Tuesday, September 29, 2009

DIY: Hardware Store Window Treatments!

When I decided to embark  on fixing up the Florida room to become my office we were on a very small budget!

We ran out one Saturday morning to our local LOWES and decided to not only pick up some Oops paint for our stripes, but all of the supplies for window treatments.

The room is full of windows that are UGLY and need to be replaced, but since we are on a budget I thought it best to just HIDE them!

Here is a little reminder of the BEFORE:

florida room 001 

Here is the after shot with window treatments up:


Here is how we did it:

At LOWES we picked up the following supplies:

Finish Factor 6' x 9' canvas drop cloths

Eye Hooks

Wire Rope Cable Clamps

1/8” steel cable {not plastic coated}

Cable tensioner

STEP 1: Put eye hooks at opposite ends of walls.

STEP 2: Thread cable through eye hook and secure with wire clamp. Make sure you tighten clamp.

DSC02723 DSC02724

It will look like this on wall:


STEP 3: Cut the cable that has been threaded through the eye hook 2 ft shy of the ending wall.

i.e.: If the space between the eye hooks is 10 ft long then make a cut at 8ft long.

You will now have two pieces of cable. An 8 ft section already attached to an eye hook and a remaining 2 ft section by it’s self.

STEP 4: At the end of the cable that is already attached to an eye hook (i.e.: 8ft section) thread cable through one of the loops of the tensioner. (Loops on tensioner should be almost fully extended) Secure cable with a wire clamp.

DSC02727 DSC02728

Here is what it looks like on the wall:

DSC02716 * Note we place a bit of electrical tape on the exposed wire, because we didn’t want it to snag the fabric.

STEP 5: Starting at opposite wall eye hook thread 2ft section through and secure with wire clamp. This is exactly like STEP 2  you are now doing it on opposite wall.

STEP 6: Take other end of 2ft cable and thread through the empty end of the tensioner. Pull with all your might and then secure final loop with wire clamp. This is exactly like STEP 4.

Here is how it will look with both loops on the tensioner threaded:

DSC02715Cable should now be installed and taut. 

STEP 7: To place curtain panels on tension rod simply unscrew one loop of the tensioner and thread panel. We left a 1” and 1/4 opening on panel so that the cable and hardware could pass smoothly.


STEP 8: Have some one assist you in supporting weight of curtains to prevent the cable from drooping you are now ready to reconnect the loop to the tensioner.

STEP 9: Spin center portion of tensioner to tighten cable. If you have a very large window and want additional support you can add an additional eye hook in the center of wall to support weight.

STEP 10: Sit back and relax and enjoy your new chic and cheap curtains! Give your husband a big smooch for doing all the hard work!

We continued and made one more tension rod for the other wall of windows. When placing these eye hooks you will have to place it a tiny bit higher than the existing eye hook from the previous rod so that they don’t interfere.


This was a super easy and inexpensive solution to my window dilemma. Depending on your local hardware store the cable should run around .20 cents a foot, the wire clamps around .50 cents, tensioner from $1-$2 a piece, eye hooks from $3-$4 for a bag and canvas drop cloths around $10 for 6’ x 9’ section.

For one wall you will need:

4 clamps

1 Tensioner

2 Eye Hooks

Drop Cloths for curtain panel. Depending on wall size you will know if you need 1 or 2, etc to cover the wall.

The drop cloths I purchased had finished edges so I only needed to sew the section for the curtain rod to pass through. I do recommend that you give them a wash before you use them. They had a bit of smell to them from being in the package.

I liked the look of them so I left them as is, but you could dye them whatever color you like, add  ribbon trim to the edges, fabric paint, nail head trim to make a border, iron on transfer for monogram the possibilities are endless.

It just goes to show that even if you have a next to nothing budget you can still improve on what you have! I love nothing better than a budget re-design.

If you need any help in decorating rooms in your home on a budget I would love to help! I have reasonable rates, no mark-ups on to the trade items and can work with any budget!


You can contact my office at 516-661-6993 or send me an email at cpavone0107@gmail.com. I’m in the NY tri-state area, but also take on e-decorating clients as well.

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Blogger bluehydrangea said...

Love it!! I am sure your business will be booming!!

September 29, 2009 at 11:30 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

That's a great tutorial! And I'd heard about using drop cloths as curtains before, but wasn't too sure about how they'd look - but yours look great!!

It's so exciting that you're opening up your own business!! I wish you nothing but luck! I would love to do what you're doing, I'm just not 100% there yet...

September 29, 2009 at 11:36 AM  
Blogger Dallas said...

Thanks for the how-to, I was looking for a budget friendly solution to covering my closet space. Now I have it!

September 29, 2009 at 11:56 AM  
Blogger Miss Wendy said...

That was a very good solution! Love that you are advertising for e clients too.

September 29, 2009 at 12:09 PM  
Blogger Emily said...

What a great job you did! It's nice that you can still pull back the curtains for some sunlight. Love it!

September 29, 2009 at 12:27 PM  
Blogger Dagny @ Beautiful Living said...

