18 Best DIY Window Treatment Ideas

These DIY window treatment ideas will inspire you to spruce up your home on a budget! Need blackout curtains? How about sound dampening shades? 

DIY shade on kitchen window

Or maybe you just need some very affordable sheets hung as curtains. Whatever your needs, you’ll find some ideas here!

When it comes to home improvement, window treatments can make all the difference. Not only do they add style and personality to a room, but also privacy. And they help control the amount of natural light that enters a space.

But getting window treatments professionally installed can often come with a hefty price tag. You just need some affordable and creative DIY curtains and blinds for your windows.

Whether you’re on a tight budget or looking for sustainable options, we’ve got you covered. So read on to discover stylish and cost-effective ideas for every room.

When it comes to window treatments, you don’t have to break the bank to achieve a stylish and affordable look. Here are some innovative ideas to dress your windows on a budget:

General Tips. & Tricks

Find Materials at thrift stores and flea markets

Thrift stores and flea markets are treasure troves for unique and affordable window treatment options. Look for vintage curtains or creative materials that can be repurposed for your windows.

You can actually find boxed shade kits at thrift stores sometimes. Otherwise, look for materials that could work for the curtains or shades you’re wanting to create.

Use inexpensive materials

You don’t need to buy expensive curtains or drapes. Instead, consider using fabric scraps or old bed sheets to create custom but inexpensive window coverings. With a little creativity and sewing skills, you can transform these materials into stylish curtains or drapes.

Consider DIY window film or decals

If traditional blinds or shades are out of your budget, consider using DIY window film or decals as a cost-effective alternative. These options provide privacy while adding a decorative touch to your windows.

Easy DIY No-Sew Curtain Options

Not everyone is skilled with a needle and thread, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create beautiful window treatments. Here are some no-sew options that are easy to make:

1. Tension Rod and Scarf

Hang a tension rod in your window frame and drape a lightweight scarf or fabric panel over it. This creates a simple yet elegant curtain without any sewing required.

You can experiment with different fabrics and colors to match your room’s decor.

2. Homemade Bead Curtains

You can make your own bead curtains and hang them on a dowel rod or tension rod! It takes some work, but it can be a lot of fun.

Materials Needed:

  • Beads (any type you prefer)
  • Nylon string or fishing line
  • Scissors
  • Tape measure
  • Dowel rod (length should match the width of your door/window frame)
  • Hooks for hanging


  1. Determine the length of each string of beads based on the size of your doorway or window. Use a tape measure for accuracy.
  2. Cut the nylon string according to the length measured earlier.
  3. On one end of the nylon string, make a knot large enough so that the beads cannot slide off.
  4. Start threading beads onto the nylon string from the other end until you reach near to top keeping some space for tying onto dowel rod.
  5. Tie this string with beads onto your dowel rod securely. Repeat this process until you have covered the whole length of your dowel rod.
  6. Depending upon how close together you’d like your beaded strands to be, repeat steps 3 through 5 accordingly.
  7. Once finished, attach hooks on each end of dowel rod and hang it in place at your desired location.

Remember, always handle scissors and other sharp objects carefully! Enjoy crafting your bead curtains!

3. DIY Cafe Curtains

You can make your own DIY café curtains, and they’re great for kitchen windows.

Materials Needed:

  • Fabric of your choice
  • Sewing machine and thread. Alternatively, you can use fabric glue or iron-on hem tape if you don’t wish to sew.
  • Curtain rod
  • Curtain rings with clips, or a curtain rod pocket can be sewn
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape


  1. Start by measuring the width and height of the window where you’ll hang the café curtains.
  2. Cut your fabric according to these measurements, adding an extra 4 inches to the width for seams and an extra 6 inches to the length for hems.
  3. Hem all four sides of each panel by folding over 1 inch twice on each side; this will give it a neat finish and hide any raw edges. You can sew these hems in place, or use fabric glue or iron-on hem tape, following package instructions.
  4. For panels using curtain rings: Clip each panel onto a curtain ring at regular intervals across the top hemmed edge.
  5. For panels with rod pockets: Fold down the top of each panel (about 3 inches should suffice but measure based on your rod diameter), creating a pocket for the curtain rod to slide through, then secure with sewing or no-sew method as used earlier.
  6. Insert the curtain rods through the rings or pockets and hang them up at your desired height on your window frame.

4. DIY Window Valance

You can create a window valance more easily than you’d think.

