Easy Curtains Out of Sheets

Drapes can be really, really pricey. One of my favorite tricks it to use a king-sized flat sheet, cut in half to make two panels.

Remember these sheets from Carlton Varney's HSN line?

They are sold out now (*UPDATE: I guess there are some sheets on eBay?), but check out what my girl Pam did with a king-sized set!



It's the easiest project, really, all you do it cut a flat sheet in half and then use iron-on binding tape or a sewing machine to zip down the new edges you just made on the two panels.

Then you can cut holes in the the casing part of the flat sheet (the folded over part at the top) and thread the new panels in to your hardware.



Don't forget to use the pillow cases too. Pam used hers to sew a changing pad cover.



Pam took things to a new level with her valances though (not to mention the pretty blue trim!). Love the way that turned out. Pam, we want a tutorial on the valences!! (seriously, let me know if you do a tutorial and I'll update this post). ** TUTORIAL POSTED HERE**



Here are some fun sheet sets that would make for great curtain panels:

Horizontal gray stripes from West Elm.



Actually, all the new sheets at West Elm...



This plaid would be really cool actually, if mixed with girlier elements in the room.



Water colored polkadots! So great for a kids space, with lots of white and solids in the rest of the room.



If you have two windows to dress, it would be easier to justify the cost of getting this duvet cover to split up into four panels. I think the pattern would be so cool as drapery!



Also, if you're looking for cute, but really inexpensive, try Better Homes and Gardens line for Walmart. I think the twin sheet sets are about $12. Here are a few of my favorite patterns:

Love this red



And the blue and green is an old favorite of mine. (have to go in store for these)



Check out all these sweet options at Macy's! $20 per flat sheet (which would make a nice, full panel)...



How lovely is this plum pattern, available for $10 at Kmart? I am really tempted here.



I also love this blue and gray, for a more subtle print.



Some obvious pointers -

-Get the largest sheets possible. The more fabric the better. Or, buy twin sheets, for each panel, like we talked about above.
- This is not always the most economical route, but if you don't know how to sew well, and you have found a sheet pattern you love, this is a great option I think.
- Stick with cotton! Jersey knit drapes won't work. :)

74 comments:

modern jane said...

That is the best project I've seen in a while. I've often thought it was a great route to go using sheets but it is great to see it actually done! I am totally inspired!!

Boo said...

What about lining, though? I find that I am deterred from making my own panels b/c I don't want to go the effort of having to line them. Pam, did you line yours?

Andrea said...

Love the idea! I have had sheets hanging from my windows before so I I'm a big fan. Great post.

Carrie @ Hazardous Design said...

I've done this before as a 'quick fix'. They ended up looking so good that I kept them up permanently!

My Decorators Favourite Things said...

Stop it :0) That's amazing!

pve design said...

I had pretty tulip curtains that were made from sheets in my first NY City apartment. I loved them....
pve

Kim said...

Great post! I just used a curtain panel and a staple gun to camoflauge my box springs last night (just posted). I only needed to cover one side and the end for each twin bed. Thought about using a sheet but wanted the depth of color and stiffness from a thicker fabric. Your newly painted blue dresser has inspired me to paint one of our desks blue. I'll shoot you a pic when it's complete!

pve design said...

Oh and that room is wonderful!
bravo....
pve

Cathy Wall said...

What an amazing room. I love that you pass along such inspiring and yet cost effective decor. It's my own mantra...no need spend hundreds on fabric when there are such great looking alternate options out there. I used table cloths for my own kitchen window treatments!

Caroline @ The Feminist Housewife said...

Such a great idea! I'm now on the lookout for some cheap sheets!

Michelle said...

Ikea has some great solid color options and they sell a king flat sheet for $15!

Bryn said...

This is great!! Love it! I love fun sheets but I am such a sucker for an all white bed. This is a great excuse to buy fun sheets haha!

elisabeth (bovagoods) said...

love this idea. if you aren't a seamstress and don't want to deal with finishing the edges, just buy two twin flat sheets and voila! you are done. they are the perfect size for panels and the sides will all be finished for you. you can hang with clips. also, "boo" mentioned something about linings. wal-mart sells flat twin sheets for around $5 per sheet. you can buy white ones and layer them behind your King sheet or other twin sheets. tack them at the sides and top and you have yourself a lining!

Pam @ bibbidi-bobbidi-beautiful said...

Jenny, thank you so much for featuring my project! I have been so inspired by you for so long- it is an absolute thrill to be mentioned here!

To answer a couple of questions- I will happily do a tutorial on the valance- it's actually sort of a take on your foam-core pelmet project! I plan to post it tomorrow.

