Question: Making Drapes and Valances- Home Improvement / Decor

Hello Everyone, I haven't written in for a long time because we sold our house we had lived in for 20 years, bought a "new" smaller and cheaper one, and moved in November. I've been so busy with the move and the holidays that I've barely had time to do anything else. The good thing about the

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  1. #1
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    Default Question: Making Drapes and Valances


    Hello Everyone,

    I haven't written in for a long time because we sold our house we had
    lived in for 20 years, bought a "new" smaller and cheaper one, and moved
    in November. I've been so busy with the move and the holidays that I've
    barely had time to do anything else. The good thing about the move is we
    will be cutting our expenses by $300 to $400 a month, and so far I
    really love the new place!

    Now to my question: Our new house has mini blinds at all of the windows
    except the kitchen, but no drapes, curtains or valances! I've been doing
    a little catalog looking and the prices for window treatments are
    outrageous! I know how to sew, and I was thinking maybe I could make
    some of them. Does anyone know of any good websites with directions for
    making window treatments? Or do any of you have any suggestions for
    attractive but inexpensive curtains?


    I love this list, it is so full of great tips!

    Nancy Ann in Ohio
    Date: Fri Jan 3, 2003 10:38 pm
    Subject: Question: Making Drapes and Valances

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    I'm having the same problem. We moved into a beautiful old home that has 11
    windows, including sash windows next to the front door and even a square window
    in the front door. For 800 square feet that seems like a lot of windows. And
    all of them have ugly mini blinds, except the sash windows and front door,
    which are bare and very exposed. Any suggestions for window coverings would be
    greatly appreciated. I especially need to find curtain rods that are 12 inches
    wide for the sash windows and some way to cover the window in the front door.
    It makes our living room quite a little fish bowl.

    Sheila
    PHX

    From: "Sheila Kyer"
    Date: Sat Jan 4, 2003 12:02 am
    Subject: Question: Making Drapes and Valances

  3. #3
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    For myself I have a couple of matching silk fringed scarves draped over a
    set of fancey black curtain rods in my livingroom The windows are tall and
    narrow and have blinds. The scarves go to a costume that I wear during the
    Ren Faire during the spring, so the rest of the year they hang in front of
    my windows. The blinds keep them from suffering fading from the sun.
    For my kitchen, my grandmother made me some simple cafe curtains for my
    kitchen/dinning room. They are just two levels of white cotton fabric cut
    into rectangles with casings and some blue and white print fabric forthe
    ruffles along the edges and accross the top of the top curtain. These were
    $1 a yard fabric from wal-mart. They didn't have enough of the blue and
    white to make the whole curtain, but htere was enough for the ruffles and
    about 4 cloth napkins. I never got the napkins though. My grandma chose it
    because the pattern is of blue willow plates and that is what my dishes are.
    The curtains are hung from the cheap adjustable curtain rods you can get at
    most stores. The curtains cover them completely so it didn't matter.
    If you have fabric warehouses in your area you can also pick up some nice
    drapery fabrics cheap. In Dallas there are several such warehouses at Peth
    and Harry Hines.
    Melia

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    If you aren't going to put anything really heavy on them you can always make
    your own curtain rods for thos 12" wide windows. Go to your local craft store
    and buy the 1/2 thick dowels and some ends for them you like. They have
    several. If you like the wroght Iron look you can spray paint them a flat
    black. You can pick up hangers for them at either your local Wal-Mart / Fred
    Meyer or maybe even there at your craft store depending on where you live.

    I would make tag style curtains (it's just because it's one of the easiest and
    one of my favorites) then hang them on the dowels and TADA! Wonderful looking
    curtains for your two sash windows.

    The dowels can be made for any length you need up to about 3 feet if you aren't

    using a very heavy fabric to make your curtains from. If you are only doing
    the sash windows with them that's fine, they should hold up pretty well no
    matter what weight of fabric you are using.

    Emily Y.

  5. #5

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    Sheila,
    For the front door go to your local wal-mart etc and
    get either cafe rods or the little spring rods just a
    little larger then the window. Take the measurement
    of the door window and divide in half multiply by two
    add three inches to the sides (this is for a one and a
    half inch seam each side), and two and half inches to
    the top and bottom (again this will be for hems). Buy
    cheap sheets that will allow you to cut out these
    measurements-try second hand stores if you want. Cut
    out your fabric to following the above measurements
    (you will be cutting out two of these). On the each
    verticle side fold over 1/2 inch and then fold over
    1/2 inch again stitch down. On the top fold over 1/4
    inch and then fold down two inches (double check this
    measurement with the rod size) and stitch very close
    the the folded edges. Now do the same for the bottom
    of both panels. Put hang on rods (one for the top of
    the window and one for the bottom of the window).
    Next you might want to make sash that will allow you
    to sinch in the middle of each panel. Figure out what
    size you want (width and lenght-how big or small of a
    sinch you want) double that measurement. Fold in half
    and stitch near lenghtwise edges and one of the small
    edges. Turn out and fold under unstitched edge and
    stitch closed. Voila window panels for your door.
    hth
    Marva

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    My mom used a twig in her "studio" as her rod... it is really cute! That
    was a trend in the little shops in Malibu *my sis leaves near there and
    frequent the quaint shops*. I picked up lots of white sheer curtains at a
    yard sale *actually a church rummage sale* that I am planning on using for a
    patchwork canopy for my daughter~ one of these days! Was going to dye them
    the colors of her room *yellow, purple, pink* and just sew them together!
    Ahhhh... like I said~ one of these days!!!