Materials Needed:

  • Fabric of your choice
  • Wooden dowel rod or curtain rod
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine and thread (alternatively, you can use fabric glue if you prefer not to sew)
  • Hooks for hanging the rod


  1. Measure the width of your window and decide on the length of the valance. Usually, valances are about 14 inches long but it can vary according to preference.
  2. Cut your fabric according to these measurements, adding an extra 4 inches to the width for seams and an extra 6 inches to the length for hems and rod pocket.
  3. Hem all four sides of the fabric by folding over 1 inch twice; this will give it a neat finish and hide any raw edges. You can sew these hems in place, or use fabric glue following package instructions.
  4. For creating a pocket for rod at top side of valance, fold down about 3 inches from top (adjust based on diameter of your rod) and then secure with sewing or no-sew method as used earlier.
  5. Insert dowel or curtain rod through this pocket.
  6. Attach hooks at desired position above window where you want to hang valance.
  7. Carefully hang valance by positioning dowel or curtain rod onto hooks.

5. Iron-On Hem Tape

If you have a fabric that you love but don’t want to sew, iron-on hem tape is your best friend. Simply cut the fabric to your desired curtain length, fold over the edges, and secure them with iron-on hem tape.

It creates clean and professional-looking hems without any sewing skills needed.

6. No-Sew DIY Roman Shade (Sewing Optional)

You can create a Roman Shade with just a few materials.

Materials Needed:

  • Fabric of your choice
  • Lining fabric
  • Sewing machine and thread or you can also use fabric glue if you prefer not to sew
  • Dowel rods
  • Nylon cord
  • Screw eyes or pulleys
  • Cord cleat or cord lock
  • Mounting brackets


  1. Measure the width and height of the window where you’ll hang the shade.
  2. Cut both the fabric and lining according to these measurements, adding an extra 4 inches to the width and 8 inches to the length for seams.
  3. Place the fabric pieces on top of each other with their right sides facing in, then sew (or glue) them together along three sides (both long sides and one short side). Leave one short side open.
  4. Turn it right-side-out through the open end, then stitch or glue that end closed as well.
  5. Calculate where you’d like your folds to be when the shade is raised. Mark these locations on your shade with a tailor’s chalk lightly.
  6. Insert dowel rods into these marked sections and secure them by stitching pockets around them or gluing the fabric around each rod.
  7. At one end of each dowel rod, attach a screw eye or pulley. Thread your nylon cord through all screw eyes towards one side of the shade which will act as a pulling system.
  8. Attach mounting brackets at both ends of your shade at top side from where it will be attached to window frame.
  9. You can now install your homemade Roman Shade on your window frame using mounting brackets.
  10. Lastly, install a cord cleat or cord lock on one side of window frame for holding & releasing cords whenever you need to pull up or down the roman shades.

These no-sew options are not only budget-friendly but also a great way to add your personal touch to your windows. Experiment with different fabrics and styles to find the perfect window treatment for your home.

Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Window Treatment Ideas

When it comes to window treatments, it’s always a great idea to consider options that are sustainable and eco-friendly. Not only are these choices better for the environment, but they can also add a touch of natural beauty to your home. Here are some sustainable window treatment ideas that are both stylish and eco-conscious:

7. Look for window treatments made with sustainable materials like bamboo or organic cotton

Bamboo is a fast-growing and renewable resource, making it an excellent choice for eco-friendly window treatments. Bamboo blinds or shades can add a touch of warmth and texture to your space. Similarly, organic cotton curtains or drapes are made from pesticide-free cotton, reducing the impact on the environment.

8. Install energy-efficient window coverings to reduce heating and cooling costs

Energy-efficient window coverings, such as cellular shades or insulated curtains, can help to minimize heat loss during winter and heat gain during summer. These window treatments provide additional insulation, reducing the need for excessive heating or cooling and saving you money on energy bills.

9. Repurpose old curtains or fabric to create eco-friendly window treatments

Instead of throwing away old curtains, consider repurposing them into new window treatments. You can not only save money but also reduce waste by giving your old curtains a new lease on life. Cut them into smaller pieces to create valances or use them as decorative panels for blinds or shades.

By incorporating these sustainable and eco-friendly window treatment ideas, you can create a more environmentally-conscious and stylish living space.

