13 DIY Window Treatments to Dress Up Your Space

Just as clothes make the man, the right dressings can make all the difference for your windows too. Whether your window overlooks a dramatic vista or merely your own backyard, the view will seem just a little bit sunnier framed by a beautifully designed window treatment. DIY window treatments run the gamut from fun to sophisticated, and you can find a style to suit any decor and budget. Don't worry if you aren't handy with a needle and thread—there are plenty of no-sew options. Depending on the size and location of your windows, some styles will work better than others, so click through our gallery to find the best idea for your own home.

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Return to Sender

This faux Roman shade, which was inspired by a mailing envelope, is made from a canvas drop cloth. The graphics were printed onto T-shirt transfer paper, ironed onto the drop cloth, and then distressed to create the vintage appearance. Because the designer didn’t need the shade to move up and down, the canvas was folded into pleats that were stitched in place.

Barnyard Chic

A scrap piece of barn siding served as inspiration for this window treatment, which juxtaposes the roughness of wood with the airy quality of linen. After attaching vintage hooks to the wood, the designer cut slits in some spare sheets so they could hang from the hooks. Bows made from strips of fabric that were tied onto the hooks add a whimsical finishing detail.

Let the Sun Shine In

Not all window treatments need to be able to cover the entire window. For a place like the kitchen, where privacy isn’t a primary concern, a simple piece of wood can serve as a shade to block the rays of the setting sun while still letting in a lot of light. Add your own design or stencil a favorite quote onto the wood to complete the look.

Connect the Dots

If you are looking for drapes with graphic impact but can’t find the perfect pattern or color combination, consider painting them yourself. These confetti-inspired curtains were made by using the bottom of a cup dipped in paint to create the large-scale polka dots.

Related: How To Paint EVERYTHING

Out of the Box

Window cornices are a great introduction to basic woodworking. To make one, all you need to do is screw together three pieces of plywood to form three sides of a box. Then use a staple gun to secure upholstery fabric to the form. For a more advanced version, you can cut a decorative detail into the front of the cornice using a jigsaw.

Related: 10 Surprisingly Simple Woodworking Projects for Beginners

Bulk Solution

Large decorative curtain panels can be really expensive, especially if you need enough fabric to cover multiple windows in a room. These classic striped curtain panels were made from 96-inch-long pieces of plain white fabric with large brown stripes painted on to amp up the style. Be sure to measure to ensure that the stripes are properly spaced, and use painter’s tape for clean edges.

"Ruffed" Up

Ruffles are a great way to add texture and volume to drapery. To keep the look from seeming too froofy, create a more rustic appearance by making the drapes out of rough burlap. Cut strips that are six inches wide and three times longer than the length of the curtains. Fold the strips into pleats, sew the center of the pleated length to the curtain, and then fluff up the ruffles.

Tension Relief

A lot of DIY projects can be stressful, but not this breezy DIY Roman shade. Four tension rods and a fabric panel are all it takes to make this dynamic window treatment, which can be adjusted or removed without causing any damage to the window. To create the three-tiered, pleated look, the fabric was simply looped over the middle tension rods.

For the Birds

A simple bamboo roll shade can be transformed into a chic touch of home decor with just a bit of paint. Unroll the shade on a flat surface and use an oversize stencil and a paintbrush to create a whimsical design that will add quirk and character to any room. Another fun idea: Paint a shade in an all-over pattern or accent it with bold lettering. 

All Aflutter

This project is a knock-off version of a luxurious store-bought curtain. To achieve this romantic, ethereal look, you’ll need to be handy with a needle and thread, and have lots of patience. The fluttery effect is created by hundreds of small, circular pieces of white and off-white fabric that have been folded in half, then in half again, and then sewn onto curtain panels in long strips to look like flower petals.

Creative Curtain Rods

An easy way to update your window decor is to update your curtain rods with a surprising material. This design uses a tree branch that is just slightly longer than the window. The branch has been painted white to blend in with the brackets and window frame. Tie-top curtains work great with this unusual rod.

Screened In

If soft curtains are not your thing, consider choosing a weightier window treatment. These large trifold faux gate screens make the perfect statement in this living room. They were constructed out of lengths of wood panel wainscoting that was shaped into an arc at the top with a jigsaw. Gate hardware complements the look and adds style.

In the Sack

Salvaged burlap sacks serve as the primary material for this DIY curtain. Individual strands of the burlap were teased and pulled to give the fabric a ruched look. Whimsical pieces of galvanized metal add to the rustic aesthetic.