January 15, 2015

Minimalist Window Coverings

Minimalist window covering made from inside window screen, fabric, and safety pins.

We had an opportunity to practice not buying anything minimalism when thinking about window coverings for our new home. We wanted something that was simple, and preferably didn't require the buying of anything.

Windows, even the new double paned variety, don't offer much in the way of insulation. When it is cold uncovered windows can suck heat out of a room making it uncomfortable and more expensive to heat.

We researched conventional coverings to fit our windows and found the selections not that sensible and very expensive. All required the added complication of having to drill holes in things.

As the temperatures started to drop this winter we thought we would see what we could do with what we had on hand to cover our windows and hopefully lower the heating bill a bit.

Window covering installed.

First we looked at the resources we had available. Our windows have easily-removed inside screens and I pondered how they might be used as a frame.

We also had several pieces of fabric that we brought from British Columbia when we moved this past summer. Chunks of fabric, like giant bandannas, have 1001 uses so are a useful resource that didn't take up much room in our van.

I wondered if we could use this fabric and the screens to create a minimalist window covering. I used a few safety pins to pin fabric wrapped around the screens. They fit snuggly into their spot without any alterations.

While the overall insulation factor is minimal, it is better, and feels more comfortable. I am already working on ways to use other resources on hand to make improvements, such as a window solar furnace made from egg cartons.

But the thing I like the best is that I didn't have to buy anything.


  1. That looks stunning! You could always put some thermal fleece (the stuff you can cover plants with in cold weather) behind the bandana if you wanted a bit of extra insulation. We just redecorated our bedroom and the old curtains were burned through by the sun. So I cut the good fabric out (enough for a smaller window) and bought some secondhand (but almost new) lined, velvet curtains on Ebay for our bedroom. They look great and I couldn't have bought the lining fabric for what we paid. The things folks throw out!

    1. Charlotte,

      We have a large piece of felt that might work well. Felt or fleece would increase the insulation value, which is the most important thing for us. Heavy lined drapes are nice to have, especially at a fraction of the cost of new in the store.

      It is fun, economical, and a sound ecological practice to salvage things others have thrown out. It can also be fun.

  2. Fabulous job! That blue fabric is really stunning. Best of all - you didn't have to buy curtains (they are so expensive!). I definitely like how the light diffuses in through your white fabrics. Kudos!

    1. H.S.,

      Our initial urge was to rush out and buy something, but we know to resist the desire to go shopping without a healthy pause first. It was fun to discover that we had everything we needed already at home to get the job done to a level that is acceptable for now.

  3. Hi Gregg,

    I'm also thinking a bit more insulation would be good. I've used old blankets for this in the past. Sometimes you can pick them up really cheaply at op shops if you don't have any spares at home. You can sew the blanket between two pieces of fabric if you don't wan't to see it at all. Threadbare towels can also be used as insulation. I have a lovely bedspread that was badly damaged and am planning on making it into a curtain from my glass back door - it's incredible how much heat is lost through the glass.

    We had a very hot Spring here in Australia, and I used the children's old and threadbare sheets to make shade cloths for my vegetable seedlings - it was very successful! Whilst it didn't look wonderful from the street, I did get a small thrill from solving my problem without shopping.


  4. Anonymous1/17/2015

    I have an old duvet cover that I've been pondering about to make into bedroom curtains. I want a no sew solution. Your window covers are an inspiration to get on with the project!

  5. Anonymous1/25/2015

    Actually your blue fabric looks like art...
    ...the window frame, is the picture frame.


Comments will be printed after moderation to eliminate spam. We are proudly a no buying, no selling website.

We enjoy reading all comments, and respond when time permits.

If you put a name to your comment we can all recognize you for your contribution.

Thank you for visiting and commenting.