Thursday, August 11, 2011

Window Treatments: Leave No Evidence

Most of the apartments I've occupied have had two things in common: miniblinds and rules against putting holes in the walls.  Not to be denied my drapey window treatments, I devised a way to hang curtains and still get my deposit back at the end of the lease.  This project will show you how to dress up your windows with no sewing, no tools, and no holes in the walls.

Cost:  $12+, depending on types of window treatments chosen
Materials needed:
  • spring clamps
  • curtain rod
  • sheet(s), fabric or window treatment(s)
  • rubber bands

You will need two spring clamps, which can be purchased from your local home improvement store for $2-3 each.  Make sure they open at least 1" so they won't crush the top rail of your blinds or bend the interior mechanism.  I'm using 4" x 1" opening clamps from Home Depot.  Place one clamp on each end of the rail.

Shirr your curtain panels onto a standard rod (available at most discount and home improvement stores for $3-5).  You can also use fabric or sheets instead of pre-made curtain panels.  Sheets are easy to use as curtains because the top hem makes a great rod pocket -- just snip holes in either end and run the rod through.  Place the rod on top of the clamps.  Use twist ties or rubber bands to secure the rod to the clamps if you wish.

For the top treatment, you will need a long piece of fabric.  The appropriate length will vary depending on the size of your window and the look you’re going for.  In these photos, I’m using a five-yard scarf valance (bought at a thrift store for $2.50) on a 48" window.  Run the fabric through two rubber bands.

Drape the fabric through the clamps.  Adjust so it's hanging evenly (or just the right amount of skewed, if you prefer).  Secure the fabric to the clamps with the rubber bands.

Run the end of the fabric through a rubber band until the band is a few inches below the clamp.

Pull the band up to the bottom of the clamp, making a loop with the fabric.  Secure the band to the clamp.  This will form a "pouf" which will hide the clamp.

Repeat on the other side.

If you don't like the pouf look, you can hide the clamps some other way -- big bows or draped scarves, for example.  You could even make a hole in the back of a pair of foam skulls and pop those over the clamps.  Spooky!

When it's time to depart, you can easily take down your window treatments and leave no evidence.


  1. Brilliant! I needed you back in my apartment-dwelling days... :)

  2. I don't remember how I got the idea, but I used it in several apartments. Now I'm in a house and drilling holes in the walls... muahahaha! ;)

  3. As I was pondering how to properly decorate my home for Halloween (without messing up my rather fiddly faux finished walls), I ran across your blog this via VictorianKitty's Boots post.
    First off, your step-by-steps are well thought out. So, thanks for that.
    But this post? GENIUS. GEE. NEE. US.
    My Halloween living room just got 100% cooler. My roommate is going to faint when she sees. TO THE FABRIC STORE FOR STRIPES!

  4. Thanks so much! It really makes me happy when people find my posts useful. :D I would love to see photos of your Halloween decor!

  5. This is absolutely PERFECT for sorting out the last window in my apartment. All the others have curtain poles (some with nice twizzly metal!) and rings, but in my hallway there's this one window that has an ugly grey blind. It shall be gothed up soon!

  6. Excellent! I am glad the idea is useful for you. :)

  7. oh, the most amazing thing :D thanks. that will be used in a future :) just love the idea :D I just was thinking, How you'll hide the orange clamps. The idea of knots is lovely.

  8. I'm moving into an apartment with... mini-blinds and a
    "no holes" rule." I'm cranky about it, plus I need to put up sheers for privacy!

    This is an awesome solution. Thanks so much!

    1. I am glad the idea is useful to you. Good luck in your new place.