How to Make Curtains {DIY}

My mom and step-dad came to town for a visit two weeks ago.  The purpose of their visit?  So my mom and I could play curtain sweat shop.  I mean, doesn’t everyone put their parents to work when said parents drive 3 hours to spend quality time with their dear offspring?

Great tutorial on how to make curtains!

This whole process started when I saw Kim’s dining room curtains.  Who knew it was so easy (and cost effective) to make your own curtains?  Kim’s curtains led me to Meredith’s tutorial on how to make curtains.

So in mid-June when I came across a fabric that I loved (54″ Waverly Lovely Lattice Lagoon), I knew I had to make curtains for our snoozefest of a living room.  Isn’t it dreamy?

source
I called my mom at 9:30PM on a Saturday night.  She was sleeping.  But I was sitting at home on my laptop on a Saturday night so I guess that’s no better.  We chatted on the phone about how much yardage I would need to buy.  At one point, she disagreed with me and I remember saying, “Bonnie, you’re not understanding my vision.”  To which she said, “I guess I don’t, Chelsea Ann”.  Ahh, mother-daughter relationships.

I purchased 10.5 yards for $98.  Tip: Always search for a coupon code before purchasing.  That’s how I saved $17.  Boom.

OK, back to the slave labor.  


We cut four 95 inch panels.  Then we got to work folding over the length-wise edges and sewing them.  We didn’t bother cutting off the edges because 1. no one sees them and 2. it won’t fray, so why bother?


We did about a 4 inch hem at the top.


And about a 5 inch hem at the bottom.


We hung the curtain panels with ribbon that I hot glued on.  Sounds kind of crazy, doesn’t it?  We used 1 1/2 inch x 3 inch and 5/8 inch x 3 inch ribbon, spaced about 4-5 inches apart.  I used a lighter to melt the edges and keep them from fraying.  The thicker strips were used in the middle, while the thinner strips on the ends.  Why’d we do that?  Well, I realized that if we used the thicker ribbon on the ends it would look a little wonkier once we got the curtains up on the rods.


Now, this project didn’t go without some snags.  First, my sewing machine desperately needs to be serviced.  Secondly, the fabric was printed crooked.  This drove my Type A self bonkers.  

The tape measure in the photo is straight.  The fabric, however, is not.


But we worked it out, and you can’t tell that it’s crooked now that they’re hung.

I love a good before and after so here’s the before.


And the after.


Can I just say that I HATE photographing our living room?  I probably spent 3 hours (I wish I was kidding) trying to photograph the dresser turned TV stand.  There’s something about the light that I just can’t get.  I’m also going to blame my 7 year old DSLR.  Mama needs a new camera.  I’m talking to you, Santa.

My step-dad thought I was crazy for putting curtains on our backdoor.  He kept saying, “I’ve never seen curtains on a backdoor”.  To which I replied that I’m a visionary, and I’m going to start a trend.  I also may have gone on and on about my love of symmetry.


The door curtains have worked out fine.  We just have to remember to move them out of the way when we open and close the door.

Because I’m all about transparency, here’s the breakdown of how much cheddar I dropped on this project.

Fabric: $98… Fabric.com (also found here)
Curtain rods: $22… Target
Ribbon:  $3… JoAnn Fabric– I used 50% off coupons
Thread: $0… already had it
TOTAL:  $123
Not bad, right?

 

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Comments

  1. love it!!

  2. So pretty! They really complete the space!

  3. oooooh! Beautiful fabric. Didn’t happen to see it in yellow, did you? ;)
    I have seen curtains on back doors several times and in your space, it is sort of necessary to maintain the symmetry you have placed. If you only did the window, your head would feel all lopsided. Beautiful room!

  4. I feel like you’re reading my mind. We just got a new bedspread so now our curtains don’t match. I’m planning on making my own. I’ve done them before but never took much time with it, this time I definitely will. I love the fabric you used!

  5. I have loved that fabric for forever. They look beautiful! :) And crooked fabric is the worst–I always try to cheat by just following the pattern to cut stuff out instead of measuring and…yeah. Doesn’t always work out. Dear fabric companies: adjust your printing process. Please.

  6. Looks great and balances out the room. I have curtains on my slider, it helps with energy loss in the winter.

  7. The curtains look great! And I agree that the back door needed them….men just don’t understand these things! My mom is currently working on curtains for us too….aren’t moms the best?

