Easy Washable Window Shade

If this window curtain had a name it would be Shady Ease McWashmeaton.  That sounds like a rapper name but it would be the curtain’s formal Christian name.  Ordained by the Pope.  Approved by Obama.

Seriously though…this might be one of the easiest window coverings ever.

You may remember my office.  It underwent a transformation that could make you cry.  Well maybe not but it did me.  I couldn’t stand the very fleshy and brown before…and now it is bright light and happy.  But it was still missing some curtains.

I had a couple yards of red buffalo check fabric in my stash that I thought would work so I pulled it out and for a brief moment thought about attempting my BFF’s 15 minute shade.  It’s a perfect solution for a simple no-sew stationary shade.  My problem is that I get lots of dust in this house.  Maybe we are just really skinny people I guess (that’s a pun.  I heard that most dust is our skin that flakes off and is around the house…which is equal parts disgusting and fascinating).  Plus you never know when random food is found on curtains.  Life with boys I guess.

So I needed my window coverings to be removable and washable.  Which also means that hem tape won’t work as well.  So I needed a sewing option.

Here’s my supplies….

  • measuring tape
  • an iron
  • about a yard of fabric
  • a tension rod (they run about $3)
  • straight pins
  • a sewing machine
  • a seam ripper because dang I always need a redo

First measure the length and the width of the shade you want.  I added four inches to my desired length (three extra for the top and one extra inch for the bottom)…and one extra inch for each side.

First you are gonna do the sides.  Both sides need to be folded over a half inch and ironed.

Then you are gonna fold over the same edge another half inch and iron.  After you iron it, sew it down for a nice clean edge that will survive the rigors of a washing machine.  Then do the exact same thing on the bottom…half inch, iron, half inch, iron, sew.  At the top, you will do pretty much the same thing except you will fold it over one half inch, iron, fold down the remaining two and a half inches, iron and sew leaving a pocket for the tension rod to go through.

Then it’s just a matter of slipping the tension rod through the pocket and adjusting the rod by twisting it to the perfect width.

It’s just the right splash of color that my office needed and it took maybe an hour to make both (but that does include breastfeeding a kid, and ripping one seam because my machine and I had a difference of opinion about the tension that it needed to have).  I love them.

So that’s the simplest update around here lately.  I think it goes just smashing with my deer head…sortof like a females version of a woodsman.  Just call me Paulina Bunyan.



  1. Annette says

    Super cute! Love the color combo. Just wanted to add a step to the beginning: wash, dry and iron the fabric before you start. Otherwise the curtains will shrink and you will be sad.

  2. says

    Yay! I’m happy to see a photo of your office again. It’s seriously my favorite blogger space transformation to date.

    I’m always happy to see simple sewing projects like this that make me want to take my machine out of our bedroom (where it lives under my husband’s nightstand!) and put to good use. That red checked fabric is a nice little jolt of color in there.

  3. Sarah says

    Seriously Katie Bower, where were you 3 months ago? I bought these curtain wire things from Ikea cause I wanted cheap and I’ve spent 1 hour trying to hang those things, then a month to work up the effort to try again, then another hour with my drill, then 2 more months of procrastinating. My windows are still bare!

    And you’re telling me there’s $3 tension rods? I’m stopping at home depot to pick them up tonight. Life Savor!

  4. Marcy Lendaro says

    So cute! My seam ripper and I are BFFs too…

    Ps I have and love the tiny red iron! It heats up so quickly! I love it!

  5. says

    Sweet! I love this!

    And add that pom-pom trim to them and you’ve got a very Bulldawg addition to your office. Goooo Dawgs! It’s football season in The South, Katie! Are you ready?!? ;-)

  6. B says

    Can I just tell you – my favorite part of this whole post was you sharing that you are nursing while pregnant. I am also nursing while pregnant (16 weeks!) and I feel like people think I’m crazy. Thanks for helping a momma out, KB.

  7. Annie R says

    Hahaha- the skin pun made me think of the time my then 5 year old came up to me and said “mom- you’re so skinny!” I replied, “aww thanks buddy!” He then proceeds to say “yea, you know, because you have a lot of skin- so you’re ‘skin-y'”…… Gee. Thanks dear!!

    Seriously though. Those curtains are adorable and I just so need to get on that and make some!!

  8. Sarah says

    Super cute fabric choice especially with the contrasting room color. I made a valance for my kitchen that had red stripes in it but had to line the fabric with cheap white muslin I had to prevent the sun from bleaching out the red. Good thing I did cause I just dusted them the other day (4 yrs later) and the back side has a pink stripes but the front is still a nice crisp red.

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