Decorating With Gail: Inexpensive and Easy Window Treatments

February 12th, 2013 posted by Gail

Old window with dirty curtain Before I go any further, I must admit something to all of you – I DON’T SEW! That was my bad news. Now for my good news – you do not have to know how to sew in order to create a multitude of simple and inexpensive treatments for your windows. It’s summer time. Let in the sun light! Research studies have shown that peoples moods are affected by the weather. Perhaps that is one of the reasons why todays window stylists are displaying lighter window treatments. Following are some creative and simple ideas on how to create unique window treatments without breaking the bank.

Silk garlands come with many leaves and flower variations.

You can buy them with plain leaves or embellished with flowers that can easily be coordinated with the colors in your room. A standard size kitchen window often requires only 2 garlands. Wrap the garlands loosely around your curtain rod and you have a simple, natural looking window treatment. // One of the best places to purchase garlands is at craft stores. They often go on sale at the same time as all of the silk flowers, sometimes for as much as 33% off. If you are not in a rush to decorate your windows, check your newspapers and shop around for a good sale.

Another interesting choice for window treatments are the use of twig grapevines.

These are very inexpensive and create a charming, rustic atmosphere. The grapevine often comes in a roll. Simply cut the roll open (being careful not to cut through the twisted strands of grapevine) and carefully wind loosely around your curtain rod. You can leave the grapevine as the sole window treatment, or embellish by randomly placing silk flowers into the vines. Raffia (or any rustic bow) bows also work well.

Hang a pre-made and decorated swag directly over your window.

The most economical way to do this is to measure the width of your window and purchase a swag of approximately the same length. Then, you can pull your entire room together by using 3 or 4 colors in the rooms color scheme and select dried or silk flowers to decorate the swag. This produces a more “custom” appearance, as you are selecting your own colors, plus saves money when you do the arrangement yourself. Hang the swag directly over your curtain rod, within a couple of inches. Many people move into homes where there are already existing mini blinds or vertical blinds on the windows. Often these would not have been your choice for a window covering, but with prices for window treatments as high as they are, it is difficult to justify changing them.

A great way to “customize” existing vertical blinds is by the use of wallpaper borders. Select colors and a pattern that coordinates with your room. Home improvement stores are an excellent source for borders. Borders are often categorized in large notebooks, by pattern and colors. Stores usually allow you to sign out the books so that you can go home and confirm the colors and pattern that you have selected work for you, before you place the order. I highly recommend the self adhesive borders. The borders come in a roll (one roll will be more than adequate for the project and usually costs less than $25). The rolls work like stickers. Simply unroll, cut and stick onto your valance. There are many options available for the application of the border. You may decide to apply the border directly onto the valance, or perhaps cut out patterns from the border and randomly place onto the valance. Use your imagination! Have fun cropping the design and placing it where you feel it works best. When the project has been completed, you have perked up your drab verticals without spending a fortune to replace them and have given your room a custom look! Don’t throw away any unused border. You may decide to customize more of your room. Think about adding cut out border pieces to lampshades, over archways or on decorative wooden shelving. The possibilities are endless!

Another tip:

during the holiday season, valances and garlands look wonderfully festive and warm up your entire room when you carefully string mini white lights around them!


about the author Gail has been a stay at home mom for 7 yrs, since the birth of her first son. She resides with her husband and 2 sons (7 & 5) outside of Scottsdale, AZ. Originally from NY, she has her bachelors degree from the University of Massachusetts, in Fashion Marketing. She has always loved the study of color and design, and have a passion for decorating! She currently writes an ongoing “decorating on a budget” column for several moms newsletters and magazines.

Gail (7 Posts)


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Cindy Rowe
Cindy Rowe (7 Posts)

Cindy Rowe is the owner/editor of Crazylou Creations blog. On the blog, you will find a little bit of crazy, and a whole lot of fun! As a FT working mother, she still finds time to create crafts, play around in the kitchen, plan parties and exercise. You'll find all of this and more on her blog!


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