Making window treatment is like any other home decor or decorating project, there are steps to follow to guarantee success. The first step is to make the decision of what king of treatments you need or want. For most decorating decisions my rule is “Form Follows Function” in Window Treatments this means, the treatment design must accomplish the function or purpose of having a window treatment. This will make more sense as we get into this series.

Making Your Own Window TreatmentsSimple Cafe Curtains Made from Burlap Found Here

For this 1st post in this series we are going to talk about drapes vs curtains.What really is the difference between drapes and curtains? Quite often these terms are used for exactly the same thing but in my world of owning a home decor workroom they are two totally different things. For this tutorial I will use definitions that will be easily understood by the reader and by me. I have had a custom workroom since 1989 so lots of people have asked me that question and here is my simple answer or [my opinion].

Curtains Defined

When I think of curtains I think of kitchens, bathrooms, kids rooms, and bedrooms that are less formal where the decorating is lighter and the curtain or window treatment may be part of a decorating theme where the function is purely decorative. Usually there are blinds or shades in these windows for privacy and the curtain can be simpler and unlined so less expensive in nature.

Curtain Valances were hugely popular in the 80’s and 90’s as the blind industry took off and some kind of fabric was needed to soften the look and quite often get rid of the echo in a room which was created by having only hard treatments.

Making Your Own Window Treatments Part1Fun trimmed valance over blinds found HERE

Curtains are usually made from lighter materials than drapes so the fabric options are endless when you visit a fabric store. Cottons and cotton blends, sheers and all kinds of linen blends are readily available and many people have been very successful using flat sheets to make curtains to match a bedroom theme. A benefit when making your own curtains is that if you will preshrink the fabric before construction, your finished treatment will be washable. Drapery has had many functions throughout the years, sometimes to block light, and sometimes for heating comfort, either to block sun or cold. In colonial days even the beds were enclosed with drapery to seal in heat and prevent drafts.

Drapery Defined

For this series we will define draperies as lined treatments which will cover the whole window when closed. They can be pleated or gathered but the criteria will be that they will be easily opened or “drawn” as part of their function.
Usually these treatments [drapes] create a more formal look and are often used in living rooms, formal dining rooms or rooms where you might entertain and have a more formal or traditional decorating theme. Many people are going for drapery in their bedrooms, an idea I personally love since this used to be the most left out room in the house when it came to decorating and drapes can certainly add a very romantic touch to a bedroom.

Making Your Own Window Treatments

 Pottery Barn Graceful Sheer Full Length Curtains

Making Your Own Window Treatments Part 1Full Length Side Panels found HERE

There are rules to making drapery [please don’t cringe] that make them very functional for adding privacy, light reduction and heat saving as well as a beautiful look for finishing any room. Although drapes are normally more expensive than curtains they will also last a very long time if made well and cared for properly. We’re going to consider the drapes we will make and discuss as full length and pleated for the time being since rod pockets and shirred curtains will be discussed in the curtain section.

The sky is the limit when it comes to hardware and rods for hanging your drapes so keep this in mind when you plan your budget.

Getting Started

The first step in Making Your Own Window Treatments is to gather pictures and ideas from all sources available and make a Window Treatment Design Board for your own reference of ideas as well as sources. May I suggest a Pinterest Board like the one I have HERE

Next week I will share my window treatment Project Board which I am beginning for this series.

[Don’t worry we will discuss making your own shades and blinds in this series too.]

Part 2 Supplies and Tools for Making Your Own Window Treatment