Cheap and Easy Decorative Side Panels
It’s been a while since we’ve chatted about the windows in our living and dining rooms – otherwise known as the main living areas of our house. You might recall that when we first moved into this house, we installed these fabulous cornice boxes on the four windows in this space, and I declared the window treatments “done.” At the time, I was truly smitten with the clean lines and the phenomenal geometric fabric, but as the other elements of the room started to evolve, the cornice boxes were just a smidge too clean and modern for me. I stared at them over and over and over again – half in love with them and half craving some long, more traditional, window treatments. I didn’t want to get rid of the cornices completely, so I started toying with the idea of adding curtains under the cornice boxes to give me the classic look I was going for. Once the idea struck, it didn’t take me long to execute my plan!
To rewind a bit, this is what the window looked like before adding some decorative side panels. Again, there’s nothing wrong here, but I was just craving some fabric and texture and warmth in this space, instead of everything feeling so neat and tidy.
Here’s the same window from the same angle with the addition of the decorative panels. Much better, don’t you think?
So why am I calling them “decorative side panels” instead of curtains? Well, because, they are literally decorative side panels. Besides being pretty and giving me the feeling I was craving in this space, they aren’t functional at all. They aren’t wide enough to close, which is okay because we have the blinds. They are Velcro-ed into place so I can take them down whenever I want to (and I didn’t have to install curtain rods!)…and the best part? They were really quick, cheep and easy to make!
Are you curious to see how I made them?
I didn’t want to invest a ton of money or energy into this project since these “curtains” are really just for looks. Because we had the blinds, I made the decision that these curtains didn’t need to close, which saved me a ton of money on fabric! Here’s what I mean:
We have a fantastic local shop that carries an incredible selection of home decor fabric for $8/yard. Yes, you read that right. The WHOLE store is $8/yard. Anyway, I picked up 6 yards of fabric for a total of $50ish – not too terribly bad for four curtains, right?
- I started with a 6 yard x 56″ stretch of fabric.
- I cut this stretch in half width-wise, so that I had two 3 yard x 56″ pieces.
- I then cut each 3 yard piece in half length-wise, leaving me with a total of four rectangles measuring 3 yards x 28″ each.
With my four curtain panels cut, I then hemmed all four sides. The long sides each got a 1/2″fold, folded over another 1/2″ and stitched shut. The tops and bottoms were each folded over a 1/2″ and then another 4″ and hemmed. At this point, my four rectangles were “hemmed” on all four sides to take care of all the rough edges/cuts.
I then cut 6 1″ pieces of Velcro (I used the “sew” loop and “sticky” hook kind) and spaced them evenly across the top of my curtain panel. I sewed each Velcro piece in place on the RIGHT side of the fabric.
I don’t have pictures here so I hope you can follow me. I then cut a 12″ piece of the adhesive-backed Velcro and attached that to the INSIDE of the cornice box. I then lined up all my 1″ pieces, sewed to my curtain panel, end to end onto the long Velcro strip, essentially “pleating” the curtain panel. Make sense? Maybe a picture of two might help!
The 12″ stretch of Velcro is attached to the cornice box, and the 1″ pieces (sewn to the fabric) connect to the cornice box to form all those pleats!
Hanging curtains with Velcro is not new for me. I did it here and here and here. If you’re a renter, especially, this is a good trick as you often have windows, blinds, tracks, rails, etc that are a pain to pull down (and put back up!). If you just need a dose of fabric and are hanging decorative panels (like these or valences), Velcro is the way to go!
These took me an afternoon to make, and I really love the end result!
The other two decorative panels were hung on the back doors to mirror the window in the front of the house. Especially here in the dining room, the longer curtains lend a more sophisticated feel that is appropriate for this room.
A few quick before and after shots…of the playroom area:
And the dining room:
I’m really quite satisfied with this solution! Tweaking our original window treatment just a smidge helps me love our entire space so much more! How about you? Have you ever had to think and play and identify a solution to make something work just a bit better in your home? I feel like I am doing just that all the time 😉
Thanks for coming by today! I hope you have a great weekend. I’ll be back here Monday with another project reveal! See you then 🙂