Tutorial: DIY Curtains from a Bed Sheet

Wow!  I did not intend on being away for so long, but Stephen and I both came down with strep throat on Monday and we’ve been out for the count!

Luckily I was able to make a decision and attack our dining room curtains since the last time I posted.  THANK YOU to everyone who weighed in on our Dining Room Curtain Dilemma last week.  You ladies have such good ideas and really got me thinking on other ways to improve our space.

So, without further ado, the winning curtain fabric was….

The green floral print!

The vote was pretty evenly split, but we just couldn’t stop ourselves from loving this fun springy floral, especially for this time of year.  The best part is these were made from a $10 set of sheets and I still have fabric left over to use for our kitchen window treatment!  SCORE :)

Here’s a little tutorial I whipped up to show how I made these curtains from a flat sheet.  It really couldn’t have been simpler and took practically no time at all!

Tutorial: Turning a Flat Sheet into Two Curtains

Supplies:

1 flat sheet, full size
scissors
iron
sewing machine & thread (or an iron & hem tape)
glue gun
2″ wide white ribbon

Step 1:

Fold your flat sheet in half lengthwise, and cut along the fold.
You will end up with 2 panels, each as long as the original sheet.

If your panel is long enough you can fold over the edge you see here to make a pocket for your curtain rod.  I didn’t have enough length to do that, but you could – I’m just sayin’.

Step 2:

Iron both panels.  Then, fold over the edge you just cut 2 times and iron flat.
This is the edge you will sew to keep the fabric from fraying.

For a NO SEW version, you could also iron this hem down with hem tape.

Step 3:

Sew your hem.

Step 4:

Cut 6 strips from your ribbon, approximately 3.5″ long, and lay them evenly across the top of your panel.

These will be the tabs for the back of your curtain.  You may need more or fewer, depending on how wide your curtain is.  You can also make your ribbon strips longer, depending on how thick your curtain rod is.

Step 5:

Hot glue the top and bottom of the ribbon strips to the panel.
I decided to glue the bottom of mine 3″ from the top of the strip to make them a little more “loopy.”

Step 6:

Hang your new curtains (preferably on a SWEET $10 curtain rod from Big Lots – Ok, ok I love you again, Big Lots)

Here’s a view of what those ribbon tabs look like from the back:

And finally, the finished product!

What do you think?  Easy, right?

Thanks again to all who offered advice on these babies.  Quite a few of you suggested we keep the drop cloths for a more winter-y alternative, which we plan on doing.  I’ll also be on the lookout for some art or photos to replace our dark art on the far wall.  Any suggestions? I’m thinking thicker white mats to start…

Also, I may be crazy, but I’m just DYING to paint this room white.

Stephen’s response?

“You paint everything white!”

:)

Edit: Check out another tutorial I wrote on turning sheets into curtains HERE.

I’m linking to:

Frugal Friday at The Shabby Nest

Remodelaholic’s Anonymous Meeting

I Made It Without My Hubby @ Shanty2Chic

Metamorphosis Monday @ Between Naps on the Porch

Show and Share Day @ Just a Girl

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112 Responses to Tutorial: DIY Curtains from a Bed Sheet

  1. stephen says:

    test!

    • Phyllis says:

      I love love love the light fixture, where did you get it.

      • claire says:

        this is really really really bizarre, but i found this blog via pinterest, and i never read the comments, but happened to see yours, questioning the light fixture. After browing pinterest, i went to a blog of someone i regularly follow, looked at some old posts where she mentioned a store she likes, so i go to the website… browsing the website. AND I SAW THIS LIGHT FIXTURE. how insane is that?! so i had to come back to post!

        http://www.dwr.com/product/fl-y-pendant.do?sortby=ourPicks

        • Katy says:

          Browsing through Pinterest, after a crummy day, I saw the curtains and decided to check them out. Then I read down to the comments and saw this, Claire coming back to give the website for the light fixture. I have to say that is awesome and renews my hope in people. Just when I needed it too. :) I’m also going to be picking up some sheets tomorrow and making curtains for my sliding door in my living room now too. Thanks!

    • j.filbert says:

      Great instructions, which I need. Love these.

  2. Kathleen says:

    Ok – now THAT is awesome! LOVE the curtain panels! AND the tutorial – ty so much for that! I’m inspired – I may even give it a go! GOTTA love GORGEOUS window treatments for ten bucks! You GO GIRL!

