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DIY Window Covering for Awkward Windows | Ruched Curtain DIY

I’m so excited to share my easy and inexpensive DIY window covering for awkward windows idea.

DIY Window Covering for Awkward Windows | Ruched Curtain DIYDIY Window Covering for Awkward Windows | Ruched Curtain DIY

I had a regular window I wanted to create an inexpensive window treatment for, but then I also had some awkward narrow windows I wanted to add some window coverings to as well.  The windows are in my guest room which I converted into a little sewing room while my Mom visited recently:

DIY Window Covering for Awkward Windows | Ruched Curtain DIY DIY Window Covering for Awkward Windows | Ruched Curtain DIY

Too obvious?  Does this scream, “please drop your bags and start sewing immediately”?  I love when my Mom visits because she helps me make major progress on my DIY home decor sewing projects.  Plus, the window coverings we made were for the guest bedroom, so she benefits too because now the neighbors can’t peer in haha.  Here’s a look at the windows before:

In the other bedrooms, our DIY curtains were easy: curtain rod, DIY curtain panels, and clip curtain rings:

But that same system wouldn’t have looked right with the tiny guest bedroom windows.  I considered custom blinds, but, unfortunately, I don’t have the budget for that so we tried to emulate that by creating some fitted sheers that are installed inside the window casing for a streamlined look.  We chose sheers because they still let light in, but gathering the fabric created a lot of privacy.

How to Make a DIY Window Covering for Awkward Windows:

Basically, these DIY window coverings consist of a horizontal panel of fabric cut to fit the height of the windows, with an extra bit of length to allow for the pockets/hem.  Then we sewed a pocket on the top and bottom, sizes appropriately for the tension (aka compression) curtain rods I purchased.  I bought two flatter (not so round) sets of rods for each window and they fit just inside the frames.  They hold the curtain top and bottom, allowing us to ruche the fabric to create some privacy with the gathers.  This fabric was leftover sheer material from the master bedroom, so this was a budget-friendly idea for me.

DIY Window Covering for Awkward Windows | Ruched Curtain DIY

Just sewing a pocket for a top rod created a more “country kitchen” look than I was after, but it’s also an option:

DIY Window Covering for Awkward Windows | Ruched Curtain DIYDIY Window Covering for Awkward Windows | Ruched Curtain DIY

To me, when the curtain is cinched at the bottom also, it looks more polished and custom:

DIY Window Covering for Awkward Windows | Ruched Curtain DIY

Once my mom sewed the rod pockets, top and bottom, we also hemmed the sides and then fit the curtains into place.  The width of the curtain is up to you and dependent on how much ruching you want.  You could make these completely tight, with no ruching.  Play around with the fabric, but doubling the width of the window is our recommendation.

DIY Window Covering for Awkward Windows | Ruched Curtain DIY

We did some fiddling and fussing to make sure the fabric was ruched evenly:

DIY Window Covering for Awkward Windows | Ruched Curtain DIY

Much better!  Didn’t we do a splendid job on this DIY window covering for awkward windows?

DIY Window Covering for Awkward Windows | Ruched Curtain DIYDIY Window Covering for Awkward Windows | Ruched Curtain DIY

I lowered the exposure on the photos below so you can see the new window coverings in better detail:

DIY Window Covering for Awkward Windows | Ruched Curtain DIY
DIY Window Covering for Awkward Windows | Ruched Curtain DIY

I love how these DIY window coverings turned out!

DIY Window Covering for Awkward Windows | Ruched Curtain DIY

Here’s what the window treatments look like from the exterior:

DIY Window Covering for Awkward Windows | Ruched Curtain DIY

If you have a small, awkward window, hopefully this DIY curtain tutorial helps you – or maybe it will inspire a unique solution of your own!

P.S. Don’t Forget to Pin for Later!

DIY curtain for awkward windows

DIY Window Covering for Awkward Windows | Ruched Curtain DIY

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24 Comments

  1. kpriss
    March 21, 2011 / 5:03 pm

    Oh, I'm having such trouble finding the right window treatments! I ended up using some "temporary" paper roman blinds made by moi but I'm so looking forward to bringing in some furniture to get an idea about what would really work! Changed two types of curtains / blinds so far, without counting the temps!I think I will temporarily use your "ruched blinds" for our girl's room, she has these rectangular, upper side placed windows, just like yours! Your mom did a great job, indeed! Now if we could arrange that she could visit us too, puuuuuhlease! :*

  2. blogbytina
    March 21, 2011 / 6:00 pm

    sigh…moms are so great šŸ™‚ Love the curtain idea! I have some awkward baby windows too, but no scheduled mom visits. Is yours free? šŸ˜‰

  3. Amy
    March 21, 2011 / 11:09 pm

    Great work on the curtains. Love that mid century style chair too!

