Buying curtains and all the stuff you need to hang them up can be an expensive proposition. Curtains that look nice and complement your decor aren’t always on sale when you need them. But there’s a very cool DIY way to get great-looking curtains on the cheap – yes, even for those of us who can’t sew a stitch.
DIY curtain making
What you’ll need:
- Some cheap flat twin bedsheets (or similar blocks of fabric) in solid colors.
- Curtain clips.
- If you want to get creative, some fabric paint and a stencil for a repeating design.
The very simplest way to do this is:
- Put your curtain clips over the rod.
- Clip your sheets to them.
- Let the plain sheets drape down and pool in the floor.
This method looks elegant, and involves absolutely no sewing. No cutting to create loops at the top to go on the rods, no hemming the bottom so it hangs to just above the floor. It looks beautiful, and that’s all you need.
If you want to get more creative, there are a couple of options:
Use something other than sheets. A collection of old scarves, each hanging from one curtain clip, could look absolutely stunning as long as they all go together in some fashion. This makes a really versatile window covering – you can “open” the curtain anywhere you like, or tie it back like an ordinary curtain. You could also use pinking shears to cut strips of cloth from old clothes or other material. Pinking shears cut cloth with a waffled edge that keeps them from fraying (as long as they’re not being handled constantly). This gives you a nice, stylish edge without any sewing.
Fabric paint. With a block of cloth as large as a curtain, there are a couple of ways to use fabric paint to bump up the style meter. You could just paint an edge along the top or down the sides, or at the bottom just above the floor. You could also make an overall pattern with this method:
- Take a square piece of cardboard, about a foot on each side, and draw a simple design on it.
- Paint over the design with fabric paint – you’ll need to do this fairly quickly, before the fabric paint starts to dry, which is why the design should be simple.
- Stamp the design onto the cloth by turning the piece of cardboard painted-side-down and pressing it into the cloth.
- Paint again, and stamp the next area where the pattern should appear. Repeat this step until you’re done.
This method takes a little thinking in advance – planning out exactly where you want the “stamps” to appear and so on. The results are well worth the effort.
You can also cut out a stencil from your piece of cardboard, and paint inside it with your fabric paints. Uses a push pin to anchor the cardboard to the sheet and into another surface to make sure it doesn’t move on you while you’re painting. Contac Paper also works well in place of the cardboard – just cut your design from it, and paint inside the design.
Use something other than cloth. Who says curtains have to be made from cloth? You could make long strings of beads and clip them. Or make strings of lightweight “tiles” from old photographic slides. Or make tiles by painting squares of sturdy paper or very thin cardboard or similar materials.
- You can often buy very cheap sheets as irregulars at outlets and discount stores that sell irregulars.
- For small windows, remnant materials from a sewing shop can work just fine, with either the pinking shear method to trim the edges, or sewing if you prefer.
- You can recycle portions of old sheets that don’t have any pilling or stains.