  3. Wow…I love the tip for making the ribbon tabs! Looks great!

  4. Love the curtains, they look amazing. Great job!

  5. DesignTies says:

    Very creative solution for making inexpensive and good-looking curtains :-) The green & white floral fabric is so fun and cheerful — they add some nice whimsy to the room :-)

    For new artwork, why not use some of your own photos?? You can get 12″ x 12″ photos developed for just a dollar or two, and Ikea has a great selection of inexpensive frames.

    Your dining room is looking good!!

    Kelly

  6. Wow they really change the feel of the dining room. Very designer looking – and I would’ve never thought to put ribbon on the back side. Very modern, so cool, Love it!

  7. Blanca says:

    I love the idea and the print you chose is beautiful.

  8. Rene says:

    I love your curtains! I’m bookmarking this post for inspiration.

  9. Desiree says:

    Glad you are feeling better!

    The curtains look amazing and thanks for the tutorial! Why didnt’ I think of this before I spent $120 on curtains for my living room?!?! I am kicking myself in the behind right now. Please don’t paint the room white…maybe taupe but not white. I love how it looks like but I can understand you wanting to brighten it up a notch!

    -Desiree

  10. Valerie says:

    I just love what you did here with the sheets! Job well done! And the room…loving it now as it is and really think the white walls would give it a great feeling too…sorta retro :) ! Can’t wait to “see” what you decided!

  11. stephen says:

    Thanks Desiree, I agree with you! I’m against white in the DR. But in the end it’s M’s choice :-)

  12. Ali says:

    I Love those curtains– thanks so much for the sweet tutorial.

  13. alisa says:

    those look just perfect. Love color and the print! Nobody would know it’s a sheet if you didn’t tell them.

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  15. girlmeetsboy says:

    That’s a great way to repurpose bedding and just in time for spring! Great design and colors. Thank you for the tutorial. Can’t wait to try it in our bedroom!

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  18. Cheryl says:

    Hi again!
    thanks for stopping by my blog and entering the giveaway. So far you are the only one entered. You may just be receiving the book. : )

    Love this tutorial you show on the curtains. Love how the loops are hidden and there is a clean look on the front.

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  21. Just wanted to let you know that I linked up to this post today. I love this tutorial.

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  24. Paula Roberts says:

    LOVE the folders, rather than gathers. A perfect choice for my son’s first apartment. Thank you!

  25. Pingback: Tutorial: Cheater Roman Shade *UPDATED* | Welcome to Heardmont

  26. Jana says:

    How great tutorial. Thank you. Just one question … how about hotglue in washing machine? Is it ok?

    • Meredith says:

      Hey Jana,
      I actually don’t have an answer for ya. I pre-washed my sheets so I haven’t had to wash them since hot-gluing the tabs in place. It wasn’t too big of a project to glue the tabs in the first place, though, so I’m just going to see what happens when I get around to washing the curtains and re-glue if necessary.
      Hope that helps!

  27. Wani says:

    Love love love this project! Turned out so cute!

  28. emkaye says:

    Thank you sooo much! I’ve been searching the www for interesting ways of sewing curtains! Now this sure is neat and so easy – great! That will definetely be my next sewing project…

  29. Meg says:

    LOVE the curtains, also in love with Big Lots! :) Great post…will have to get my glue gun out next time I am thinking about curtains!

  30. Julie says:

    Hi, love this idea!!! I just made some curtains for my 1 year old’s bedroom out of a Thomas quilt cover. I used curtain tape and rings. Now I know I could have saved a heap using your absolutely brilliant ribbon idea. Thanks for sharing!

  31. maggie says:

    i have searched many curtain sites and this is the best so far with very clear instructions with the photos, for a beginner this is most helpful, i look forward to making some curtains for my grandsons bedroom without costing an arm and a leg.

  32. Linda says:

    Meredith -where did you buy these fantastic sheets? I’ve been looking all around the stores and have found nothing that compares to these. I seem to find all solid colors and no patterns. Did you have to buy a full set of sheets or did you guy this sheet as a single flat sheet? Thanks for the info
    Linda

    • Meredith says:

      Hi Linda,
      The sheets were actually from Big Lots over a year ago. I bought the whole set and used the flat sheet for dining room curtains and cut from the fitted sheet to make a roman shade for our kitchen window. It was the only set of sheets with this pattern in the store and I haven’t seen any like them since! I wish I had a better answer for you!
      If you like the large-scale pattern, you might try looking at the Amy Butler sheets at Bed Bath and Beyond (if they still have them) or finding a shower curtain you like and cutting it in half to make 2 curtain panels…
      Good luck!

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  35. Courtney says:

    Hi,

    I wanted to try these curtains but I don’t have a glue gun. Was wondering if you think the hem tape would suffice to attach the ribbons? Or do you think it might not hold the weight of the curtains? Thanks for your help and this pattern!

