Being a private person, I have curtains on every window of my house (just having blinds won’t do). After realizing the huge cost to put window treatments on my bare panes (curtain panels cost anywhere from $10 to well over $40 depending on what you’re buying), I decided to go bare minimum on my curtain purchases and doctor them up myself.
The results? Cheap, easy, and certainly unique curtains that liven up all the windows in my house without breaking the bank. Here’s what worked for me, and hopefully it can inspire a little creativity in you as well.
All of my curtains were purchased at thrift stores and garage sales to save on spending huge dollars. With many windows to cover I didn’t want to go broke simply buying curtains, so I decided to go cheap and see what I could find. While it takes a good while to get matching panels (often you can only find one panel when going used), within a month I had enough curtains to cover my home. While not the most attractive curtains in the world (all are either plain white or plain blue with no rouching or designs embedded in the panels) I was able to bring my curtains to life and make them look more “expensive” with just a few little additions.
To bring your existing curtains to life, try adding a little drapery. At any material store you can buy a whole roll of discounted material for a few dollars, and getting a few yards of sheer color that compliments your curtains can work wonders. For my living room curtains (which are plain blue) I bought a sheer brown material at Wal-Mart (on sale) and used the length to go over my curtains. Simply drape the material over your curtain rod and tuck under the supporting rod so you have two loose drapings and slide the material behind the rods on the ends of the curtain to keep it in place. Letting the material stay loose allows it to drape and natural pucker and rouche, and brings a lovely character to your curtains.
For shorter curtains or curtains where you can see the bottoms, buy ribbon and fabric tape and adhere a border on the bottom of your curtains. This gives your curtains more dimension, particularly for plain or white curtains. At any craft store you can buy a thick, durable ribbon or lace, or you can buy borders that can be used for pillows and other items that have loops, beading, tassels, and cutout designs for usually less than $2 a foot. A great way to liven up your boring old curtains.
Simply washing old white or plain curtains can work wonders. For my kitchen curtains I washed them in the tub and hung them outside to dry. Now they’re brighter and more new looking. For an added touch I adhered a thick red rope (shiny like satin) along the bottom of it so the heater vent doesn’t constantly blow the curtain around. Adds an ethereal, Grecian look to my curtain.
For kid curtains you can add jewel borders by super gluing beads to the bottom or edges of the curtains. I added jewels to my bathroom curtains (jade green and coffee brown) and they are lovely on my otherwise dull curtains.
Adding lace to the top of the curtains for draping works great as well, particularly for plain dark curtains.
Wal-Mart has a great supply of craft items you may need, which is where I got most of my items. The dollar store has beads that can be glued to the curtains, and has glue guns for a buck as well.
In the end, you can liven up an old curtain for just a few dollars, making your existing curtains more unique and decorative for your household. Worked out great for me, maybe it will inspire you.