Unusual Ideas for Curtain Tiebacks - dummies

By Mark Montano, Carly Sommerstein

Curtain tiebacks need to be functional and they need to look good. That said, you don’t always have to use store-bought fabric to do the job. Look around your house. You may already have the material hanging around that you can use, or you can visit a secondhand store, local thrift shop, or hardware store with your eyes peeled for anything funky yet functional.

Although some may sound a little whimsical or kooky, consider this list of alternative tiebacks that may just inspire a related idea:

  • A necktie is the perfect length for making a tieback. Stitch two or even three together for a wider tieback, or use a single one for a narrow style. Pick them up cheap at a thrift store, garage sale, or flea market, or raid a male relative’s closet.

  • Colored ribbons work well. Just braid three different colored ribbons together to create a simple rainbow-effect tieback.

  • Rope is terrific for adding texture to a jungle- or organic-themed room. Are you thinking of using a tropical print fabric for a window treatment (perhaps for a child’s room or a bathroom)? Consider braiding three pieces of rope together to make a sturdy tieback, one worthy of Tarzan. You can use one or more tones or colors, but be sure to secure the ends by sewing or hot gluing them all together.

  • Premade fabric rosettes are feminine additions to any style. Pin, stitch, or glue fabric rosettes from the crafts store in a line, from one end to the other of your tiebacks.

  • Fishnet can work wonders to complement your rooms with nautical or fishing themes. You can buy fishnet fabric or cut up a pair of light-colored fishnet stockings (look for the cheap ones made mostly of cotton, with no or not too much stretch), and dye the material to complement a dominant color in the curtain fabric.

  • Bandannas or vintage lace handkerchiefs are perfect for rooms with vintage styles.

  • Inexpensive beaded necklaces or Mardi Gras beads make fun, festive tiebacks, making for a really glamorous look for a boudoir window treatment (if you’re lucky enough to have one!). Small metal findings at the ends of necklaces make attaching your tiebacks to cup or other hooks especially easy, too.

    Similarly, choose an ethnic-themed necklace to complement an ethnic design. Try jade or faux-jade for a Far East look, African bead work to complement mud or kente cloth, and so on. If you can’t find two necklaces that match, buy beads and string your own using fishing line.

  • Tinsel, garland, tiny metallic Christmas tree ball ornaments, or artificial mistletoe sewn or glued to artificial vine from the crafts store all are perfect for the holidays. Similarly, wire-edged ribbon — the kind of ribbon you use to make big bows on holiday presents — makes great tieback material. Just wrap the ribbon around your fabric and twist the ends together, securing them behind the drapery fabric with a hook or nail.

  • Crocheted yarn (or other materials, even fabric strips) can match any dominant color in your fabric.

  • Vinyl or faux leather belts offer an ultramodern style. Just snip a belt, tuck the ends under for a finished look, and then seal using hot glue. Attach little plastic hook eyes, or rings, to the belt ends with heavy-duty thread, so you can attach them to the wall with cup hooks.

  • Interwoven artificial flowers from a crafts store can match a floral motif or spice up a plain-colored fabric treatment. As long as you stay in the same color and flower families, you can’t go wrong. This look is a really adorable for a little girl’s room.