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DIY: Window Panels

Most store-stocked window panels come in a pretty standard 84″ length. This would be great if the header height of my windows were at exactly 7 feet, but mine happen to be 8 feet. The cost of custom window treatments wouldn’t exactly be budget-friendly. Even if you do have a header of 7 feet, I would still recommend not hanging your panels at the exact height of the window. I prefer to hang my treatments 6″ above the header or 6″ below ceiling height. I feel visually this helps to extend the room vertically. When panels are hung at window height, it tends to chop up the vertical lines of the room, making the room feel a little more closed in.

So…I found the perfect pre-made panels for Bennett’s nursery at Home Depot by Martha Stewart for $14.99 each! The problem? The store only stocks the standard 84″ length. Longer lengths are available online, but that meant waiting. Oh, what is a DIY girl to do? Well, I had to find a way to make them work; the fabric and colors were just too perfect to pass up. So off I went to JoAnn’s to scout out some fabric options to extend my panels. I love to mix patterns and already had an idea of what I was looking for. I also wanted to use this opportunity to bring another color into the room to tie it all together. The color scheme we ended up with for the nursery is a soft pewter, butter yellow and sea glass.

From Left to Right: Behr Paints –
#1 Dolphin Fin, #2 Banana Cream, #3 Tide Pools

Here is a close-up of the panel fabric, and to complement it, I found a super sweet white dot, buttery yellow fabric that would work perfectly in the room.

Now, quilting fabric (which my selection is) typically comes in 45″ width, and home upholstery fabric comes 54″ wide. This is something to keep in mind because the way the fabric comes off the bolt can affect how your pattern lays out. I needed to purchase the length to accommodate the width of the panels. In the end, I needed two pieces that measured 56″ W x 20″ H, so a total of two yards was needed.

Now this entire project can be done with a no-sew technique using heat bond tape, but I opted to do a little simple sewing. I created a 1.5″ hem on each extension with both sides turned in two times at 1.5″. Once the panel blocks were sewn and ironed, I attached them to the finished edge of my pre-made panels. It’s best to wait to hang the curtain rod until you are done with the hemming process; that way you can make height adjustments as needed.

Total Project Time: 1 hour per panel
Materials: (2) pre-made window panels @$14.99 ea., 2 yards of fabric on sale @3.99/yard
Total Project Cost: $18.98 per panel, which still came in at less than purchasing the next length up
Skill Level: Beginner (NOTE: I am not an experienced sewer, so this project is super easy even for a beginner. I thought the most challenging part was getting the measurements correct)

Ever tackled your own window treatments? Share with us your time-saving tips; we’d love to hear!

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  1. […] perfect for unusually long windows, but it’s also a creative way to work with a two-color theme. In this article, Rebecca Propes describes how she added on to existing curtains to make beautiful and long […]

  2. […] perfect for unusually long windows, but it’s also a creative way to work with a two-color theme. In this article, Rebecca Propes describes how she added on to existing curtains to make beautiful and long […]

  3. avatar Chelsea says:

    love this idea! What fabric material did you buy from JoAnns? Does it have to be the same as the panels you bought?

  4. avatar Briana says:

    Yes I would love to know the name or color of the fabric please!

  5. avatar Leah Smith says:

    Hey there, Do you happen to remember the name of the curtain or the color? Love the entire room!

  6. avatar Beth_PN says:

    Hi Amanda, There are more pictures of the nursery in this post:

  7. avatar Amanda says:

    I was also wondering if there is a full post for this nursery?? I’m in love and would love to see the whole thing!

  8. avatar Aranew says:

    Was there ever a full post on this nursery?? I searched through all the blog posts back through Oct. 2011 and never found it :( Thanks!

  9. avatar Stacie says:


    In interested too if you fine out!!

  10. avatar Diana says:

    I am wondering if you could send me a picture of how you did the strips behind the crib. I am thinking of doing that in my nursery, but wondering if you go floor to sealing with the paint or if it is framed in by white boarder(base boards). I love the room!

  11. avatar Sarah says:

    I love this nursery! I would love to use this bedding, but am having a hard time finding the right shades. Where did you purchase the dust ruffle/sheet? Thanks!

  12. Generally I don’t read post on blogs, however I wish to say that this write-up very forced me to take a look at and do it! Your writing taste has been surprised me. Thank you, quite great article.

  13. avatar Michelle says:

    I love the butter yellow fabric you used on the curtains. Can you tell me where you purchased it at?

  14. avatar Kelly says:

    Is the crib skirt the same pattern as the curtains? I was going to go with the Oilo sticks crib set – but I love how you used gray in a lighter fashion so it’s still modern!

  15. avatar Wendy says:

    Thanks for another DIY, Rebecca. You have a really lovely, sweet and bright nursery. I so love the colors you used!

  16. avatar Rebecca says:


    The crib is from Babies R Us and is the Graco Lauren Crib…super reviews, super affordable!!

  17. avatar Melisa says:

    I always have this idea in my head but never execute it! Love it Rebecca and love the room!

  18. avatar Sarah says:

    I love the overall look of this nursery, especially the colors. Where can I get the crib you used? Thanks

  19. avatar Bryn says:

    I love the color scheme…and the curtains look great!
    I have sewn my own curtains since I got my first apt. I just can’t find ones I like, so I go buy pretty fabric and make my own. One thing I just discovered that helps the process go faster is the iron-on tape! I iron down the seams…then just sew over them. It saves time pinning…and I can do the first one, then just match the rest to that, instead of measuring 8 panels…it’s kind of awesome!!! Plus, the iron on tape gives you a clean, crisp edge when finished.

  20. avatar Shirley says:

    I love it, there are so many ways to make a ‘short cut’ go a ‘long way.’ Your color combination is perfect. Thank you for sharing this, I will pass it on to my ‘sister sewers’.

  21. avatar Beth says:

    Rebecca, I love how these curtains turned out. And I love that lamp! Where’d you get it?