  8. This makes me laugh only because I do the same thing to my mom! They live 4 hours from us and I’m constantly coming up with sewing ideas that my mom executes for me… especially curtains! (here- http://aaronandkristenwindle.blogspot.com/2011/10/some-chevron-action.html and here- http://aaronandkristenwindle.blogspot.com/2011/07/mom-sewed-and-i-tried-not-to-screw-it.html )
    Moms are the best— especially when they sew ;)

  9. Very pretty! Me likey.

    I tried to make curtains once for our office. I cut one panel about 1 1/2 feet too short. Thank goodness the couch hid it. Just the other day I was pondering making more. I really should learn from my mistakes. Can I borrow Bonnie?

  10. Love the pattern and color! xxx Kristin

  11. These turned out so pretty Chelsea! Love the fabric choice. And I’m all about the hot glue :)

  12. I think your curtain over the door is brilliant! It’s sure to be a trend soon! It really conceils it. I mean, how attractive can a door really be?

  13. So beautiful! And I think the curtains around the door are a great idea–now it looks like you have symmetrical windows instead of a window and a door! You smart thing, you. And the fabric is amazing. And so is the TV stand. I love the whole living room! Can we get more of a house tour, please? So I can admire/copy your style? :-) :-) :-) :-) :-)

  14. LOVE that fabric. LOVE.

    We put my parents to work when they come visit too. They also might have a bit of a longer drive than 3 hrs ahem13hrsahem.

  15. Gorgeous! I think I need to enlist my mom in helping me make some curtains now! Also, I noticed you have a motion detector in the one corner of your living room – I have one too. Are you worried about the curtain panel blocking the detector? My alarm guys told me that if anything gets in it’s way, it won’t work :(

  16. Your whole living room is just gorgeous! The fabric for the curtains is perfect for the room. The TV stand was my favorite but now I think my fave is the new curtains!

    Lori : )
    Thrifty Decor Mom

  17. Love them! They are so gorgeous!

    And I love that you hung them over the door to balance things out!

  18. Looks amazing! Love how it finishes off the room!

  19. Came out great!! The fabric is swoon worthy for sure! It’s coming together nicely, I see your vision ;-)

  20. I’m impressed, they look great!!

  21. So beautiful! The fabric is gorgeous and your instructions make even a non-sewer like me keen to give it a try! xx

    • shelley klausman says:

      Great idea….I’m a professional Interior Designer and like the streamline design concept. Wish I had seen this earlier when I used to do so many model homes! I may try it out just for fun, although I think lining it would give more body.

  22. I have just finished making curtains and wish I had used the available slave labour (aka mother) rather than just take her advice…I think they would have turned out way better.
    Hot glue v’s sewing machine = good for you, I would love to borrow this idea and rescue my sad curtains.

  23. i love the pattern! and i love curtains over doors!! I have curtains on all of our doors. and the color is so cool in there, such a great pop of color!

  24. I would LOVE to see the rest of your house! Home tour soon please!! :o)

  25. In love with the print! Awesome job:)

  26. Love how those curtains brighten up your room so much. Love the print too!

  27. Nice! They look wonderful. I simply MUST learn how to sew.

  28. Very pretty. Love the color and print. I have rooms in my house that I feel like no matter what time of the day, whether I’m climbing on stools, crawling on the ground, I still have the hardest time photographing them. But I think you did great :) Have a great weekend!

  29. Oh my goodness! Such a lovely difference! They turned out so pretty, and I just adore the TV stand/dresser!

    xoxo,
    Jen

  30. I love that fabric so much. I actually saw it today at the fabric store. :) Your curtains are amazing and your tutorial is fabulous!! Megan

  31. Beautiful! The curtains make a huge difference in the look of the room! Great job! Also, I’m completely with Jen from iheartorganizing, that TV stand/dresser is marvelous! Have a wonderful weekend!

  32. Love that fabric… and I had to laugh at the ‘slave labor’ part! Whenever my dad comes to visit me, I always enlist him to ‘advise’ (or do!) on a DIY project I had planned.

  33. I’m so glad I came upon your blog over at The Shabby Creek Cottage! I LOVE your curtains and the fabric is so pretty! I previously had curtains on a double back door (French door) and when we remodeled, my husband said, “No curtains on the door”. Oh well…to each his own! I am currently waiting on fabric I ordered from JoAnn’s Fabric Store…it too is Waverly but is the Chippendale fretwork pattern in Mocha!!!! The curtain rod is hanging there, waiting too!!! I’m going to use the rings with clips for hanging them. Hope mine look as nice as yours!!! Stop by and check out my blog! I’m your newest follower!!

  34. Wow – totally love them! They really brighten up your living room with the color and design. Like you, I have to have my symmetry, so I completely understand the curtain over the door. LOL! Some of us shouldn’t be allowed in public, right? And your conversation with your mother sounds like mine with my daughter. She always says, “mom, you just don’t get it.” To which I always reply, “I get it Sarah, I get it.”

