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Home INDOOR Room Inspiration Custom Window Treatments 101

Style24 shares advice on everything from measuring and buying fabric to where to go for custom window curtains, drapes, and shades. Whether you crave privacy or just want to change your design, our do-it-yourself drapery ideas and trend-wise tips will freshen up any room.

1

Where to go for curtains or drapes

Ask your local tailor if he or she can make drapery if you bring the fabric and provide the measurements. Many tailors can do the job if it’s simply hemming the fabric. If you’re looking for something more complicated, like pleated drapes or a valance, try a seamstress in your area who specializes in window treatments. Be sure to have a conversation with your pro before you buy the fabric so you’re both on the same page.

There are also online-based companies, that let you send in fabrics. They’ll send someone to measure your windows, make the drapes, and install them for you. Some can also make shades.

Where to go for shades

Many upholsterers can make Roman shades for windows. Look for one in your area who might be up for the job. You can also call seamstresses who specialize in window treatments to ask if they also make shades.

How to measure

Step 1: Measure for length, from the top of your window frame to wherever you want the panels to fall. They can go down to the floor if you want them to skim the ground with no puddling on the bottom (which makes them easier to clean), or down to the floor plus a few additional cm if you prefer a puddled look.
Step 2: Decide where you want to put the curtain rod. It’s typically placed midway between the ceiling and the window frame, but you can also mount it closer to the window frame or closer to the ceiling, depending on your wall space. To draw the eye upward so the ceiling appears higher, place the rod where the wall meets the ceiling. Count how many cm above the window frame the rod will be, and add that to your length measurement from Step 1.
Step 3: Decide how you want to hang the curtains on the rod—options include clip rings, which clip onto the top of the fabric; a pocket rod, which is a pocket sewn into the top of the fabric so you can place the rod right through it; grommets, which are metal rings that you place over holes made along the top of the fabric; or sewn-in rings, which are sewn into the fabric. When you know which one you’ll use, you’ll know if you need more or less fabric to make it work. Fabric on a clip ring or a sewn-in ring, for example, will hang about an 2,5 cm lower to the ground than fabric hung with grommets, so adjust your measurement from Step 2 accordingly.
Step 4: Measure the width of your window from one edge of the frame to the other. If you’re using a tension rod, which you will set inside the window frame, measure inside the frame from one end to the other.
Step 5: Add an extra 6-6,5 cm to each side to account for hemming. The result is the amount of fabric you’ll need.

Buy your fabric

Choose a fabric you like. Try bold prints for Roman shades, which have a flat surface, so it’s easier to see the full pattern. Smaller prints are easier to appreciate on drapes.

Add a liner

Drapery fabric is typically thin, so it will look nicer hanging on the window if you make it more substantial with a liner—and it’ll give you more privacy. Liners are generally inexpensive, so you can buy it yourself or ask your seamstress. Some have suppliers for liner fabric, and they might include the liner in the price of the job.

10 Easy DIY Window Treatment Ideas

Give your window treatments a custom look with these easy DIY ideas.

Painted Linen Curtains

Painted Linen Curtains

Use your basic painting skills to add a vintage feel to plain white linen curtains.

Repurpose Bed Sheets

Repurpose Bed Sheets

You don’t have to be a master seamstress to make these ombre ruffled curtains. With basic sewing skills and an iron, you can get a designer look.

Vintage Doorknob Tieback

Vintage Doorknob Tieback

Add an unexpected aspect to your window treatments by using vintage door knobs as tiebacks. This cost-effective idea will be the focal point of the room.

Stenciled Monogram Valance

Stenciled Monogram Valance

With just a few supplies, you can give your valance a custom look with a stenciled monogram.

No-Sew Pennant Valance

No-Sew Pennant Valance

To make this sporty window treatment, simply tie pennants made from felt for a fun addition to a kid’s room. No sewing required!

Gold Chain Tieback

Gold Chain Tieback

Add some sparkle to a room with gold chain curtain tiebacks. Spray a heavy weight chain in your color of choice to add visual appeal to your windows.

Stenciled Draperies

Stenciled Draperies

Transform ordinary draperies into the exact look you want with stencils and spray paint.

Leather Belt Tieback

Leather Belt Tieback

Turn your window treatments into a fashion statement by using an old leather belt to tie back your curtains. Use solid belts or mix and match patterns for an eclectic look.

Knotted Chiffon Cafe Curtains

Knotted Chiffon Cafe Curtains

If you can tie a knot, then these flowy cafe curtains will be a breeze to make. This project only requires chiffon fabric, a curtain rod and scissors.

Neck Tie(back)

Neck Tie(back)

You probably have several old neck ties lying around. Repurpose them as curtain tiebacks to add a masculine look to any room.


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