March 5, 2014

DIY: How to Make Your Own Curtains

If you'd like to try making your own curtains, but fear it sounds too difficult, I'll let you in on a little secret that the charlatans of the curtain industry (we'll call them "Big Curtain") do not want you to know: making your own curtains is WAY easy. It's just sewing some straight lines!

Big Curtain would have you believe that curtain making is so arduous and advanced that you should just fork over hundreds of your hard-earned dollars, while they laugh all the way to the bank, comforted by the knowledge that you'll never learn their slimy secret. Okay, maybe they're, like, really nice people who just want to spruce up your living room and give your grandmother's kitchen that certain charm that only apple-and-gingham-printed curtains can give. Either way, you do NOT need to pay for their wares!
A Curtain Executive (totally a thing) right before he makes it rain with your money!
If you have the ability to sew a straight line (either on a machine or by hand) and do some simple fabric folding and very basic measuring, you can make your own curtains. Just take it one step at a time and you'll see how simple it really is!

Plus, have you seen curtain prices lately/ever? Ummm, are they serious? Since recently moving, we've needed a lot of home-related items, which I've either made myself or found for great deals (it's what I do!), but curtains are just not budget friendly, even at the cheaper stores, like Home Goods and Target. And selection - either I'm absurdly picky or every curtain for sale everywhere is ugly (okay, maybe it's the former), but DIY curtains allow you to pick any fabric, colors and designs you want and save a bunch of money. I got this fabric at Joann's for around $12. Take that, Big Curtain!

There are obviously many ways to do anything, but this is the simple way I make presentable curtains and how you can do it too.

What You Need:
Fabric {enough to cover the width of your window and the length you desire}
Measuring Tape
Sewing Pins
Sewing Machine or Needle & Thread

How To Make It:
Start by cutting your fabric to the desired size. My window is 65 inches wide so I opted for two panels that were each 36 inches wide so they would fully cover the window when closed, with a little fabric left over to give that scrunchy curtain look (not to be confused with the scrunchie look, which is not an acceptable window treatment or hair accessory).

I also wanted the panels to be 60 inches in length so I cut two even pieces to my desired dimensions with extra all around for seam allowance.

Next, carefully pin the side hems of your panel(s). I folded over each edge 1 inch and then folded it over again 1 inch and pinned in place to create a finished looking edge. This is kind of like my "How to Hem Your Own Pants" tutorial, except instead of pants we're doing curtains, so feel free to refer to your curtains as "window pants" from here forward.

Then, just sew up the side hems that you just pinned. 

Next comes the top edge. Again, I folded over the edge 1 inch and pinned it in place.

Then I folded over the top edge 4 inches and pinned in place. This gives the curtain panel a loop for the curtain rod to go through so make sure to create enough space for whatever size rod you're using. The reason I first pinned down that 1 inch edge in the last step was to create a finished looking seam instead of showing the raw edge. That is just vulgar.

Sew the seam up to create your hangin' loop.

Here's an inside view of the loop we created:

Now for the big finish! Create a clean hem on the bottom edge by folding over the edge 1 inch and then folding it over again 1 inch. Pin in place, making sure that both panels are the same length before sewing.
Lay the panels on top of one another to make sure the bottom edges line up. No crooked curtains, kids!
Mount the curtains and admire your handy skills and expert money-saving techniques.

I dig this fabric because it's opaque enough for privacy, but still lets light shine through.
I also made some curtains for our bedroom from this incredibly loud, outlandishly 70s floral fabric. It's just obnoxious enough to satisfy me, while still maintaining some semblance of "sophistication." Quotes are needed around that word because I just bet my definition is way different (i.e. looser) than yours!

Would you ever try making your own curtains? Are you handy around the house? What's your biggest home DIY victory or horror story? I simply must know!



  1. LOL at "Big Curtain". I like the fabric you chose, it really brightens up the room. I did make curtains once, but I didn't have a sewing machine at the time so they came out sort of lumpy and lopsided. It kept people from staring into our living room windows though, and that's always a bonus!

    1. Thanks! Yeah, it can be harder when doing it by hand for sure, but privacy is a definite plus! xo

  2. Scrunchie Look and Window Pants, LOL! Girl, you slay me! I'm not handy whatsoever, but I can paint walls and stuff.

  3. I love these! That money executive looks awfully proud of his $200. Oh, who am I kidding I would be the same way with cash in my hand. We sold those sunglasses at my work and almost every pair in the shipment came in broken. There has to be some poetry in that message somewhere. God, I meant to simply compliment your beautiful craftsmanship but Big Curtain took me over!

    They are beautiful.

  4. I have curtains I need to get to work sewing, too. Saves sooo much money to make 'em at home, crazy how much the mark-up on simple cloth can be due to a few seams.

    1. I know! For such a simple item the costs can be outrageous. xo


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