Trims and embellishments add a touch of personality to simple, sheer panels.

How to Dress Up Sheer Panels

by Erin Maurer

Hanging sheer curtain panels in your windows gives your room some privacy without blocking out all the natural light. Often made of light, gauzy fabric, these curtains seem to float in the windows, giving your space a romantic, ethereal feel. Sheer curtains may also make your windows appear a bit unfinished. Finish off your window treatments by dressing up the sheer panels, elevating them from simple to beautiful.

1. Layer with Curtain Panels

One of the easiest ways to dress up your sheer window treatments is to layer them under premade curtain panels. Hanging sheer panels under curtains gives your windows an elegant finish. Use a double curtain rod, hanging the sheers on the inside rod and the curtains on the outside. For a dramatic effect, hang your curtain rod along the top edge of the window casting, with sheers and curtains just long enough to skim the floor.

2. It's All About the Trim

Give your sheer panels a simple, upscale makeover by adding trim to the inside edges. Your local craft and fabric store will carry any number of trim embellishments. From happy-colored pompoms to jeweled trims, choose an embellishment that complements the room’s overall design. Cut your trim to a length 1 inch longer than the length of the sheer panel. Tuck the top edge under 1/2 inch and pin the trim to the inside edge of one sheer panel with straight pins. Set your sewing machine to a zig-zag stitch setting, recommend So Sew Something’s sewing experts. Remove the pins as you sew the trim to the edge of the sheer panel. Tuck the bottom edge of the trim under 1/2 inch before sewing it down.

3. Color-Blocked Sheers

Give your sheer panels a modern, color-blocked look by adding solid-colored fabric to the bottoms of your sheer curtain panels. Adding colored fabric gives the sheers a grounded appearance, while still allowing light to flow through. Choose a fabric in the same width as your curtain panels, or trim the fabric to this width. Measure from the curtain rod to the windowsill and add 1/2 inch. Placing the sheers on a flat work surface, cut them to this measurement. Measure from the windowsill to the floor and add 1 inch. Cut your fabric to this measurement. Place the sheers face down on the work surface. Fold the cut edge back 1/2 inch and pin in place. Place the colored fabric face down on the work surface. Fold the cut edge back 1/2 inch and pin in place. Place the colored edge over the sheer fabric, lining up the pinned edges. Sew together using a simple, straight stitch on the sewing machine. Fold the bottom edge of the colored fabric back 1/2 inch and pin in place. Sew this hem using a simple, straight stitch.

4. Ribbon Embellishments

The ribbon department of your local craft store has many beautiful embellishments for your sheer curtains. Choose a ribbon that complements other fabrics or finishes used in the room's design. Place the sheer fabric face up on the work surface, smoothing out any wrinkles. Cut a length of ribbon 1 inch longer than the length of your sheers. Use a fabric adhesive to attach the ribbon to the sheer panels. Center the ribbon so it overhangs the top and bottom edges by 1/2 inch. Attach your ribbon to the inside edge of a sheer panel, wrapping the overhang around to the back and gluing it in place. For a vertical striped effect, continue to add ribbons in equal increments across the sheers.

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