featuring guest authors; crafting tips and projects; recipes from food editor and sleuthing sidekick Cloris McWerther; and decorating, travel, fashion, health, beauty, and finance tips from the rest of the American Woman editors.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Jeanie has a great idea for custom window treatments today. -- AP

I sure do, Anastasia. Window coverings are a necessity for most homes unless you live out in the country with no neighbors for miles. Custom drapes, curtains, shades, and blinds can be very expensive, though. So most of us settle for the standard fare we find at discount centers and chain home goods stores.

You can have custom window treatments without spending a lot of money. The first thing you need to do is purchase inexpensive drapes or curtains in a solid color that matches your décor. Make sure you buy ones that you can toss into the washing machine.

Next, take a trip to the fabric store and find fabric that coordinates with your purchased drapes or curtains. This can either be an overall pattern like a stripe or plaid or a fabric with large motifs, such as florals, birds, teapots, etc. What you need to decide is whether you want to add a border of fabric to the drapes or curtains or a free-flowing appliqué design. While at the fabric store, purchase enough fusible webbing for your project and any desired trims.

Wash the drapes or curtains and the fabric you purchased to remove the sizing. Following the manufacturer’s directions, apply fusible webbing to the back of the fabric. If doing appliqués, carefully cut out the images from the fabric. If doing a border, make sure you measure and cut correctly so you have the right lengths to fit across the drapes or curtains. You’ll want to add an inch or two to each end to turn to the back of each drape or curtain panel.

Fuse the fabric in place on the drapes or curtains. If you’ve gone with a border, use fabric glue to apply ribbon or gimp braid over the cut edges of the fabric. If you’ve gone with appliqués, you can leave the edges bare, finish with a machine satin stitch, or finish with fabric paint writers (the kind that come in squeeze bottles) in the color of your choice.

Thanks, Jeanie! Have any of you ever taken something store bought and embellished it in some way to make it more personal? Let’s hear from you. 

Everyone who posts a comment this week is entered in the drawing for a free book from our Book Club Friday Guest Author. 
-- AP


traveler said...

Many times I buy materical which is neutral and then I begin a project of dressing it up to suit a particular room in the house I bought a lovely white heavy cloth for a table which was for a decorative purpose and embroidered it with a scene.


Great suggestions, traveler! Thanks for stopping by and commenting.