Fashioning bed sheets into curtains can save you money and give you the window covering you want. This guide is about making curtains from sheets.
It will be 9 years next month since we moved into our house. There were absolutely no drapes in the house. So I had to find a frugal way of either buying drapes or making them myself. My husband and I first started shopping for drapes at several stores. I looked at the price tags and was astonished and knew right away that it would have cost us a lot of money to do the entire house. We price shopped at a number of stores, and still the same thing, just too expensive. Then we tried some thrift shops such as the Salvation Army and the Goodwill, and didn't find anything to our liking. The drapes were either too long, too short or too narrow for our windows and I would have had to alter them so they would fit the windows anyway.
I either read this frugal tip in a magazine or heard it on TV about making drapes out of flat bed sheets. I thought to myself, "Why not give it a try". I purchased two flat queen sized sheets from Sears because I fell in love with the large flower pattern. The flat twin size sheets were either purchased from K-Mart or Walmart. I also had to purchase some drapery rods for the kitchen, bathroom and three bedrooms.
I didn't use a sewing pattern, just plan old ingenuity and the many years of sewing experience helped me out tremendously. I wanted to make floor length drapes for my living room windows. So I ran the curtain rod through the top casing on the sheet and hung it up to my window. Then stepped back and took a long hard look at what needed to be done. The sheet was extremely long so I measured as to how much I should cut off at the bottom. I cut both sheets the same length and sewed the bottom hems on my sewing machine. With the fabric that was left over, I made a separate valance. There was absolutely no material wasted. I did pretty much the same for the bedroom drapes, but sewed a valance at the top and still had enough fabric left over and made two tie backs and sewed plastic "0" rings on each tie back. I made a pair of drapes and a matching shower curtain for my bathroom, and for the master bedroom made the drapes and a matching duvet cover for our comforter.
I'm so frugal, that I didn't want to spend the extra money for another flat sheet so I made a pair of drapes out of the left over fabric that I used on the kitchen window.
They are so very easy to launder, and never need dry cleaning. Just wash, dry and press with your iron. I even bought four pairs of sheer drapes in a few garage sales that I used for my living room and bedroom windows.
Now you're probably wondering what it cost me to do the entire house. Would you believe if I told you about $109.00 - $115.00.
By Marge W. from Sanborn, NY
My Mother also did this in the '50s-- see how smart women still are! She added the draw drape look and action by sewing the pleating tape to the top and hooking the pleater hooks into the draw drape rod, just another idea ladies.
Way to go!
WOW! beautiful job! My sewing machine sits here collecting dust! I bought it to mend rips and tears. I can barely sew a straight line. I have blinds and valances through out the house. I would love the sheets to curtains idea. I wish you were my neighbor or relative so you could help me. lol
great photos thanks!
The bathroom. How or what did you use/do for the top of the curtain for the shower. I noticed you have rings on the rod. I tried to grommet a sheet...what a mess! The sheet was to thin. Help! :)
This is a great tip, good photos too, thanks for sharing.
I did something similar for my son's bedroom some years ago except I used quilt-covers (duvet-covers). I bought 3 matching duvet covers, including pillow cases, on sale/clearance. One set I used on his bed and the other two sets I turned into rod-pocket curtains by simply sewing the pocket along one side to slide along a curtain rod. Because I used duvet-covers their were two layers of material to each curtain, so one basically served as lining cutting out excess light. Incredibly easy and his bedding and curtains co-ordinated. Plus I had some extra matching pillow cases :)
Our sliding glass door has old lace curtains on a spring-loaded rod. I went to Walmart and bought 2 twin size white sheets and a second rod.
Need to accessorize your bedrooms? Buy sheets to match your bedrooms and make curtains. Curtains are an easy make, as you only have to worry about making two seams for the top.
If you have high windows that need curtains over 86 inches but don't want to spend money buying the longer lengths or for material by the yard, just buy flat bed sheet(s). They're already sewn looking like curtains and come in many colors and patterns.
Most of my curtains I've made from sheets. I simply measure the length then fold the top down and stitch two lines across leaving enough room at the top for the ruffle, and enough between each line for the rod to go through.
You can make nice pinch pleated drapes from sheets. I used king sized sheets and made them floor to ceiling for a 22 foot opening.
How do you make curtains out of bedsheets?
I would go with the clip on curtain rings. I have seen this done on many decorating shows. It is the easiest way to do it and I am all for easy.
Fast and Easy Curtains:
Another way (besides using curtain clips) is to use a seam ripper or a razor blade & open up the top 3 inches of the thread on each side of the top of the flat sheet (where it's folded over). If you open both sides, the sheet will simply slide right on to the curtain rod & all you have to do is to hem the bottom of your sheet!
I prefer "spring-rods" instead of curtain rods, because they need no hardware & simply fit tightly inside your window with spring-action! Spring-rods come in all sizes & you twist them to get them bigger or smaller. With the more heavy-duty ones, you use a butter-knife or a screw driver to size them. They cost about $5 at Walmart & are sold with the curtain rods & blinds.