Transforming Old Curtains into Fashionable Window Coverings

Don’t toss out your old curtains just yet! With a little creativity, you can transform them into stylish window coverings that will breathe new life into any room. Here are some DIY ideas to revamp your old curtains:

10. Freshen up with Fabric Dye or Paint

If your old curtains are still in good condition but have lost their charm, consider giving them a fresh and stylish update with fabric dye or paint.

Choose a color that complements your room’s decor and follow the instructions on the dye or paint packaging. It’s a budget-friendly way to create a whole new look without breaking the bank.

11. Add Decorative Trims or Embellishments

Plain curtains can be instantly transformed into custom window coverings with the addition of decorative trims or embellishments. Sew on a beautiful trim along the edges or attach ribbon, lace, or tassels to create a personalized look. These small details can make a big impact on the overall appearance of your curtains.

12. Get Creative with Cutting and Shaping

If you’re feeling adventurous, grab a pair of scissors and get ready to transform your old curtains into unique window coverings. Experiment with cutting them into new shapes or styles, such as scalloped edges or a layered effect. You can also combine different curtain panels to create a one-of-a-kind design. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box!

By repurposing your old curtains, you can save money while adding a touch of creativity and style to your windows. Embrace the DIY spirit and let your imagination run wild!

Stylish Window Shades That Won’t Break the Bank

If you’re looking for affordable and fashionable window treatment options, consider these stylish window shades:

13. Bamboo Shades

Bring a natural and organic feel to your space with bamboo shades. Not only are they budget-friendly, but they also add a touch of sophistication to any room.

14. Roller Shades with Patterns

Add a pop of style with roller shades that come in patterned or printed designs. These shades not only provide privacy and light control but also make a statement in your room.

15. Cellular Shades

For an energy-efficient and cost-effective option, consider cellular shades. They provide insulation and help regulate temperature, keeping your space comfortable all year round.

With these affordable and stylish window shade options, you can transform your windows without breaking the bank.

Creative Uses for Repurposed Materials in Window Treatments

When it comes to window treatments, thinking outside the box can lead to unique and budget-friendly solutions. Consider repurposing materials you already have to create one-of-a-kind window treatments:

  1. Use old lace or doilies as a decorative curtain panel or valance. These delicate and intricate pieces can add a touch of vintage charm to any window.
  2. Repurpose vintage scarves or fabric remnants as accents for your window treatments. These colorful and unique fabrics can be draped over curtain rods or used as tiebacks for curtains.
  3. Create a faux stained glass effect by repurposing old glass bottles or jars. Remove the labels and hang them in front of your windows to catch the sunlight and create beautiful patterns of color.

By repurposing materials that you already have, you can not only save money but also give new life to old items and add a personal touch to your window treatments.

Budget-Friendly Ideas for Customizing Blinds and Shades

Customizing blinds and shades doesn’t have to break the bank. Here are some creative and budget-friendly ideas:

16. Paint or stencil plain blinds or shades

Add a pop of color or design to plain blinds or shades by painting them or using stencils. You can choose a color that complements your room’s decor or create a pattern that adds interest.

17. Attach decorative hooks or knobs

Enhance the appearance of your blinds by attaching decorative hooks or knobs to the bottom. This simple addition can give them a more finished and stylish look.

18. Use fabric glue to attach fabric

For a customized look, use fabric glue to attach fabric to the slats of your blinds. Choose a fabric that matches your style and easily transform plain blinds into a unique window treatment.

Unique DIY Window Treatment Ideas for Every Room

When it comes to window treatments, getting creative can make a big impact on the overall look and feel of a room. Here are some unique and personalized ideas for dressing up your windows:

Create a Window Cornice Using Foam Board and Fabric

A window cornice adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to any room. To create your own, you’ll need foam board, fabric of your choice, a hot glue gun, and a utility knife.

Measure and cut the foam board to the desired size and shape of your cornice. Then, cover the foam board with the fabric, securing it in place with hot glue. Install the cornice above your window for a stunning and customized look.

Install Floating Shelves and Display Decorative Items

If you’re looking to add some personality to your windows, consider installing floating shelves above them. Use the shelves to display plants, decorative vases, or other unique items that complement the room’s aesthetic. This not only adds visual interest but also maximizes the use of wall space.

Hang a Curtain Rod Higher and Wider Than the Window

If you want to make your windows appear larger, a simple trick is to hang your curtain rod higher and wider than the window itself. This creates the illusion of height and width, making the window and the room feel more spacious. Choose curtains or drapes that complement the overall design of the room for a cohesive look.


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Last Updated:

March 26, 2024