Window Mistreatment 101 Red Checks Style

The following is an explanation of the fold, clip and poof method of mistreating windows.

No windows were harmed during this presentation.

I have been dreading this post for about 2 weeks. I know it will take me 2 hours to do this. I think it would just be easier to drive to anyone’s house that cared to know how to do this and do it for them.

Here’s what you need:

Fabric that you love. It’s okay if you just like it, but I am happier if I love it. And, I think it’s worth the wait. I saw this fabric, took a swatch home and tacked it to the wall over the toile sofa. I loved that both of the fabrics were a strong pattern. Days later I went back and bought enough to do one window. Loved it. Then I went back and bought enough to do another window. Loved it. Hated me because I had to drive 30 minutes for the third time in one week and had to order the rest. I still wish I had 5 more yards. Has anyone seen it anywhere?

It was scary at first to use two patterns together. But, the biggest risks often reap the biggest rewards. I think my sofa actually thanked me for introducing another pattern into the room. She didn’t like to steal the show. We all know how beautiful she is but, all the pressure to be the boldest fabric in the room was really stressing her out. And, I think it only enhanced the beauty of both fabrics when they were together.

The photo below is from inside our old nest. See how the patterns compliment each other. Don’t worry if fabrics are an exact match. Okay, I am going to now share a pet peeve. I hope I haven’t said this already but, it’s worth repeating.

You know when you are in your favorite fabric store minding your own business and you can’t help but overhear two ladies talking about their fabric choices? They are holding two fabrics up eye level about 12 inches from their pretty little faces trying to decide if the colors in the fabrics match. We do not need fabrics to match here people. They need to compliment each other. Flow, work together, be friends, have a nice relationship. When’s the last time someone came over to your house and picked up a cushion and carried it to your window to see if the fabrics “matched?”. RRRrrrrrrr! I want to tell those ladies to stand back! Way back and look at those fabrics from 5 or 10 feet. They are making the choice way too difficult. I am now done complaining.

{back to the things you need}

Fringe that makes you smile. This fringe is from Hobby Lobby for $6.99/yard plus 40% off. I love this ball and bead fringe so much. It really finishes the edges. also carries fringes at great prices.

Glue gun. I’ve already told you how I feel about that.

Ring clips.
My world would stop without these. I must at all times have access to my hot glue gun, upholstery tacks, black spray paint and ring clips. You really can’t abuse windows correctly without these items. You can find lots of stuff I use here.

Let’s assume that you have yourself a curtain rod already hung. It is possible to do this without but, that’s another post.

When buying your fabric make sure you have enough to start from the ground (I like a little drag at the bottom) and go all the way up to your rod plus about 10-14 inches extra depending on how full you want your poof. I like hanging rods as high as I can afford to purchase fabric for, you can always fool the eye with a panel to hide the fact that the window has stopped.

If you have fabric with strait lines going sideways like mine you can go ahead and thread your ring clips onto the rod. If not, you might need to clip the rings on the fabric while on the floor to make sure you are keeping somewhat of a strait line.

So, after I had my rod up with ring clips attached, I grabbed my cut/torn fabric and headed on up my favorite chair, making sure to wave at the neighbor who was wondering why I was standing on a chair in front of my window once again. I grabbed one side of the fabric held it about 10 inches down from the top until the bottom hit the floor where I wanted. I folded that extra 10 inches in half and clipped all of that fabric into the clip. See, it’s like a piece of fabric with a roll at the top. Easy!Then, I grabbed the other side corner and did the same thing, creating a lovely “U” shape. Be sure to leave all the other hooks in between. If not, you will get really frustrated, grab the rod and want to throw it out the window, and your neighbor will have confirmation that you are looney.Next, find the center and make sure you have each layer of fabric and clip that into the center clip. Do the same thing with the other two clips and you will have a weird looking window treatment. You could leave it at that, once you bunch up your clips together. I think the flat fold is pretty and I have done that before and added fringe to the bottom of the fold — you wouldn’t even need to fold it down and up for that, just down. Is this making any sense? I like to line up my clips so just the frame of the window is covered by the fabric. That allows for maximum natural lightage. Then, simply poof. That’s the fun part!Now, the even funner part! Oh, I hope June didn’t read that. Gluing on the fringe! This is so wonderful! It completes the entire look of the fabric! Fire up your glue gun, high or low melt and get crackin’! I always start at the top and work my way down. I also like to glue the fringe to the inside only of the fabric. Inside meaning edge closest to the glass. Glue that fringe right on the top facing side so the fancy part hides that raw edge.
If you are super inspired, you can add a flat panel behind to bring in more fabric. But, I sure wish I would have had more fabric to make longer checked panels so I could have hung my flat toile panel higher. I would prefer it just cover down to the bottom of my blinds when they are pulled to the top of the window. Behind, down, bottom, top. Are you confused yet? I am. I always forget, a picture is worth a thousand words. I ‘ll shut my trap now.And if some real designer-type tells you not to do that because they aren’t hemmed, interfaced, lined, pleated and weighted, you tell her to stick it where the sun don’t shine!