No- Sew Curtains:
If you don't want to ruin your sheet, a simple way to make a quickie curtain is to use a spring rod or curtain rod, then fold your sheet over the curtain rod, so the back is longer & the front (which is shorter) hangs over towards you. Let the back of the sheet hang down to the floor (or however long you want it). Now simply arrange the folds evenly so it looks nice. The shorter part (on top) that is hanging towards you is the "valance". Anyway, this is a quickie way to make an okay looking curtain & you don't damage your sheet.
Fancy Apartment Curtains:
You can use 2 identical sheets & do the same thing, but part them in the middle & add a matching color of ribbon to tie back each side with 2 matching large silk flowers pinned to the ribbon. This looks nice in an apartment or rental house where you want nothing permanent, but want to cover your mini-blinds or windows with something pretty.
I could use an easy, thrifty way to make pretty curtains from bed sheets. Any suggestions?
By Clinda1947 from Tulare, CA
There's really not much to it. You'll need to cut along the ends of the top hem on the sheet so you can get a curtain rod through. If you have matching pillow cases you could make some tie backs out of those.
For a little fancier top you can sew a line across the top hem about an inch from the top. You'll want to still leave room to fit a curtain rod. Doing that will give the curtains a ruffle look on top and make them look more like curtains and less like a sheet. (04/11/2009)
I buy clamp on rings at our local discount store and just clip them on and hang them up. I like them because it's easy to move the curtains aside. (04/12/2009)
I buy "spring rods" at any store that sells curtain supplies (like Walmart). These are curtain rods that fit inside your window-sills with no nails or hardware needed. They stay up with tension. There are 2 kinds: The ones that twist to tighten and loosen, or the kind that you slide open and shut then use a butter knife or a screwdriver to tighten the screw. Both types have an internal spring and this is how they stay up. You will first need to measure your inside window dimensions, then look for the size that will most closely fit your window. They usually only cost around $3 - $8.
For Bedsheet curtains: You can follow any of the other suggestions written here (they are all great) OR for a simpler version with no sewing or hardware (and this style can be moved from window to window, or back to bed-sheets again if you move). For this style you will need a sheet that looks the same on the front as it does on the back:
Just take the bed sheet and place it over the spring-rod (inside the window-sill) and bring the sheet from the back of the rod then fold it over the top of the curtain rod and towards you. This will form a ruffle or a "valance" of sorts on the inside of the window. Now, arrange the ruffle until it's the correct height and fits the window exactly. Lastly arrange the ruffle so it's neat and tidy and the gathers sit evenly.
If you don't want to see the ruffle, then fold it so it's on the outside of the window. Be sure to carefully arrange the gathers evenly on the spring-rod where the fabric folds over it.
More No-Sew Curtains:
I made "No-Sew"; valance-curtains for my daughter. She didn't need privacy because she had mini-blinds, so we made a valance with attached curtains. It looked like the fancy kind you see in magazines. You can use bed sheets or lengths of fabric.
On the left and right top-side of the window I hung 2 (2 or 3 tiered) wire plate hangers (from the dollar store). These plate-hangers are used instead of more expensive curtain hardware and are to gather and wrap your fabric around. Then using rubber bands, I attached the fabric to the corners forming a "flower" or a "Rose" with fabric and a rubber band (you make these "flowers" like you would make rings when tie-dying). Then wrap the excess fabric around and over the front of the 2 plate hangers, be careful to make sure both (left and right) sides match each other exactly and cover the plate hangers as you wrap the fabric around them.
Now stuff this valance lightly with either crumpled-up white tissue paper or crumple up light colored plastic bags to fluff it up. You will now have a fancy valance-top. Lastly leave a yard or more of the fabric to hang off of each side of the window. If you are using fabric and don't want to hem the ends, you can make "Bishop Sleeves" style curtains by using a rubber-bands or matching ribbon. Stuff the Bishop-Sleeves with more tissue paper.
Lastly if you want, you can tuck several large silk flowers and leaves into the rubber bands or ribbons. We used silk flowers that matched her bed sheets and also wrapped a bit of ivy around the gathers. These curtains turned out beautifully and looked very professional. I wish I had a picture. (04/12/2009)
Instead of using the wide hem to put the rod through you can also use drapery clips. Just put the clip on the sheet then feed the rings through the rod for a clean modern look. (09/05/2007)
My mom made me curtains in high school from sheets. They looked good. I suggest you stay way from patterns that match or look like a sheet print. Unless its a modern pattern. You will have to add a liner on the back or the pattern shows on the street. (08/23/2008)
I use sheets as backing for my quilts, as you can get some really nice colours. Also, I use old sheets, as in-between backing and outer fabric. (10/16/2008)
By Elaine R