Ideas for Cheap "Curtains" and Window Privacy
by Nancy, the Frugal Decorating Diva
Description: How to make inexpensive curtains from everyday items.
Windows are a constant in all the places that we live, work and
play. They look out over scenes of other people where they
live, work and play. They provide both a decorating opportunity
and added privacy. No wonder we look for as many options for
working with them in our spaces as possible.
The most common option is adding "curtains" - some type of
drape or cover that partially or totally covers the window
and/or the view. Besides traditional window coverings, you
might want to consider some of these ideas for "cheap"
1. Sheets, especially white ones, make great curtains. You can
thread the rod through the bottom hem which is usually open on
both ends. They can be draped over rods as well.
2. Believe it or not, paper is becoming a very popular
"curtain" material. Consider parchment or butcher paper -
pleated and stencilled. Reinforce any grommet holes made for
hanging by using fabric or paper hole re-inforcers. These
curtains will last longer if, once "installed," they do not
have to be moved.
3. All kinds of linens (which you may already own) can become
curtains - tableclothes can be swagged over curtain rods in
many different folds. Tea towels, doilies, and placemats hung
from clothespins and drapery clips are also quite chic. Dresser
scarves can be hung straight down from wire strung between two
cup hooks INSIDE the window frame - I even use aprons tied to
the curtain rods as curtains in my cabin.
4. Other "fabric" items make great curtains. Consider hanging
pennants from a rope or folding neckties over your curtain
5. Dollar store shower curtains make GREAT curtains really
cheap. You can tie the curtains to rods with raffia (which I
have done), thread branches through the holes where the shower
hooks should have been (which I've also done) or use drapery
clips or shower curtain clips to hold them to regular rods
(which I have not done, but have seen done).
Now, about privacy. This idea is great where privacy is not an
issue. Hang crystals, and strings of curtains, as a "curtain".
Find a way to hang an extra curtain rod for your crystals. Use
a tension rod in a window frame, or hang an attractive rod from
hooks in the ceiling. You can create a beautiful arrangement by
varying the heights and spacing of your crystals along the
length of the rod.
This works with shells, buttons, beads - anything that can be
Where more privacy is required:
1. In my kitchen, I made a "curtain" of hanging plants in my
kitchen window. You can put a potted vine on the bottom shelf
of the window and let the vine grow around the window to frame
2. Modify your roller Shades - cover them with fabric, paint
them, stencil them, cover them with wallpaper, or filigree
them. Filigree them? Sure - draw a design on the shade and
then, using an exacto knife, cut out parts of the design.
3. Etch your window glass! You can get etching cream from craft
stores - be sure to wear gloves when working with it.
4. Use a stained lace tablecloth to "paint" your window glass.
Cut a piece of lace that will fit your window pane. Spray it
with stencil adhesive. Center it on the window, then spray with
two light coats of white paint. Let it dry and then peel the
lace. You don't want to do this on a really hot or cold day -
icy or sweaty windows don't take well to this project.
5. There are always shutters!
Hope some of these inspire you!
Nancy, the Frugal Decorating Diva, substitutes creativity for
money - and comes up with a better result. Read more about how
to do that at http://www.FrugalByDesign.com or email Nancy at
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