    Just a little idea!!

    Veronica

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    Didnt see this mentioned here but saw it someplace else that I cannot
    remember. Flat bedsheets can be used for curtains. Sometimes a sheet can
    be bought for a lot cheaper than the material would otherwise. Also this
    helps if you have an unusually large windo and dont want seems. And sheets
    come in such a huge variety of colors and patterns that finding one to match
    your decor should be not too hard at all. ANother plus is that sheets can
    often outlast most curtains you buy, if you consider washing them often

  9. #9
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    Another trick I learned for sheets is to use them for tablecloths! I'm one
    of those people who likes a tablecloth on the table... a twin size sheet
    works great as an everyday one.

    Jill

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    In my opinion I cant make them cheaper than I can buy them. I bought some
    at IKEA and some at Kmart for about $10-$14 each panel. Valances would be
    cheaper and easy to make. The material requirements in a panel of curtain
    would cost more than to buy at strouds or wherever. You could also go to
    the thrift store and buy some material or curtains to adjust. Some nice
    floral bed sheets could work as nice curtains as well. Or go to a swap
    meet, I have seen nice fabrics there as well. Also Ross has good deals as
    well. Kathy




    Now to my question: Our new house has mini blinds at all of the windows
    except the kitchen, but no drapes, curtains or valances! I've been doing
    a little catalog looking and the prices for window treatments are
    outrageous! I know how to sew, and I was thinking maybe I could make
    some of them. Does anyone know of any good websites with directions for
    making window treatments? Or do any of you have any suggestions for
    attractive but inexpensive curtains?

    I love this list, it is so full of great tips!

    Nancy Ann in Ohio

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    I've done this too. A plain white flat twin sheet makes a fantastic
    tablecloth! And when dinner is over, you can wash and bleach the s**t out
    of it............. or food rather.... A lot of regular tablecloths cannot
    be bleached cuz they will fade the colors or they wont hold up to that.

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    I have a few sheets that have a rip in them, and plan
    to make some valances with them. Just an idea instead
    of getting rid of otherwise perfectly good material. I
    have also cut them up for rags instead of paper
    towels.

    Jen K

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    Wanted to chime in here on curtains. Not really curtains but valances. When we
    were in MD I wanted blindes and valances on the girls windows but didn't wanna
    spend the money. Well, the beds in a bag I got the girls came w/bed skirts. I
    cut them up and made them into valances...turned out excellent. Just thought
    I'd mention it as a possibility.

  14. #14
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    I made the cutest Valance for over my bed ( a King size) it frames a picture.
    Any how it would work fine for over a window. I bought 4 yards of off white tool
    @ .99 a yards 2 molded ( like pediments) curtain Rod hangers ready to finish
    made of plaster pediment with a whole in the center for a curtain rod. I spray
    painted them cream the lightly again with gold.
    I unfolded the Tule and placed ion the middle of it a string of white Christmas
    lights and 1 of 4 1$ dollar bunches or red roses. I placed the lights and then
    sprinkled the whole thing with the rose petals and a few whole heads of one
    bunch of the roses. then I rolled the whole thing up loosely and swagged it
    through my pediment. then I placed one bunch of roses through each whole facing
    inwards and with the remaining bunch I cut them off the preformed bunch so they
    had a little same and placed them intermittently throughout the swagged part of
    the tule, it is stunning and very romantic when lit I also have a finished peace
    of pine that runs between the pediments and have a collection of small angels
    placed up there ( I have athing for angels) the swag part. The whole thing cost
    me under 20 bucks!

    tule, pediments and lights all bought at Wal mart and flowers at the dollar
    tree. pedimenta thing



    Cindy Sue

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    Thanks so much Rachel for the great idea. My MIL and I are so mad that we
    didnt think of this idea instead. I bought my material for $4.20 a yard and
    the sheet idea would have saved me even more. Even going to a salvation
    army for sheets would be a good idea. In fact I have bought sheets at swap
    meets to use for pillows and to line baskets. Last night I looked thru some
    nice patterned sheets that I dont use for my bed but that I will now use to
    make new shower curtains for each of my bathrooms. I will also do this idea
    for curtains in the future. Thanks for the idea. Kathy



    What i do is even cheaper than that! I buy twin sheets at wal-mart for
    $2.96 and sew my own!!!!! We are military, so we move often and so making
    my own this way has saved me a ton of money!!!!

    Rachel

 

 

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