In An Instant: No Sew Window Treatment

This is truly the easiest no sew window treatment I have ever posted. It is done with a fitted bed sheet, not a flat sheet that you see made into easy no-sew panels, but– a fitted sheet. 

How to decorate with sheets
I found this sheet set for $13.99 at Ross

I learned to create this treatment when I worked in display and had forgotten all about it until I was in the supermarket line recently paging through a decorating magazine and saw a balloon style shade featured in a photo spread.   “OMGosh look at that” I thought. 

If you live long enough you see that– everything that goes around truly does come around again, but with a few tweaks.   This project was not in my book, but I did demonstrate it on Lifetime TV. It is on video tape, not digital or I would have added it to the post.

Decorating with sheets Window Treatment

How to Make a No Sew Balloon Window Shade

supplies needed:

  • Fitted Sheet – I used a full size sheet, but a twin works just as well on a single window.  There will be less gathering along the top of the rod.
  • Curtain rod
  • Ribbon or pins
  • Scissors
Fitted Sheet Window Shade

1.  Drape the fitted sheet over a curtain rod so that the elastic corners fall to the sides of the window.

Fitted-Sheet Window Shade

2.  Pull the sheet so that the bottom edges on front and back are even and the elastic corners are lined up front to back on each side.

No Sew Window Treatment using a fitted sheet

3.  I am using the bright pink ribbon to better demonstrate how to pull and tie and sheet up.  I used white first, but I realized it was invisible in the photos. Any ribbon will work.   Drape 2 long pieces of ribbon over rod and sheet as shown.

How to use a fitted sheet to make a window treatment

4. Start on one side and tie the ends of one ribbon together. As you pull the ribbon up the sheet will raise up.  When you like where it falls, tie the ribbon in a bow or…

Decorating with Sheets

…a knot and cut the excess away.  Repeat on the other side.  Fluff and arrange folds as needed.

No sew decorating window treatments

Use any color or type of ribbon. Here I used white to create a more subtle look.

No Sew Window shade using a fitted sheet

You need to fluff the folds and make sure the ribbons are tied up evenly across the window.  There is really no right or wrong way – it is whatever you like.  You can make it longer or shorter by bringing the ribbon bow/or knot closer to the rod.

No Sew Decorating Ideas

I played with the sheet in my daughter’s room and used pins instead of ribbon to hold it up.  I gathered a side at a time with my hand and secured the gathered folds with a large safety pin.  I placed it in vertically with the head of the pin on the back side of the sheet.

I did this on another window treatment I made and you can see the tutorial that has very close up photos of how to do the pinning – How to Make an Instant No-Sew Window Valance.

No sew decorating ideas window treatments

To hide the pin, I slid an open clip-on earring on the front of the pin to hide it.

No sew decorating ideas

Contrasting ribbon tied into knots. The knots are hidden on the back of the shade.

Black and white patterned No sew balloon style window valance made with a fitted sheet tied on rod with sheer white ribbon.

Matching ribbons tied into bows.

No sew fitted sheet on window with pink ribbons.

And when you don’t need the shade up anymore you can simply remove the ribbons and take the sheet down to use again on a bed if needed.

Since the sheet is draped over the rod – there will be pattern on each side. If you are going to do this on the front of your home, you can place a roller shade or blinds behind the treatment, so you won’t see color or pattern on the exterior of your home.

If you want to cover two windows – cut one patterned sheet in half and one white sheet in half. Sew a patterned sheet to the white sheet. The seam would be hidden by the curtain rod. Easy way to make a lining for a treatment like this.


If you have two windows you want to cover and don’t need the sheet for a bed you can cut it in half and make a shade for each window. 

For a no-sew version: Fold over the cut edge (top) and use fabric glue to make a seam for a rod pocket to fit the diameter of your curtain rod.

If you sew: Fold over top edge and  sew a straight line a few inches down across the top to create the rod pocket.

In an Instant: These affordable and chic curtains are made from something you have sitting in your closet right now!

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  1. This is such a genius idea! I will never buy a ballon window treatent again. I am going to start buying twin sheets on sale just to do this,
    THANK YOU!!!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Pam – I have made so many of them over the years. For deals on pretty sheets, check out places like HomeGoods and TJMaxx. Thanks for reading my blog.

  2. Kathryn K. says:

    The whole idea of using sheets to make a window treatment is such a good idea because it’s such a cheap way to really bring a room together to have things coordinate. I’m actually having a sheet set delivered today and I never use the flat sheet to cover up so I’m going to make a little window treatment with it. The beauty with a flat sheet is that if you use a much larger size versus the size of your window you can then fold it many times to have a really good thickness to keep light out if that’s what you desire.

