Have you noticed the price of window treatments lately? I couldn’t believe how costly some fabric and a few metal parts could be as I was researching what kind of shade to buy for our living room windows. There was just no way I could spend that kind of money on curtains. I got frustrated and gave up looking; time to try something else!
What I landed on was a combo of purchasing some inexpensive curtains and morphing them into shades. They turned out great and are very practical, so I thought I would share what I did.
You will only need three main things:
- some kind of fabric
- some kind of tension rod
- something to seal hems
First, material. We needed something thick that would suppress the sun’s heat. So, instead of buying yards and yards of fabric (which would have cost me a good chunk of change), I purchased a thick sun-blocking curtain from walmart.com. At $7 per curtain, these cost a lot less than if I had purchased a ton of fabric.
Next, tension rod. My husband found some thick wooden dowels at a thrift store and we used those to hang the shades. There were no nails or screws necessary; we simply sawed the dowels to the exact width of the window, stuck a felt pad on each end, and shoved them into place. So the dowels’ own tension is what is keeping the shades in place.
Third, sealing hems. I cut each curtain to the size of my windows and sealed the hems with stitch witchery (no sewing at all!). Since the length of the curtains I purchased was already to size, I only had to cut along one side of the fabric in order to make it the size I needed. Then I simply sealed the cut line with stitch witchery.
Lastly, hang them up and enjoy!
I’m still working on a method for rolling up the shades. Currently, I’m just literally rolling them up by hand and then jamming the fabric in between the window jams (ha). What I will do eventually is attach a thin dowel at the very bottom of each shade and stick a tiny felt pad on each end. That way, when I roll up the shades I have a better way of keeping the roll in place (again, the dowel’s tension will keep things in place).
That’s it! No cords, strings, nails, screws, grommets, or boning. Just fabric, stitch witchery, and dowels. I completed five window shades in about two hours, so it wasn’t terribly time consuming, either.
These shades look stylish, cost me little, and were super easy to make. You can make shades like these with any fabric of your choosing. If you need some shades on a tight budget, give these a try!