How to Sew Cute Lined DIY Curtains

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You know the inside joke among crafters, right?

The idea that you can spend $100 on materials to make the exact same thing that you could buy at the store for $7. HA!

That is so true!

You can add sewing or making your own DIY curtains to that list of “Things That Are More Expensive To Make Than Buy at the Store”!

What I’ve discovered in my 17 years of teaching myself how to sew and make things is that many of these DIY projects aren’t only about saving money. A lot of times they’re about the love of the creative process. And being able to pump your fist in the air and shout, “Dude, I made that!!!” when friends and family come over. LOL

So, no, making your own curtains isn’t necessarily cheaper (unless you’ve figured out a way to stitch lint together from your pocket). But it’s about making exactly the curtains that you want for your home instead of buying some random, cookie-cutter, short, ugly, generic curtains from a retail store.

(But if you found a super cute pair at the thrift store for dirt cheap, I wouldn’t hate you! More power to you!!).

Okay–so let me show you how I made these cute, lined curtains for my family room!

Like this project? Pin it HERE!

How to Sew Cute Lined Curtains - A tutorial - ThriftDiving.com


It’s Okay If You Don’t Have a Sewing Machine!

Some of you don’t own a sewing machine (hint: get one for as little as $69 on Amazon, my friend!!). You can still make a “no-sew” curtains version using Heat ‘n Bond tape, which is a fusible iron-on tape that will join any two pieces of fabric together with just an iron (no sewing machine required! whoo hoo!).  You can watch my tutorial on How to Make Cute “No Sew” Curtains for instructions on using the Heat n’ Bond.

Let’s jump into it!


Materials Needed


STEP 1 – Measure, Measure, Measure

Make sure your curtain rod is up high over your window. I’m sure you’ve seen this “faux pa” of hanging your curtain rod right at the window height. It makes your window appear smaller when you do that. Put it up high and wide and you’ve got instant “vavoom”!

Hanging curtains properly


I moved mine up about 6″ above the window.

Now just use a tape measure and measure from the hooks or clips down to the floor, like this, and from side to side.

You’re not just measuring the windows, but you’re measuring from how high the fabric is going to be hanging from the clips.


How to Sew Curtains - Measure from the curtain clip to the floor and from one side to the other side


After you’ve gotten your measurements, add about 5 inches to the top of that measurement and 5 more inches to the bottom of that measurement to account for mistakes and seam allowances.

You’ll need to add extra inches to account for the width of the fabric’s seam allowances and mistakes, too, which we’ll talk about in a second.


STEP 2 – Pick A Pretty Fabric

This is where DIY curtains get reeeaaal interesting. Fabric can be expensive. It’s why you see people making curtains from drop cloth because that stuff is cheap. You can paint it, stencil it, mark it up, and everything imaginable because it’s so affordable. So definitely consider drop cloth if you find that fabric is waaaay out of your budget.

But let’s say you buy home decor fabric and it’s 54″ wide (most of those fabrics are).

You’re going to need to sew together (or use the Heat ‘n Bond) several yards of fabric in order to cover the width of your windows if you’ve got large windows like me.

I usually don’t want a lot of fullness, so I’ll get 1.5 times the amount of fabric to cover the width of my windows. If you want a fuller look, get 2X the amount of fabric to cover your windows.

In my case, I needed a panel of fabric for the left side and right side. And I needed one panel of fabric for the middle to be cut in half.

1 yard = 36 inches

So I needed each panel to be about 2.5 yards each, for a total of 7.5 yards.


How to Sew Cute DIY Curtains - How to plan your curtain fabric



STEP 3: Sew the Panels Together

Since no fabric is ever going to be wide enough to cover large windows, you have to join panels of fabric to make wide DIY curtains (see STEP 2).

And in the sewing world, always remember that “right” side goes to “right” side (“right” side is considered the pretty side with the pattern). When you sew panels together for DIY curtains, you get a nice seam that gets hidden in the folds of the curtains!

So lay down one panel of fabric. Line up the edge of the half piece of panel on top, with “right” sides together. Use straight pins to hold your fabric in place exactly like this, to make one wide piece of fabric. Set it aside and pin the other panel together with the half panel of fabric.


How to Sew Cute Curtains - ThriftDiving.com



Now sew it together. You can use 1″ seams. Just make sure that you don’t sew on the white selvage (which is the fringy part of the fabric edge that keeps it from unraveling) otherwise it will show on the other side of your seam when you open it up.

(NOTE: If you’re making the “no sew” version, check out my post on How to Make Pretty “No Sew” Pillows for info on how to use Heat ‘n Bond to join seams instead of sewing them together).





When you open up your fabric, you should have a beautiful seam!

Press the seam open with an iron to get a nice, flat seam.

Just be careful, though! If you’re using patterns instead of plain fabric, it’s a nightmare forgetting to match up patterns and then ending up with a funky seam like I did! HAHA

(I ended up having to rip out a seam and start over because my fabrics looked funny because I matched them up wrong. HAHA).


