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.

Keep in mind: Price and stock could change after publish date, and we may make money from these links.
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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Buy It

Next Up

How to Make an Upcycled Denim Wreath

Use an old pair of jeans and a few simple materials to make a stylish wreath.

How to Make a DIY Quilted Table Runner

Create a showstopping modern heirloom with scrap fabric, two simple stitches and zero machines or complicated techniques. Global vibes: check. Totally on-trend: check. Upcycling has never looked so good!

How to Make Hand-Dyed Place Mats Out of a Drop Cloth

Ditch the plastic, lace and everything in between. Create your own dip-dyed, canvas place mats for an upscale look at a dollar store price.

Floor-Length Round Tablecloth

Sew your own round floor-length tablecloth to suit any occasion with these step-by-step instructions.

How to Make Simple Window Shades

Whip up some window treatments in no time with these step-by-step instructions.

Bishop's Sleeve Window Treatment

A bishop's sleeve fabric treatment softens and stands up to a tall window.

How to Make Industrial-Style Rolling Shutters

Learn how to upcycle old doors into industrial-style window shutters that were inspired by the look of old warehouse doors.

How to Make a Linen and Leather Roman Shade

Make a window treatment from natural linen and leather straps for a classic look.

Goodbye Fruit Bowls, Hello DIY Produce Baskets

Don't waste precious counter space with fruit bowls. Instead, turn your kitchen into your own dreamy farmer’s market with the help of an upcycled shutter and simple wire baskets.

How to Make a Roman Shade From a Canvas Drop Cloth

Turn boring blinds into a custom window treatment with this simple DIY Roman shade project.

Go Shopping

Refresh your home with stylish products handpicked by HGTV editors.

On TV

Watch Live TV

Don't miss your favorite shows.

Live Stream HGTV Now

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.