* starched linen windows

Posted on March 17th, 2010 by maitreya. Filed under Home and Garden.

We’ve got some windows in the garage that I’m not too keen on people peering into.  The previous owner had garbage bags tacked up to cover them, which I am ashamed to admit have stayed up for months now.  The first attempt at replacing them was window cling film we got from a hardware store, but it was hard to apply, doesn’t look great, and cost a lot.

Plan B is fabric applied with starch, and this weekend I was procrastinating from grant-writing and decided to just go for it with whatever I already have on hand.  I think I got the idea from this very thorough not martha post who in turn linked to all buttoned up.  I sponged the window with the corn starch/water ratio from how about orange and soaked a piece of cheap Ikea linen-look fabric in it before applying.  It took just about 2 cups to do the job.  The first pane I tried to cut the fabric to size.  The second pane I cut a little bigger than the window and tried to cut to fit once applied.  If I try this again, I’ll just be very careful cutting it to size.  I was a bit too slapdash to get the edges really neat.


I think the fabric is a little too heavy and blocks too much light.  So now I’m on the look out for something lighter weight, with a slight pattern to it since I do like the effect of the light coming through.


Update: I found a lighter weight fabric and redid the windows.  Check out that post for tips on taking the fabric off and some minor method improvements.

8 Responses to “starched linen windows”

  1. Eddy Radar Says:

    Try using rice paper — many nice ones at Daniel Smith art supply. Install using small amount of glue to water in a spray bottle. Trim out with an exact knife when dry.

  2. Nancy Says:

    Just like Eddy, I used rice paper for similar screens about 15 yrs ago based on a Martha Stewart “good things” suggestion–We would put them up for privacy and then hide them under the window between the sofa & wall when we wanted more light.

    I like the idea of linen or some other fabric even better, however–more long-lasting! You just need to find the right weight.

  3. Miho Says:

    I absolutely love the texture and colour of the linen!

  4. LNSpellman Says:

    Has anyone tried this with other materials? I’d love to use fall leaves or pressed flowers on the windows and mirrors but I don’t know what the starch would do to the appearance of them, and how much would show around the edges?? Any suggestions would be great… lnspellman@gmail.com

  5. Peter Says:

    Is this project easy to remove when you’re moving out of the apartment?

  6. maitreya Says:

    I had no trouble removing it. The fabric peeled right off, and the residual starch wiped off with water.

  7. Bridget Says:

    Would the starch be strong enough to hold blackout fabric? I’m trying to blackout my kids windows and need something relatively childproof and sturdy.

  8. Andres Says:

    I once used a medium weight interfacing to create a shoji screen-like privacy window. It was pretty neat. The dividers of the casement window were painted black, and the white interfacing looked a bit like rice paper. It also provided the same level of privacy, and it kept the room bright while remaining opaque. At that time I didn’t know about starching a window so I used a faint dusting with spray adhesive. Not too much good to say about using spray adhesive, but I am wondering if a medium weight interfacing might be too heavy to work with the starch. A lighter weight interfacing might still provide enough privacy. I’m going to give it a try!


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