DIY Window Treatments

I’ve been planning out the girls new shared room, picking out bedding and fun fabrics for curtains, throw pillows and an upholstered chair. I came up with this very ROUGH design board so I could visualize my plan a little better.

Shared room

I know, it’s terrible, but it’s also very helpful. So far, I’ve painted the pink stripes and put the twin beds and area rug in the room. The white blob, between my terrible drawing of twin beds, is supposed to be a desk I picked up for the girls. I said it was rough, ok. Still on the to-do list is ordering the bedding, painting the navy blue wall, reupholstering the chair for the desk, making two matching headboards, making some cute throw pillows and adding artwork to the walls. I’d also like to put a book corner in the room with a cozy beanbag to cuddle up for some reading time. After configuring the furniture for the room, I realized I couldn’t do long curtain panels because of the beds.

I love long, flowy curtain panels. they do such at great job of adding, texture, pattern and drama to any space. They can make your windows appear larger and your ceilings appear taller. I just love them! But they don’t always work for every window. Like In my kitchen, for instance. I couldn’t have long flowy panels because of the banquette seating. they just wouldn’t work. But I hate, I mean HATE, short panels. They look unfinished and way off-scale. You know the kind I’m talking about:

Mainstays Solid Room Darkening Curtain Panel

This was obviously NOT an option. Gross gross gross. Never do this people. It looks like someone walked up and cut the panels. It’s just awful….

So I had to figure out what to do to dress up a window where long panels just wouldn’t work. So I looked to the internet for inspiration and, lo and behold, a roman shade or a valance is just what I need.

 Board mounted valance

Pretty, right? There are things about each that I like and don’t like. I love the look of the valance  but Love the functionality of the roman shade.  I also don’t like that a roman shade is usually set inside the frame of the window. I like having something taller and slightly wider to add height to the room. So I took a long window panel, turned it sideways and stapled it to the wall along with some ribbon. Cheap, easy and great results.

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It’s so simple. All you need is Ribbon, a staple gun and either one long curtain panel or a large piece of fabric that is at least 8 inches wider than your window. I used a curtain panel turned sideways for the kitchen window, but I just used some fabric in the girls room. I needed to have something that was still functional for naptime. Lily naps best in a dark, quiet room. I had some black out panels from her old room that I just sewed the new fabric to so she would still have a great place to nap, but you could even use a piece of fabric with raw, unfinished edges, and no one would ever know!

First step, staple your ribbon the the wall:
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I used a 55″ piece of ribbon. At the halfway point I stapled the backside to the wall at about the same height. They don’t have to be perfectly level at this step. I went up 10 inches from the top of the window since we have really tiny windows and I wanted them to feel larger. You can use 3 pieces evenly spaced, or just 2 for the edges, like I did in the kitchen, depending on the look you are going for.

Next up, find the exact center of your fabric. My fabric was 77″x 35″, which makes the center 38.5″. Bring the top side of your ribbon over the fabric and keep the back piece of ribbon behind the fabric. Fold the top inch of your fabric under and staple the underside to the wall. (it helps to wear your fabric like a cape so you can get under there and see what you’re doing, and also feel like you have amazing superpowers)

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Next, do the same thing to the left side, making sure your fabric is hung level

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Do the same to the right side

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Once you’re happy with the height and your panel is level, go back under and add more staples to make sure it’s nice and secure.

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Now tie up the center ribbon

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And then both sides

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Once the ribbons are tied at height you like, it’s time to make it look more polished.

I like to add a fold using my staple gun because it just looks nicer at the edges.

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I find a spot about midway for the top to where the bottom hangs, pull it up and staple to create a fold

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The staple goes right where my thumb is.

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Now it’s time to fluff it up and play with it to get folds and creases just where you want them.

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When I want them down, I just untie the ribbon, and tie them back up to open. Easy and fabulous!

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Once you’re pleased stand back and admire your work and then bring the whole family in to also admire your work.  Be sure to get plenty of praise for how amazing, creative and inventive you are. This is best achieved by asking “Didn’t I do a great job?” or “Am I the most creative person in the whole world, or what?”  That usually works   😉

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