No-Sew Window Treatments (Tutorial)

The guest room that doubles as the play room is a decorating conundrum (don’tcha love that word?).  On a typical day (as in: no guests are coming) if you can manage to walk through without the pain of stepping on a Lego, then you WIN.  I wanted to update the window treatments for the room, but let’s face it – it’s the home to toys for three boys – no designer fabrics required.  So here’s what I did:

I started with a 12″ x 15″ canvas drop cloth.  The package said that the actual measurements were 11″ 9″ x 14″ 9″ (hmmmm?)  Anyway, I washed, dried and ironed it and then remeasured to find their exact size.

Based on my window measurements, I wanted the canvas to hang 94″, not including the rod and rings.  I cut it at 95″ to allow a 1″ seam (the drop cloth was hemmed all the way around, so that was one less hem I had to do on the top or bottom of each).  I decided on 3 curtains as the room has 2 windows side by side.

In the photo below the “bottom” of the curtain has already been cut to 95″.  You can see I took the measurements of the entire width and divided the it into 1/3’s and allowed an additional inch for the center curtain since it wouldn’t be hemmed on either side. (remember, the outer 2 pieces already had one hem).  By doubling the fabric and measuring that distance in from the two outer (separate) edges, I was able to only make two cuts total!  (does that make sense?)
Since my sewing skills haven’t improved since the last time I claimed I was going to learn how to sew, I bought 2 rolls of Heat n Bond, a no-sew hem tape.  I ironed in a 1″ crease on any side that didn’t already have a hem to make sure that the edges were crisp, then I applied the tape.
With the iron on medium heat, I adhered the sticky side.  Once it cooled, I removed the paper backing, folded over the raw edge of the fabric and iron again until the heat penetrated the fabric and the bonding tape.  Once it cooled, I was left with nice, clean edges!  This method is really easy but it was time consuming based on how large the fabric was.
Once the hems were finished, I added a 6″ stripe with matte Chocolate colored fabric paint.  First I measured and marked 9″ and 15″ from the top of curtain lightly with a pencil.  Then I taped and remeasured.  I also taped some newspaper down on my awesome craft table kitchen floor, just in case there was any bleed through (there was).
I started out using just a brush but quickly realized that if I didn’t want this to be an all-day project, I’d better get a roller.  I used a 2″ foam roller and it was perfect!
Here they are on the window.  (I cleaned up all those Legos just for you, my GUEST!!!)
(Someone should’ve warned me how difficult it is to photograph windows!)
This entire room is getting an overhaul soon, this is the first step, stay tuned!

Afterthoughts:

  • Based on my window size, I could probably have done these with a smaller canvas but I know I’ll have plenty of uses for the remaining fabric, so I didn’t mind.  There are so many sizes available – possibly one that’s the perfect size for your windows, so that you wouldn’t have to hem at all.
  •  Definitely wash the canvas before you use it.  It was dusty but was just fine once it was clean and dry.
  • This project cost less than $40!  (I was fortunate enough to already have the curtain rod and rings, stencil, and fabric paint on hand.)