How to Sew Cute Lines Curtains - The seam you will create - ThriftDiving.com


Repeat this step for the other piece of fabric you had pinned together, to create the other wide fabric that will make up the other curtain.

STEP4: Press Seams and Hems!

Press the seams that you just sewed. And then iron the hems. I like to make curtains about 3″ inch hems at the top and the edges. Don’t forget that you’ll need hems on every side, too! Go ahead and press hems all the way around the perimeter. Just make sure that you use the same size hem all the way around.


How to Sew Cute Lined Curtains - Add seams all the way around



STEP 5: Make the Curtain Lining!

Lined curtains are just soooo much more luxurious than unlined curtains! It’s really easy to do, too.

You’re going to make the curtain lining the same way you made the wide curtain fabric: join panels of lining fabric together and sew it together (or use Heat ‘n Bond), just like in STEP 3.




The only difference is that lining fabric is going to be slightly smaller than your home decor curtain fabric. Since your curtains may be a different size than mine, I won’t give you exact dimensions. It’s just trial and error. Just make sure it’s slightly less tall and less wide. And smooth it out as straight as you can.

Here you can see I am test-fitting the lining to guesstimate how much I’ll need to sew together.


How to Sew Cute Lined Curtains - Sew your lining panels together - Thriftdiving.com



STEP 6: Stick in a Heavy-Weight Interfacing to the Top

If you don’t add a thick interfacing to the top, your curtains will droop more than Aunt Gertrude’s face. HA!

Here, I cut pieces of interfacing to stick inside. I recommend you get the iron-on interfacing that makes it easier to stay in place!

How to Sew Cute Lined Curtains - Add interfacing to the top - Thrift Diving


STEP 7: Tuck the Lining Fabric In

Once you’ve stuck in the interfacing, tuck in and pin your lining under your curtain fabric, like this.


How to Sew Cute Lined Curtains 4 - Thrift Diving


You’ll also turn under the raw edges about 1/2″.


How to Sew Cute Lined Curtains 3 - Thrift Diving


You should be left with clean edges like this, with lining tucked inside.

These are my favorite kind of corners: mitered corners!

They’re actually super easy to create. Watch this video to see how it’s done.


How to Sew Cute Lined Curtains


STEP 8: Sew the Lining In Place

Next, you’re going to sew right on top, locking in the seams AND the lining along the top and sides. BUT…….1. Don’t sew the bottom hem until you have test-fit your curtains to the window, and 2. Don’t sew the lining to the bottom of the curtains.  

Test-fit your curtains so that you can get the exact length you want (remember we added in extra fabric to the top and bottom?)

Also, leave the hemmed lining free-flowing so it moves again the curtains and doesn’t get gathered and bunch up.

I like to sew about 3/8″ from the edge, but it’s your preference!


How to Sew Cute Lined Curtains - 2


To Pool or Not to Pool?

That is the question….

It’s your preference. I like to pool my curtains about a couple inches past the floor, to keep out drafts. But you can also have them just graze the floor. I love that clean look.

You can also have them just touch the edge of the window sill. (I don’t like that look). But it’s your choice!


How to Sew Cute Lined Curtains - Leave enough to puddle on the floor to keep out drafts - ThriftDiving.com

STEP 9: Press Out the Wrinkles and Hang Your New Cute Curtains!

So funny that I tell you to press out the wrinkles when my curtains are sooo wrinkled. HA! I was just too lazy to iron before taking this pic, so you’ll just have to overlook that part. LOL

Every pair of curtains I made, I prefer the look of just using curtain clips. But you could easily have left a sewn or Heat ‘n Bonded a pocket at the top to allow the rod to go through. Just depends on your style. But the basic premise for curtains are all the same.

The curtains look great in my cozy family room that I made over recently!!


Cozy Family Room Makeover - Thrift Diving Blog - 8623


How to Sew Cute DIY Lined Curtains - Thrift Diving


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But it’s that easy, guys!

So have you ever tried to sew cute DIY curtains??




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  1. Linda L Weeks says:

    I am going to try to pull this off eventually, and I like the way you have them hanging from those little rings; that would work well for me too. Now if I could only find the ‘right’ fabric!

    1. That’s the hardest part, Linda–finding the fabric! The little rings are the easiest because all you do is clip them. You don’t have to do any fancy pocket to slide a rod through or anything like that. Good luck in making them! 🙂

  2. Yes, shower curtains! I had found a really pretty shower curtain pattern at Target a couple years ago and I have used them for curtain in my basement, in my work area! If you need more information about curtains then please visit sofakingdubai.

  3. Hello my dear! I wanted to know were did you find the fabric??! It’s so beautiful!

    1. Hey there, Dana! Great question! I ordered it somewhere online, but it was so long along, I don’t recall! I’m sorry! If I happen to find it, I’ll let you know!

