Sewing Your Own Curtains

Making your own curtains allows you to choose from a myriad of fabrics, colors, and styles. It also can save you money. This is a guide about sewing your own curtains.

Ruffled flowery curtains on pane glass window.
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We use my old homestead (the house in which I was born - it is well over 100 years old), as our summer home. I found it very easy and inexpensive to make curtains for my old home by using pillow cases.

  • Method #1: Using two matching pillow cases, make/cut two small "rod" openings in the seams at the closed end of the pillow case, insert a curtain rod through the openings and hang. This makes a "heavy" curtain.
  • Method #2: Open the seams of the pillow cases along one long side and the closed end of the pillow cases (or use a scissors to cut same). You will now have a piece of material, with ready-made hem (the wide-band that finishes the opening of each pillow case becomes a great bottom hem of your curtains.)

    Make/sew a 1 - 2 inch "rod-pocket" at the top of the pillow case. Insert curtain rod and hang the curtain. This method, of course, makes a much lighter and fuller curtain and requires a bit more sewing.

By Doris from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

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I have bookcase from ceiling to floor. I want to make a curtain that covers this using two panels. The problem is my 3 year old gets up in middle of night and plays with the toys that are on these shelves. So I need the curtains to meet in the center of shelving that can open and close easily, but that a child cannot. I know how to do the sides permanently and also the top. But the center area has me stumped.

By Juia B

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Have you thought about instead of using 2 panels that open in the middle using one of the window treatments (not mini blinds). Sorry, I don't know what they called, but the one where you pull the cord and they accordion up toward the top toward the top kind of in pleats. Put a valance at the top of you bookcase and it will look like a very pretty window treatment. Of course you would need to make sure to make the cord short enough so that your little one couldn't reach it

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Sewing curtains for your home is only as complicated as you want to make the project, and luckily there are several good books available in libraries all over the world to help you. You can also take a class on the subject. I teach all of my sewing students how to make a simple kitchen curtain with a nice casing using recycled fabrics from home or charity shops, jumble sales, etc.

I also offer further classes aimed at the more elaborate (yet really still simple once you know the 'secrets') curtains and draperies like swags and pinch pleats. Making your own window coverings is simply a matter of being willing to go slowly, and learn the basics.

Not long after I learned how to sew a straight line on a sewing machine, I learned to make simple curtain panels for my bedroom (I was about seven. Seriously, that's how easy it is to make your own curtains!). I used a twin flat sheet, following the instructions in a 1950s era sewing book from the local library and my gran's. I cut the sheet in half then hemmed the raw edges down with a straight stitch by:


  1. Folding the raw edge over 1/2 inch and pressing that fold down, then slowly stitching (for better control and a nice straight line) the fold in place.
  2. I then folded and pressed the edge of the sheet with the hemmed bit over and down to a depth of three inches.
  3. I stitched the three inches folded part near the bottom of the fold and along the top of the fold to form a casing that would fit the curtain rod.

LOL, the first time I did it I forgot to make sure the stitching was done to the inside. My first efforts looked inside out up there on the curtain rods and my gran made me pick it all apart and start over. (First rule of sewing? Keep your seam ripper handy:).

If you can sew a straight line on a sewing machine, you can make your own simple curtains. And once you've treasured the taste of that success you will be inspired forward to learning the tricks to making even simple curtains look very elegant. From there you'll be interested in progressing into the more complicated types of curtains like pinch pleated formal draperies.

Here's a great website with lots of good tips and free 'patterns' to make curtains for your home:

Sew Your Own Curtains And Window Treatments

By FrugalSunnie from Scotland

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Photo of homemade pink curtains.This is a nice project for sewing simple curtains. The author includes helpful tips and step by step photos. It's a simple project and making your own curtains gives you tons of options to match your curtains to your decor.

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Right now, Christmas colors are on sale, including pine green and burgundy red, so please keep this in mind as I relate to you how to make a pair of curtains for less than $10. Oblong tablecloths in Christmas colors are selling really cheaply right now $2.50 a piece for a solid green cloth oblong tablecloth, for instance.

Buy a couple of table cloths, turn the short ends up, and sew an encasing for a curtain rod, and voila, you have a curtain for one window that is elegant and lasting. At that price, you could buy enough to make matching curtains for the whole room.

By amykaye from IN

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This guide is about making curtains from sheets. Fashioning bed sheets into curtains can save you money and give you the window covering you want.

Curtains from Sheets

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Crafts Home DecorSeptember 6, 2011
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