  4. Tanya @ Dans le Townhouse
    March 22, 2011 / 12:22 am

    Thanks Amy! I posted a "want" ad on an online classifieds page and got a call from a gal who had thought about selling the chair – it was exactly what I had described. Check this post for more info on how I picked that fabric (I had it reupholstered): http://dans-le-townhouse.blogspot.com/2011/01/theres-new-chair-in-there.html.

  5. Tanya @ Dans le Townhouse
    March 22, 2011 / 12:23 am

    P.S. For those who have voiced an interest in renting my mom, she does come with the added cost of desserts and lattes. In lieu of this fee, you could try a no sew tape to make this window treatment even easier. šŸ˜‰

  6. Dana@Mid2Mod
    March 22, 2011 / 1:44 am

    Love the windows! I've always thought top and bottom rod pockets look so good.

  7. The English Organizer
    March 22, 2011 / 2:20 pm

    Definitely the right choice to do rods top and bottom!No wonder we all want to borrow your Mom šŸ˜‰

  8. barbara@hodge:podge
    March 22, 2011 / 3:59 pm

    The curtains look great! Like how they kind of echo the West Elm bedding, which I have on my bed and LOVE {except careful when you pull on it, the tucks can tear – sniff}Sewing? Love it, glad your mom is such a willing helper!

  9. Anonymous
    June 30, 2011 / 5:34 am

    I have one of those windows too in my daughter's room. I made curtains but didn't know what to cover the window with …brilliant. I'm wondering if you are able to slide the sheer curtain over to "open" it and allow direct sunlight in? I can't wait to make this for my daughter's bedroom. Thanks for your post and for your mom for doing the sewing.

  10. Tanya @ Dans le Townhouse
    June 30, 2011 / 1:04 pm

    Hello Anonymous blog friend. If you didn't bunch the curtain so much, it could definitely slide open. Mine won't because of the excess material we use – we wanted it to really offer some privacy.

  11. Laurie Leverette
    April 4, 2015 / 6:11 pm

    I love this! I have the same windows in my bedroom and living room. What material did you use to make them? Also, do you think I could use stitch wizard to make the rod pockets? I don't have a sewing machine….

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      April 4, 2015 / 6:41 pm

      It was a really soft, synthetic sheer drapery fabric with lots of texture – it was one of those "mystery blends," if I remember correctly. Something soft is easier to work with. It definitely offered privacy, but still let lots of light in. I'm not familiar with a stitch wizard – if it can sew a hem or a straight line, it should work!

    • Jessi
      August 16, 2017 / 7:11 pm

      Love this idea. Where is the fabric from?

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      August 17, 2017 / 3:09 am

      Oooo, I want to say Fabricland? It's so old now…

  12. kim phillips
    August 31, 2015 / 11:18 pm

    Love the look. I am going to use this idea for sure. Actually my mom suggested the same idea. Must be a mom thing.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      September 1, 2015 / 11:37 am

      Mom's know best, right?

  13. Jane Terry
    June 29, 2020 / 10:32 pm

    This is just what I need. I made relaxed Roman shades for some of my kitchen and living room windows, but neither Roman shades nor regular curtains would work well in the oddly-shaped windows in my laundry room. However, your gathered curtains idea would work perfectly. Thank you for posting this!

    • June 29, 2020 / 11:02 pm

      Hi Jane! I’m so happy you find this idea helpful, thanks for the lovely feedback. Happy sewing šŸ™‚

  14. Yayeen Gavieres
    August 11, 2020 / 5:01 pm

    We have awkward windows in our basement with the top part all the way to the ceiling . This would be a great solution for a window treatments. Where did you get the tension rods? Also, how long of a fabric did you use to accommodate the ruching? Was it like twice the length of the rods? Thanks!

    • August 14, 2020 / 2:01 pm

      I bought the tension rods from the fabric store (Fabricland) and I liked how flat/thin they were. Places like Home Depot and Lowe’s carry them as well – even Amazon. For fabric, yes, about twice the length will get you a nice ruched look. The thickness/stiffness of the fabric play a role too, so I recommend going to the fabric store to pick out your sheer fabric (not ordering online) so you can play with it and scrunch it up to see what you like. A thicker/stiffer fabric will not gather the same as a thinner, softer sheer.

  15. Ashley
    November 10, 2021 / 11:22 am

    Do you think a jersey material would work well for this? I need something a little thicker to block more light!

    • November 10, 2021 / 11:28 am

      That’s a good question. I’ve never used jersey material for curtains. But yes, I think it could work.

  16. Darlene
    February 25, 2022 / 12:06 pm

    Wow !! These are great ! I’ll probably be attempting these soon for my basement Windows ! Thanks !

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