  3. Kathryn K. says:

    Using a fitted sheet to make a balloon curtain treatment is a brilliant idea!

  4. Naina Kalra says:

    Wow so pretty!! Thank you for sharing <3

  5. Hi! I have a question about the fitted sheet. Are you using a fully elasticized fitted sheet? I cannot find sheets that have the elastic at the corners only. Will this work if the elastic is all the way around? Thank you!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Barbara – You can use a fitted sheet with with elastic all around. You will need to fluff it more to get the shape along the bottom edge. After hanging, spread the bottom edge to even it out along the window, then use your hands to pouf the fabric from the inside. Once you like how it looks, then add ribbon.

    2. Thank you Diane–that helped a lot!

  6. This is great. Never would have thought of this. Thanks for posting!

  7. Dianne, Love this balloon tie up window treatment. I am hoping I can use it for a Disney Winnie the Pooh and Friends Nursery using the coordinated( tiny leaves) crib sheets and ribbon. I have solved some problems: There are two windows next to each other which are 80 inches wide and will take 3 1/2 crib sheets stretched out (corners and sides folded as you instructed), so will use 4 crib sheets to cover around curtain rod and add a little more fullness. Also, there is an 80 inch darkened accordian pleated shade over these windows–extending 3 inches from wall. I found a curtain rod that extends 5 inches from the wall. My questions are: What is the best way to connect each crib sheet to the other for this very wide Valance? I was thinking of turning in the sides and use strips of velcro ? Also, I am assuming the ribbon would be placed where the seams are? And wonder if the ribbon will adequately cover the seams, or do I need to somehow affix the ribbon to the seams? For this curtain, is the width of the material supposed to be 1 1/2 times the width of the window (might have to get a 5th crib sheet)? So many questions. I guess I’m hoping all will work!!! Appreciate your advice. Thank You!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Donna – Did you get your window treatment figured out? I am way behind in getting questions answered and am thinking you may have figured it out. I try my best to get to them as soon as I can. Let me know if you still have any questions.

  8. Margaret Bird says:

    i’ve been searching for austtrian blinds for my two windows in the lounge.This is how i came across your ‘blinds’ made from sheets.What a fantastic idea,theres so many combinations with ribbon,material etc.Thank you so much,cant wait to start.

  9. Hi Diane, I love all your easy window treatments. I am working on the balloon with the 4 rods. My only question is– do you move the bottom rod up as you make the folds? You say to attach the bottom rod where it falls but then there is no slack to pull over the other 2 rods. I’d appreciate some help. Other than that it turned out really cool. Thanks!!!!

  10. Can I make these curtains using an existing rod on the window that sticks out about 4 inches and the rod is approx. 2-3 inches wide. I had curtains that I made a while ago and took down and pitched because they were faded and yellowed. I would like to use the rods that are there now.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Susan – You can use any rod to hang the drapes since you won’t see it. The only problem I can see with your rod is that it has a 4″ projection from the wall/window. You will have to see if it leaves too wide a side gap once you drape the sheet over it. If your sheet is extra poufy, it may not matter.

      1. Thank you Diane! I am going to try it!

  11. THat is so funny!! I have the same sheets and did this a long time ago but with out the pink stuff lol

  12. Lou Ann Salmon says:

    When I saw this idea I was thrilled. I wanted balloon curtains for my bedroom but because of the wide width of my windows they were hard to fit and very pricey! So i was left with having to make some. I can sew but finding time for it is another question. Your idea was the perfect solution and queen sheets would work perfect for my windows. Problem is, where does one buy fitted sheets these days with elastic on the corners only? Can’t find any! So I had to resort to sewing my own tie-up shades. They turned out great and are reversible for a change in color scheme. But I would have preferred using your quick and easy idea. Would appreciate any advice on where to purchase sheets with elastic on corners only as I have more windows I would like to try that on!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Lou Ann – Sounds like you are very resourceful! Love hearing that you figured out a way to make an idea work for you. I found the sheets at Ross. I don’t know of any particular brand of sheets that has only corners with elastic. Years ago when I made a fitted sheet window treatment for a TV show I used to be a guest on, I used a sheet with the elastic all around. I pinned the sides together. It created a much fuller shade.

  13. Love love love this idea. Will be shopping for sheets tomorrow!

  14. We are a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our
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    You have done a formidable job and our whole community will be thankful to you.

