Add a touch of whimsy and color to your kitchen window with handkerchiefs.

Easy Handkerchief Window Treatment

by Kathryn Hatashita-Lee

Your next valance made with pretty handkerchiefs is an easy and quick accent to any room’s decor. A solid color, a textured weave or even an eclectic blend of motifs defines your kitchen's window space with a custom touch. Washable dinner napkins make this easy-care accessory adaptable to the season or occasion. For example, fold a handkerchief square into the shape of a triangle or rectangle and secure it in place with a decorative brooch that displays a seasonal flower design. These toppers set high up on your window keeps any choking hazards beyond reach of your children.

Triangle Toppers

Place a pressed handkerchief on a table or flat surface so the square resembles a diamond with one lower corner pointed to you.

Fold this handkerchief over the curtain rod to create a triangle on the front and back. The bottom corners can match, or the front-facing triangle can be smaller than the back triangle for a framed, layered look.

Fasten the front and back triangles with one or more decorative brooches or pins just under the covered rod to create a simple rod pocket. Continue creating more triangle sections with the remaining handkerchiefs. Adding the brooch or pin just below the rod keeps the handkerchief in place.

Hang the curtain rod with the handkerchiefs evenly spaced at the top of your window. If you overlap the handkerchiefs, a diamond shape shows when the light filters through them.

Buttoned Valances

Fold down one edge of a handkerchief to create a rod pocket big enough to fit the curtain rod.

Pin this flap with straight pins to keep it in place.

Thread one end of a double strand of thread into a handheld sewing needle and knot the two ends. Sew one button near the left side of the flap through the two layers. Knot the threads and trim with scissors. Sew a second button on the right side of the flap. Remove the straight pins.

Place a cloth over the handkerchief and iron it with a preheated iron. Repeat for additional handkerchiefs.

Insert the handkerchief onto the curtain rod. If you want to make adjustments, change the first one until it suits you. For example, experiment with the spacing between the two buttons, or sew buttons on the back for visibility outdoors. Continue creating more buttoned valances as needed.

Items you will need

  • Decorative pins or brooches
  • Straight pins
  • Thread
  • Handheld sewing needle
  • Buttons
  • Scissors
  • Iron
  • Ironing board
  • Cloth
  • Ring clips


  • Hang these curtains high up out of reach to avoid a choking hazard with the handkerchiefs or the buttons and brooches.
  • Purchase an inexpensive decorative rod with finials and attach ring clips along one edge of a handkerchief to create an airy look to the handkerchiefs as they gently move with a breeze.


  • Keep the iron, scissors and supplies away from your small children and animals.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images