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Is it Cheap to Make Curtains?

Curtains play a crucial role in home decor, providing privacy, light control, and a touch of style to any room. When shopping for curtains, you may find that store-bought options can be quite expensive, especially if you need multiple panels or have large windows. This leads many homeowners to wonder, “Is it cheap to make curtains?” In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the costs associated with making your own curtains and provide tips to help you create beautiful, affordable window treatments.

Is it Cheap to Make Curtains?

Factors that Affect the Cost of Making Curtains

  1. Fabric Choice
    • Budget-friendly options: cotton, polyester, and linen blends
    • Mid-range options: linen, velvet, and lightweight wool
    • High-end options: silk, heavyweight wool, and custom prints
  2. Window Size
    • Larger windows require more fabric, increasing the overall cost
    • Standard window sizes may allow you to use pre-cut fabric panels, reducing waste and cost
  3. Tools and Supplies
    • Sewing machine (if you don’t already own one)
    • Scissors, measuring tape, and pins
    • Thread, curtain rings or hooks, and curtain rod

Cost Comparison: Homemade vs. Store-Bought Curtains

To better understand the potential savings of making your own curtains, let’s compare the costs of homemade and store-bought curtains for a standard 50″ x 84″ window:

Homemade Curtains (2 panels) Store-Bought Curtains (2 panels)
6 yards of cotton fabric at $5/yard = $30 Mid-range curtains: $50-$100
Thread and supplies: $5 High-end curtains: $100-$300+
Total: $35

As you can see, making your own curtains using budget-friendly fabric can result in significant savings compared to purchasing mid-range or high-end curtains from a store.

Tips for Making Affordable Curtains

  1. Shop for fabric sales and remnants
  2. Use a simple design to minimize fabric waste
  3. Opt for budget-friendly fabrics like cotton or polyester blends
  4. Repurpose old sheets or tablecloths for a unique, upcycled look
  5. Use curtain clips instead of sewing curtain rings for an easier, faster project

Step-by-Step Guide to Making Curtains

  1. Measure your windows and determine the desired length and width of your curtains
  2. Choose your fabric and purchase the necessary amount, adding extra for seam allowances and hems
  3. Cut the fabric to size, allowing for seam allowances and hems
  4. Sew the side seams and hem the top and bottom of each curtain panel
  5. Attach curtain rings or clips to the top of each panel
  6. Hang your new curtains and enjoy your handiwork!

Curtain Design Ideas

  1. Simple, straight panels for a minimalist look
  2. Grommet top curtains for a modern, industrial style
  3. Tab top curtains for a casual, relaxed vibe
  4. Pleated curtains for a traditional, elegant appearance
  5. Blackout lining for better light control and energy efficiency

Benefits of Making Your Own Curtains

  1. Customization: Choose the perfect fabric, color, and pattern to match your decor
  2. Cost savings: Save money compared to buying high-end, store-bought curtains
  3. Skill-building: Improve your sewing skills and take pride in your handiwork
  4. Eco-friendliness: Reduce waste by using leftover fabric or repurposing old materials
  5. Versatility: Create unique curtains for non-standard window sizes or shapes

Key Takeaway

Making your own curtains can be a cost-effective and rewarding project, allowing you to customize your window treatments to perfectly suit your style and budget. By choosing affordable fabrics, shopping for sales, and using simple designs, you can create beautiful curtains that rival store-bought options at a fraction of the cost.


In conclusion, making your own curtains can be a cheap and rewarding alternative to buying ready-made curtains. By considering factors such as fabric choice, window size, and the tools you already have, you can create custom curtains that fit your style and budget. With a little creativity and basic sewing skills, you can transform your living space with beautiful, affordable window treatments that showcase your personal touch.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How much fabric do I need to make curtains?
    To determine the amount of fabric needed, measure the width and length of your window, add extra for seam allowances and hems, and multiply by the number of panels desired. A general rule of thumb is to add 12-16 inches to the window width for fullness and 8-10 inches to the length for hems and rod pocket.

  2. What is the easiest way to make curtains?
    The easiest way to make curtains is to use a simple, straight panel design with a rod pocket or grommet top. This minimizes the need for complex sewing techniques and allows for easy hanging.

  3. Can I make curtains without a sewing machine?
    Yes, you can make curtains without a sewing machine by using fusible webbing or fabric glue to hem the edges and create a rod pocket. However, using a sewing machine will result in a more professional and durable finish.

