Over the years I've used various materials for window coverings:
- Some years ago in our last house, we were planning a surprise birthday party for my mother-in-law. The surprise was on ME when I tried to clean the patio door drapes; they completely fell apart the week before the party! Having neither the time or inclination to purchase new ones, I threw the old drapes away and bought 15 yards of clearance rack material from the fabric store. I draped the material creatively over the traverse rod, leaving it floor-length on one side to hide the draw cord. Two years later when we went to sell the house, the buyer liked the makeshift coverings so much they wrote them into the contract!
- Our current house has a beautiful bay window in the family room. When we moved in, a specialty rod wasn't in the budget. A few weeks later, I noticed my neighbor was throwing out a kid's building set that contained lengths of colored PVC pipe and various types of connectors. After asking her permission, I carried them to my house. I went to the hardware store, bought 45° elbow connectors, and used the colored pipe pieces to assemble my own curtain rod. The pocket in the valance completely covered the unique components of the rod.
- The master bathroom has two windows that come together in the corner. When we moved in, there was a corner rod installed. However, it was only an inch wide, and my treatment needed one 2 1/2" wide. A strip of cardboard cut to the correct length and inserted in the rod pocket took care of the extra width.
These windows had valances on them several decorating incarnations ago. Although the rods had been moved to the basement, the hardware was still secured onto the window frame. (Sometimes it pays to procrastinate!) I found the rods and re-hung them. They were much smaller than the valance's rod pocket, but there was a cereal box in the recycling bin that, when cut in strips and taped together, provided just the right amount of cardboard to complete my job.
I cut the valance in two pieces and sewed the raw edges under. Next, I slipped the cardboard and the rod into the rod pocket and hung the rods. Voilà!
I think I'll keep the shams, but after I buy pillows to stuff them with, that's IT for this room's decorating...at least for now.