Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sidelight Window Treatments (No Sew)

There are so many things I love about the sidelight windows that flank our front door. They allow light into the living room, I can see the greenery outside, and I can see when guests arrive.  

With the good comes some bad.  From the outside you can see into our living room, especially at night when it's dark outside and the lights are on inside.  Not good!!

We initially put up window film from Lowe's which did help a little, but didn't completely solve the privacy problem.  Wooden blinds to match the rest of the window treatments in our house would be great, but they aren't in the budget at the moment.  

I knew I wanted some sort of sheer curtains, but was having no luck finding short curtain rods to fit the space.  Bear with me for the next part.  Yes, that is a photo of a paper towel roll and 2 toilet paper dispenser rolls below.  My husband came up with this idea and while skeptical at first, I decided to give his suggestion a try.  

Note:  You will need two toilet paper dispensers and one paper towel roll per window. The image below shows materials for one window only.  

I took a pair of lightweight, white Ikea curtains that I had sitting in the closet and cut one panel into two pieces a little larger than the sidelight windows.  The raw edges were made pretty with iron on hem tape.

Seriously, I should buy stock in a company that manufactures it.  I use it for everything from window treatments to hemming pants. 

This fabric has white on white lines which makes it easier to keep straight edges when cutting and hemming.

Insert the two plastic toilet paper dispenser rolls (or I suppose you might be able to use one plastic paper towel dispenser roll) into the empty cardboard paper towel roll. Since I was using fabric that was a curtain in a previous life, I already had a pocket at the top in which to insert the paper towel roll, same as you would a curtain rod.  If you are using a sheet or plain fabric, break out the iron-on hem tape and fold over the fabric to create a pocket at the top.  

Here are the finished curtains in place.  What do you think?  Yes, I did lose a little light coming into the room, but I gained enough privacy to make sitting in the room at night comfortable.  No more slinking around in the dark with the lights off at night!  The fabric I used is light enough that they don't completely block all the light from the windows, but you can no longer see in no matter how hard you try.     

Privacy at last!!

Here is the BEFORE again

Notes for this project:
  • Opt for lightweight fabric, otherwise the curtains will not stay up due to the weight.
  • Make sure the toilet paper or paper towel roll dispenser is plastic. Anything else will be too heavy. 
  • Lighter colored fabric allows some light to still enter the room.
  • If I was afraid of the paper towel rolls showing, I would cover them with white paper or a white decorative wrapping paper.  Luckily, mine are hidden from view from inside the house as well as outside.  Painting them might be an option, as long as they don't get too wet and lose their strength. 

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