Sew your own: Curtains

The idea of sewing your own curtains might bring back painful memories of home economics class at school. But banish those thoughts! You don't have to spend hours fiddling around with heading tape and pencil pleats to make your own window treatments. It's easy to make a simple panel curtain, and there's loads of great fabric out there so you can pick something that really matches your home. To get you started, here's a round-up of three of the best tutorials online:

Easy no-sew curtains: You can make these super-simple no-sew curtains from Young House Love even if you don't have a sewing machine. You just need an iron, heavy-duty hem tape, and clip-on curtain rings (in fact you can pick up everything you need for this project at IKEA or somewhere similar).

Curtain tutorial from Young House Love

Simple curtain panel: If you do have a sewing machine around the house, try this tutorial from the ever-reliable Design*Sponge which will walk you through the steps to making a curtain panel, ideal for a small window.

Curtain tutorial by Design Sponge

Lined, tab-top curtains: For something more professional looking, try these these lined, tab-top curtain panels, from The Purl Bee. They'll take a bit longer, but they're not difficult to make if you just follow all the steps.

purl bee curtain tutorial

Once you've decided which tutorial you're going to follow, here are some helpful pointers:

  • Take a tip from carpenters: measure twice, cut once. You want to avoid that horrible sinking feeling when you realise you've just cut one of your lovely new curtain panels into the wrong shape.
  • Doing some maths is unavoidable with this project. Get all your measurements done at the beginning and draw yourself a diagram. It may just be a simple rectangle but it will save you time in the long run.
  • If you're making curtains that reach the floor, hang them before you hem them, either with iron-on hem tape while they're in place, or if you're feeling particularly good you can mark them, take them down and hem them at the machine. This will stop you from getting curtains that stop an inch or two from the floor, which is not a good look.
  • Using a fabric with a large print? If you're making more than one curtain panel, think about pattern placement. If the two sides don't match it will make the whole thing look wonky.
  • Look out for vintage curtains on Ebay which you could alter to fit your own windows. There's some real bargains out there in amazing retro fabrics.


Good luck!