  35. This looks awesome. I love the ribbon tab system. It’s so handy an turns out really polished, in my opinion. Thanks for the link love. Your windows look fabulous. I really like the fabric you chose and agree that symmetry is awesome. Yay for
    Mom sweat shops.

  36. I LOVE your curtains over the door! I am a symetry gal too. :)

    On Wednesday I posted a tutorial on a easy DIY tool that will help keep your curtains clean. It’s here:

    http://decortoadore.blogspot.com/2012/08/closing-your-curtains-how-to-keep-them.html

  37. Wow so Nice style and tutorial! I love the fabric you have chosen. Have a great day

  38. These are some fantastic curtains. I’ve of the opinion that if you can find the fabric you love, it’s better to make your own home decor pieces because even when the tasks are often tedious, you end up with something you truly love. Ever tried searching and searching for that perfect already-created match to the vision in your head? LOL

    And I do know what you mean about photographing spaces such as this. In my craft room I receive lots of wonderful sunlight, which is perfect for photographing objects in natural light, but a beast to photograph the actual wall. Still working on it. :-)

    http://www.artisticexpressionsbyelisabeth.blogspot.com

  39. What is the paint color for this room? I absolutely LOVE it!

    amccrowell.blogspot.com

  40. Gosh darn gorgeous! SOOOOOOOOO inspiring! Thanks for sharing. :)

  41. ha, I didn’t even notice it was a door until you mentioned it. SOOO much better with the bright curtains! I’m guessing you had a hard time photographing the TV stand because you’re photographing against the light.

  42. You are so cute! And I love the curtains! I’ve been wanting to make some curtains for my living room as well… Just haven’t gotten to it yet ;). I am a new follower!

    http://www.katiedidit1.blogspot.com

  43. Love the fabric. It’s funny how curtains make the room look finished now.

  44. I’ve been admiring this fabric for several months now and I am hoping to make (or more like pay someone to make since I can’t sew) curtains for my kids playroom with this gorgeous fabric! I love how bright and cheery it makes your room!

  45. Beautiful! I made mine and even put a liner in them. It hurt to send them to Goodwill when the room was heading in a different direction a few years later.

  46. Gorgeous! Those are stunning. Great job :)

  47. Since my husband and I are moving, I’m totally looking for great ideas for our curtains in our new place. I think I found just the right thing ;)

    New Follower!
    Feel free to follow me back at http://www.ageekswifeandherdog.blogspot.com

  48. I love these curtains I´ll try to make one for my kitchen door.Thaks for the great idea.Bye.
    I´m a new follower.

  49. These curtains turned out AMAZING! Love your fabric choice. I’ll be putting it on my FB.

  50. Gorgeous! It’s the same print I’ve been drooling over too. It looks perfect on the door, I like symmetry too.

  51. So great! I made my living room curtains in the exact same waverly fabric. Color and everything. So great! :O)

  52. I love the idea of using ribbon to hang them. How many of the 5/8″ and 1-1/2″ strips did you use for one panel?

  53. You guys did a GREAT job and I just love the curtains over the door (I also share your love of symmetry)! I feel ya about the fabric being printed crooked, that is the worst! Well done ladies!

  54. Beautiful! How far apart do you place the ribbon pieces?

  55. Heidi Snead says:

    Beautiful curtains! I love the “symmetrical” effect as well!

  56. Great tutorial… For the fabric did you use a canvas or apparel? :)
    Thank you

  57. The curtains look great! I need to make curtains for my son’s room.
    Thank you for the tutorial.

  58. I love the curtains, the fabric, color and I think it was a great idea to do the same curtain over the door. It adds balance and symetry to the room. Great job!

  59. Curtain bg is a leading supplier of readymade to measure net curtains. Any drop available, free postage over and fast delivery, buy online today.

  60. Love your idea. I also love symmetry.

  61. I absolutely love the colour of the fabric. And why not put the curtains over the door!? It creates wonderful symmetry and balance in the room. Kudos!

  62. Jennifer says:

    Love the symmetry…and the colors!

  63. So pretty. What a difference. I had to double check that nothing else had changed. :)

  64. Maribel says:

    Working on my curtain panels and was wondering how far apart you hot glued the ribbons? Love the way this looks instead of putting the rod through the whole curtain.

    Thanks!

