|No-Sew Window Coverings|
When we think about BASIC window coverings, we usually think about simple designs – single flat panels of drapery, fabric toppers and even simple cornice boards. What these three treatments have in common is that they can all be made without sewing a single stitch. This is important only to the people who don’t know how to sew and I’m finding out that there are quite a few of you out there.
So never fear, I’m are here to teach you three or four window treatments you can make using an iron – you do have to know how to iron –fabric glue, iron on hem tape and materials like that.
Flat Panel Topper
The first treatment I’m going to explain is a simple flat panel topper. You can use it over a blind or sheers even over draperies for a nice layered look. But of course, it’s very nice alone as well.
Measure the window:
Start by measuring your window. The window I’m making my flat panel topper for is 32” wide at the outside dimension – outside of trim to outside of trim. I will add 2” to that dimension for my final width so the topper will extend past the trim by an inch on each side. Generally you mount window coverings 4” above the window trim. A window topper like this one should cover about 1/3 of the window which will be 17” in our case. So, the front of the topper will be 21” long.
1) First, cut your fabric and interfacing. Using my measurements as a guide, we want to make this topper 34” wide so it extends a bit over the trim (at 32”) and 21” long plus an overlap for the rod pocket of 4”, so we’ll cut a rectangle out of our fabric a couple inches larger than our finished size of 34” wide by 25” long. Then cut the same size piece of iron on interfacing.
2) Next, iron the interfacing to the fabric. The interfacing helps make the fabric sturdier and more opaque. To add it to the fabric, put the shiny side (or the glue) to the back side of your fabric. Heat the iron to the wool setting and start in the middle of the panel and work out to the edges holding the iron in place for 10 seconds. Don’t slide the iron, pick it up and move it.
3) Now create a template for the bottom edge of your topper and cut out the design. My template is made out of paper towels because it is inexpensive and easy to cut. Fold it in half and draw your design and then cut it out so both sides are the same. Make sure the template is the same width as your finished topper.
4) Place the template on the lower edge of your panel, trace it and cut it out. Don’t forget you will have to cut the side out at this point to the finished width of your topper. This SHOULD be the finished width of your template as well.
5) Time to create the rod pocket. Fold over the top edge of the topper (the 4” you added previously) and hold it in place using iron on hem tape. Put iron on wool setting and iron using a pressing cloth.
6) Gluing on the trim is next. Using a Fabric Tack, add the trim and tassel if desired to decorate and then hang!
The completed topper will add so much color and pattern to a room, not to mention it will give it that finished look!
Zig Zag Window Cornice
Another great treatment for any window is a cornice. This is an upholstered stiff board that covers the top portion of the window often placed over a blind or draperies. A cornice can stand alone as well for those of you who prefer minimalist window treatments.
The window shown is 34" across, and the cornice measures 36" wide and 12" tall. If your window measurements vary, adjust the sizes accordingly. For windows wider than 36", glue two sheets together along the 12" edges, joining them with thick, white craft glue and wood picks or toothpicks; u-pins inserted between the pieces will help enhance the bond. Let glue dry completely before moving on to the cornice construction.
1) Save one 36" x 12" foam sheet for front of cornice. Measure two, 12" x 6" pieces on second foam sheet; score lines with pencil. These will be side pieces. Wax serrated knife with candle stub, and cut pieces from foam sheet. Or, try dental floss: stand the sheet on its edge, and hold a 20" length of dental floss along the scored line, positioning one hand at the bottom of the board and the other at the top; draw the dental floss down through the foam sheet along the scored line.
2) Next, join sides to the front by butting the side end to the back of the cornice front panel. Place glue on three wood picks, and insert into 12" edge of side piece. Using thick, white craft glue or low temperature glue gun, join side to front. Repeat with second side. Let dry completely.
3) If using quilt batting, cut 36" x 12" piece of batting. Glue to front of cornice.
4) Cut fabric strip measuring 54" x 28". Press fabric, if needed. Center and pin fabric to cornice front; pins are temporary and help hold fabric in place during assembly. Carefully wrap fabric around cornice frame, neatly folding at the corners and wrapping fabric onto the back. After cornice is covered, glue fabric in place. If any of the cornice frame is uncovered, cover with fabric scrap. If using pins to help hold fabric in place on the reverse side, dip pins in glue first, for better hold. Let glue dry.
5) Attach angle brackets to wall; slide cornice over them and pin in place.
OK, so with two different window toppers available to you, now you need to be able to make draperies for underneath if you like. These are even easier than the toppers.
1) To make a plain flat panel drapery, put up your rod and ring clips and then measure the length you want for the drapery. Measure from the inside of the clip to ½” above the floor for floor length draperies.
2) Next, determine what size to cut the fabric. The cut length is the length you want to drapery to be plus 4” at the top for a header and 8” at the bottom for a hem, so add 12” to your measurement. As for width, I generally use the entire width of the fabric as it comes after cutting off the selvage edge.
3) Remember the iron on hem tape I showed you to make the rod pocket for the flat panel topper? Well now you are going to use it to create side hems of about 1” turned under twice. (After removing the selvages.) Insert the hem tape and iron away!
4) Do both side hems first, then turn your top header over 2” twice and iron it down with the hem tape. Make sure to read the instructions carefully on the iron on hem tape. Some hem tapes require using an ironing cloth while ironing. The white cloth you see is an old pillow case I use as an ironing cloth.
5) Last create the bottom hem. Here is where you can make any adjustments if you maybe turned over a bit too much or too little at the top. Just measure your length again and whatever amount of fabric is left, just turn it under twice to meet your final length and hold it in place with the hem tape.
Clip the header to the ring clips and you’ve just made a no-sew drapery!
Now you may notice that you can see the light through the drapery panel fairly easily and the fabric looks dark where it overlaps the wall and trim. To improve on this, you would need to line your draperies with lining fabric and simply cut two panel the same size and bond them together with iron on hem tape all the way around.
This last panel is simply longer than the measurement from the clips to the floor, so the top can fold over and create a built in valance which adds some contrast and detail. This is just two extra long panels with the side hems, Header, and bottom hem folded over once and iron on hem tape in between them holding the two panels together all the way around the edges.
So no more excuses for bare windows – now you know that even someone who can’t sew can have beautiful designer window coverings!