Sentimental Window Coverings

by Texas Homesteader ~ 

When we first moved into our new home here at the homestead, I knew that I wanted my window coverings to pair nicely with our passive solar design and open floorplan.  I needed to easily be able to open & close the window coverings daily to allow in light or close out cold so I knew I wanted those coverings to primarily be cheery white wood blinds.

But I wanted to soften the look with a window scarf, a valance or maybe side curtains.  I was shocked when I started shopping for them and found out how expensive this little strip of fabric was!  One by one we dressed up each window to suit our tastes with various window scarves, valances or stamped leather and tapestry-type fabrics.

Repurposing my great-grandmothers dresser scarf into a window valance has beautiful results! Plus I was able to add bathroom privacy. #TexasHomesteader

Window Treatments For Small Window

But when it came to the small bathroom windows I wanted something different. My thoughts were spinning with ideas of the look I was after.  Our home is very ‘Texas Country’ and our bathrooms each include an old authentic claw-foot tub and old-style fixtures.

The window was covered with those same white wood blinds we had throughout the house. But I still needed a valance for that small window. Then inspiration struck!  My grandmother and my great grandmother were very accomplished in needlework.  (not sure how I got left out of THAT in our gene pool!)

Grandma loved to hand-stitch homemade quilts and do embroidery. My great grandmother loved to do hand tatting of lace. And both of them loved to embellish things with rescued lace to make the ordinary something beautiful.

Grandma had given me a box years ago with many handmade dresser scarves adorned with hand-tatted lace ends. Some accented with carefully-sewn lace remnants, and a few velvety-soft embroidered pillow cases.

The pillow cases went into immediate use for guests since I don’t believe in keeping precious things tucked back in a dark closet because they’re ‘too good’ to use.  But dresser scarves didn’t fit with the style I wanted.

Hand-Made Beauty

Now my thoughts turned to those fabric pieces, lovingly embellished by my beloved grandmothers.  Although I wouldn’t use those items as dresser scarves or lacy armchair covers, I could still display them and love them every day. I found two different styles in this box that were the right size and they would work perfectly in my bathrooms. I’ll use it for a valance.

Repurposing my great-grandmothers dresser scarf into a window valance has beautiful results! Plus I was able to add bathroom privacy. #TexasHomesteader

I purchased oil-rubbed bronze curtain rods and cafe-curtain clips pretty inexpensively. Then I simply hand-washed the pieces, let them air dry and gave them a very light ironing.

Hanging them was a breeze since I only had to clip the valance fabric onto the clips & hang them on the curtain rod. I love the soft look this lightweight fabric offers our guest bathroom.

Repurposing my great-grandmothers dresser scarves into window coverings has beautiful results! Plus I was able to add bathroom privacy. #TexasHomesteader

For the master bathroom covering I made a valance with one of their dresser scarves made with heavier fabric & heavier lace.  Although the picture above doesn’t show it as well, the fabric is a very light creamy yellow with white embellishment on the ends. The lace has little hearts along the length.

This color combination looks great with the ‘Green Tea’ paint color in our master bathroom. I purchased these particular cafe curtain clips on an amazing sale because the finish on them was not an attractive color. Such an easy fix – I simply spray painted them hammered copper with the spray paint I already had to match the feet on my claw-foot tub. The result is beautiful.

Sentimental Window Coverings

I think my bathroom window coverings are perfect. And I didn’t have buy a newly-manufactured set of curtains encased in a plastic bag to give me a look that I love. (yes, I hate plastic, why do you ask?  LOL) I love that I was able to repurpose these beautiful things and I smile thinking of the loving hands that provided this beauty every time I see them!

Oh, and I ended up taking those blinds down too. But since it’s a bathroom window it needs privacy – what will I do instead?? Oh you’re not gonna believe how beautiful this window ended up being. I made the glass itself opaque by adding real lace directly on the glass. Check it out!

Repurposing my great-grandmothers dresser scarves into window coverings has beautiful results! Plus I was able to add bathroom privacy. #TexasHomesteader


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19 thoughts on “Sentimental Window Coverings

  1. Pingback: Home and Garden Thursday

  2. Kathy

    This is quite lovely Tammy! Looks perfect – beautiful story. I will be featuring your post in this week’s Home and Garden Thursday,

  3. May

    Not only is your plan frugal, it is also one-of-a -kind. This is the same technique I use throughout our home. It ties us to family and our history and makes the place unique. Love your idea.

  4. Texas Homesteader Post author

    Joyce, the cafe curtain clips were wildly popular for a time in our area and their price jumped while their popularity was so high. I haven’t even looked for them for quite some time since I no longer have the need to buy them but I’d assume the price has dropped significantly. ~TMR~

  5. Joyce

    Like you I had two grandmothers who created all kinds of beautiful works with their hands, but it by passed me. Those look just beautiful, I never heard of those clips before, great to have and keep the articles in great condition.

  6. Cynthia L.

    What a wonderful window covering! So delicate and full of memories. I am so envious of your claw foot tub! We have had them before and I don’t think there is a better tub! Thanks for sharing this at the In and Out of the Kitchen Link Party.

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      I’m inclined to agree with you on the value of a claw foot tub Cynthia! I love them & we were lucky to find two when we were looking for fixtures for our home. One had to be professionally refinished but there’s absolutely no better bubble-bath soak! ~TMR~

  7. jody

    Very nice! That’s such a great idea. I can never find curtains I both like and can afford! I don’t have a stash like that around here, but I will be keeping an eye out for these types of things at second hand stores. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Jody, many lovely pieces of material have been carefully embellished by other grandmothers and can now be found very inexpensively in antique stores as well if you’re after a more vintage piece. I really do love the way it looks in our home and of course anything that came from either of my grandmothers has an emotional tie to my heart as well! Thanks for your comment. ~TMR~

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      You’re right of course, and keeping flexibility if you’re trying to incorporate passive solar design is key as well. I can easaily open the blinds to allow the sun’s light in or close them for either privacy or to keep the sun’s heat or winter’s cold out. For us (other than the north windows) window coverings are just soft accents. ~TMR~

  8. Pat

    I love this sentimental window treatment.
    I have a similar valance (dresser scarf) in my bathroom. Something that my mother in love had in her home. I didn’t have the money to spend on a curtain rod…so I used cedar branches and made a rod and brackets. I think there is a picture of it on the sidebar of my blog. It is one of my favorite window treatments.
    We just recently had to mini-blind sets give out at the end of summer. I still have the roller shade brackets mounted and hidden behind curtains. When it comes time to replace them mini blinds; I’m planning on getting roller shades. Was wishing I had something there tonight…I could feel the cold air through the curtains.
    Layers of window treatments help in this old house.
    Take care stay warm– Pat


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