    • Meredith says:

      Hey Courtney,
      I think hem tape or fabric glue (in a bottle) would both work just fine on these curtains! The nice thing about sheets is that the material is pretty lightweight, so any type of glue would probably work. Good luck with your curtains!

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  38. Jessica says:

    Hi, This is so smart! Do you know how long the finished curtain was made from the full flat sheet? I’m sure I could figure out the math on this but thought you might remember. Thnx for sharing!

    • Meredith says:

      Hey Jessica,
      I think the curtains are probably about 90″ long. We have 8 foot ceilings and they’re hung about 5 or 6 inches below the ceiling in our dining room.
      Hope that helps!

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  40. Chantil says:

    Thanks for this awesome tutorial! I found a gorgeous duvet and made drapes. Never would have thought to do this! I saved about $300 making my own drapes. Thanks again!

  41. Holy crap! I saw this on pinterest and thought, Ok I have to click over because there’s no way that’s going to be cute! But…. IT’S ADORABLE! Fabulous idea!

  42. Amy says:

    Love the curtains. I’ve been looking for some for a while and I think I can actually handle making these. In case you’re still looking for some new artwork, I have some new horse photographs for sale at the following link. (amybuchanan.zenfolio.com/horses) I already have them printed on a white mat. They are available in many sizes.

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  44. Pat says:

    Wow how nice!! I really like the pictures and easy steps, I am going to try it, there are endless ideas now ;) Thanks so much for sharing!!

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  46. Angela says:

    How about using a stencil with a lighter paint (like lemon or cream) instead of painting the whole room white. You could also do stripes. It’ll brighten the space without going totally white.

  47. Carmela says:

    ‘No whites’ – that’s what my husband says… but hey, it’s just paint, so go ahead and paint it white… if you don’t like, it’s easy enough to paint it another color… : )

  48. Melissa says:

    love your flat sheet curtains! So simple! And the pattern is really nice too, great find!

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  51. Lisa says:

    Fantastic, beautiful idea!

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  53. Elizabeth says:

    Hi,

    Question, why would you use hot glue on the curtain tabs when you have a sewing machine? Sewing the tabs would make this project permanent (and easy one stitch line through each edge of ribbon) instead of waiting for hot glue to fall apart. Is there a particular reason you opted for hot glue?

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  56. Nicole W. says:

    Found this today via Pinterest. THANK YOU!

  57. Melisa says:

    Oh, this is one of the best tutorials I’ve seen in awhile! Thank you so much for sharing! What a great idea to use a sheet set for curtains!?

    I just have to ask though, how did you decide which size sheets to use for the size window? Your window bank is quite a decent size, but to think that a full size sheet set would be big enough, especially after hemming… I would love to do this for my bed room, but I have two smaller windows in my room. Would I just use a Twin Sheet Set for each of my windows and cut them in half?

    Thanks again for the inspiration!
    Missy

    • Meredith says:

      Just to be safe, I’d look up standard sheet dimensions online. Your curtains should be at least 1.5 times the width of your windows – more if you’re planning on hanging them higher and wider than the actual window. Good luck to you!

  58. Amanda Millard says:

    Where did you go to find flat sheets with patterns on them? I have been looking everywhere and having no luck. I love the idea :)

  59. Your curtains look great! What a creative a fun way to use a bed sheet. I found your blog via Pinterest. I’m your newest follower :) I’d love to have you stop by my blog for a visit Thrifty Parsonage Living http://thriftyparsonageliving.blogspot.com
    I’m off to read more of your posts. Have a great day!

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  61. Tina says:

    Taupe would make that already gorgeous room, stunning. It would also completely change the look of the pictures you have on your wall. Wonderful tutorial. I’ve been planning on using canvas drop cloth but dreading making tab-tops for them. This is perfect with the ribbons and I may also consider using sheets instead of the drop cloth.

  62. Jessica says:

    Oh! I hope you didn’t paint the room white. I’ve been trying to find the right color for my dining room, and as soon as I saw your pictures I fell in love. That rich olive is amazing!
    Fantastic curtains! I am sooooo making those for the baby’s room as soon as I find a sheet I like at the thrift store ;)

  63. Mel says:

    I have multiple windows so I used twin flats and just folded for length. I fold it with the excess visible to give it the look of a top valance. Then I used the rings with clips to hang the curtains. Technically I can still use them for sheets some day If I want. The big trick is to find sheets that are acceptable.

  64. sandra says:

    Beautiful pattern sheets. And fantastic idea.

  65. sandra says:

    fantastic idea

  66. I love the idea of ribbon tabs, but would think it would be just as easy to sew them on and get a sturdier curtain. I don’t think glue is as realiable.