  4. What type of fabric is best for curtains?
    The best fabric for curtains depends on your desired style, light control, and budget. Cotton, linen, and polyester blends are popular choices for their affordability, durability, and ease of care. Heavier fabrics like velvet or wool are great for insulation and a luxurious look.

  5. How do I measure my windows for curtains?
    To measure your windows for curtains, start by measuring the width of the window from left to right. Then, measure the length from the top of the window frame to the desired end point (sill, apron, or floor). Add extra inches for seam allowances, hems, and rod pockets as needed.

  6. What is the difference between curtains and drapes?
    Curtains are typically lighter in weight, less formal, and hang from a rod pocket or rings. Drapes are usually heavier, lined, and pleated, and they often puddle on the floor for a more formal look.

  7. Can I make curtains from sheets?
    Yes, you can make curtains from sheets as long as the sheets are large enough to cover your window and are made from a suitable fabric. This is a great way to repurpose old sheets or create a unique, upcycled look.

  8. How do I make blackout curtains?
    To make blackout curtains, you’ll need to purchase blackout lining fabric and attach it to the back of your curtain fabric. This can be done by sewing the lining to the main fabric or using fusible webbing for a no-sew option.

  9. What is the best lining for curtains?
    The best lining for curtains depends on your needs. Blackout lining is great for light control and insulation, while thermal lining helps with energy efficiency. Standard lightweight lining adds body and protection to the main fabric.

  10. How do I make grommet top curtains?
    To make grommet top curtains, purchase grommets and a grommet tool. Cut your fabric to size, allowing extra for hems and the grommet top. Hem the sides and bottom, then fold the top edge over and mark the grommet positions. Cut holes for the grommets and insert them using the grommet tool.

  11. Can I make curtains with a pattern?
    Yes, you can make curtains with a patterned fabric. When working with patterns, be sure to consider the repeat and match the pattern at the seams for a professional look. Also, keep in mind that large-scale patterns may require more fabric to achieve the desired look.

  12. How do I make tab top curtains?
    To make tab top curtains, cut your fabric to size, allowing extra for hems and the tab top. Hem the sides and bottom, then cut strips of fabric for the tabs. Fold the tabs in half lengthwise and sew them to the top edge of the curtain, spacing them evenly.

  13. What is the best way to hem curtains?
    The best way to hem curtains is to use a double-fold hem for a clean, professional look. First, fold the bottom edge up by 1/2 inch and press, then fold it up again by the desired hem depth (usually 3-4 inches) and press. Sew the hem in place using a straight stitch.

  14. How do I make curtains for a bay window?
    To make curtains for a bay window, measure each section of the window separately and make individual curtain panels for each. Use a flexible curtain rod or separate rods for each section to accommodate the angles of the bay window.

  15. Can I make curtains for a sliding glass door?
    Yes, you can make curtains for a sliding glass door. Measure the width and length of the door, adding extra for fullness and hems. Use a sturdy curtain rod that extends beyond the door frame to allow the curtains to be pulled back for easy access.

  16. How do I make tie-back curtains?
    To make tie-back curtains, create simple curtain panels and sew tie-backs from matching or complementary fabric. Attach the tie-backs to the sides of the curtains at the desired height using hooks, loops, or buttons.

  17. What is the best way to wash homemade curtains?
    The best way to wash homemade curtains depends on the fabric. Always check the care label or fabric recommendations before washing. Most curtains can be machine washed on a gentle cycle with mild detergent and then hung to dry or tumble-dried on low heat.

  18. Can I make curtains with a pleated header?
    Yes, you can make curtains with a pleated header. There are various types of pleats, such as pinch pleats, box pleats, and goblet pleats. Each requires specific techniques and calculations for fabric consumption and spacing. Pleated headers add a formal, tailored look to curtains.

  19. How do I make curtains for a curved window?
    To make curtains for a curved window, measure the width of the window at its widest point and the length from the top of the frame to the desired end point. Make a simple curtain panel with extra fullness to accommodate the curve, and use a flexible curtain rod that can bend to fit the shape of the window.

  20. What is the best way to store homemade curtains?
    The best way to store homemade curtains is to fold them neatly and place them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. You can also hang them on a padded hanger or roll them to avoid creases. Use breathable garment bags or boxes to protect them from dust and moths.

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