Cheap And Easy Curtain Ideas

May 11, 2017



One of the best ways to decorate a room and define its style is with the addition of curtains. Of course, window treatments are not cheap and finding the right ones can be tough. Years ago, I couldn't find the curtains I wanted so I asked a friend to make them. She told me no way, I will teach you. 

You can do it yourself.

She generously took the time to show me the basics and I have been whipping up my own curtains ever since. 

Of course, I am no expert. I don't have a solid sewing background, so I use my middle school knowledge and what I learned from my friend at my kitchen table that summer.

And I cheat. 

Trust me, if I can do this, anyone can. 

Here are my cheap and easy curtain ideas for the living room, kitchen, bedroom and bath. 


I have made custom curtains for every room in my house.

And now so can you. 

Just click on the links for the full tutorials.

Customizing Store Bought Curtains With Trim


http://www.exquisitelyunremarkable.com/2013/05/decorating-cheats-embellishing-store.html

This is the ultimate cheat, one that anyone can accomplish and the first DIY curtain job I tackled in my new cottage, over a decade ago. I knew I wanted red valances and the ones I found in the clearance bin were perfect, but boring. That's ok, a little bit of inexpensive trim fixed that problem. 

Stitch it on or use fabric glue or iron on tape and you have a custom curtain in minutes. 

Fabulous.

Box Pleat Valance


DIY Box Pleat Valance Tutorial

My next curtain creation was a little (ok, a lot) more involved, but still pretty easy. I wanted a box pleat valance in my master bathroom, but I did not want the hassle of cutting and adding a board. So I  created one that would hang on a regular rod. 

Don't sew? No problem, this too can be made with glue or iron on tape. And don't be fooled, either way, this fancy number is really all about the ironing. 

I promise.

Ring Clip Rooster Curtains


How To Make Ring Clip Curtains

Ring clips are an amazing way to make curtains without using a single stitch. You can clip up napkins and vintage tea towels, any fabric you like, just cut to size and clip it on. 

I chose a little more difficult path. I fell in love with this darling red rooster fabric, added a lining and coordinating border and then clipped them up.

It was still super simple and yup, no sew if you prefer.

Easy Ribbon Valance


Easy DIY Ribbon Valance

Here is where DIY comes in very, very handy. My daughter feel in love with a Pottery Barn bedding set. She just had to have the duvet and shams. I said ok, but when it came to adding the curtains, I drew the line. First of all, they were very expensive, and second, they were too matchy match for my taste.

So I found a coordinating fabric for next to nothing and created my own. This one is took just one seam (or glue or tape) and few ribbons to make. 

I didn't have to dole out anymore cash to Pottery Barn and she got a look she loved. 

Perfect. 

Cheap And Easy Linen Valances



Now, my ring clip roosters are absolutely charming and love, love, love them, but they had been hanging on those windows for over a decade when I got the itch to lighten the look up a bit. They came down and I replaced them with a very simple linen version. 


Sewing with linen was new to me, but I persevered and am super happy with the look. I also learned that some fabric comes in a double wide width, so I didn't have to add seams.

Who knew? 

Easy Lace Valance 


How To Make A Lace Valance

The newest curtain in my home hangs in my kitchen. After I replaced the roosters, I felt like the window over the sink needed a new treatment, as well. This pretty lace called out to me and even though I had never sewed with lace either, I decided to give it a shot. 

It came together very quickly and with the addition of a simple trim, it's a real showstopper. 

Not bad for a girl with rudimentary sewing skills, huh?

Like I said, if I can do it, sew can you. πŸ˜‰

Or no sew. 

That detail is up to you.  

Do you make your own curtains? 

Looking for some more easy DIYs? Check out how I fixed and prettied up an upholstered chair at DIYIdeaCenter.com. They have DIY curtain ideas there, too! 





You can also check out these easy projects...









56 comments:

  1. I love your lace valance! I've been buying lace curtains, etc. for a year now whenever I'd see them at thrift stores to give to my future d-i-l as their wedding will be at their farm next fall. It will be a mixture of elegant and farm and she will cover the hay bales the guests will sit on with lace. Maybe I'll start thrifting for some lace panels for myself now!

    I also love your simple linen valance on clip rings and this is how I did a longer curtain for the window over my kitchen sink. It gets the morning sun too intently before leaves are on the trees so I took a vintage white cotton sheet that had an edging of crochet and just folded part of it over to be the valance and clipped it to the rings--oh yes, and I simply cut up the middle for two panels and put the raw side on the far ends so it wouldn't show. Whenever I take it down to wash and starch I know I need to hem those raw ends but right now good enough is good enough.

    But other than that I could never be as creative as some of your lovely curtain projects. I do know that I've been lucky enough to find gorgeous full length curtains at GW for this house. I mean really, why would newlyweds ever spend a fortune for house goods without first shopping at thrift stores?

