Easy DIY Back-Tab Curtains

Thursday, February 6, 2014

I never thought I'd be one of those curtain-making ladies. But, it happened.

I'm not going to lie, there were multiple injuries throughout this process between all the pinning and the ironing. After a few curse words and some spilled blood, I decided to stick it out and I'm really happy with the end result. Just don't look too close or you'll see my crooked stitching...


I've been working on our Master Bedroom redo for a long time. Like 7 months... yikes. I was having the hardest time finding curtains that I liked that didn't break the bank. Why are they so expensive?!

We have one big window in our bedroom, so I only needed 6 yards of fabric. For $30 total, I managed to get two customized curtain panels. Hallelujah.

You do need a sewing machine for this project though. If you're looking for a no-sew project, Stephanie from Newlyweds: North has a great tutorial on making curtains with hem tape and using curtain clips to hang them.

What you will need:
Sewing Machine = $0, owned
Thread = $0, owned
Clothing Iron = $0, owned
Pins = $0, owned
Curtain Rod = $0, previous renters left it behind so why bother?
Fabric = $30 ($4.99/per yard on sale. I used 6 yards for two panels of the Robert Allen Chic Fret fabric in Nickel. It is 45" wide, which just meant I couldn't hem the sides as much or I would lose some width. The 54" version is here)

Total Cost: $30 for two panels

Using our old back-tab Ikea curtains as a guide, I just started pinning, ironing, and sewing away. The first thing I did was cut my fabric in half so that I had two, 3-yard panels. Then, fold down the raw edges, pin, and iron them. This is the most boring part of the project, FYI. And painful, for me at least.

Once you stitch all of the sides, move on to the top and bottom hems. Measure both and pin, but do not sew the top hem yet. Only the bottom! We're going to sew the top after the tabs are pinned on.

4 inches at the top

6 inches at the bottom

(6 inches is probably a bit much, but since we're renters I don't know what our next place will be like... can you tell I'm hoping for high ceilings?)

Now, back to the slave labor. I made 12 tabs for the curtains, 6 per panel. You can use ribbon for this step, which would probably definitely be easier, but I didn't want to add to my costs.

I cut the fabric for my tabs to 5 inches by 3 inches. Fold the tabs in half with the right sides touching and stitch a hem along the longer, open side. Flip them right side out and iron.

Pin each tab on the top of your curtain panel with the top and bottom folded under (see below). Mine were a little over 6 inches apart.

Top panel in progress, using the bottom finished panel as a guide.

Sew along both the top and bottom edge of the tabs, all the way across your curtain panels. Iron the panels and hang!

It sounds like a lot but it's actually very easy. Just take your time... I made these over the course of a few days because I hated all of the pinning and ironing. The first panel is slow going because you need to figure out all of your measurements, but the second was so much easier and I think I finished that one in about 20 minutes!



I drove myself crazy trying to photograph this window. The lighting is terrible since its a huge room with only 1 window and lets be honest, I'm not so hot with my camera yet either.

I meant to get this up for y'all yesterday so it looks like you'll be getting an extra dose of me next week. Woo! Hope this inspires someone to DIY some curtains!

26 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for sharing how you made your curtains! I love them & it's definitely helped inspire me to start making some for our house!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. They look so good! Thanks for sharing how you made them, I think I could actually do this!

    ReplyDelete
  3. WOAH - these turned out AWESOME! And I think the pictures are fantastic! I recently purchased curtains from Ikea, brought them home and realized they were like 12 inches too long for the windows and had to fix them. WHAT A PAIN. Mine definitely did not look as pretty as yours - they are uneven, sewn by hand and truly were a labor of love. Great job, friend!

    ReplyDelete
  4. These turned out great! You saved so much money doing it on your own too. We don't have curtains on our master window yet. I wish I had a sewing machine to make my own. I'll have to stick to Stephanie's turorial! Side note, there's a place near my house that offers sewing classes. I'm sure you know the basics but it would be fun to do! They supply everything you need.

    ReplyDelete
  5. These are impressive, girlfriend!!! Love the fabric you picked!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Woah, girl! These are awesome!!! I need to learn to sew. It just hasn't happened. Ahh! This is definitely inspiration. Happy Thursday!!! Xx.

    ReplyDelete
  7. These turned out amazing! I love the fabric you chose, it's so pretty wit your wall color. Our bedroom in our condo in DC was aqua and I miss it SO much, one of my favorite colors!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love the print! I can't swe to save my life, though haha

    ReplyDelete
  9. Love those curtains! I've never used a sewing machine before (even though I have on collecting dust), but this totally makes me want to bust out the sewing machine and start learning!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I am convinced you are the queen on DIY! Love the fabric you chose!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Go girl! These look great and the fabric is so fun

    ReplyDelete
  12. If only I had the sewing gift...these are adorable!

    ReplyDelete
  13. those are so cute!!! I wish I could sew.
    xx

    ReplyDelete
  14. wow! im impressed! my mom is the sewer in the family so i would ask her to do this project (buy you make it look easy!) xo jillian - cornflake dreams

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you!! The hardest part is remembering how to thread my machine, in my opinion! haha

      Delete
  15. i am really impressed! I can't even sew a button on a shirt it's terrible and something I really need to learn how to do!

    ~Amanda
    Meet @ the Barre

    ReplyDelete
  16. they look fantastic! I love the wall color against those gray and white curtains!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I love the curtains! They look fabulous!

    ReplyDelete
  18. You did a great job! I would just be going to Target...haha!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you!! I was desperately hoping Target would be the answer but I was being so picky!

      Delete
  19. Cait these look SO good!! I'm super impressed!

    ReplyDelete
  20. they look beautiful! I have never made curtains that look as fancy as those ones! You did a great job!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I am SO impressed! They look expensive & professional!

    ReplyDelete