Thursday, May 16, 2013

Stylish Window Treatments for under $150

Design Delimma:   
Seven large windows in need of coverings in rooms with nine and ten foot ceilings.

 The house we moved into has many "big" projects waiting for funds to get started, so affording treatments for the windows in the house was not a part of the overall budget plan in the first year.

There are seven windows between the sitting room and dining room alone!   
 Buying panels would run about $89-$100+ each for a basic linen version.  That doesn't include rods and hardware!  I did not have $1500+ to spend on store bought curtains and hardware.

Did I mention I love to be inspired? If there is such a thing as a inspiration "addict" I would be classified as one. Dilemmas and problems only serve to be a platform for an inspiring solution.    And that is why when I saw a post by French Country Cottage where she beautifies her office with some wonderful window treatments made from drop cloths,(see her post here), I became inspired to try my hand at this medium.

For many of you, I may be a little late jumping on the drop cloth bandwagon as this has been trendy for a while.  But while the trend may have been around, the style is definitely the classic look I wanted.  So, I figure my take on this window treatment will just add to the options available and show people how "budget friendly" options does not mean sacrificing great style. 
With very little effort and minimal sewing skills you too can have this look!

Bottom line:  If you can sew a straight line, you can have fabulous drapes.

Lowe's dropcloth--cost $22. 
Bonus side note:  I did not realize the size of these drop cloths.  This one package provides material that is ample long enough to cover a window that has a 10 ft. ceiling!  
And wide enough for two panels to come from one drop cloth.
Here's the math:   1 panel cost = $11
The fabric feels heavy and is easy to work with.  There is a stiffener in the fabric, and so you will want to decide if you want to launder them first.  
I decided to go with the stiff feel as I wanted these curtains to have 
a more formal, albeit "relaxed" look. :o)

So first step:
Carefully cut the drop cloth in half along the seam that divides the cloth shown here.

This gives you one panel that already has "finished" edges, 
and one panel that will need the raw edge turned over and finished.

Next,  "finish" the raw edge on the panel that you just cut.  

I recommend that you get out your ironing board and iron 
the length of your panel edge to the desired finished width--turning over 
the edge along the length and pressing it in place.

  I folded over my edge a little less than 1/2 inch.  Fold it 2 times so the raw edge is completely hidden 
and the side seam matches the rest of the manufactured seams already on the panel.  
(I sewers out there...I confess, 
I am lazy when it comes to pinning.  
But this fabric is so stiff it makes it easy to "cheat" successfully if you press it first with the iron.)

Make sure you match the double stitch lines of the other seams.  
This is simply stitching a second seam close to the other edge.  
I used my sewing matching "foot" as my guide,
 so I cannot tell you "exactly" the distance from the edge.  

The main thing I kept telling myself was that the other existing seams 
were not perfectly straight or even, 
so I didn't need to get hung up on my stitch line being perfect.  

Once you have finished this seam.  The only thing left to do is spend the time to really iron out the creases that are pressed into the fabric from the way it is packaged.  You will need heavy steam and/or a mist to really release all the crinkles and creases. the panels are done.  What next?  Well, I hadn't thought out what I was going to do for a rod yet. Courtney had mentioned a cute little rod at Lowe's with a birdie on it...and I saw it there...very, very cute--but I needed an option I could repeat 7 times.  So while I thought about how I would do this and not spend money, I used thumbtacks to see how long I wanted the panels.

Yup, I tacked it up on my wall.  Stayed that way for about 2 weeks.

Embarrassing, I know. But I needed to 'feel' out how I wanted the room to look.  The good news is I loved the panel "look".  I also realized I wanted to keep the transom uncovered and have the curtain start right under the transom.  
Also, after further consideration and perusing some of my favorite rooms on pinterest and blogs, I realized that all the rooms that I really am drawn to, don't have super flashy curtain rods.  
Simple, thin iron rods always look clean and classic. 
 (Here is an older post by Cote de Texas that shows some great window treatments.) .  

My design solution came from a surprising place:  Walmart.
I was picking up some items in Walmart 
and wandered by their homegoods area and saw these cafe rods--instantly I was intrigued.  
They were simple and classic, and I rather liked the little flourish on the finial.  
At the price, they were worth a try...(clips and rod $6.99 each).

Not knowing if they would work, I just put the one up.  It was so easy, I did it myself. 

After arranging the clips to get the right pleats, I added a large tassel to finish it off.
 And I love the finished look!

Here is what I did in my dining room.  
I pre-washed the drop cloths and allowed them to "puddle" on 
the ground for a more relaxed feel.

The best part--7 window treatments that I love,
 total cost --approximately $148 (with a coupon). :o)

French Country Cottage

Rooted In Thyme


also at:
TTF CoHost 1


  1. wow, i am so impressed! who knew? i am thinking i could use dropcloths for some projects of my own...
    i do love your decorating style :)

    1. Thank you Bev! You are so sweet to comment. I am definitely hooked on drop cloths and have a few more ideas/projects I want to work on too. Do share your ideas! Hopefully I will be able to post some of my finished projects in the near future. :o)

  2. You really did a great job on the curtains! I love the look of the drop cloth and the simple rods. Amazing price for all those windows...way to go! Thanks for joining Diann and I at TTF!


    1. Thank you Linda! As you can see, I am still new to the blogging world of parties. I am so happy I found your blog to share! Thank you for encouraging so many people with your site.

  3. Wonderful job! They look so pretty. Would love for you to share at Simple & Sweet Fridays. New Follower!

    Take Care,

  4. Thank you Jody! Thank you for visiting my blog. I will definitely share at Simple & Sweet this week! Blog hugs to you!

  5. These turned out so great. I haven't done a dropcloth project yet, but I think I'm inspired to try some drapes for my dining area too! Thanks for the great tutorial.

    Jeanette @ Creating a Life

  6. awesome curtains. can I ask you where you got your slip covers for the chairs from or did you purchase them like that? I am looking to give my dining room a make-over and have thought about covering the expansive Crate and Barrel chairs in a creamy slip cover??? Christine from

    1. Christine,
      thank you for your note. I did not make the slipcover for the chairs. They were purchased on sale from a local store in Palm Desert. They are a basic dining chair with a tight slip in canvas. You can't see from this photo, but the back has a ballerina-type lace up bow. That's why I bought them....couldn't resist. :o)

  7. Wow! It's an impressive job. The curtains looks perfect : I love the simple yet stylish look.

  8. LOVE the drop cloth panels.....very classic and simple!! Have you ever tried to use electrical conduit as your curtain rod? You can purchase various sizes (with regard to the 'thickness' of the rod) at Lowes/Home Depot...a 12 foot section will run you less than 5 bucks!! I have used them both inside and outside, they always turn out great!!

  9. I really like your style, Aimee. I'm not really keen about splurging on window treatments, so I'm glad I saw your post. I love how simple the steps are, yet they add such a classic and sophisticated feel. My kitchen is all marble and I think that look would fit perfectly on my windows. Thank you for posting this up. You've been a huge help! :)

    Blake Bennett @ Window Pro

    1. Thank you Blake! I hope you enjoy your new look. Thank you for stopping by.-aimee


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