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Is it cheaper to make own curtains?

Making your own curtains can be a fun DIY project that also saves you money compared to buying readymade curtains. However, whether or not sewing your own curtains is cheaper depends on a few key factors.

Is it cheaper to make own curtains?

Fabric cost

The main cost of any curtain project is the fabric. Home decor fabrics can range greatly in price from a few dollars per yard for basic cotton prints up to $50 or more per yard for higher-end materials like silk or velvet. Consider what type of fabric and qualities best suit your needs and style.

Some budget-friendly fabric options for DIY curtains include:

  • Cotton – An affordable natural fiber curtain fabric available in a wide variety of solid colors and prints. Easy to sew and very durable.
  • Polyester – Wrinkle-resistant and retains pleats well. Often used for blackout curtain linings at an affordable price.
  • Blends – Fabrics blending natural and synthetic fibers provide a good balance of durability, drape, and cost.

Shop discount home decor outlets, fabric stores’ sales, or even second-hand shops to save on fabric costs. Consider making shorter or narrower curtains if working with limited yardage to cover all windows.

Notions, tools and hardware

In addition to fabric, you will need:

  • Thread
  • Curtain rods/brackets
  • Curtain headings or tabs
  • Curtain weights or hooks
  • Basic sewing tools: sewing machine, scissors, tape measure, pins

Having access to a sewing machine is essential for stitching long curtain panels quickly and efficiently. If you need to purchase equipment, compare the prices of notions and tools to renting or borrowing instead.

Key Takeaway: Fabric is the main cost. Economize by choosing budget-friendly fabrics, shopping sales, reusing materials, or adjusting project size to work with what you have.

Labor cost

Sewing your own curtains takes time and skill, which equals labor costs. Assessing your skill level will determine how much time a DIY curtain project will require.

Sewing novice? Start with a very simple rod pocket curtain design that involves basic stitching. This style is also fastest to make per panel.

If you have intermediate or expert sewing skills, consider more tailored curtains with layered headings, pleats, banding or intricate shapes. These details add style but also more preparation and sewing time.

Cost compare the time spent making the curtains yourself to having them custom made by a workroom or other sewist. Consider your hourly wage or price per project hour.

Does your sewing curtail other income-earning activity or valuable leisure time? Or is a手made home decor project an enjoyable hobby that enhances your life? Finding that balance helps determine real costs.

Key Takeaway: Valuing your time and skill level accurately balances labor costs of handmade versus storebought curtains.

Cost per wear

People often cite cost per use when determining value of handmade goods. Determine what you currently spend on readymade curtains. Estimate the window of time homemade curtains would be in use. Divvy total spend by estimated uses over their lifespan.

For example:

  • Readymade curtains: $100 every 2 years = $50 per year
  • Handmade curtains: $150 one-time cost, 5 years of use = $30 per year

The cost per year is lower for the handmade version, even with more initial outlay. Plus the fabric and style is customizable.

Apply this savings to all the curtains you want to sew. Measure real usage time once finished. Confirm if your initial cost per use estimates hold true or not.

Key Takeaway: Homemade goods often save over time by being more durable and replicable compared to off-the-rack versions.

Environmental impact

Home sewing has less environmental impact than mass manufacturing in most cases. By sewing curtains yourself, you can also better control the fabric origins and production methods.

Some eco-friendly practices for DIY curtains include:

  • Using natural fibers like cotton, linen or hemp
  • Finding secondhand or vintage fabrics
  • Choosing organic or sustainably produced textiles
  • Recycling and reusing materials on hand

Handmade curtains also often last longer than inexpensive readymades before ending up in landfills. And homemade style remains timeless if cared for properly.

Factor in sustainability savings to your total cost comparisons. Budget responsibly for materials of conscience.

Key Takeaway: Eco-friendly and ethical textile choices uplift your curtains’ overall value, costs and benefits alike.


Sewing your own curtains costs less in the long run compared to buying readymade for most design styles and fabric types. Exact savings depend on the complexity of your curtain project and design details involved.

Carefully compare expenses of materials, tools, hardware and your time plus skill to create them. Remember to estimate cost per use over their lifespan.

And amplify overall value by choosing sustainable, responsible production methods for your homemade window dressings.

With some planning and prep, sewing DIY curtains fits many budgets. The personalization and creative fulfillment from making your own home decor often heightens enjoyment over just purchasing items outright.

Display your custom creations proudly and maximize their use in your home. Share skills and maybe extra materials to help friends and family sew their own curtains too.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are the main costs of making curtains?
    The main costs of making your own curtains are fabric, notions like thread and headings, hardware like rods and hanging hooks, plus tools if you need to purchase them. There is also time and labor costs based on your skill level and sewing speed.