  65. I did the same thing to my Mama and Pops! lol…I closed on my house on a Friday and they were here on Monday (very proud parents, btw). I feel a bit more guilty though as my parents drove nearly nine hours to reach my new domicile. My Mom is a professional seamstress so my problem was convincing her about the simplicity of what I was after. I had decided to use the fancy clips that you actully just clip the fabric to the rods and it hangs from it so all we had to do was hem all the edges then put the larger folds on the top and bottom. After that if was just a matter of clipping them to the rods :) I got a lot of extra length in mine because I wanted to balloon them near the bottom which I did using a thick twine that went well with my Italian countryside design scheme. By doing this myself I was able to afford the very fine, heavy weight linen I wanted. I’m about to redesign so doing the project again…although I’m not going to have my parents drive all that way because they’ve already given me the education I needed to stand on my own two feet!

  66. Valuable information. Lucky me I found your website unintentionally, and
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  67. Samar teama says:

    So easy. Good job

  68. Samar teama says:

    Waw

  69. I am not an expert seamstress but think I could make these. How wide are the panels?

  70. Love the drapes, they really finish off the room. Perfect that you made them symmetrical. I actually didn’t notice one was a door and one a window!
    I think the dresser is beautiful as a TV table.
    One hint about photographing indoors, especially towards the windows is to take your pictures when it’s just barely light outside, with all of your lamps/lights on.

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  73. Love your curtains and it does even out the room. I put curtains over by backdoor (French doors) and love it! We like it dark to watch tv and this helps. thanks for showing the steps & cost!! <3

  74. Love the symmetry, hanging curtains at the door and window. That gives me some ideas. Thanks for the great tut!

  75. Hi! I love this tutorial- so much easier than other ones I’ve come across. I will be attempting my own curtains but need to put a liner on the back. Any suggestions on how to go about doing that?

  76. I love it! I also made a curtain for my kitchen window and came upon the same problem – those who sold me the fabric had cut it crooked and upon cutting it myself at home it seemed straight , but when I hung it it tilts a bit to the right. I wanted to ask you about the flowers on the tv stand, do you have a tutorial for them? :)
    Ella recently posted..Plaid skirt into bag – Fusta modificaa in geantaMy Profile

  77. Maggie Martinez says:

    I need these curtains can i pay you to make me some of these same color and pattern.? Please let me know thank you

  78. very nice!
    I love you’re website & how you break things down so clearly. wonderful job.

  79. sandra marino says:

    My daughter bought new curtains with large metal eyelets in the top and they stack back beautifully like verticals almost. I have bought material already for my curtains and now seeing your tute I will be able to get the effect I want by following what you did with yours. Do you use narrower tape at the ends of the curtains to help them stack better? I live in Australia so what kind of ribbon did you use. I’d need to fold it to make it narrower at the ends of the curtain I suppose . I will be making 3 drops of 140cm wide in each curtain for a large sliding door that opens in the middle so I will have to sew on the ribbon to carry the weight. Do you know what grograin ribbon is would that be a suitable ribbon ?

  80. My daughter bought some new curtains with those large eyelets at the top and they stack like verticals. I love them but I already have had my material for about 2 years and seeing how you made yours I believe I can approximate about the same result following your tutorial. Thank you so much. I will have 2 curtains with 3 drops of 140cm in each for a large sliding door opening in the middle so I believe I will have to sew the ribbon on instead of glueing because of the weight. I live in Australia I’m wondering about grograin ribbon do you know what that is . I would appreciate your comments.

  81. Ann Helfrich says:

    Thanks for the tutorial. Will totally use it. Could definitely do without the flip “slave labor” comment. Found it offensive. Almost clicked right off the site. Good luck!

  82. Lol… curtain sweat shop. Love your tutorial and love how they turned out!
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  83. I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but
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    your website to come back later on. Many thanks
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  84. Wow, I just have to congratulate you on this beautiful article on how to make curtains. I personally have had the pleasure of making almost all the curtains in my home and I have to say that I always looking for coupons to save money on materials. That was a great tip. I would really appreciate it if you could take the time someday to visit me at my website dedicated entirely to sharing meany different articles and ideas on how to make curtains. http://www.howtomakecurtainsfree.com/blog/

  85. At first, I would think that curtains on a back door look odd. But now I am looking at my back door to our porch (which is placed in between the floor to ceiling windows in the living room and the dining room (which I use as my studio space), and it doesnt seem like such a bad idea now.

  86. Michelle says:

    You are so clever! I LOVE these curtains and especially love how easy you make it seem. I was fortunate to just happen upon this blog tonight, I just bought a sewing machine today and now I know what my first project will be. I am now super motivated! P.S. Love the ribbon idea!

  87. Those really make the space look lovely! I will be making some curtains this summer, so this was really helpful.
    Deanna {sewmccool} recently posted..Elegant ribbon cross headband or clipMy Profile

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