  4. Love your new curtains and your directions and diagrams are excellent. In response to one comment, if you remove the selvages and are worried about raveling you might try a technique called a French seam (I think!). First sew a narrow seam with the wrong sides together, then flip the fabric right sides together and sew another narrow seam enclosing the raw edges.

    I recently made curtains for my grandson’s nursery using large grommets to hang them. Since it was my first time to use grommets I was a bit nervous, but they were easy to use and they look great. The first curtains I ever made were tab topped and they taught me to follow common sense instead of pattern directions. After cutting, sewing, and turning each tab (per pattern directions), I was asked by my sister why I didn’t make one long tube and cut individual tabs. My question was why wasn’t she there with advice while I was making them?!? Live and learn!

  5. Your drapes turned out beautifully and I really like how the colors work so well together making the room truly yours! It’s great fun to be able to choose colors and patterns that really make our projects ours. That’s one big plus, but the other big plus, to me, is the quality of sewing. Factories have to produce at such speed that sometimes the stitching is poorly done, threads are left hanging, button threads aren’t secured, hems are uneven and the item starts to fall apart after a short time. This is especially true of inexpensive ready made clothing, but I see it in window treatments, bedding, table linens, etc. I hate buying something that starts to fall apart almost before I get it home.

    I’ve made curtains a number of times, mostly with rod pockets. Most sewing guides recommend cutting off the selvages before sewing even if you keep it within the seam allowance. This is especially recommended for washable fabrics because the selvage will often shrink and ripple and affect the way the seam lays, making it look ripply. Pressing the seam flat to set the stitches into the fabric is also recommended before pressing the seam open. These seem like minor points, but they do make a difference, some fabrics much more than others. My sister and I also worked with a lady who made drapes commercially and it was a lot of fun, even though hard work. She had big tables and industrial machines that were designed for heavy fabrics and hem stitching so of course that made it easier for the big projects. But we learned a lot about hems, headers, pinch pleats, lining, etc. That was back in the early 70’s, so I’ve forgotten a lot, but still remember enough basics to still want to make my own when I can. Your posts always make me want to jump into a new project. Can’t do them all, but I love having a “stash” of ideas to choose from! Thanks, Serena, for the inspiration!

    1. Teckla, you’re a wealth of information! I love the tip about cutting off the selvage. I’ve never done that. I will start making sure I do that! I’ve always liked keeping them on because it’s less unraveling for me to deal with as I’m working on a project. But if it can mess up the seam, good idea to trim it!

      Ooh, that industrial machines…..I once had a Juki industrial machine. Paid $800 for it and LOVED it. When I got pregnant with my now-9-year-old, I let my husband send it to Ghana (his home country) where it’s wasted space in storage somewhere over there. In exchange I bought my Bernina. But I NEVER should have let that machine go!! I didn’t realize at the time how important it was for that heavy-duty sewing. I wish I still had it. I may one day invest in a new industrial one.

      I’m glad I inspire you to start new projects! You HAVE to let me know how your projects go!! Love hearing from you, Teckla! 🙂

  6. Your drapes/curtains turned out beautifully. I love sewing and don’t do nearly enough of it. I have a Bernina too. My husband bought me one used from eBay a few years ago. It’s a great machine.

    Nice tutorial. I was especially impressed with your red line drawings of the window frame. It’s amazing how different the frame of the drapes looks to the overall window size.

    1. OOOh, you have a Bernina, too? That’s awesome! They make great machines. I’ve had mine for probably 13 years or so, and it’s been very reliable. I bought it before I had kids (it was EXPENSIVE!), back when I could afford to throw down tons of money on stuff like sewing machines. I don’t regret it! eBay is a great option!!

  7. Pretty DIY curtains Serena! Great tutorial.

    I need some curtains, and IF I do it, mine will be drop cloth…. I already have them. 🙂


  8. Linda Moore says:

    I have sewed curtains for many years. I especially enjoy finding flat sheets in a pattern I love and turning them into curtains. Shower curtains work, also, and fewer seams to sew!

    I do love the fabric you chose. Very smart-looking!

      1. Linda Moore says:

        I’ve used both new and used bedsheets. There’s no way I’ll toss out a flat sheet just because the matching fitted sheet is worn out! That’s a lot of fabric that can be put to good use, right??

  9. I really need this done for my own place. I can make pretty much anything out of metal and wood. This I believe I am smart enough to pass on to a friend to do for me. That and I don’t have a sewing machine. I was just looking at curtains tonight and this will be way cheaper and I can pick out some crazy pattern too. Always love what you do. Thank you.

    1. Hey, TK! 🙂 You could TOTALLY do curtains! You’ve got awesome metal skills (that rose!!!!). So curtains would be a breeze. Especially if you use Heat ‘n Bond iron-on tape! 🙂

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