DIY Curtains –Super simple to make!

Join me on my journey of DIY curtains. I recently moved into a house and wanted to put some curtains up. I personally love natural light, so when I look for curtains, I prefer the sheer ones as to allow sunlight to pass through. These are great because you still get plenty of light but can also prevent people from seeing from outside. I didn’t want to buy new curtains since I have a sewing machine and hundreds of thrift stores at my disposal. So, I decided to pick up some fabric from the thrift store and make my own! Read below for steps and instructions on how you can make curtains from secondhand fabric.

First things first. Measurements

You can’t buy fabric without knowing how much you need. If you don’t already have your curtain rod, you’ll want to acquire one first and have it secured to the wall. Then you’ll measure from the top of the curtain rod to where you want the curtain to fall. For me, I want my curtains to hit just about the windowsill, but you might want yours to extend to the floor. Then measure the width of the window.

Now that you have your measurements add 7 inches to the height and 3 inches to the width (this is to account for the top pocket and side and bottom hems).

Optional: for added fullness in your curtains, add an additional 4-8 more inches to your width measurement. For long curtains, add an additional 2-3 (or more) inches to your height measurement.

With these numbers ready, it’s time to pick out the fabric!

Not all thrift stores will have great options for fabrics. Whatever you choose is entirely up to personal preference. For me, I looked for sheer, lightweight fabric so light will still pass through my curtains.

Here are some things to consider when buying curtain fabric:

  • For sheer curtains, the best fabrics are voile (typically 100% cotton), lace, eyelet cotton, and muslin.
  • For regular curtains, look for cotton, linen, silk, and velvet.
  • Keep in mind the color scheme of the room in question, as well as cleaning methods required for the different fabrics
measure fabric for DIY curtains

Once you’ve picked out your fabric, it’s time to turn them into curtains!

Lay your fabric flat and draw a rectangle according to your measurements. Then cut the rectangle out.


Create the bottom hem: With your fabric face down, fold 3 inches up and pin. Then sew a straight stitch across.

TIP: If you’re a seasoned seamstress, you likely already know this. When you first begin sewing, do a back stitch and then again do a back stitch once you reach the end of the hem line. This will prevent your stitches from coming out.

Trim the frays and loose threads. Press your seams!


Create the side hems:

  • Place the fabric face down again and fold the sides in 1 ½ inches.
  • Pin and sew.
  • Trim the frays and loose threads. Press your seam

directions for DIY curtains

Create the rod pocket:

  • Place your fabric face down
  • Fold the top of the curtain over 3 ¼ inches
  • Sew along the fabric edge, trim, and press

Finally, iron your curtain out and trim any other loose threads.


final image of DIY curtains
Slide them onto your rod and voilà! Your window is complete with amazing DIY curtains!
–Julia Hardie

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