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    1. Dewena, the wedding sounds so charming! I can just picture the lace covered hay bales...so romantic. And yes, our first place was filled with yard sale, thrift store and curbside finds. The thrill was in the hunt as we tried to furnish our little home on a very tight budget. Makes me think of that song "I Miss The Hungry Years" by Neil Sedaka. Oh boy did I just date myself! πŸ˜‰

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  2. Looking pretty . . .
    I enjoy your cottage style . . .
    And I liked your "sew can you" comment . . .
    I used to make my own valences and curtains . . .
    My mom made some gorgeous valances, quite formal, for me many years ago, for our 100 year old gem.
    Now she could sew and design!
    I keep it simple, most of my windows having nothing on them.
    Roman shades in the MBR though, for evening privacy . . . Pottery Barn sale . . .

    You are one talented gal Kim!
    Happy Mother's Day . . . I'll be thinking of you!

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    1. Thank you, Lynne. My grandmothers were master sewers as well. I am not sure they would approve of my handiwork! Or they may just be so happy that I was sewing at all. Wouldn't it have been lovely to have a chance to find out? Or to learn from them!

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  3. I love every single one of these, Kim!! I have often used clip rings with whatever fabric I had to create curtains, and sometimes I hem with that iron on hemming stuff. But I DO NOT SEW!! Ever!! When I was living in NYC there used to be a great discount fabric store a few blocks from my house - I use to buy a few yards and drape it over a rod, and pin it just right, to create cool valances. When the budget is tight, the decorator gets creative, no doubt!!

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    1. Ring clips are the best, Debbie, I agree. And yes, agree, tight budgets are the best motivation to get creative.

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  4. Love all of these Kim. I do not sew either but you have inspired me with these easy peasy ways to make curtains.
    Happy Thursday. Have a great rest of the week.
    xoxo
    Kris

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    1. Thanks Kris! That's exactly what I was hoping to do! πŸ™‚

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  5. Thank you for sharing your creative curtain ideas. They all are beautiful.

    I do like the beads hanging down behind the curtains in the easy ribbon valance.
    I bet my cats would too!!! ;)
    Hugs,
    Kathy

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    1. Thanks Kathy! Ah yes, those beads! The kitties loved them. They also loved the netted canopy that we used to have over her bed. Kitties and home decor do not always mix!

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  6. What a great variety of curtains... and they all look so nice. :)

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  7. I have made many curtains using iron on tape. Nobody is the wiser when the curtains are hung. You have such good ideas. :)

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    1. Nobody is the wiser, you are so right Stacey! And thank you. πŸ™‚

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  8. I love all your DIY curtains and I have stolen, I mean copied, your ideas. I made a linen valance and used the clip on rings for my dining room. Love them. And, I have used kitchen towels to make two different sets of cafΓ© curtains for my kitchen.

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    1. Steal and copy away, AnnMarie!! It makes sharing all worth it! πŸ™‚

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  9. These are all so cute, Kim! I've often wanted to make my own curtains and now that I've fallen in love with the little clip on rings, that shouldn't be so hard. Looking for fabric now. My bay window is tough so custom made is the answer. Hope I don't mess this up!!

    You inspire you DIY'er!!

    Jane x

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    1. You've got this, Jane! I agree that they're a great choice for a bay window...pick a fabric, clip and done! Fabulous!

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  10. Like Dewena, I shop thrift stores. I've found some gems there. In fact, as I think about it, all my curtains and drapes are either from thrift stores, or I made them myself. Ring clips make it very easy. Whoever invented those is a genius. ;-) Nice collection of DIY curtains, Kim. Hugs.

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    1. Thank you, Nancy! Yes, those ring clips are an amazing little gadget aren't they? They make us look so good, don't they? πŸ˜‰ Hugs!!

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  11. Love them all, Kim.I just love that rooster fabric! I have done a few of these in my time since we used to move so much when we were military and every house seemed to have either more windows or different windows that didn't fit what I already had. Raising three kids and with one salary, I had to get very creative! :) Have a wonderful weekend! xxx

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    1. And you are super creative, Maria Elena! xx

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  12. I remember many of these...it's weird...I do sew but mostly it involves quilting so I have never made my own curtains. I have purchased them in regular stores but also thrift stores...I got a lovely set of priscilla curtains for my bedroom a few years ago in a mission store.

    You are always so handy and creative :)

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    1. I bet you could whip up some fabulous window treatments with your skills, Deb! :)

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  13. Beautiful sewing! I like just a valance for kitchens as well. I have also thought about making our own curtains for our son's bedroom. He lives in college (law school) but I still think of that room as his room. I want to change the color a bit. I have made curtains before but so simple. I don't have formal teachings in sewing either. You do beautiful work!!!

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    1. Thank you, Angela. I think that formal sewing skills are wonderful and would probably make for easier work, but it seems like our cheats work just fine, don't they? πŸ˜‰

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  14. Kim, I love these simple ideas! Your curtains look beautiful and fresh. I love the rooster ones too, and love how you dressed up the other plainer styles. It's true you can do that with very little effort. I have done some of it & was amazed. I love your cottage home! Wish I could come take a tour with you!

