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How to Create Custom Window Toppers
by Cindy Snyder

My breakfast nook has four windows that overlook my backyard. Since we have lots of trees in back and there are no neighbors to see in, I decided that I wanted to leave the windows as open as possible. I decided on just toppers leaving the rest of the window uncovered.

I went everywhere and could not find anything I really liked that was within my budget. The closest topper I came to actually buying would have cost more than $20.00 per window. Definitely not in the plan! Finally I decided to dust off my sewing machine and see what I could do. Here is how to make your own lined toppers for about half of what you would pay in the stores. Actually I didn't even find anything close to this!

First measure your window(s) and decide how long your topper will hang. Mine hangs 11 inches. You will also need to measure the width of the window and then figure about half again for the gathering. Mine is 30 inches. So for one window I needed the fabric to be about 22 inches in length (Allowing one half inch for seam allowances on each side) and approximately 48 inches across, depending on how full you want it to be. Take your measurements to the fabric store and they will help you convert that into how much yardage you will need. Buy the exact same amount for your liner.

I chose a beautiful fruit pattern with a hunter green liner. Assuming your topper will be about 11 inches in length you would then cut about 22 inches for the length. (Remember you are going to fold it over) Cut both pieces (liner and pattern) the exact same width and height. For multiple windows, use the first set as a guide. Turn wrong sides together and sew three sides and about three quarters of the fourth side. Then turn right side out and tack down the last bit that is open, by hand. Use a pencil or something to push the corners all the way out like you would if you were making a pillow cover.

Now you should have a large rectangle that measures approximately 20 inches by 48 inches. Using your iron, press the cloth well so that your seams lay down. Lay it out on a table or counter with the pattern side down. Then simply fold over the rectangle long ways, leaving about 2 inches of your liner showing at the bottom. Use a ruler to make sure that it is exactly 2 inches of liner showing at the bottom all the way across and pin in place. Then press again.

Next, measure one inch from the top and sew all the way across. This makes the ruffle at the top. Measure another inch (or two) depending on the type of rod you are using. (I used a small tension rod so that the topper would fit just inside the window.) Sew all the way across again. This forms the rod pocket. You are done! Insert the rod and hang it up. Easy as pie! From the outside you see the fruit, inside you see the fruit on top of the liner, with the two-inch border!

If you are doing multiple windows, I suggest you make one and then use it as a guide to make sure your fold and pocket for the rod is exactly the same. This was a very easy project and I made all four in one evening.

Reprinted with permission.

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Rachel Paxton
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