  15. Michelle H. says:

    Wow, cool….I’ve got some small windows in my house….I might have to do this using Crib Sheets for a smaller scale….thanks for sharing this great idea…

  16. So cute & easy, thanks so much for sharing that idea!!!

  17. Hi! I love this! I’ve used sheets as curtains for years! I just wanted to give a suggestion for an even easier way to use flat sheets. If you take the edge seam out at the top and bottom of the sheet, where they are folded over, you automatically have a rod pocket! No sewing, no ironing! Even easier!

  18. Connie Watson says:

    I so needed a cute curtain that is inexpensive! I have a home with windows everywhere!! I especially want to make the living room windows (4 of them) look nice. I will find a sheet I like, and some coordinating ribbon and get to work! What a creative and thrifty mind God blessed you with. Thank you for sharing all of that gift with us!!

  19. It is such a wonderfull idea …i like it. thanx

    1. Lovely idea. I was wondering how I could put a curtain above a sink in my dining room. So u have given me an awesome idea. Thanks for sharing. Am going to try this idea.

  20. Are these fitted sheets the ones with elastic all around, or only at the corners?

  21. I have been looking for this style balloon type valance that no one seems to make in a girls nursery pattern that I like. I love this and it could solve all my problems!! But I have honeycomb shades on the windows now and would need to make this valance an outside mount.. Do you have any ideas on how that could work?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Jackigan – You could do the same treatment using a conventional outside mounted rod. The sides of the fabric would just fall outside of the window and over the honeycomb shades instead of inside the window.

  22. What a great easy idea! I really like it! I think a black ribbon would look great with the pattern that you show in the pictures but the hot pink is cute too! I think for a boys’s room you could use rope, raffia, belts, shoe laces or leather boot laces instead of ribbon. I can’t wait to try this idea in my kids’ rooms!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      HI DKG Mom – I like the way you are thinking – so many possibilities to add your own or your kids style and personality. It makes DIYing lots of fun.

  23. kimgagashi says:

    excellent ideas, i can also recycle some of my old bedsheets. Thanks for sharing (:

  24. I have a small window…I used a crib sheet. Boys room – used rope instead of ribbon.

  25. My daughter has a double window in her room , i’m wondering if you think a king sheet would work.. or would you just use two twin sheets?

    1. king sheet works great I used one .plus I also put a button in the middle of the curtain in front where u gether it then put a ribbon from back 2 front buttoned the ribbon 2 hold the gethering looks great

  26. Hi,
    I want to do this for my daughters room but needed to ask if she has a huge double window will i be able to find a extension rod that size you think? I like the idea of not putting up any rods? I can use two twin sheets i supose to get the width but unsure of the rod? can you offer any suggestions????

    1. HI Regina – They make long tension rods. I have one in my basement that I used for my mother-in-laws apartment. They sell them at JC Penneys. Walmart might carry them, too. The longer lengths cost a little more, but will work perfectly on a double wide window.

  27. Mary Furlong says:

    This is a great idea. Can’t wait to use it! Thank you for sharing.

  28. So you just draped the sheet over the rod? How far down did you pull it in the back?

  29. this is so cute. Hubby almost finished w/addition and this will be perfect for the windows. Thank you.

  30. I have a very narrow kitchen window that I’d love to try this on. I bet a crib sheet would work for that!

  31. WOW!!! What a great idea. I’ve been looking for a curtain for my laundry room and nothing seems to match my washer/dryer…they’re red!!! Anyway I CANNOT sew to save my life and when I saw this I was like OMG!!! I can do this. Thank you so much for sharing!!!

  32. I have been looking for directions on how to do this and you made it sound so simple. I am school teacher and would like to use this idea in my classroom to brighten my room! Thanks SOOOOO much for this! And thanks for the suggestion on where to find cheap sheets, I didn’t even think of that!

  33. Katharine says:

    I don’t know if you get comments on old posts, but I had to say “this is so clever” Again!!!

    I have lace curtains that have little sewn on rings and you can pull it up or down for the length. I had them on my old windows at our apartment and bought them in the mid 80’s. I hated when I washed it cause I had to re tie or pin the little rings up.

    I’m going to make a faux roman shade. I made a dress once with a fitted sheet. lol

  34. LOVE LOVE LOVE – am totally doing this in my daughters room!!!

  35. Great idea! any idea how to “boy” it up like with no bows.

    1. Funny your name is Pamela. One of my good friends name is Pam. I had girls and she had boys. She always asked me the same question. You could use rope or leather belts.

