Making a DIY Window Treatment

In case you thought my window treatment was hard to do, I figured I’d share the steps I took to make it. I’ve told you often enough how I’m not a great seamstress, but my best method for learning is just hands-on. Visual works for me and that’s how I usually figure things out.

The whole window treatment.I just shared the whole kitchen last week, so click here for that post.  You can see that I took this treatment all the way to the crown molding and that way, not much of my window is covered.  Just skims the top of the window and allows in maximum light.

I loved having 3 fabrics mixed on my old window treatment and knew that I’d like to do the same with this one.  Only this time, I wanted to keep it simpler.  Stapled on a small board and hung on an L bracket was the method I chose to achieve this one.I think my board is 3″ by 1″.  You just want enough depth to have the board hang over the L bracket slightly.  Then screws are used to anchor the L bracket to the wall and again screws attach the board in place once you’re ready to hang it.  Easy, I promise!First, I measured the board and cut it about an inch or so on either side of my molding, so that it would wrap just to the edge of the window molding.  Then, cut your fabric to fit around the board.  I took into account the return on the board, so that the fabric would be wrapped around the board all the way to the wall.  You’ll see that better below. I cut a strip of the striped fabric and initially folded it over and sewed it, but when I got ready to staple it on the board, I decided I needed extra to wrap on top of the board, so I ended up cutting it to show more of the stripe.  So, you really don’t even need to double this, just figure out the width you want and cut enough to sew onto the main fabric.  I think mine is about 4-5″ in depth. Just be sure you add extra to staple on top of the board.  I had to cut 2 strips and sew them together in the middle.  Just iron that seam down and it will not even show.  I sewed it on a white part so it just disappeared.

Then just sew a straight seam and attach the header to the main fabric.  You will need to be pretty exact when you cut the main fabric.  If you have a large carpenters square, that would help make sure you keep a straight line when you are cutting across the fabric.  I had to go back and trim off excess fabric on one side to keep my main fabric nice and straight.  You don’t want one side longer than the other, so as long as you measure as you go, it will work out just fine.  I decided to use some leftover white fabric that I used for my slipcover to line the back.  I just think fabrics hang  better when they have a lining and since I had plenty of that fabric, I just cut strips and used it as lining.  I sewed it to the top and down the sides of my main fabric.  Left the bottom open, cause I wasn’t sure how I was going to attach my ruffle and get the lining in place too.

See, I definitely just figure things out as I go.

I turned the sides over and ironed and sewed them down.  Next, I cut strips out for my yellow ruffle on the bottom.  I didn’t have much of this fabric left, so I pieced it together and sewed little seams until I had enough of a strip to start putting pleats in.  I did use some lining fabric I had to line the back of this piece too.  Simply sew right sides together and flip over and iron.  At the open end, I started putting in the pleats.

I used a loose method of just pulling pleats in the fabric as I went along.  They aren’t measured precisely and if I had extra fabric I would have made them a little deeper.  As it is, they are a small box pleat, but when attached look more like a ruffle.  But, I am still happy with the way it turned out.  I did iron them down once I finished sewing and that made them a little more crisp and less ruffly.  Here’s a good visual link from Kelly, the slipcover girl for making pleats.

Putting right sides together again, I simply sewed the yellow pleated strip to the bottom of my treatment.  And now, I’m about done.  YAY!

Another trip to the ironing board to iron the seams down.  I learned this from my mom growing up.  I can’t even tell you how many times I watched her sew and press the seams as she went along.  Something stuck, not much else, but that part did. 🙂This is the last step.  My lining is still open on the bottom and the ruffle has been sewed on.  Instead of doing this part on the machine, I simply did a whip stitch.  Did you learn about whip stitching growing up?  My mom taught me that one too. And a whip stitch goes fast when you start on one side and move to the other with your needle and thread.  A whip stitch is just using a single strand of thread with a knot in it and you catch the next stitch across the fabric as you sew it down.  Hard to explain, but it’s easy to pull fabrics together like this when you don’t want to sew it on the machine.  Lots of pillows are finished off this way.

Now, we are ready to staple it on the board.I had some extra batting, so I stapled that on first.  Just seemed like softening the fabric on the board would be better, but it’s really not necessary.  Not sure it added anything to the final product.  I started on one corner, stapled it around the turn and added the staples on the top of the board that will not be seen.  Just keep moving around the board until you have it all attached.  You’ll want to be sure you keep the striped fabric (or whatever you use on top) the same distance hanging down in front.  I had to adjust that as I went along so a tape measure will  help with that.  You want it even on both sides with the fabric that is seen.

I pressed this with the iron too to keep it nice and crisp.  Time to hang this bad boy up now!  This is the fun part.  I screwed my small L brackets into the wall on either side of my window molding.  Just outside the molding and I opted to hang my treatment all the way to the crown molding, so my L bracket went right under the crown.

Then, I just sat the board on top of the L bracket, screwing a screw from underneath into the wood.  It doesn’t take a lot to keep this in place.  It’s pretty lightweight.  And that’s how I did it!  It has a slight return against the wall and I like how it looks finished.  I did end up taking it down and adding the trim later.  After looking at it, I just knew that adding some wide charcoal trim would totally finish it off and it did.  I found this wide trim at Hancock Fabrics and it was just what I needed.  To me, trim just adds the icing on the cake.   I attached the trim with fabric glue, so no seams to show. One final step of adding a dark tack on top of the trim here, anchors the treatment to the side of the window molding and holds it in place.  These fabrics just make me happy and smile every time I walk in the kitchen!

So, I hope this gives you the courage to try a sewing project yourself.  I am not kidding when I say that I really have no idea what I’m doing when I sew.  It’s trial and error.  If you handed me a pattern to try to figure out, I would pull my hair out.  This is not the professional way, it’s the Rhoda way.  But hey, if it works, that’s all that matters to me.

Do you sew and would you give something like this a try?? I hope you do!

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I’ve added some updated pics under My House link on my main page, so check those out if you’d like!

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And don’t forget to sign up for the Tamron lens giveaway if you haven’t already!  Some lucky winner will get a new lens to try out and it’s a fantastic one.

- Rhoda

Comments

  1. Hi Rhoda! You are always doing something fun over at your house. Your window treatment looks fantastic…just right for your room. Love the combination of fabrics and colors, bright and beautiful just like you. It’s been great catching up on a few of your posts, sweetie. xo Lidy

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