Easiest DIY window panels this side of the Mason-Dixon

Hi! This is going to be a short and very sweet DIY project idea for your next window panel excursion.  Windows really do need a little something; much like me in the morning...I need a little somethin' somethin' such as coffee, and make-up.    A room can change dramatically when we dress up our windows.  And dressing up the windows.....is simple! 

Like I always say....there is a time and place for splurging on window treatments, and having them professionally installed, but this is not one of the those times!  Here we go.....

Today's tips are for hanging window panels like in this picture: 

Easy DIY window panels

1.   Determine what size window panels you need.  

To do this:  

  • measure your window width and height
  • Panels look best when hung about three quarters of the way up, from your window frame, so, you'll need to measure the length starting from that point (your rod), all the way to the floor
  • These diy panels will be hung using rod rings.  So your curtain will hang slightly below your window rod (see picture below): 
I could have hung the rod highter/further past the window frame, but in this picture you can see the space between the rod and the actual fabric, because of the rings used to hang it.  The panel still covers the window, though.  Consider all these things when taking your measurements

I could have hung the rod highter/further past the window frame, but in this picture you can see the space between the rod and the actual fabric, because of the rings used to hang it.  The panel still covers the window, though.  Consider all these things when taking your measurements

2. Get your materials: 

These panels are going to be created from......table cloths! 

  •  Rod Rings: (usually packs of 7 or 8) and for less than $10 (Wal-mart, Target, etc.)
  • Table Cloths (Bed, Bath, and Beyond clearance section)
  • Iron: you may want to iron your panels before hanging

What to look for: 

  • table cloths (rectangular) that match, and are same size.  This is easier to accomplish if you have only one window to dress.  The more windows you have the more table cloths you need.

Last summer I hit the jackpot with two tables cloths....in a pattern and color I really liked, but, they were too long.  Here is what I did:

A simple, no-sew sizing solution:

Fold over the top edge until you have the length you need, then clip your rod ring on the fold. make sure to consider these tips when deciding how much table cloth edge to fold over: 

Tip #1:  The bottom of your table cloth should graze the floor/or meet it perfectly.  Be careful of the "high-tide/flooding" phenomenon. This happens when panels do not reach the floor.  This is like a fashion "no-no".  

Tip #2:  If you want the puddled look for your panels, allow the table cloths to slightly drag on the floor when hung.   In this case, you may be able to leave the table cloths the length they are, without folding at all, OR, you may have to fold them over slightly.   I had to fold mine over about 6 inches. 

Once folded over, I pinched a small amount of fabric together for each of the 7 ring placements, and clipped the ring there: 

I did this with all 7 rings to each panel, placing them within equal distance of each other, and making sure to cover from one end of the fabric, to the other. You can totally eye-ball this part: 

Make sure you have a ring on each end of your table cloth, so when you go to hang it, the ends aren't drooping, or flapping in the wind. 

Do the same thing to your other tablecloth and now you've got two finished panels.  

If you need to do the fold-over trick to shorten your tablecloths, make sure you fold the same amount of fabric on each, so they hang evenly.   Panels should ideally graze your floor.  Dragging a little is fine, for the "puddled" look, and the "high-water" effect (not long enough!), should be avoided at all costs.

Then you position your panels any way you like. I wanted mine on each end of the window, so I "cinched" them:

The rod rings are nice because they allow the table cloths, uh....er, panels, to easily open and close. And, this strategy makes switching out your window treatments very feasible and hassle free; a great thing for those of us who like change. 

I recommend this window panel project for many reasons that I hope today's post demonstrated.   Refreshing a room can be as easy as a simple window panel change.  And, I'm sticking to my claim that these DIY window panels might just be the easiest diy panels this side of the Mason-Dixon line!!

Who knew table cloths could be so exciting? 

Happy Friday. 

-Kate 

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