Inexpensive Window Treatments

by Kathy Wilson

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When deciding how to dress your windows, first take into account the style of the room. Most rooms are more casual these days, and don't require the heavy pinch pleat draperies of the past.

Consider using ready-made items you might already own to create your window treatments. Lace tablecloths, pretty dishtowels, sheets and even quilts can make creative and charming window treatments.

If you don't know how to sew, pick up some iron on hem tape at your local craft store. You can create simple hems and rod pockets easily with your iron. I don't recommend this for curtains that will be washed frequently. However, if the hem tape wears out, it can always be redone.

Consider adding layers to your windows as your budget allows. First, a mini-blind for some privacy, then later, some sheers for softness. Finally, you might add curtain panels and a valance for a custom look that looks great all along the way.

Be sure to hang your window treatments so they pull clear of the windows when open. This will make your windows look larger and let in more light. Even covering an inch or two of the window surface reduces the light in a room significantly. Hang them as high as you can, near the ceiling line if possible. It will add height to the room, making it appear larger and less boxlike.

Use creative ideas for curtain rods as well. A garden room might do well with a smooth, long branch made into a rod. A sports oriented family room might be inspired by a ski or a hockey stick. Even an old boat oar would do in the right setting.

Use your imagination, use your creativity, and save that cash!

Kathy Wilson is an author, columnist, and editor of several popular home and garden websites. For hundreds of free do it yourself home and garden ideas, please visit her websites now at and

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