Do-It-Yourself Window Treatments for Plantation Blinds

Plantation shutters and blinds offer casually classic appearances with the functional benefits of light control and insulation. Even though they’re often seen gracing the window, you may want to boost your blinds with a window treatment that adds color, curiosity or a tie-in with the room’s decor. Building a simply-styled curtain, cornice, valance or wall edge is in the reach of most do-it-yourselfers. When deciding what size treatment you require, be sure to permit room for clearance at the top and sides of the window frame, so your shutters and blinds may operate correctly.

Simple Curtains

Simple curtains, composed of textile panels hung in the pole by clip-on rings, give a fashionable accent that doesn’t conquer your plantation blinds. Plain, textural materials such as muslin, burlap, linen blends or canvas are in keeping with the plantation theme, but you may use any color or print that suits the room’s decor. After measuring your windows, including clearance at top and sides, determine the size of your completed panels, which collectively must be 1 1/2 times the window width. You can use pre-made panels or make them from textile yardage, sheets, tablecloths or a canvas dropcloth. Machine-sew hems on all four sides, or even make a no-sew version by ironing the hem with fusible tape. Clip the curtain rings evenly across the panel’s top edge, spacing the rings around 6 inches apart. Thread the rings onto the curtain pole, and fasten the pole in its wall brackets.

DIY Cornice

A cornice box may be the crowning glory of your own farm blind window treatment, plus it doesn’t need to be a complex woodworking task. You can produce a cornice from lightweight materials such as foam core or cardboard. Fashion the box as an open, shallow “U” shape that fits on the top of the window frame, allowing for clearance so the blinds function correctly. Wrap the front part of the cornice with the decorative fabric of your choice above a layer of quilt batting to pad the structure. Tape the cloth and wrap on the inside of the cornice with packaging tape, or fasten it with pins. Hang the cornice with adhesive picture strips or by attaching it to your U-shaped metal curtain rod and brackets.

Roman Shade Valance

The soft, horizontal folds of a Roman shade echo the horizontal lines of plantation blinds. Building an accurate Roman shade that pulls up and down together with cord is an involved DIY project. A simpler approach is to produce a Roman shade valance that has the horizontal folds, but doesn’t move. Make a fabric panel that covers the width of the window frame and is one-half to two-thirds as long. Make horizontal pleats throughout the width of this panel to pull it up to the desired span. Stitch or tack the folds to hold them in position, and hang the valance from a curtain pole or mounting board.

Decorated Wall Border

A decorated edge on the wall around the window creates interest and may visually expand the window to give it more impact within the room. This is a powerful choice for plantation shutters since there’s absolutely no cloth to interfere with their operation. Although painting a freehand edge is really a personal touch, you don’t need to be artistically inclined to utilize this result. You can apply a wallpaper border around the window frame, like. Or, stencil a repeated pattern to produce the edge. Craft and home improvement stores sell wall stencils, paints and accessories, along with instructions and, from time to time, free tutorials on how to use them.

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