Do It Yourself Window Treatments

Learn to make window treatments yourself to save money and to get the exact look that you want for your home.

The proper window treatment can accentuate a room, but the cost of custom curtains and valances can be prohibitive. The fact is anyone who is willing to invest a little time and patience can make his or her own curtains easily without even having to sew.

The first step is to decide what type of curtain you want; full length, to the windowsill, or a valance. Once you have decided you can pick out your fabric. You can buy fabric by the yard at craft stores as well as retail outlets, or you can use regular bed sheets. While you are out pick up some "No Sew", which is an iron on product that fuses the fabric together without your having to sew.

Once you are home, measure how long you want your curtains to hang; adding several inches for your hem, and start cutting. For example, if your window is 4 feet long, and you want the curtain to hang at the window sill you would cut the fabric 48" plus 4" (2 inches fop and bottom hem for a total length of 52". You generally want the total width of the curtain to be 2 to 2 and ½ times the width of the window, so a 3 foot wide window would need six to seven and a half feet of fabric to cover them. If you are using two panels, each one would be 3 to 3 and ¾ feet wide.

Once you have your fabric the correct size, you need o put in your hem. At the bottom and in any raw side edges, simply take a piece of the "No Sew" and cut it to the length of the fabric you want to hem. Lay it flat along the wrong side of the fabric, and run a hot iron over it. Peel the backing off and carefully fold the fabric onto itself to create a smooth, straight hem. Iron the hem for a few seconds to allow it to set.

At the top you will do the same process, and then create the pocket for your curtain rod. Do the same process of folding, except leave about an inch and a half, larger if you plan on using wooden poles, and be certain to really iron the curtain good, to create a strong bond. This area is going to take the most abuse, so you want it to really have a good bond.

Let the curtains sit until they are totally cool, and then feel free to hang them. If they get dirty, take them outside and shake them, or put them n the dryer on the "fluff" cycle but be very cautious about washing them in the washing machine. If it is an absolute necessity, wash them in the gentle cycle and hang them to dry. Fluff the wrinkles out of them in the dryer immediately before hanging them back up.

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