My $26 Custom Window Treatment Hack

I’ve been in the house almost a year now. And I just hung window treatments the other day. Whoops. Chalk it up to shifting priorities. Yet when the realtor came through to give me some tips on what I could to do make the house look more “finished” window treatments (at least blinds at the bare minimum in all of the rooms) is apparently a standard.

I’d pinterested  a pin to this link/tutorial some time ago, which showed how to customize a cheap roller shade. Which is exactly what I did. Except instead of fabric, I just used an old shower curtain. Here is how I did it. 

My local home supply store did not have roller shades in the specialty size I needed for one of the kitchen windows, so after some research I ended up ordering the Isdans roller shade from ikea.com. With the $15 shipping fee, it came out to $26 per shade. ($52 for both.) I ordered two 39 inch shades and cut them both to fit.

roller shade ikea

I then installed the hardware to the window.

installing window treatment hardware

window treatment hardware 2

 

Then measured again. NOTE: Be sure to include the length of  the little knob thingy on the end. On the first window I did it just from silver to silver (of the pole) and struggled for a good hour or two trying to put it up. The second time I measured from the knob to the silver part where I wanted to make a cut and marked it.

measuring cuts for pipe

Then I used a PVC pipe cutter to cut the non-knob end to length. Here is a great “How to use a kobalt pvc cutter” tutorial video since they don’t come with instructions…apparently. Since the ends get a little smushed during the pipe cutting, you will most likely have to use needle nose pliers and/or a hammer to get it to the right size hole to fit the rest of your hardware.

PVC pipe cutter at work

Now comes the fun part with the fabric. I laid mine face down on the floor of my office.

shower curtain all laid out

Look familiar? You may have seen it before in the guest bathroom.

bathroom from above with text

I didn’t love it in the bathroom, but I thought the light blues, yellows, and soft gray matched up nearly perfect with the new ice blue kitchen color.

NOTE: Before you glue make sure your hardware is going to match up once you flip the shade to where the “front” of the fabric is. Mine was reversed and I had to start all over when I did my first shade. So make sure if your knob end is going to be on the left of the window sill that it is on the right side when you are gluing your fabric…if that makes sense.

I searched online for the best-rated fabric glue. Turns out it is Unique Stitch Adhesive ($6.25 a tube on Amazon.) I was pretty impressed with the results. Now, all you have to do is line up the bottom with the seam of your shower curtain (if there is one.) Then unroll the roller shade all the way out (cutting for length if you need to-I did!) Then you glue your fabric all the way around, leaving an inch or so on each corner. It dries super fast, but I gave it about 30 minutes in between drying and hanging.

glue

Then hang your shades.

window treatment before and after

 

I think it substantially cozies the room up.Forgive the difference in lighting, one set of photos was taken in the AM and the other at night. The morning “before” picture on both is a truer reflection of the “blue” tone of the walls.

2nd before and after window treatment collage

Custom roller shades with specialty fabric can cost anywhere from $3-500 per shade (I am checking prices again Smith+Noble, an upscale custom shade shop)  depending on any extra features and upgrades you get. It should be noted that my ikea shades can go down, but if I want to draw them up, I have to take them off the mount and manually roll them or roll them with my hands. Not ideal, but for $26 total (assuming you have the supplies and the shower curtain) you cannot beat the price.

I like the idea of giving the shower curtain a second life, and I liked that it came already hemmed so it looked a bit more finished than just gluing under would have.

Hope you guys enjoyed my custom window treatment hack!


  • http://debtdebs.com debt debs

    Wow you are so creative! Looks good and way to repurpose that shower curtain.

    • http://lbeeandthemoneytree.com/l-bee-and-the-money-tree/ Lauren Bowling

      Thank you. Two weeks later and I’m still loving them!

  • http://www.thefrugalcottage.com Nicola

    That looks great – you wouldn’t think it was so cheap! You are clever :)

    • http://lbeeandthemoneytree.com/l-bee-and-the-money-tree/ Lauren Bowling

      Thanks! I am rarely crafty, so I feel pretty good about this one :)

  • http://retiredby40blog.com Retired by 40

    Nice! I would never have thought of that!

    • http://lbeeandthemoneytree.com/l-bee-and-the-money-tree/ Lauren Bowling

      Thank you!