My panels are not lined- since I plan to leave them open and use the shade for light control, the light really doesn't come through the panels. It would be really easy to buy a cheap king-sized white sheet to line with- it would only take a couple of extra steps to add the lining.

Also- there are a few of the sheet sets on ebay!

Jenny at LGN said...

Thanks for fielding the questions about lining, etc, Pam! You really did a great job here!

I updated the post about the sets being on eBay. So cool!!

Also, I can't wait to see the valence tutorial! Thanks, again.

Kate {domestikatedlife} said...

Love love love the west elm sheeting this season, such great patterns!

Janell @ Isabella and Max said...

Fabulous drapery idea! One would never look at them and think sheets!
Janell

Paradise Regained said...

Jenny,

I've been reading your blog for several months now and love your creativity! You've been instrumental in encouraging me to stretch my comfort zone and bring color into my home. Because of that I tried out something I've never seen done before!

I used tablecloths from the DwellStudio line (the bird textile collection) for Target to create panels for our bedroom windows. At $20 per tablecloth (and they can be found on sale in-store for $10), they were pretty economical. Being so heavy too I didn't need or want a lining. I just used curtain clips to hang the table cloths.

I just love Pam's project and think she did an excellent job!!

Aunt Spicy said...

Ohhh I could just move into that room! Do you know where she got the blanket on the back of the chair and the bumper pads?

Jen@Organized-Design said...

What a great idea. That room is so darling! The fabric is fun, and I love the details in the bookshelf! Plus loving the sheets from West Elm. I'm a sucker for pattern!

Heather said...

I love this nursery, she just did such a great job with it. I'd be really curious to hear how she made the valiance. It looks terrific, and the border really ties the room together. I'm guessing she stared w/ a 2x4 panel at the top, connected the fabric at the top, and pleated at the sides?

Heather said...

She did an amazing job with the curtains and the room in general. Would you recommend lining the new curtains? Thanks for the great idea!

Kristy @ I Design Love said...

This is a great project, I was actually thinking of doing this for my living room. It is a great money saver and also looks fabulous.

Michelle said...

Great idea! I really love this idea so much, as I am currently trying to buy curtains, thanks!!

Ashley said...

Great recommendation, Jenny! I turned 2 Roberta Roller Rabbit rectangular tablecloths into 4 extra long curtain panels for my bedroom (after lining them, of course) and couldn't be happier with them. I had enough left over to make a set of shams, too!

maria said...

This girl has skills!!! Those curtain really make the room and I love that she did blue and red for the room so different and beautiful!!! going to her blog now!!

Emily said...

Thank you so much for this post. It seems so obvious not that you mention it, but i don't think i ever would have gotten there on my own. I've been scouring the internet looking for a white and black trellis style fabric on the cheap and so far turned up nothing. Thanks to your post i remembered this!
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Divatex-Diamond-250-Thread-Count-Duvet-Mini-Set-Black/10996399

Thank you thank you thank you!

Dina @ Honey + Fitz said...

Woah. This is a great idea and may be just what I need in our living room. Thanks for posting!!

MyLittleHappyPlace said...

LOVE what Pam did with the panels - not to mention the tape trim in the bookshelves! Bravo, Pam!

The Mom said...

Great post, and yes, we would love an extra tutorial on the valences. I got a new sewing machine for Christmas so I am inspired! Thank you for sharing such a delightful room with us!

Tulip and Turnip said...

What a GORGEOUS room. Beautiful.

Love the pattern on the sheets/curtains. Very inspiring! I think a bit of light shining through them would be lovely...no lining necessary!

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

Hurray for Pam! She has such great style. :)

I'm so happy you pictured the blue and green set from BH&G. I was eyeing those recently and new I liked them for some reason...now my wheels are turning. ;)

Steph at Modern Parents Messy Kids said...

Wow - those are some seriously great sheets you found. Thanks for the inspiration!

Jenny @ Art, Wine and Design said...

I can't wait to see the tutorial on the valence. I can see some of those in my future!

Fran said...

Pam did an amazing job and I need to remember that I don't always have to buy pricey fabric!! Jenny, so happy you got to see how the fabric was put to use!! I'm so happy w/my roman shade! Thanks so much!

Trista said...

Great post! Thanks so much.

Ms. Stacie said...

Thank you so much for posting this idea! I can't wait to do this!

Robbie+Erin said...

I actually bought those Better Homes and Garden sheets in July and made curtains for my son's nursery! Such an easy, inexpensive way to make curtains. Love the sheets from West Elm, I think it's time for more curtains!

Katie @ Noodle and Boof said...

What a good idea! The nursery is gorgeous! I love the color combination.

Melissa at HOUSEography said...

I love this - so great! What a great idea.

Lovely Happenings said...

great idea and so much more inexpensive. love it.

