about $4.

At first I thought I would have to cut and “hem” three sides of the 72” x 72” curtain. I say “hem” because I don’t actually sew… I use good ol’ Steam-A-Seam for things like this. (Although I’m starting to think that once we finish our basement and I actually have more space, I’ll invest in a sewing machine.)

Back to the project at hand… since the top of the curtain already had slits in it (for shower rings), I realized that I could just use these instead of making a whole new pocket for the rod to slide through. Parts of the rod would just be exposed this way, but that didn’t really bother me. Going this route also meant I didn’t even have to trim anything off the width of the curtain because it ended up gathering quite nicely when I tested it out. Score! So, all I had to do was measure and cut off part of the bottom of the curtain, leaving a little extra to fold over and iron on the Steam-A-Seam.

The full-size shower curtain

Half an hour of ironing later, I was ready to hang my new curtain (after joyously ripping off the paper shade). For a makeshift window treatment, I think it actually turned out pretty nice. I’d also like to think no one would ever even know it was originally a shower curtain (well, except for those of you reading this). If there is one downside, though, it’s the fact that this is an east-facing window and gets some pretty serious morning sunlight. This isn’t ever much a problem until we have a houseguest who would like to sleep in past sunrise. So, I may need to add some sort of liner or extra layer at some point (which means it might happen five years from now).

Look ma, no paper!

New shower curtain!

I like how the ruffles add texture and interest, 
so it's not just a solid white panel.

Also, I now have some of the fabric (about 25” x 72” remnant) left over for another project, although I’m not sure what. Perhaps a lampshade revamp? Or a cover for a bolster pillow? By the time I get around to doing something with it, maybe I’ll actually know how to sew!

Have you ever had to come up with a creative solution for your window treatments?


Oona Johnson said...

Cute! I love the ruffles. Definitely an easy and fun alternative to spending a boat-load to cover the window.

Toodie said...

Very cute alternative!


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