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    1. Thank you, Florence and come on over. We have can tea and discuss thrifting!! :)

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  15. All good ideas and I love the one about adding a fun trim to jazz it up a bit. Here's my little curtain tip...I bought a flat twin white sheet at Walmart for about $5 and hung it (with curtain clips) upside down so it would look like a natural "hem" at the bottom. My white "curtains" in my living room? Yep, they're flat sheets. :)

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    1. Great idea, Lisa! Now I have to go peek at your living room to see. I am off to find a summertime window solution for my own living room in a bit, so your tip is timely. Thanks!! :)

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    1. Thanks Carol! And super easy! ;)

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  17. Great ideas! I've made all my own curtains but some of the windows are still quite bare so new ideas are appreciated.
    Amalia
    xo

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    1. I bet your curtains are fabulous...and done the right way! πŸ™‚

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  18. As always ... great ideas. My curtains will be in need of replacing this Autumn. I made most of our curtains. The kitchen is the only room that we purchased the curtains.
    Thank you for the inspiration.
    Carla

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    1. I am in the process of updating a room or two right now, Carla. I used to change the curtains out each season, but in the last few years, I have gotten lazy. This year, I am lightening things up for summer. It's about time! :)

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  19. I pinned your post ... again, thank you for the inspiration.

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    1. And thank you! I love getting pinned!! ♡

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  20. Kim, really good how-to's. I love every curtain you have made, they all look so pretty and perfect for your lovely home. I have never been one to have "curtains" at any of my windows. The ready or custom made ones anyway. My curtains all seem to need cleaning at least once a year what with my drafty, old-house windows, and if I couldn't throw them in the wash I wouldn't have them. Plus, I love the look of lamps in the windows and with heavy curtains you can't see them. I have used ribbons for tie backs, tie- ups and trims. A good old lace panel from WalMart is what I love and have used forever..Happy Week..xxoJudy

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    1. You know, Judy, I am taking a page from your playbook this season. I took the curtains in my bedroom down to wash them and the room looks so light and open, I am leaving them off for a bit. I was ready to paint and redo the room (after more than and a decade, I was getting antsy), but once the curtains came off, the room looks totally different, light and bright and well, perfect!! So I thank you, my wallet thanks you and most of all, my handy (would be doing all the painting) husband thanks you!! πŸ˜‰ xoxo

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  21. Hi Kim, Your ideas and how to's are amazing. I do love to sew easy home decor and have designed many a valance, curtain, pillows, table runners, slipcovers and more with my trusted sewing machine. I'm by no means a seamstress, but I'm up for always creating my own styles with all the fabric choices out there. With our new windows, I love the less is more look and just a soft light valance or side curtains to frame and not cover the pretty view.
    Thanks for sharing and always inspiring. Happy Mother's Day! xo

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    1. I am a big fan of the valance and the creating our own styles, our own ways mindset, too!! :)

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  22. These curtains are super pretty! Thanks for sharing them. Have a wonderful week
    Maria

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    1. Thank you so much, Maria! I am glad you found some inspiration today. :)

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  23. Great ideas! I don't sew, at all, but I think I could attempt couple of these. ;) Thanks for sharing.

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    1. You definitely could Kristi...you are super talented! πŸ™‚

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  24. Thanks for all the how-to's! Like some of the others have already commented, I don't sew. No hand-stitching nor machine. I will check out some of your no-sew ideas!

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    1. Thanks Melanie! There are so many great no sew options today, some that don't even involve glue. My favorite is using ring clips. Just cut (or not depending what you are using) clip and go!!

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  25. As I'm typing this I have a YouTube sewing video on in the background. I'm on a sewing kick again, after taking a sewing break for a bit I'm now on a roll :). Your curtains are adorable and so inspirational Kim! Love that first one, but I'm a blingy kind of gal.

    xxx

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    1. I go in sewing spurts too, Doreen. My machine generally hates me, I don't know what I ever did to it, but the cursing probably doesn't help! πŸ˜‰Can't wait to see what you are whipping up! I need to hit YouTube and learn how to recover cushions. Ugh...that is not going to be easy.

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  26. Hi Kim, I love all of your pretty curtain ideas. Thanks for sharing them with us.
    Enjoy the beautiful weather and week.
    Julie

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    1. Thanks Julie!! And yes, enjoy the weather…it’s finally warm. I hope it sticks around!! πŸ™‚

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  27. Curtains do make a window.
    Lovely ideas here, thanks for sharing.

    All the best Jan

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    1. Thank you, Jan! I agree, curtains to make the window!

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  28. How wonderful that you had a friend who taught you to sew rather than doing the sewing for you! What a blessing that was, for years to come! I love to sew and have made many curtains for my homes through the years. On our last move, I was so exhausted with the downsizing that I had a friend make the curtains I have now in the home, they are just a simple valance with a ruffle, but you can customize so much more with curtains you make yourself. I love all your curtain ideas! I haven't had a lace curtain in years. I read Dewena's comment above, and think that lace covering haybales is a darling idea for a wedding. Another great post, I love all your curtain ideas :)

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    1. Marilyn, I was so mad at her at the time and I told her so, but she was stubborn and in the end, she gave me a great gift. Sounds like we both have talented sewing friends. Thank heaven for those ladies...and thank you for the sweet comment. πŸ™‚

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