Great idea! I'm actually having the same challenge with our dining area. IKEA has a similar solution, and I think I'm heading over there asap to get my fix!! Thanks for giving me the much needed "kick in the a**" :D

Have a great Tuesday!!

September 29, 2009 at 12:54 PM  
Blogger LindsB said...

What a great way to cover lots of windows- I love how they came out and think its a great fix!

Your office is almost there, how exciting for you!!!

September 29, 2009 at 1:40 PM  
Blogger Karen@StrictlySimpleStyle said...

Smart solution! A friend just asked for a solution to this very problem.

September 29, 2009 at 1:43 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

Those are great! Perfect!

September 29, 2009 at 1:51 PM  
Blogger Ms. Bright said...

Way to go!! Totally "chic on the cheap"! I love how it came out and how budget friendly it was! It makes such a difference when you cover up the ugly, doesn't it?

September 29, 2009 at 2:26 PM  
Blogger Chic Coles (Cole Design) said...

So wonderful and cleaver. Great job. Thank you so much for sharing! Wow that was a lot of work.

September 29, 2009 at 2:57 PM  
Blogger Blueprint Bliss said...

C- it looks great. And thanks for taking the time to post a tutorial!

I love my drop cloth ones in my bedroom.

September 29, 2009 at 3:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow - can't believe those are drop cloths! What a great inexpensive solution.

September 29, 2009 at 4:20 PM  
Blogger Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

This is fantastic! I love how well you explained the hardware. I'll be linking to this.

September 29, 2009 at 4:50 PM  
Blogger Kylie said...

You are amazing! I wanted to suspend a wall of curtains behind our bed but I need to figure out a few more things before I do that. Your upholstery is beautiful too -- love the print!


September 29, 2009 at 6:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are SO resourceful!! Go girl! Looks awesome.

September 29, 2009 at 8:22 PM  
Blogger A Life More Fabulous said...

How clever - you make it look so easy!

September 29, 2009 at 11:17 PM  
Blogger Southern Aspirations said...

VERY clever! Thanks for the directions as well. I hadn't heard about using drop cloths that way...looks great.

September 30, 2009 at 7:09 AM  
Blogger M.B.Walker said...

I love this idea! I've been trying to figure out a way to cover up back door, insulating it for the upcoming winter; but it needs to be cheap and thick. Using cables like this will allow for easy on and off as the seasons change. Thanks for instructions!

September 30, 2009 at 7:32 AM  
Blogger JennyMac said...

Great information and tutorial!

September 30, 2009 at 8:21 AM  
Blogger Christen said...

This turned out so lovely! And what a great tutorial :) You are a gem!

September 30, 2009 at 8:21 AM  
Blogger Lauren said...

looks awesome!!! love those business cards!!!!

September 30, 2009 at 9:15 AM  
Blogger Katherine @ Grass Stains said...

That is a GREAT fix for your window dilemma! I have lots of windows that need "real" treatments ... I'd love to do Plantation Shutters throughout, but they are thousands of dollars. I might have to try the dropcloths!

September 30, 2009 at 9:41 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

I love this! And thank you for the tutorial.. this may be something we attempt in our bedroom actually!

September 30, 2009 at 10:04 AM  
Blogger Stephanie Sabbe said...

I LOVE what you did in here. You know what your sofa looks like (and maybe you already know this) but Carrie's sofa in the Sex in the City movie.

Good luck with the biz. I'm getting up my courage to hopefully do something similar in Boston, we'll see.

September 30, 2009 at 10:08 AM  
Blogger Caroline said...

The room looks great, we have a back enclosed porch that we are looking to add some privacy to that this idea might just work.

Great Blog!! Good luck with the business, I have a small design business as well, moving toward e-decorating to add more clients.

September 30, 2009 at 1:52 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Thanks for the tutorial. Love how the room is coming along.

September 30, 2009 at 3:26 PM  
Blogger LindsB said...

can we please have more pics of this room- the eye candy is just wonderful!

September 30, 2009 at 3:50 PM  
Blogger Hopeless Chest said...

Great job.
Were you totally overwhelmed by all the fabric at the sewing machine?

September 30, 2009 at 5:45 PM  
Anonymous Eileen said...

Oh my goodness! It looks fantastic! I never would have thought to use dropcloths! :) Thank you for a great tutorial!

January 28, 2010 at 11:49 PM  
Blogger The mad woman behind the blog said...

Thank you for this tutorial (and for linking it in a recent post.) I watch the videos or the shows showing how to do it and they just go too fast.
I too have made curtains from drop cloths (for an outdoor gazebo) and LOVED them.

New follower and loving what I see!

May 4, 2010 at 1:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was really a snap to do! I think ironing the curtains took the longest... fortunately, I had a friend help with that.
I also had a couple of drywall issues... eh, it worked out. I'll send pix soon...

June 1, 2010 at 4:45 PM  
Blogger Gina Shroyer said...

Where did you find the fabric on the chair? It's a Richloom pattern that I have been trying to find for over a year!

March 25, 2014 at 10:16 AM  

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