What are Creative Ideas for Curtain Scarves?

Susan Grindstaff
Susan Grindstaff
Woman posing
Woman posing

Using curtain scarves as a way to accent windows and draperies can be a fun and creative way to add color and texture to room décor. Curtain scarves might be used as a single piece of draping, or more than one scarf can be combined and draped over a single window. Using asymmetry is another method of making curtain scarves stand out — rather than hanging or draping them evenly across the window, they can be hung so that they fall to one side of the window. Another easy way to make curtain scarves a creative addition to the room is to use color contrast.

Creating color contrast with curtain scarves usually involves using at least two different colored scarves on one window. Colors chosen should ideally complement each other either by achieving a dramatic contrast using bold colors or by choosing slightly different shades of the same color. An example of dramatic contrast could be the use of two very bold colors from entirely different color pallets, such as emerald green coupled with gold. An example of contrast by shading is using the emerald green with a pale sage green. Both combinations add interest that most likely could not be accomplished by using a single color.

Combining textures to achieve a creative look for curtain scarves normally involves using two or more very different types of fabric. For instance, one scarf could be made of velvet and the other made of soft sheer voile or chiffon. This combination could work very well in formal or more elegant settings. For more rustic decors, fabrics such as soft burlap combined with cottons printed in plaids or stripes might be used.

The symmetry of the draping method is another way to get creative with curtain scarves, and there is practically no end to the various ways the scarves can be draped over the rod. The more traditional method involves draping so that even flounces occur all the way across the rod, with edges that fall to equal lengths on each side of the window frame. Interrupting this predictable pattern can instantly add interest to the room. Determining a draping symmetry that works with the room décor may take some time, as it will typically involve experimenting with random placement until a pleasing look is achieved. To get some ideas, it might be a good idea to purchase some home decorating magazines, which typically picture several different types of window treatments.

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Discussion Comments


I have used curtain scarves extensively throughout my home to add dimension and color to otherwise drab window dressings.

However, I have tried to use them as creatively as possible so that they do not pose a generic look. I am also very concerned with maintaining an elegant and polished look as well.

One of my favorite curtain scarf creations is actually not on a window at all, however! I have a huge, mahogany four poster bed with a canopy top.

Instead of using your typical canopy that would create the look of a smaller space, I simply have an ivory curtain scarf adorning the canopy rail above the headboard.

It swags in the middle, and then drapes down both of the posts on our headboard for a simple yet classy picture that fits perfectly with the rest of my style.


I absolutely adore the magic that can be done to your décor with simple curtain scarves! They do not just have to be reserved for windows, my friends.

For example, my husband and I actually purchased the garden archway that was used in our wedding. I am indeed a huge gardener, but I had different plans for this gorgeous piece.

I actually assembled it in my guest bedroom, and adorned it with many different curtain scarves of a couple different colors. Each color brought out specific hues that were in the room already.

Instead of just leaving it thus, I chose to use it as a backboard for the three-quarter antique bed frame that was given to us by his grandmother.

We also used other great little garden pieces to tie it in such as picket fence pieces instead of wainscot and small wooden birdhouses. Quaint and cozy for our then small cottage home.


@alianor- When my daughter was younger, she was a huge fan of Barney. My sister and I decorated her room with a Barney theme. My sister is an artist and was able to paint the walls and make it look like a world of Barney and his friends.

When it was time to pick out curtains, regular Barney themed curtains just didn't fit in the picture. I went to a local thrift store and found some purple sheer fabric and a green bed sheet for next to nothing. After a little bit of needlework and imagination, I had great curtain scarves. I draped the green sheet curtain scarf in the back with the sheer purple in front of it and symmetrically wrapped them around the curtain rod.

I am not very creative when it comes to curtains and drapes but we were able to pull off a beautiful look for a very low price.


@seag47 - That's a really cute idea for a kid's bedroom! Do you have any suggestions for scarf curtains or maybe even a valance to match a themed room for kids? I like the idea of scalloped edges, but other creative ideas would gladly be welcomed!


@cloudel - If you go to Walmart or other stores that sell bulk fabrics, you can get them to cut the cloth to the length you need. It's a great alternative to buying packaged, pre-made curtains since you can get a lot more creative with it! They also usually have a huge selection of colors, sheers and textured cloths.


@Sara007 - Sometimes you can also find really pretty antique fabrics in second-hand or vintage stores. Those types of fabrics are hard to purchase elsewhere, but they make lovely additions for window scarves!


My ten-year-old is obsessed with rainbows, so I thought it would be fun to make rainbow curtain scarves for her room. We had just moved into our new house, and none of our old curtains fit the new windows, so I had to start from scratch.

I visited the local fabric store, where I found brightly colored fabric in all the colors of the rainbow. I didn’t have to buy very much of each color, since I had to hang six separate pieces on the rod to make the rainbow.

Once I got the fabric home, I spread it out on the grass to spray on the special surprise. I had bought gold glitter spray, and I adjusted the spray nozzle so that it would spread out pretty far and not overpower the fabric. It sprayed just enough across the scarves to give them a magical touch.


My friend’s house has dramatic decor. Her living room is painted black and has purple carpet. Her curtain scarves complement the room.

She prefers the asymmetrical look. She has one big piece of black fabric designed to be pulled to one side. She used scrapbooking shears to make a scalloped edge on some purple fabric, which she hung on top of the black. The strip of purple is only about one-third the width of the black, though.

As a finishing touch, she found a gold braided rope to hang down the left side of the drapes. She uses shorter gold rope to tie the curtain to one side.


I was able to get a great price on some fabric left over from my child’s school play props. I used it to make curtain scarves.

The set had used gold, red-orange, and olive green fabric over a canopy for the play. The school had no use for it anymore, so they sold it to me. The colors went perfectly with my living room walls and furniture.

I used the green fabric on the outer edges. I placed the red next to it and the gold in the middle. I cut the material to make a valance of all three colors.


I like to use bargain sheets as curtain scarves. The price sure beats that of regular curtains, and with pretty colors, you can achieve the same look.

I like to shop at discount stores that sell overstocked items at great prices. Here, I can usually find sheets at a much more affordable price than in department stores.

My living room windows all have sheets as scarves. I first took a deep purple king size satin sheet and draped it through the curtain rod to form both a valance and a drape, because it was large enough to still hang down both sides of the window after being woven through the top.

Next, I draped cotton lavender sheets across the rod to form the middle drapes. I used twin bed sheets for this, because they did not have to be as long.


You don't even have to go to a fabric store if you want to make curtain scarves for your windows. Yard sales and second hand stores are great places to pick up lots of fabric at low prices. Plus, if you think outside the box you can often find some lovely fabrics in odd places.

I actually ended up making curtain scarves out of some beautiful bedding that I found at a yard sale. It was dirt cheap and had a silk lining that I loved. With a bit of sewing know-how I managed to remove the silk lining and I ended up using it as a curtain scarf. With a bit of creative draping over my window you couldn't tell it wasn't new fabric that I had used.


Making your own curtains scarves is a really cost effective way of creating a gorgeous window covering without having to put in a lot of effort.

To make a simple curtain scarf, all you need to do is head into any fabric store and buy enough material to drape across your window and down the sides to the length you want. For my house I brought three colors of a sheer fabric I liked that gave a gradient effect when they were hung up together.

Next you need to find a curtain rod that you really like, as this will be a big part of your design. One you have your fabric and rod it is just a matter of draping the fabric however you like to create a unique window covering.

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