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How to DIY a Lace Privacy Window Covering
by Annabel Vita
This was the quickest, easiest, cheapest project ever but it turned out better than I ever imagined. Not only was it super pretty, but it added some much need privacy to a very overlooked bedroom window.
Our old flat in a stately 1745 townhouse was packed with period features. The bedroom had delectable shutters, which I adored, but they made window treatments kind of hard. You either had to hang curtains in front of the whole alcove (we can tell by the holes in the trim that this is what our predecessors did) or not at all. For the last year and a bit, we’ve opted for the latter option, except for the tension rod light blocking curtain above the shutters. The shutters are great at blocking all natural light, which was great for lie-ins. But, the room got crazy beautiful morning light and it always seemed a shame to be getting dressed in artificial light just for the sake of privacy.
One day, with the help of this post from Manhattan Nest, I had a brainwave and added lace frosting to the window with a pantry staple and some £1.50 lace from Ikea. Here's how you can do the same.
1) Prepare your lace. I made a template of my window panes, but for a larger surface you could just measure it. Iron your lace if you can and trim it to size.
2) Make up a starch jelly. First mix two tablespoons cornflour (also known as cornstarch) and two tablespoons cold water until it forms a paste, then dissolve this in about a cup and a half boiling water. You should end up with a nice gloopy liquid.
4) Stick lace in the window. Lay your fabric onto the pre-applied gloop and then brush another layer on top. Brush from the centre to the corners but try to make sure your strokes are slightly random so they don't show too much. It's easy to reposition at this stage so don't worry if it goes a little skew-whiff! The best thing about using lace (with holes in) is that there are automatically no air pockets so you don’t have to bother squeegeeing them out.
5) And you're done! The cornflour mixture will take a while to fully dry out and it won't be clear until it's fully dry, so don't panic if it looks a little white to begin with!
Q: Just how opaque is it? I am curious how much privacy this actually allows.
A: I’d say it totally depends on your fabric. If you’d be happy with getting changed behind the fabric as curtains then the fabric will be opaque enough for this window treatment too. I actually have lace curtains in this same fabric, and in both instances I feel happy getting changed behind them if it’s light outside, but I wouldn’t hang out without my clothes on with the light on if it was dark outside. So if privacy is really important, just pick a lace that is more opaque than sheer.
It also depends how directly other people can look into your window! Our bedroom window isn't super overlooked, although there's lots of windows out the back, most of the angles are indirect and/or the other window is frosted.
Here's a picture of my hand through the lace…
…and held out as far away as it could go.
Q: What about mod podge? Would that work instead of cornflour?
A: We don’t really have modge podge here so I don’t know! It would be a bit more permanent I imagine. If it’s anything like PVA glue (I think it is) then I wouldn’t want to use it on wooden painted windows like we have, but it could work great on more modern windows. It would also be much more expensive. (The “glue” made out of cornstarch is essentially free!)
Q: If I used colored lace would the cornstarch show?
A: No, it dries totally clear (but goes on gloopy and white-ish, don’t panic!) It will probably go clear overnight.
Q: How do I clean it?
I would say it’s probably not great for a window that would get dirty a lot because you can dust or brush it but can’t wipe it down. I’d probably remove all the sheets of lace and run them through the machine in a lingerie bag every now and again and then put them back up. It’s that easy to apply.
Q: How do I remove the lace?
When it came to be time to move out, I sprayed the lace down with water and just pulled it away. There was a lot of residue on the window, but it soon came off with a scrubby sponge and VERY HOT water.
Thanks for reading! If you have any questions I will try and pop in to the comments here to answer them, or you may find the answer in the comments to this post.
We just LOVE this, Annabel! Thanks for being our guest today!
Visit her blog to see more cute and creative projects.
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