Sunday, July 5, 2009

Window Mistreatment - Instructions


For all who know me, I have always been a perfectionist. I have been known to throw out completely brand new, just finished custom curtains made from my efforts because they weren't perfect. Well, those days are no more. A lot of stress accompanies the striving for perfection and it just isn't my goal anymore.

Ever since The Nester started writing about window mistreatments, I have been interested. With my nerve damage and resultant physical limitations, I can no longer sew for hours and do things like squat on the floor, etc. In the "old" day pre-injury, I proudly made all the curtains and shower curtains for our homes. I loved having custom creations. For now, we are living in a rent house and I have been dying to make some curtains for the main room/breakfast area, but didn't want to purchase rods and the whole bit. Here is what we did this weekend in under 1.5 hours for 2 windows.

Here is the finished product on one window:

To start, you will need:

54" Decorator Fabric, give or take 3 yards per side of window
Mug/cup hooks - 3 per side of window
Clip Rings - 3 per side of window
Stitch Witchery - (regular or heavy weight, depending on your fabric - photo below.)

For fabric, I am really frugal and just won't spend full-price for any fabric. I went to the local Hancock Fabric and back behind the regular fabric are some bolts that stand up on end. They are usually $5 to $10 a yard, and I wait until a sale, usually 40 to 50% off of that price. I was able to get 6 yards for around $30. That is an excellent price. I picked this particular one because the walls are gold, our couch is red and our breakfast table is black. This floral pattern picked up on all those colors. I prefer the decorator 54" fabric because it will have a nice weight to it and won't be flimsy like regular 45" fabric usually is. Although I have seen some 45" decorator weight fabric at JoAnn's Fabric, so do look around.

Decide how high up you want your curtains to go. We have a vaulted 9 foot ceiling and I wanted the curtain to reach almost to the top. This was what my window looked like "Before".

We did 3 cup hooks, 5 inches apart. The first one to the right is 2.5 inches in from the edge of the window. I did this because my curtains won't be lined, and I didn't want too much fabric covering the window, or it would be obvious there was no lining. The beauty in this is when you move or change your mind, you only have 3 little holes in the wall instead of the big mess curtain brackets make.

Get your 54" wide decorator fabric and get ready to cut it in half. Fold the fabric, selvages together and iron down the middle seam.

Taking your sewing scissors, cut along ironed line you just made. Special modeling credit goes to my wonderful husband, who helped me with this project. Thanks honey!

Trim the white selvages off your fabric.

Take each long side and iron down a small portion, about 5/8" to 1" or so. This is so a raw edge will not show.

Once both edges are ironed, hold up fabric and decide how much you want to turn down for the top. We decided on 7 inches. You can iron that or not.

Get your clip rings and put one on each end. Then fold the fabric in half to find the middle for the 3rd clip ring.

Get your Stitch Witchery Fusible Bonding Web ready - this will be what will seal your hem. No sewing machine or thread needed. This stuff is amazing.

Hang curtain on your cup hooks. Decide at the bottom if you want a regular hem or do you want to leave it bunched at the bottom. My husband prefers a regular hem as we have shedding dogs and he did not want the fabric to be such a dust collector.

Fold down your fabric to make the hem. Iron. Hang the curtain back up to double check the measurement for the hem. If you are happy with the length, put the Stitch Witchery under the edge of the fabric and iron down. You will want to hold the hot iron over the hem a little extra to melt the fusible web and bond the fabric.

Hang your curtains and voila'!! You did it! This photo is of the breakfast area window we also did.

And here is a photo showing both windows from the living room. Adding these simple and quick window treatments really enhanced the room!

So now, when we move, I have 6 yards of fabric that can be used again, not necessarily for these curtains......leaves my options open. And hubby will only have 12 small holes to fill and it will be as if these window mistreatments never existed!

If you have any additional questions or if I could add some more instructions for clarity, please let me know!

Thanks for visiting!



  1. Love it. Love that material , I have some of that.

  2. I love your yellow/gold walls with the red couch. What a great combination, and the colors in the floral fabric really tie it together. I bet that made a huge difference than when the windows were blank. Nice job!

  3. Hi Cheri...

    What a great alternative to hanging drapery hardware, etc. I love the fabric that you chose...that black floral print looks gorgeous against the gold wall that! They really turned out pretty and you did a great job with the tutorial as well, my friend! Thank you for sharing this great post with us for Sunday Favorites!!! It deserved a second showing!!!

    Warmest Thanksgiving wishes to you and your family!

    Chari @Happy To Design


Thanks so much for your lovely comments!