How to Create a Window Treatment Without Sewing

You don’t need a sewing machine, or even a needle. You just need your imagination and some beautiful fabric. Then you can create a custom window treatment in an afternoon, And probably for hundreds of dollars less than you might pay for a custom made treatment from a decorator.

Choose colors for your window treatment.

What’s your color scheme? How about a bright palette of orange, pink and aqua? No? Well then go back to your boring wedgwood blue daringly splashed with blah beige. You can coordinate with your present furnishings, or find a fabric you love, and decorate around it. The fabric in the picture is a dark giant check of red and black on gold that goes great with white, ivory, black, red, gold or tan. Someone very tasteful picked it out. Different colors can be selected through the person available at site. The selection of the best colors will be done and decoration will be great. The charges of the machines will be under the budget of the person to receive the desired results. 

Measure your windows.

What we’re doing here is a giant swoop of fabric for a window eight feet high and 48 inches across. The corners or high points will be a foot above the window frame, and the fabric will drape to the floor and have about ten inches extra to “puddle”. Your windows may be higher than that you understand, so you will have to get out the doodad with the little numbers and hash marks (yardstick or measuring tape) or have someone stand there who is exactly eight feet tall.

Shop for fabric for your window treatment.

Go to the fabric store or shop online for 8.5 yards of fabric (for those eight foot windows.). Find a faux silk fabric, or something with the weight of taffeta. Here I used a polytaffeta with a nice body to it. The selvage edges, the tightly woven ones that don’t have to be hemmed, run the long way on the fabric. It is all one long piece, and you don’t even have to hem the two 48 inch ends. Leave them be, or use stitchwichery (a bonding agent) to iron in a little hem on each end. Very shallow though, because there is no “back side” to this window treatment. (The fabric shown is $30.94 a yard at Griffon Fabrics, so the cost was approximately $262 before tax.

Buy window treatment “jewelry.”

Buy stylish hardware to hold your fabric. These are called tiebacks, holdbacks or “medallions.” But you won’t be using them to tie anything back. They will be installed vertically, like two upside down hooks, so your gorgeous fabric can swoop across them.

Install hardware.

Now you need your ladder, maybe a drill, and a screwdriver, or any vaguely handy person who happens to wander by. (Maybe that 8 footer.) Or maybe you already have lots of holes in your wall perfectly positioned where you want the tiebacks installed. Hang one tieback on each side of the window, approximately a foot above the window corner. Remember, the part of the tieback that extends is the part you want at the bottom. The fabric will gather together as it lays behind the extended part.

Swoop your window treatment fabric. (Here, “swoop” is a verb.)

Place ladder at right corner of window. Locate midpoint or center of fabric length. Make a chalk mark, or mark it with a pin. Now find the spot 3 feet to right of the center of the fabric, and gather the fabric together loosely in your hand, sort of like hand pleating. Place the gathered point of the fabric behind the “hook” on the hardware or tieback. Now move ladder and do the same on the other side,three feet to the left of the fabric center. This should give you a six foot swoop.(noun.) If your window is wider than 48 inches, you will need more swoop.

Fluff and poof.

Now you’ve got gathers and loose pleats at the right and left corners of your window treatment, right? And the most scrunched gathered part is behind the decorative part of the tieback, right? Now fluff, poof and blouse the fabric hanging down from the corners. Spread it so it hangs wide and puddles the floor. If not centered, adjust. Or leave one side longer than the other just because you want to. If the swoop (noun) isn’t swoopy enough, pull it down in the center until you’re madly in love with it. (Hint: While you’re blousing the fabric to make your window treatment look full and dramatic, notice which colors show the most. You can arrange and rearrange it until the colors you want are the most prominent. (Here, I wanted more red to show, and the black to be subtle. But that’s me.)

Tassle time.

If you bought some nice full looking tassles in coordinating colors, now is the time to put them on. Just hang them from the tie backs and let the fabric ooze around them.

Hang sheers for the sheer fun of it.

Hang sheers on a tension rod inside the window frame just because they will make your window treatment look so …. treated.

Who cares about privacy?

Oh, you do? Then you’ll want to hang curtain panels over the sheers, or instead of them, to keep Tom from peeping. Remember, your swoopy window treatment does not open and close, it just swoops and looks elegant, or wild, or outrageous, depending on your fabric choice. So here’s the order: First the window of course; on top of that, the sheers; on top of those the open-shut curtains; and on top of them and to the sides, your glorious, exuberant sweeping fabric window treatment.

Are you good or what?

What do you mean “what”? You’re good. Stand back and look at your finished window treatment. (Yes get down off the ladder first, silly.) Really, people will think Martha S. has been at your house. You’re that good.

Careful now.

Speaking of ladders, um, be careful. If you’re there alone, and the attendant is out to lunch, keep your cell phone with you. Then if you fall, you can call someone who hopefully cares. And have someone to chat with while you’re waiting for the ambulance.