Lose the Drapes: 12 Better Ways to Dress a Window

Most people choose to decorate their windows with traditional curtains, blinds, or fabric valances. But finding the perfect covering—one that blocks the sun, ensures a degree of privacy, and matches existing decor—can be tricky. As a solution, some homeowners opt for creating their own alternative window treatments, in the process saving money and injecting personality into their spaces. Check out 12 of our favorite DIY window coverings from around the Web.

  1. Stenciled Sign

    Wood window treatment


    Instead of topping her kitchen window with a traditional valance, Mary from At Home on the Bay used a salvaged wood board with a stenciled design, created by Lemonade Makin’ Mama. The rustic valance lets light flood the room but doesn't look too sparse. Plus, the cheery message and bright colors could provide much-needed encouragement to tackle those dirty dishes!

    Related: 21 Clever Little Things to Do with Scrap Wood

  2. Rustic Privacy Screen

    Wood privacy screen


    To dress up a large bay window, consider skipping curtains or blinds altogether and opting instead for a privacy screen. This DIY version by Funky Junk Interiors is inspired by old farm-style gates. Constructed of tongue-and-groove pine boards and hinges, this project is fairly easy to replicate.

  3. Frosted Glass Design

    Frosted glass


    Frosted glass provides exceptional privacy, but it completely blocks the view of the outdoors. With some low-tack tape and frosted glass spray paint, however, you can create a custom pattern that shields your home a bit from prying eyes but still lets in light. Plus, a frosted design doubles as a decorative element, as demonstrated by this playfully geometric pattern from A Beautiful Mess.

    Related: 15 Lazy Ways to Make a Big Change in Your Home

  4. Faux Stained Glass

    Stained glass


    Stained glass adds a pop of color to any room, and it filters light in a lovely, unique way when used as a window treatment. Take a cue from the bloggers behind A Beautiful Mess and create your own custom stained-glass panel. The project requires just a piece of glass, some lead adhesive strips, and glass paint—all available at your local craft store.

  5. Tablecloth Linens

    Diy curtains


    A crafty homeowner can whip up a window treatment with any textile—even table linens! Debbie from Debbie Doo’s took pretty cloth napkins and hung them from a rod using curtain clips. The result is an easy and cheerful alternative to a traditional valance.

    Related: 10 Extras to DIY for Your Kitchen

  6. Vintage-Style Shutters

    Diy shutters


    Although these shutters by Vintage News Junkie look like timeworn antiques, they were actually constructed from IKEA bed slats! This piece can be customized to fit any window. For a truly rustic look, trick it out with distressed paint and barn door hardware.

  7. Glass Window Shelves

    Window shelves


    Some windows—such as the tiny ones often set above a kitchen sink—don’t require full coverage. For these windows, homeowners can choose to install a set of glass shelves instead of curtains. This approach lets them satisfy privacy needs while simultaneously showcasing decorative accessories, a collection of herbs, or whatever else strikes their fancy. Brittany from Pretty Handy Girl chose to liven up her shelves with an assortment of greenery.

    Related: 10 Tiny Gardens You Can Grow on Your Windowsill

  8. Lace Windowpanes

    Lace window


    This genius window treatment is a boon to renters! By applying lace directly to window glass with a cornstarch paste, DIYer Annabel Vita enjoys both privacy and natural light. The lace can be completely and easily removed by washing with warm water, making this a quick, inexpensive, and low-commitment DIY.

  9. DIY Rolled Valance

    Rolled valence


    Sometimes the best option for enhancing privacy and darkness in a room is a simple shade. This rolled valance, which hides a practical roller shade underneath, was made by The Painted Hive with lumber, fabric, natural linen ribbon, and rustic buttons. The window treatment easily comes together with hemming tape for a quick, no-sew alternative. 

    Related: The Best 10 Plants to Grow for Backyard Privacy

  10. Ribbon Garland

    Ribbon curtain


    For a light and fancy window treatment, knot a selection of ribbons over a cord or dowel to form a garland. The color, pattern, and length are completely customizable, and DIYers can mix different textures to create a one-of-a-kind fashion statement.

  11. Hanging Herb Garden

    Herb garden


    Brighten up a plain kitchen window blind by using it as a backdrop for an indoor garden that doubles as a beautiful yet practical window treatment. Amber from The Bird and Her Song opted to display greenery, but homeowners could put flowers in the pots instead for a burst of color.

    Related: 10 Crazy New Ways to Bring the Garden Indoors

  12. Feed-Sack Curtains

    Feed sack


    Vintage feed sacks serve as the perfect café curtains in this modern country kitchen. Anita from Far Above Rubies hemmed the sacks, then strung them across a wire with rings. The finished curtain lends homey charm to the room.

  13. See the Kitchen of the Week


    These innovative and beautiful kitchens may inspire your next renovation or redecorating project. Take a look to see the latest images and inspiration.