Easy Ideas for Transforming Sheets, Tablecloths and Vintage Fabrics Into Curtains

Can't find the right window treatments for your home? Think outside the box and use fabric swatches or household linens to get a custom look for your windows.

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October 09, 2020

If you have an obsession with fabric like I do, then you probably have a treasure trove stashed away in a closet. I am always picking up pretty fabrics off the discount rack — curtain panels, tablecloths, bed linens, kantha cloths, sari silks and scarves. I use these textiles to boost my mood, cheer up a table setting and add color to my home’s decor. And for each new season, I use clip rings to change out my wall hangings and window treatments.

Window Treatments Made From Canvas Drop Cloths

Here, I sewed scrap fabric onto canvas drop cloths to transform them into light and airy window treatments for the warm-weather months.

Photo by: Bob Farley

Bob Farley

Here, I sewed scrap fabric onto canvas drop cloths to transform them into light and airy window treatments for the warm-weather months.

You do not have to invest in expensive curtain hardware either. Just be creative and let the vibe of the room be your guide. Shop secondhand stores or discount stores for discontinued hardware or make your own rods with copper or galvanized metal pipes and hooks or brackets. Scrolled or wrought-iron hooks are great for hanging valances over simple curtain panels.

Swing rods work well if you want to be able to let in light but have the option of privacy in a flash. Think about how much coverage you need, how much light you want to shine through and the mood and overall ambience of the setting. Then have fun choosing your fabrics to complement the decor, conform to the room or make a statement.

Window Treatment Made From Shear Fabric on a Swing-Out Curtain Rod

A lightweight scarf is used in the warmer months, but it will be changed out for a heavier batik cloth during the cold weather.

Photo by: Bob Farley

Bob Farley

A lightweight scarf is used in the warmer months, but it will be changed out for a heavier batik cloth during the cold weather.

If the fabric is thin and needs to be lined, no problem: just buy plain white or neutral store-bought curtains or sheets to clip behind the decorative panels.

Kantha cloths are a wonderful layered, patched and embroidered textile made from remnants. The one-of-a-kind panels are light enough to hang as curtains and can add a tons of color to a room.

Kantha Cloth Used a Window Treatment

Looking to add a boho vibe or just need a punch of color? Try hanging a kantha cloths over your windows.

Photo by: Bob Farley

Bob Farley

Looking to add a boho vibe or just need a punch of color? Try hanging a kantha cloths over your windows.

Instead of using a curtain rod for a valance, wrought-iron hooks and clip rings are used to hold a swatch of fabric over the upper portion of the window.

Paisley Swatch Used as a Window Valance

Consider using a scarf, table runner or any narrow swatch of fabric for a window valance.

Photo by: Bob Farley

Bob Farley

Consider using a scarf, table runner or any narrow swatch of fabric for a window valance.

Using clip rings and hooks allow for easy changes in this home office. Fabrics found during travels and wall hangings get rotated often to boost mood and creativity.

Quilted and Fabric Window Treatments

Window treatments become art displays when using handmade quilts and exotic fabrics found while traveling.

Photo by: Bob Farley

Bob Farley

Window treatments become art displays when using handmade quilts and exotic fabrics found while traveling.

Be consistent in choosing clips and hardware; black rings go on black rods, silver on silver, etc. Make your design statement with the textiles.

Clip Rings on Curtain Rod

Window hardware is one area where you want everything to match. Rods, brackets and rings should all be the same color or finish.

Photo by: Bob Farley

Bob Farley

13.99
Amazon

This bundle of sturdy curtain rings including eyelets and removable clips has an attractive matte-copper finish.

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