Stenciled Drapes

Add a pop of color or character to a room following these step by step instructions to stencil drapes from Twenty Something.

Window Mistreatment Ingredients

The goal of a window mistreatment is easy, pretty and fast.  However, chances are you are going to need some hardware and tools for your new mistreatments.  Here’s a list of some common items used when mistreating.

Glue Gun

Every home needs a glue gun.  We have both high melt and low melt guns and glue.   The molten hot high melt glue gun and glue will hold the strongest but the low melt is less scary to work with and can handle jobs like attaching fringe to the side of a drapery panel.

Fabric Glue

Fabric Glue is designed to hold up to washings.  It dries clear and offers a permanent bond.  I’ve used both Liquid Stitch on the left and Fabri-Tac on the right.  Most fabric and craft shops have a variety of fabric glue.

I haven’t washed any mistreatments where I’ve used fabric glue so I can’t vouch for the holding power after washing. I’m not the kind of person to wash my drapes.  I might shake them out, spot clean or toss them in the dryer for a quick pick me up but, the only time my fabric sees the washing machine is BEFORE I mistreat it~and then only if it’s cotton or sheets or a thin fabric that I think I’ll need to wash in the future.

I found that I don’t like working with Liquid Stitch as much because of the consistency. It’s similar to Elmer’s School Glue.  The Fabri-Tac seemed to adhere quicker and smelled like rubber cement. It’s sticky and cool when you touch it.  Make sure you put a protective layer of paper or plastic when you use these glues because they can go through fabric while you glue it.  You don’t want to glue fabric to your floor, not that I’ve done that.

Stitch Witchery

I cannot live without this stuff.  It’s iron on fusible webbing and it is your sewing machine’s evil {only because it’s called witch} step sister.  It’s pretty much like iron on sewing.  I started ironing my hems for window mistreatements 16 years ago.  For anyone who doesn’t want to sew, this is the next best thing.  It’s not going to hold up to hours of tugging but for most projects where you just want to hide a raw edge, this does the job and it’s washable too.  Not that I’ve ever washed it, I usually change out my mistreatments before they get yucky enough to need washing~which for me is every few years.  Here’s a fun drape made from Iron on Stitch/Stitch Witchery.

love these Dwell Studio fabrics from Robert Allen via Calico Corners


One of the greatest things about window mistreatments is that you can customize them with most any fabric.  Check out these fabric buying tips for ideas on where to find fabrics.  You can use fabric for the entire length of a panel or use can edge or embellish with fabric.


Don’t want to invest in fabric?  Maybe you want pre-hemmed edges?  Sheets are a great option and come in lots of different weights and colors.  I currently have sheets on our bedroom windows and at our front living room windows.  Here’s a beautiful mistreatment made from sheets.

Store bought window treatments to embellish

Maybe you have some drapes you love but, you just want to customize them.  You can add detail and character to store bought drapes.  This is currently one of my favorite ways to custom up boring drapes.  Ikea has great drapes to embellish since they carry long sizes.


You can add on ribbon, fringe, pom poms, paint, stencils, scrap fabric and all sorts of other things to store bought premade drapes or any kind of window mistreatment.

Then there is the hardware…


Rods can be one of the most or one of the least expensive parts of your windows.  I love it when a room only had one window because it’s easy to find a single rod at yard sales and thrift stores for a dollar or so.  I also love it when a room has lots of windows because I’m addicted to natural light.  But, that usually means I want matching rods so I go to Home Depot or Target or Lowes or Big Lots and buy my rods together so they are uniform.  Don’t forget, you can get really creative with your rods–bamboo, pvc pipe, metal pipe, tree branches are all fun ideas to create your own rod.


Grommets {seen here} are a nice alternative to ring clips or sewing a header at the top of your curtain panels.  A no-sewer’s friend.  Make sure you use grommets in even numbers per panel. You can buy them online or in many fabric stores.

 Ring Clips

Ring Clips are a great invention.  They allow fabric to be clipped up so that no header {the pocket at the top of real drapes that you slide the rod through} is needed.  You can clip drapes up even if they have a header, but, you can also simply clip pieces of fabric folded over.

 Theses are just a few of my favorite mistreatment tools, what am I missing?

Graphic Vintage Sheet Drapes For a Child’s Room

The graphic vintage feel of these drapes immediately caught my eye when I read about Rachel’s boy and girl shared room at Smile and Wave. Rachel found only one vintage flat sheet and made the most of it by cutting it in four pieces and hanging it high. She used a sewing machine and lined her drapes but, you could get the same look with hem tape/iron on stitch witchery.

I love that Rachel was daring and inventive when it came to creating a bold statement in her children’s room. Read all about how she made the curtains at Smile and Wave.

Ring Clips Trick

Kimba at A Soft Place to Land shares a tip for how she took one of the ring clips and put it on the bracket so it turns the corner and covers the gap between the drape and the wall.  So clever!


Stenciling on Windows

Design Inspiration: Planet Stencil Library explains how stenciling on windows is one way “to create some privacy…without blocking the light.”





Sheet Set Drapes and Valance

Want to make drapes and a valance from a king size sheet set without sewing?  Bibbidi Bobbidi Beautiful shows you how with her amazingly detailed tutorial.