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Affordable Window Treatments

by Tricia Goss

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When you are decorating a room, window treatments make for the perfect finishing touch. However, if you have shopped recently for blinds, drapes, curtain rods or accessories, you know that topping off a window can be expensive! If you think creatively and know the right places to look, you can have affordable window treatments with a designer look for a fraction of the cost.

Start with the hardware. If you are hanging curtains or drapes, you might want something more creative than the old-fashioned curtain rods you grew up with. But after pricing the more fashionable café-style rods, you might think you are limited to those dated white metal rods. Instead of settling, get resourceful. What do you have around your home that could work as an interesting and decorative rod that would also suit the room? For example, if you are decorating your son's bedroom, a pair of hockey sticks set on café rod hooks might be just the thing. If you simply cannot find anything in your home, look to nature. Driftwood or a weathered but sturdy branch could become a beautiful rod for free!

If you are seeking drapes or curtains, start by shopping at discount and outlet stores. Many stores such as Wal-Mart, Big Lots or Anna's Linens carry attractive window treatments at reasonable prices. If you shop around and simply are not able to find anything you like that fits your budget, consider making your own. You do not need to be proficient on the sewing machine to create curtains that you will be proud to hang. In fact, you can make them without sewing at all!

The simplest way to make homemade curtains is by finding flat sheets that accent your room's décor. Purchase two twin-size flat sheets for each window you wish to cover. You will notice that the sheets already have a seam sewn across the top that looks very much like the seam on a curtain used to "thread" the curtain rod through. Depending on the size of your window, you may be able to simply insert the rod into the sheet (if it is sewn shut at the ends, carefully tear out the stitch) and hang the pair of sheets as-is. If you would like them shorter, measure the sheets to your window and cut them a few inches longer than the length you would like. Purchase some iron-on adhesive at a craft store, and follow the easy instructions to fuse the bottom hem. Voila! You have a custom set of drapes.

Once you have the perfect curtains, you might want to embellish them with tiebacks. Again, look around your home for items you already own that fit the bill. Some ideas include bandanas or neckties, colorful beaded string or elastic, or even hair bows and ribbons. You can also find inexpensive tassels at fabric stores.

If you are hoping to enhance your room with window blinds, you might want to start by shopping online. There are many discount blind retailers on the Internet; you will merely need to install them yourself. If you possess an aptitude for painting or drawing, consider purchasing economical fabric roll-up blinds and painting them with a simple scene or design that complements your room. Another option to consider is different varieties of outdoor blinds, such as bamboo or PVC blinds, which are significantly less expensive than typical indoor blinds. The bamboo blinds might be suitable if, for example, you have other bamboo touches throughout the room. The PVC blinds could work in a playroom or game room.

You can enhance the attractiveness of your room without spending a bundle. Take your time, shop around, and think outside the box!

Reviewed August 2017

Take the Next Step:

  • You can have a designer look at a fraction of the cost. You just need to think creatively, take your time and shop around. Also, don't forget to search around your home and yard for things that you might already own that can be used.
  • Find more ideas for affordable window treatments in the Dollar Stretcher Library.
  • Join those who 'live better...for less' - Subscribe to The Dollar Stretcher newsletter, a weekly look at how to stretch both your day and your dollar! Subscribers get a copy of our ebook Little Luxuries: 130 Ways to Live Better...For Less for FREE!

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