Wait, that actually, sounds like a good idea….PS
Here’s the table that came with the chair. Hope you approve.


  1. Hi Nester! I loooove this post. It’s one of my favorites! Do you have instructions on your blog anywhere about your ‘mistreatments’ in what appears to be your breakfast nook? I have the same type of ‘nook space’ in my house and it’s been (gasp) bare for THREE years! I’m trying to find a cheap mistreatment! (And this girl only owns a sewing machine…not the knowledge of how to use it well!) However, I do have a glue gun! Hoping you can help!

  2. I LOVE your window mistreatment ideas!!! I also enjoy decorating on a budget, and I am a no-sewer. I have some gorgeous fabric that has been in a bag for almost a year now, because I have been waiting until a good time to ask my busy friend to sew a bathroom curtain, but now, I’m going out to buy my rod and upholstery tacks tomorrow and do it myself! So excited!!!

  3. But what DO you do about the unfinished hem on the bottom and the unfinished sides??

  4. How do you know how much fabric to buy? I guess the length would be easy to calculate but what about WIDTH? Double the width of window? Triple?

  5. OOPs! Regarding previous post about fabric width for window….. this covering will be used for privacy so will cover the whole window.

  6. Hey…found you from one of your fan’s post. These are so pretty! Great idea, so easy….and I super love them in the doorway! I would never have thought to hang curtains in such a spot…but it is so pretty!

  7. These turned out great! They look super expensive. Neat idea. Found you through Decor Chic. I’ll have to look at your new posts…
    ~ Autumn Clark

  8. Oh my goodness! Your old nest was gorgeous and now your new nest is gorgeous!! I am so impressed, you have such LOVELY furnishings! This is my first visit to your blog. I am becoming a Follower and will visit often! I want to see more of your house! When I get time, I am coming back to read your old posts. You truly have a gift for interior design!
    Best regards,

  9. Hello again — I see that you don’t have a “Follower” list, so I signed up to get an email for when a new post of yours comes out. Looking forward to them!

  10. you know what i’ve been doing? walking around thrift stores and saying to myself (in my head, of course), it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful. over and over again. to remind myself that treasures are all around me. when i’m home working on various projects, i tell myself the same thing. such a simple statement has totally transformed my approach to my home. thank you!

  11. I have looked far and near for fabric like this…can’t find anything. I bought Dupioni Silk from years ago they no longer sell it. Does anyonr know where to get a plaid of this type? It doesn’t have to be dupioni silk but I’d like it to be as easy to work with as the DS was.

  12. Love your ideas!

  13. Ann Pierson says

    Gosh, ignore previous e-mail…I just found this pouf tutorial! Guess I didn’t look far enough! Thank you for the great idea!
    Ann Pierson

  14. Hello nice topic, I will come the blog trying to find an idea or an interesting post. Great information, express thanks for sharing. Robert
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  15. I am constantly looking online for ideas that can aid me. Thx!
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  16. Usually I don’t learn post on blogs, however I would like to say that this write-up very compelled me to try and do it! Your writing style has been surprised me. Thank you, very great article.|
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  1. […] and the drapery lining was wishful thinking at best, so she suggested that I might want to just “mistreat” the windows with the fabric a la The Nester. (If you don’t read The Nester, you are missing […]

  2. […] one day I’ll dress them up like Nester does to her mistreaments by gluing on some fringe or those little ball things, but for now, I am content.  Well, at least […]

  3. […] And this is how she looks set for two with my new drapes (courtesy of The Nester’s blog mistreatment instructions here) […]

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