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
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These are just beautiful! I've used sheets in the past and I don't know why anyone would use anything else.
Congratulations Marge, a wonderful job & it looks great! Julie, Australia
That is what I plan on doing. Just can't find the right ones that I want to use. The windows look beautiful, and you did an excellent job. Kudos to you. :)
Terrific job...wish I could sew as well!
Way to go! I just bought flat sheets on clearance at Linen's and things ($2.49 each). After buying the hardware, I will have both huge dining room windows done for $30 each. Not bad. I splurged for nice finials and sheers for under the sheets.However, I am thrilled with them. GREAT idea!
Loved reading your article. Would you believe that I used the SAME sheets to make window curtains and the shower curtain! The only thing I did differently was that I used some extra fabric and I sewed them into long, thin strips which I used as ties. They were tied on like bows at the top of the shower curtain - one at each buttonhole for the hook.
Later, when I redid that bathroom, I took that shower curtain and used it to make a skirt for a different bathroom sink. It really is pretty fabric.
They are beautiful! You are so smart to think of such an idea and then to follow through on it. You can be sure that you have "one-of-a-kind" drapes, too. Thanks for sharing and God bless you.
I have been doing this for years because I have terrible allergies and need to launder my curtains so often. Now that flat sheets come in such an array of colors and prints it sure makes it easy to have nice curtains. Lisa
I did long valances in my bedroom. Lighting not so swell this time of day for pictures...sorry! I just love my long valances. Adds a bit of color, covers where the sun hits and keeps my room cooler in the summer. Working with sheets in awesome. I think I've pressed them once. When I originally made them. Isn't that the biggest plus. Wash-n-dry!You can make them whatever size that suits you!
Had to add...I've had mine for 4years. Hard to picture this time of day with the sun in front of the object being photographed. I also cover my outlets and switches.
Your sheet-curtains are beautiful - thanks for sharing the idea...I will be sure to use your idea as drapes are so expensive!
Thank you so much!
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!
My sewing machine (the one I just had to have on our 2nd Christmas) also sat accumulating dust until about 2 years ago, we will be married 20 years this next year if that tells you how long it's been. Anyway, I started sewing little things as I also was intimidated by it and couldn't sew a straight line. Now I look around for things to sew. I'm still learning, but I realize it's become my form of relaxation. I've also noticed the more I sew the more I like and enjoy it, and the added, benefit is, I'm getting better at it. So don't be afraid to just jump in there (with your Manuel of course- I started without reading mine and didn't know for the longest that my machine could thread my needle.) I learned that after deciding to read it about 6 months ago. lol Good luck and enjoy.
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 :)
I learned this same tip many years ago from my Mom, there are so many things to use them for than just drapes. I've made comforter covers, sofa or chair cushion covers, even shower curtains. When I go thrifting, I always check out the home goods section for gently used sheets, bedspreads and the like. I love using sheets when covering a small round decorator table, no piecing. Oh, and they're great for table cloths too. Our church had a bunch of big round tables, everyone gathered floral sheets, and when they had a banquet it was quite lovely.
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