Wintry Window Wrappings
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Wintry Window Wrappings

Ringing bells. Garlands of greenery. Swaths of bright fabric. Cheery shades. Whatever your holiday style, these easy projects will help you dress your windows for the season.

Festive Tab Topper

Wherever you have tabbed draperies, a removable fabric valance will add as much holiday decor to your curtains as you like: Go all out with a seasonal motif, or just add festive colors and patterns.

What You Need:

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Top your tabbed drapes with
a festive valance.

  • Measuring tape
  • Seasonal fabric; for size, see Step 1
  • Sewing machine threaded with colors to match fabric
  • Scissors
  • Straight pins
  • Pencil or wash-erase marker
  • Iron and ironing board

Instructions:

1. Determine the sleeve size. Measure the width of your drapery panel. Then, determine a pleasing sleeve depth (usually 10-14 inches, or no more than one-sixth of the panel length). For seam allowances, add 1 inch to the width and 2 inches to the depth.

2. Cut panels. For each panel, cut two rectangular pieces using the dimensions determined above. Pin sleeve pieces with right sides together, measuring and marking openings for the panel tabs along one long (top) edge. If desired, take the drapery panel off the rod and lay it atop sleeve piece to mark tab openings.


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Slip the openings in the valance
through the tabs in your curtains.

3. Sew pieces together along one short side, across the long top edge, leaving openings at the tab markings, and down the remaining short edge. Press all seam allowances open.

4. Hem the sleeve. Press under 1-1/2 inches all around the remaining unsewn edge. Machine-sew 1 inch from the pressed fold. Turn sleeve right side out.

5. Hang. Slip sleeve over the curtain panel, pulling the tabs through the openings.

More Ideas:

  • You can create a similar sleeve topper for curtains that hang by clip rings or ties.
  • Use this versatile idea year-round -- whenever you want to freshen up your decorating scheme.

Ringing Silver Bells


Let your window coverings ring a musical note with silver bells suspended from the curtain rings by red ribbons.

What You Need:

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Let your windows jingle!

  • 12 silver bells (or other number desired; see Tips, below)
  • 15 yards of 1-1/2-inch wide red silk or satin ribbon
  • Measuring tape or yardstick
  • Step stool
  • Scissors

Instructions:

1. Measure ribbon length. Measure from the curtain rod to the position where you want a bell to hang. (In photo, bells are 1 to 2 feet from the rod.) For each bell, cut a piece of ribbon about 2-1/2 times longer than desired measurement.


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Hang bells at varying heights.

2. Thread ribbon onto curtain ring. Fold ribbon in half, passing the folded loop through the curtain ring. Bring ribbon tails through the loop and pull to tighten ribbon on ring.

3. Add bell. Thread a bell onto ribbon, adjust length, and tie securely. Repeat with remaining ribbons and bells.

Tips:

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Choose any kind of bell.

  • To determine how many bells you'll need, count the number of rings the curtains have. You can hang a bell from every ring, every other, just in the center, and so on.
  • Check crafts and gifts stores for bells; choose a style to suit your fancy and decor, or hang another type of Christmas bauble.

A Merry Garland


Even if your thumb isn't as green as the eucalyptus leaves in our garland, you can still plant natural elements in your holiday decorating. Swags, such as this one of seeded eucalyptus and pepper berries, are fragrant and elegant additions to window treatments.

What You Need:

For one garland:


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Greenery adds seasonal cheer.

  • Two large bunches of seeded eucalyptus (see Tips below)
  • Two large bunches of pepper berries (see Tips below)
  • Medium-gauge florist's wire
  • Wire cutters
  • Nails and hammer (optional)

Instructions:

1. Wire several eucalyptus stems together. Depending on how full you want the garland and how leafy the eucalyptus is, select 2 to 4 branches, aligning the stems. Holding the branches in one hand, use florist's wire to wrap the stalk or lower part of the stems together. After several wraps are completed, place additional branches atop the wired stems.


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Drape the swag over the
decorative end of a curtain rod.

2. Repeat. Continue wrapping the eucalyptus, overlapping and adding stems until the desired length is achieved.

3. Hang the garland (see Tips below), then insert clumps of pepper berries amid the eucalyptus stems wherever a shot of color is needed.

Tips:

  • Most florists carry seeded eucalyptus -- a variety of the popular greenery that has been allowed to mature until the seeds are visible -- and dried pepper berries.
  • This garland can be hung over the ends of a decorative curtain rod, or on nails hammered into the top of the window frame at the corners.

Shades of the Season


A child's room is a wonderful place for special holiday creativity. This playful snow scene can be enjoyed throughout the winter months. A "snowball" wood pull completes the look.