  67. Nan says:

    Great curtain tutorial! RE the pictures- Enlarge an up close photo of flowers or hostas in your yard. Mat on a pale-colored frame and lighten your frames for more contrast against your beautiful wall color.

  68. Christina Hildebrand Shifflett says:

    I CAN’T WAIT TO TRY THIS!!! Thank you so much!!! I have been looking for curtains for my dining room for a few years. Autumn colors are my favorite (we live in the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia, so it’s my favorite time of year). I am so excited!!!

  69. Donna says:

    Elizabeth, I was wondering the same thing. You were the first one who posted what I was thinking! Seems like it would be a lot easier to just stitch the ribbons on the sheet rather than hot gluing. Maybe there was a good reason why she did it this way. I just know that from time to time I do launder curtains, so a temporary adhesive wouldn’t work for me. I love the idea she came up with though. I will definitely try this if I find a good print for a good price.

  70. Amanda says:

    Awesome tutorial. THANK YOU!

    I have one question. You said “If your panel is long enough you can fold over the edge you see here to make a pocket for your curtain rod. I didn’t have enough length to do that, but you could – I’m just sayin’.” Does this mean that if you have enough length you fold it over and make a pocket *instead* of using loops of ribbon? And if so, do you sew that, use glue, or hemming tape?

    Thanks! I’m a sewing novice (as is probably obvious). :)

  71. Amanda says:

    Sorry, meant to subscribe for new posts, as I’m not sure I’ll be notified of any response otherwise. I hope you respond! I know this was a couple years ago now.

  72. I am another Pinterester coming your way. That is a great tutorial, hope I get to do it soon.

    Thanks!

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  74. Wow, such a great idea! I’m quite tempted to try the no sew version when I move into my new place. Thanks!

  75. Anika says:

    I love this simple design trying this for sure …

  76. Paul says:

    I just made 2 – 4′x4′ curtains and just opened one of the hems already on the bedsheet for my thin curtain rod and used hem tape since I don’t have a sewing machine. The whole job took me about 1 hour. Thanks so much.

  77. Dashia says:

    Thank you for the step by step instructions. I am going to try this for all the rooms in my house, it has to be much cheaper than buying very long curtains.

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  79. KC says:

    Only one question: if you do this in many rooms, the various patterns from the backs of the curtains could look pretty tacky from the street. Can’t you line them with a white flat sheet by stitching the two layers of sheets together, then add the tabs? I absolutely agree with using sheets for the variety and cost, just saying…

    • Meredith says:

      KC,
      The back of this particular sheet was white and our dining room didn’t need much light control, so we left them unlined. You could definitely add lining as necessary, though!

  80. Bethany says:

    I followed this tutorial and made curtains for my huge bay window in my living room. I love it! I could not find a print I liked and I had to get curtains on there now, so I am going to go back and add stripes with ribbon. I am so glad I pinned this on Pinterest months ago.

  81. Jen says:

    I love this happy print & can’t wait to try out this tutorial.
    Mahalo!
    Jen

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  83. Lori says:

    Don’t paint the walls white – I really like the color with your new curtains. Just lighten up the room with lighter art etc. Thanks for the ideas on the curtains, been trying to find something and it’s frustrating because they are expensive and ugly. :)

  84. I love this idea! I need to replace the window treatments in our master bedroom and am thinking of doing something like this (though I’m not sure if I’ll buy the cloth or just a nice sheet!). One question: How easy / hard is it to open and close the curtains given the ribbon loops?

    • Meredith says:

      The curtains are just about as easy to open as regular tab-backed curtains. I’ve used this method several times since, and will keep doing this because it’s just so easy!

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  88. Judy Caudill says:

    Just made a curtain for my door window in the master bedroom. What did you use to make the bottom hang down straight instead the curtain turns up on both sides. I was thinking weights would work?

  89. KK says:

    I made these today but I only sewed my ribbons on the top and made tab-top curtains. Used the rest of the ribbon to make tie-backs. Thanks for sharing your creativity with the rest of us DIY’ers!!

  90. Barb says:

    I love these curtins. I have been looking for a project for my kitchen window and this treatment will be perfect. Thank you for the step by step.

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  95. Lindsay says:

    Would these sheets be long enough to make floor to ceiling curtains (95 inches or so)? Love both of your curtain tutorials?

    • Meredith says:

      Hi Lindsay,
      I think the sheets would barely be long enough (you might not have enough length for much of a hem, though). A quick google search said that full-sized flat sheets are 81 x 96 inches.
      Hope that helps!

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