Inexpensive Tricks to Dress Up Your Windows

Author: Alecia Pirulis

Different types of curtains.

Image via Wikipedia

Watching all of the starlets in their long, draping gowns at the Emmys makes me think of … well, curtains. After watching the parade of gowns on Sunday, I started to realize that my living room and kitchen curtains are looking a little tired. They need a little sparkle and a little pizzazz to get them up to red carpet standards.

Even though I want a “wow” factor, I want to do it at off-the-rack, bargain-basement prices. You can find great curtains at inexpensive prices if you are willing to shop around, or you can get creative. Measure your windows (length and width) and keep the measurements handy when you go shopping.

Find curtain rods that you like (they don’t have to be brand new; you can find them at thrift stores, garage sales, and flea markets). Decide if you want to hang the rods as-is or if you want to paint them. A can of spray paint can make a plain, wooden rod a fancy silver, gold, or even red in no time.

If you don’t want curtains, a swag will also add a nice finish to your window. You can go to the fabric store, find something in a pattern and color that complements your room, and have it cut. While you are in the store, pick up a package of fusible bonding web if you can’t sew. Use the bonding strips to make a seam on each end and then drape the fabric over the rod.

A very inexpensive and clever way to create curtains for your room is to use shower curtains. From bold flowers to animal prints to geometric designs, you can easily find fabric shower curtains to match your space. If you want a full look, get two shower curtains per window. If you want it less full, you can cut the shower curtain down the middle, sew edges, and hang.

In the kitchen, tea towels make great café-style curtains. Just get some clip rings and a rod, clip the towels to the rings, stand back and enjoy. They are lightweight enough to let the light through and they look amazing. I found some antique ones on Etsy.com that I intend to use in my kitchen – lightweight, fun, and super easy.

Clip rings are great. Pick up a set or two of these and you can turn anything into a curtain – a tablecloth, decorative outdoor flags, sewn-together cut-out football jerseys … anything. When my son was younger and going through a “penguin” phase, I found cute blankets covered with penguins and turned those into curtains for his room.

If you want something but you don’t want anything as traditional as fabric, try hanging beads, strips of ribbon, or even squares of paper. Go to the craft isle and pick up some scrapbook paper. Put two sheets back-to-back so both sides are decorative. Cover them with clear contact paper and punch a hole at the center top and center bottom. Repeat with the paper until you have several “panels.” Attach the panels with paper clips and hang the string from a curtain rod with a clip ring.