  36. Saw this on Addicted 2 Decorating…..great job!!!! I’ve been looking for cute, easy, girly curtains to put in our home office/playroom and I can’t wait to try these!

  37. This curtain is so cute! You’re so very creative! I pinned this…but have it linked back to this blog.

  38. Stephanie says:

    Brilliant! Thanks for this :)

  39. Ok, I’m pretty sure you’ve out-heroed my hero! What an amazingly genius idea!

  40. Push "It" Pallet says:

    Another great idea! love, love, love!

  41. pandoras box says:

    Absolutely love this idea and never gave it any thought – thanks for the inspiration – I am off to find a new sheet!

    1. Push "It" Pallet says:

      completely agree!

  42. These are so cute! I love that sheet pattern. I wonder if a Ross near me will carry it? The pink is pretty but l love the white bows. It’s so fresh and pretty!

    1. HI Denise – I originally used the white ribbon, but realized it didn’t show up in the photos where I was trying to demonstrate how to tie the sheet onto the rod. Had to find a ribbon that would show up. The pink definitely shows up :)

  43. Catherine In NJ says:

    Oh My Diane! Your so brillant! LOVE IT, and plan to use it! Here’s my question; does it look white from the outside? Sorry it’s ingrained in me to have the curtains white looking from the curb. I have made a slip cover for my foot rest that took 1 month- I kid you not. Lining the sheets may take a year! Gosh this is so wonderful!!!!

    1. hi Catherine – You would see the pattern on the exterior. I suggest you put a roller shade behind it or if you need to cover 2 windows – cut one patterned sheet in half and one white sheet in half. Sew a patterned sheet to the white sheet. The seam would be hidden by the curtain rod. Easy way to make a lining for a treatment like this.

  44. Really excited about this! I can barely sew a button on, so this is perfect for me. Thanks!

  45. Marilyn Holeman says:

    Another great idea from Diane. I’m so glad I found your blog! Thanks.

  46. Shannon @ aka design says:

    This would be fabulous in a little girls room!

  47. What a great and simple IDEA .
    This will be on my next diy home project

    thanks for sharing

  48. binhtheredonethat says:

    OMG…it’s adorable….Love it! great idea.

  49. Sheryll & Critters. says:

    Oh I love this. Both the how to use a fitted sheet without sewing AND the pattern. I must, must find a Ross Store around me. I definitely love the low price and it appears to be a really good quaulity as well.

    I would love to find this fabric and afford to buy three sets, in order to make a bedspread of duvet cover for my bedroom. Unfortunately I can’t even afford three at that great price….. but I sure can dream.

  50. Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions says:

    Great idea, Diane! I know what you mean about things coming back ~ I had balloon valances in a few rooms at one time. I’m sorry they aren’t as popular as they were because I thought it was such a pretty look.

  51. Wooden Signs With Quotes says:

    Thanks for this. Should be a fun next project for me!

  52. Carrie @ The Internet Made Me Do It says:

    Wow! Sheer genius! I think we’ve all used flat sheets before, but not fitted! I’m off to make one of these for the nursery – as I had been stumped and searching for weeks! Thank you!

  53. Wow, that is so easy and a really great look! I love the pattern on the sheet you picked out too – that could really go anywhere. Looking forward to our outing – I’ll email you guys today.

  54. What a great idea. I love the pattern on the sheet too.

  55. Simply Sara says:

    I love that sheet, where did you find it??


    1. Hi Sara – I got the sheet set at Ross. It is like a TJ Maxx or Marshalls.

  56. Bravo! You did good :)

  57. Connie@Connie Nikiforoff Designs says:

    This is so neat! I’ve done all sorts of curtains using bedsheets—even have done this same method for tying them up— but never thought of using a fitted sheet to get the puffy-look. Thanks too for mentioning a window shade or blind behind the sheet fabric. Not only will it hide the print of the fabric from the outside view, but also will help keep the fabric from getting sunbleached very soon. Sheets are hands down one of the best resources for wonderful designs to use in many fabric applications. Your idea is great!

    1. Thanks Connie. I was thrilled when I found this set at my local Ross. Inexpensive and lots of yardage.

  58. This is such a great Idea.. I was having issues finding something for my Kitchen window, I did not want to put up a permanent curtain rod.
    Thanks for Sharing.

  59. Adorable!! And as always, your clever creativity and resourcefulness never cease to amaze me!