5 Affordable & Unusual DIY Window Treatments

5 Affordable & Unusual DIY Window Treatments

Laurie McGinley
Mar 6, 2012

Cheap, off white, vinyl blinds have been part of my life since I rented my first apartment in 1997. Only recently have I questioned why on earth I live with these horrible devices. They break, they get dirty easily and they are rarely installed level and plumb with the window. Here are five ideas for affordable, DIY window treatments for renters.

  1. Painted drop cloths
    are transformed in this DIY return to sender window treatment. Mrs. Limestone posted a detailed tutorial about how to create a well designed, hand painted window treatment. She chose a faux Roman (faux because it doesn't move) window covering because light and privacy weren't an issue. This design could be adapted to be an operable shade as well.
  2. Use wallpaper
    to create a colorful and quirky window shade. If your apartment has roller shades instead of vinyl blinds, you can laminate the wallpaper right to the shade.If you don't have roller blinds or if you don't want to have to buy new ones when you move, use the tutorial below with wallpaper of your choice.
  3. Use an old map
    to make a classic shade in place of the vinyl blinds. Use this tutorial from Martha Stewart to convert a map into a window covering.
  4. Contact paper patterns
    Contact paper, a pattern, a writing utensil, and an X-acto knife can transform a window into a translucent screen. You can just peel the contact paper off when you move. The pattern can be anything you like from the regular quatrefoil pattern in the tutorial to something more free form like this example on Design Sponge.
  5. DIY shoji screen
    You'll need some pre-cut wood, hand made paper, and glue to make a shoji screen that perfectly fits your windows.

What else have you used to dress up the windows in your apartment?

What a Difference a Curtain Makes

(Image: Mrs. Limestone)

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