What You Need:

Note: Yardage listed is based on 45-inch-wide fabrics.


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Highlight the shade with a garland.

  • Roller-shade kit (available at crafts and fabric stores) OR 2 yards of heat-activated, self-adhesive shade material; adjustable spring roller and slat; hanging hardware
  • 1/2 yard of white-on-white cotton fabric
  • 1-3/4 yards of blue-and-white print fabric
  • Scraps of blue, red, white, and black print fabric (children and snowballs)
  • Scraps of green print fabrics (smaller trees)
  • 1/4 yard green marbled fabric (large tree)
  • Scraps of tan fabric (slices to define hills)
  • 4x6-inch piece of gold print fabric (star)
  • 1/2 yard paper-backed fusible web
  • 2-inch-diameter predrilled wooden ball
  • White acrylic paint
  • Paintbrush
  • 10 inches of white cotton string
  • Ironing board and iron
  • Pencil
  • Tracing paper
  • Scissors or rotary cutter, quilter's ruler, and mat
  • Seasonal garland (optional)

Instructions:

1. Download the free patterns for this project. (Downloading requires Adobe Acrobat software.)

 

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You can rearrange the design to
fit any size shade.

2. Create the background. Note: For the snowy hills and sky background pieces, work on the right side of fabrics.

To make the snowy hills piece: Smooth out the white-on-white fabric on a flat work surface. Referring to the cutting and folding diagram (downloaded with patterns), measure up 15 inches along the fabric's bolt crease from one long edge and make a pencil mark. This mark is the top of the center hill. Measure 13 inches to the right, and make a second mark for right edge of the piece. Measure 20 inches to the left, and make a third mark for the left edge. Sketch shape of the three hills using these marks as guides. Cut out the hills piece.

To make the sky piece: Trim the blue-and-white fabric into a 33x54-inch rectangle. Smooth out the sky fabric on a flat work surface. Using the snowy hill piece as a pattern, lay it atop the sky, overlapping a 33-inch edge. Trace the shape of the hills on the sky. Cut away excess sky fabric below the traced hills line.

3. Lay out the shade on a large work surface. To extend your work surface, place your ironing board next to a countertop or table. Lay the bottom 36-inch edge of the shade on the ironing board, adhesive side up. Extend the remaining shade length onto the countertop.

4. Place background materials on shade. Center the hills piece at the bottom of the shade. Note: Fabric will not cover 1-1/2 inches along each long shade edge. Excess fabric and shade are trimmed away after fusing the background pieces. Fuse the snowy hills piece in place following the manufacturer's instructions. Center the sky piece on the remaining length of the shade, overlapping the hills a scant 1/4 inch. Fuse following manufacturer's directions.

5. Cut shade to needed width. Using a rotary cutter or scissors, trim 2-1/2 inches from each long edge of shade so fabric and shade edges are flush and total width equals 31 inches (or the width of your window).

6. Make a pocket for the slat and finish the lower edge of the shade. Turn the bottom 3 inches of the snowy hills to the wrong side of the shade. Adhere to back of shade with a 1-inch-wide strip of fusible web, leaving open on sides to insert the shade bar. Set shade aside.

7. Make the fabric pieces for the scene. Trace the full-size patterns onto tracing paper. For patterns with a center line, trace the half shape; flop tracing paper, matching dashed lines; complete the shape. Cut out the patterns. Trace pattern shapes on the paper side of the fusible web, leaving a 1-inch space between shapes. Cut shapes apart, leaving a 1/2-inch margin around each shape. From leftover fusible web, cut out thin slices to define the hills. Fuse shapes onto appropriate fabrics, following the manufacturer's instructions. Cut out shapes on traced lines, and remove paper backing. Position pieces (a layout of the scene was downloaded with the patterns) and fuse in place.

8. Add shade slat. Adjust length of shade slat following the manufacturer's instructions. Insert slat in shade pocket.

9. Make snowball pull. Paint the wooden ball with white acrylic paint; let dry. Using tip of scissors, poke a hole through all shade layers centered just above the slat. Fold string in half; insert folded end from front to back through hole. Pull string tails through folded loop; tighten. Thread wooden ball onto tails, pushing it up against shade. Knot tails together, and pull ball down over knot.

10. Adjust length and hang. Adjust length of spring roller, and attach top of shade to roller following manufacturer's instructions. Use hardware included in kit to hang shade. If desired, string garland across top of shade and window.

More Ideas:

  • Instructions are for a 31-inch-wide shade; if you need a different size, adjust the width of the background pieces and placement of the scene accordingly.
  • To adapt this project to depict your child's favorite story or winter activity, trace shapes from a coloring book or storybook to use as patterns.

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