Do-It-Yourself Ideas and Tips

Window Scarves – 3 Things You Can Do to Make Them Easy to Hang


By Rose Duffy

If you have ever tried to hang a window scarf then you know how frustrating it can be to control the fabric while draping the swags. Starting with the right fabric, in the necessary length for your window and using a rod you can pin the folds into will simplify hanging any scarf. Just follow these three tips.

1. Begin with the right fabric, one that has a soft hand and flowing drape. It can be silk or satin or sheer or even a light weight chenille. It is important however that both sides are appealing; in the process of draping both the front and the back of the fabric could end up showing. That is why sheers are often used; both sides of a sheer look the same. If your fabric has a pattern, the direction of the print will change as you drape the scarf. In the case of a stripe or plaid they will appear on an angle on the swag and run vertically on the cascades. If the pattern includes an image like a tree, the tree could end up up-side down in places. It is a good idea to avoid patterns that have a direction.

2. Having the right size scarf is important. If it is too long it can be difficult to manage and end up looking sloppy; not enough fabric and it will look skimpy. To establish the length, first decide how many swags or loops you want to have. This is partially determined by the size of the window; a typical swag is 36 inches wide, however, it can be larger or smaller. Add the windows width plus how much fabric will hang down on each side plus 10 inches for each loop/swag. This will equal the finished length of fabric you need.

Before hanging the scarf indicate the center of the fabric lengthwise, and measure up from the ends to where the cascades will begin. Mark these locations with a piece of masking tape on the edge of the fabric.

3. Use a fabric covered foam rod to simplify making beautiful swags. With a foam rod you can control the shape and size of the swags by pinning the fabric to the rod and securing each fold. Select a foam rod that is covered with a contrasting fabric to add more color or texture to your treatment Put the fabric on the rod, positioning the middle loop first. Place the center of the scarf over the center of the rod. Create soft folds and gently pull the fabric from the bottom of the loop while holding the top of the loop with your other hand.

Pin the scarf fabric to the rod to keep it from shifting as you continue to loop the fabric over the remaining rod (adding a loop for each swag). Stop when you get to the markers indicating the length of the cascades, this will ensure both sides are the desired length. Remove the tape markers and use a hand steamer to take out winkles.

Following these three tips should make it easy to create beautiful swags with a scarf.

Shop for foam rods and window scarves at For 20 years Window Treatment Designer, Rose Duffy has been using foam rods to drape window scarves for her clients. Visit her blog at and see unique scarf designs that will inspire you, as well as her complete Foam Rod Scarf System with more ideas that are designed to simplify hanging window scarves.

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How to Make Simple Kitchen Curtains

By Janice Wood

Kitchen curtains are relatively easy to make because:

  1. you only have to be able to sew in straight lines
  2. kitchen windows tend to be smaller than other windows in your home – and so do the curtains – no huge lengths and widths of fabric which can be difficult to deal with
  3. washable light cotton curtains are best for kitchens and these fabrics are easy to handle when sewing

Here are the easy steps to make your kitchen curtains.

1. Measure your Curtains


Measure the width of the rod – this will be the width of each finished curtain panel in a pair of curtains if you want to achieve a reasonable fullness after gathering.


Take the length (or drop) of your curtains as starting from the rod to two or three inches below the sill for window- length curtains or to the floor for floor length curtains (shorter is generally better in an informal room like a kitchen).

2. Work Out How much Fabric You Need

On top of the length you will need about 4 inches for a top header and 6 inches for a bottom hem and about 4 inches on top of the width of each curtain panel for the side seams. (Remember to include both curtains in your calculations when working out how much fabric you need).

Fabric comes in fixed widths. Try and get the right width so that you only need one width for each curtain panel. Don’t worry if it is a bit too wide. You can increase the gathers. If the fabric is not wide enough you can join lengths together. Remember to include the additional seams in your calculations.

If your fabric has a pattern you will need to line it up between the two curtains. Take any wastage here into account. You don’t have to worry too much with a small pattern repeat.

If the fabric is not pre-shrunk add a 10% allowance for shrinkage.

3. Prepare the fabric

Wash and iron the fabric so that any shrinkage takes place BEFORE you make your curtains.

Cut out the pieces as required making sure to match up any large patterns and have the pattern running in the right direction on both curtains.

4. Sew

Join any lengths together as required for wide curtains. Pin, sew and press the seams. Then fold and sew the side seams of each curtain panel to neaten the edges. Fold over the top 4 inches of the curtain panels towards the inside and press, then fold under 2 inches and press to make a 2inch hem. Stitch this hem close to the bottom of the seam (leaving an approximately two inch channel for the curtain rod).

5. Hang and Finish the Curtains

Leaving the bottom hems untouched hang the curtains on the curtain rods then pin up the hems. (This is the best way of getting the right length). Take the curtains down and finish off the bottom hems neatly after folding, pinning and pressing. Don’t cut off excess material within reason – a larger hem will be heavier and will help the curtain hang well. Just fold under an inch or so then press for neatness and then create a 4 or 5 inch hem to match on each curtain panel.

If you want more help with choosing kitchen curtains or help with measuring up has all the information you need. Find out how to get the best kitchen curtains for your windows and how to save money on your purchase.

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