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Window Coverings That Cost Nothing

by Jessica Ackerman

Cost can be a key deciding factor when you are furnishing any room, and, by the time you finish with the essential elements and get down to details such as window coverings and similar accessories, the budget can be getting slim. Although it seems like a great time to go over budget or panic, instead examine the alternatives and find something that works for you. There are a variety of window coverings that cost nothing to create or make work for the room, depending on what your windows really need.

Take a look at other rooms, and find things that work as window coverings, such as sheer fabrics or similar remnants of thin throw blankets, bridesmaid dresses or prom dresses that are outdated, and so on. Recycling in this manner can save you hundreds of dollars, and provide some really beautiful window coverings. Pair them with bindings or ties made from similar material, or something else, such as braided cord, or eco-friendly hemp ties.

Sheer materials, such as gauzy tablecloths or heirloom window coverings, are a great idea for a starting point. Start by making sure they are very clean, including a good bleaching if they are white. Most can be dyed with the right type of fabric dye, or leave them the way they are, depending on the rest of the decor.

Choose an S-pattern to complement a window in a very unique way. Hang the window covering on the rod or bar as normal. Push the fabric to one end of the window, normally away from the closest wall. Gather the fabric at the opposite end of the middle of the window, and secure with a knotted or tied accessory or drape it over a metal tie-back.. Let the remainder flow to the floor gracefully. This works best with horizontal window frames, but can be beautiful on any window.

Old formal dresses are a great source of gauzy, silky, or satin material, and reusing them is preferable to letting them hang for decades in a closet, or giving them to a thrift store to hang indefinitely. The skirt portion is usually best for cutting a pattern for a curtain, window covering, or valance. These pieces can be paired beautifully with velvet ribbon, which can be purchased very cheaply at most bargain stores.

It may seem odd to imagine that you can use an old throw blanket to create a window covering, but these fabrics often make great light blockers. Most picture the non-flattering blanket hanging in a window and think trashy or cheesy, but the right fabric done in the right way can be elegant. Avoid using blankets with logos or themes, such as sports teams, as they can give that rescued-from-the-thrift store look, but solids or geometric shapes can be used to create a unique window covering that effectively blocks the light when needed. Add ties or cords for letting in sunlight, and pair with a gauzy under fabric (using another window covering) to create a very elegant look.

You do not have to spend thousands of dollars to create a beautiful window covering for any room. Make use of things that you already have, or ask friends and family for their help in donating old tablecloths, long outdated dresses or skirts, and similar items that can be recycled with a few finishing touches. You will create something that is truly unique, and offers a personal touch, often with sentimental memories attached.

Jessica Ackerman from generously shares everything she knows about decorative home accents.

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