  2. Is buying fabric for curtains expensive?
    Fabric can range dramatically in price. To save money, use discount home decor fabrics like basic cotton prints rather than designer fabrics like silk or velvet. Shop discounts, buy shorter lengths, or adjust project sizes to work within your existing fabric budget.

  3. Should I make lined or unlined curtains?
    Lined curtains provide more insulation, light filtering, and privacy. But they do cost more in both additional fabric and time sewing. Decide which features will enhance your curtains’ purpose most.

  4. Can I make blackout curtains myself?
    Yes, you can make custom blackout curtain panels using tightly woven fabric, plus adding thick backing lining and felt or rubber edging strips. Make sure they hang properly with ample overlap for maximum light blockage.

  5. Is sewing my own curtains hard?
    Basic rod pocket curtains are the easiest DIY style involving straight seams and simple top hems. Curtains with pleats, grommets, weighting or unusual shapes have more steps and sewist skill required. Assess your ability realistically before committing.

  6. What sewing tools do I need?
    Must-have tools are a sewing machine, sharp scissors, tape measure, straight pins and fabric marker. Nice extras include an iron, fabric weights, tracing wheel, curved upholstery pins and edging shears.

  7. Should I hand sew or machine sew curtains?
    Machine sewing is best for most curtain projects to save significant time and effort hemming and seaming long fabric panels. Hand sewing may suit small touch ups, repairs or special decorative accents only.

  8. What’s the best way to hang homemade curtains?
    Quality curtain rods with hooks or ring slides combine affordable function with a stylish polished finish. Avoid tension rods or tacking curtains straight to windows which hampers sliding action.

  9. Can I use regular thread or should I get special curtain thread?
    You need sturdy thread for curtain making, either all-purpose polyester or topstitching thread. Avoid lightweight regular thread that may break and pop under heavier use and contact friction.

  10. Is reusing fabric cheaper for DIY curtains?
    Absolutely, sourcing secondhand fabric saves significantly over new yardage. Check garments, bedding, drapes, slipcovers or upholstery fabric for curtain potential. Creative reuse takes more hunting to coordinate patterns or solid colors.

  11. Should I pre-wash fabrics before sewing curtains?
    Yes, preshrink your fabrics first to cut and sew them most accurately. Wash and dry using procedures recommended for the specific fabric type. This prevents shrinkage or dye bleeding issues down the line once curtains are installed.

  12. Can I adjust curtain sizes if I don’t have enough fabric?
    If your fabric yardage can’t cover full window lengths, consider raising rod height into the molding instead for a café curtain effect. Otherwise make abbreviated sill length panels using what you have. Layer over existing curtains too.

  13. Is making curtains with patterned fabric harder?
    Working with patterned fabric isn’t necessarily harder sewing, but it does require more precision planning for print alignment in panels and headings. Make sure to cut pattern match points clearly. Allow ample yardage for repeats.

  14. What’s the best width for curtains?
    Standard US curtain widths per panel are 25”, 50”, 84”, 96”, 108” and 120”. Measure windows carefully to plan. Base on total coverage desired, stacking limitations or custom boxing required.

  15. How much fabric do I need per curtain panel?
    Use your exact window measurements allowing 3” extra width each side, plus 8”-12” bottom and top hem allowances. Divide total height for any mid-panel seams as needed. Buy accordingly per fabric width using repeats.

  16. Which curtains are quickest to make by hand?
    Rod pocket panels are fastest for hand sewing. Simply double hem top plus sides cut to length. Tab tops with buttonholes or grommet tape speed things along too bypassing hand hemming. Adding gathers, pleats or extensive shaping takes exponentially more time.

  17. Is it worth my time making curtains vs. ready made?
    Analyze comparable prices plus your hourly wage rate and skill set realistically. Weigh convenience versus enjoyment too. Well-fitting style and fabrics may offset extra effort spent. Scale project scope strategically as learning curves allow.

  18. Can I make patterned curtains if I’m a beginner?
    Any pattern placement requiring precision matching at seams is quite advanced. Beginners should start with solid colors first. Progress to simple placement prints down the road only after mastering basic construction techniques.

  19. What are some easy ideas for DIY curtain designs?
    Beginner-friendly curtain ideas include rod pockets, tab tops, grommets, back tabs or basic gathered headings. Choose wovens like cotton duck, linen or canvas for best ease handling long panels. Keep length and shaping simple.

  20. Which readymade curtain type compares most affordably?
    At big box stores, the mass produced panels are cheapest of course. Next is buying custom panels cut to size but not fully lined or embellished further. Select special order designer panels with all options for highest pricing.


Sewing your own curtains costs less in the long run compared to continually buying readymade versions. Take time to analyze both tangible and intangible factors of value and cost tradeoffs beforehand Tailor your project’s scope to fit your budget, skills and style vision moving forward.

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