Lauren said...

cool post. I have also used table cloths, no sewing-- just clip rings at the top, awesome patterns out there and usually a nice heft to the fabric so the drape is good.

Aubrey {All Things Bright and Beautiful} said...

Feeling very inspired!!! (c: I mean, I have always been a cheap and easy kind of gal (just with home stuff, to be clear (c: )...Amazing idea!

Emily said...

What a gorgeous nursery! I love using sheets to sew clothes for my daughter. I have a serious crush on those polka dot sheets and the purple ones. Great finds!

Judy said...

WOW!!! What a gorgeous room. If you didn't say those were sheets, no one would have known. Talk about a custom look. Very impressive. This is a keeper of an idea.

e said...

This is brilliant!!! I'm so excited!! Will you explain this step a little further:
"Then you can cut holes in the the casing part of the flat sheet (the folded over part at the top) and thread the new panels in to your hardware"

That's the only part I'm not fully confident about! Thanks so much for this post - can't wait to do it!!!

Jenny at LGN said...

Hi E -

You can go two ways here, actually - you can just snip off the hem on the ends of the casing (folded over thick part at the top of the sheet), to make a big long rod pocket to slip the hardware through.
OR! You can strategically cut slits every couple of inches on the back side (not the front!) of the casing part and sort of weave the hardware in and out of the slits. This will create a nice gathered look that back tabs make. It almost looks like pinch pleats from afar.

Good luck!

Kellie said...

So cute, I love the whole room! I've done this as well and it works so good. I also love all of the sheets from WE.

natasha said...

I love the look of these curtains. I got similar lattice sheets and pillow cases at the Land of Nod!

http://www.landofnod.com/family.aspx?c=3071&f=5310

Louisa said...

That room is beautiful - great job Pam! Thanks so much, Jenny, for your inspiring blog. Can't wait to try this out!

TMykula said...

Love this idea!! I've been on the hunt for fabric for curtains for my nursery and never thought of using sheets. I think a trip to my local Home Sense could solve my fabric dilemna. Also, I absolutely love this room and am feeling so inspired as I too am planning a turquoise and red nursery. It's a very similar layout as well so I may just steal your shelving ideas as well. I can't wait to get mine done.

Sarah said...

ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!! I wis I would have seen this five years ago. Shopping for inexpensive fabric that I liked for my curtains was KILLER. If only I had thought of sheets it would have opened a whole new world for me :D Thanks for sharing-- I know I will use it in the future.

Sarah Jane said...

Of course! I've made almost all the curtains in my house so far and am pretty tired of it! (all on my blog) This might be just the thing for my sewing room that still has a temporary paper shade!

I've used sheets for so many other things too...a crib bumper, clothes, pillows, etc. They're a great, cheap solution, and you can find really fun vintage/retro ones on Etsy and ebay and in thrift stores.

Krys72599 said...

I had to make two long drapes to cover two floor to ceiling bookshelves on which I store my scrapbooking papers and other items that might fade with exposure to the sun. So I bought a single BH&G twin flat sheet for $4.00 at WalMart and cut it in half lenghtwise, used iron-on tape to hem them and form a rod pocket and they look awesome! $4.00 - how can you beat that??!!

Ambyr said...

Best post I've seen in a long time so I HAD to comment! Excellent! This has my head spinning with ideas! Thanks LGN. :)

The Glam Lamb said...

jenny... looks like my weekend is going to be spent looking for blackouts and pretty sheets to cover them with! my seamstress is going to start hating me soon with all the projects i bring her. i think its time for me to learn how to properly sew.

Best,
Hallie

FancyHouseRoad said...

Sheets are getting so versatile that it makes changing the sheets once a week fun! I especially love the West Elm choices.

PS. I really loved the room however that shade of blue on walls still scares me. Too much intense color plays with my moods. ha.

Keighley

Pam @ bibbidi-bobbidi-beautiful said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pam @ bibbidi-bobbidi-beautiful said...

The tutorial is posted!

Navy Bean said...

Fantastic idea! And the valance adds so much. LOVE! For those of you in NYC, I recommend Century 21 for great deals on sheets!

Darlene - Our Creative Life said...

Great idea! I've done the same thing in the past using sheets to make curtains. Great looking nursery! We are in the custom baby & kids rug biz and see lots of nurseries and yours is really pretty!

God Bless
Darlene
www.creativecarpetdesign.com

Christa aka NtB said...

Zow, that light fixture is AMAZING!!

e said...

Thanks, Jenny!!

Vicky @ Pearl District said...

Jenny!!! You continue to amaze me! Thank you so much for posting this project!!! Thank you Pan! You did a wonderful job!!! The nursery is Amazing!!!!! Ill be sure to check out your blog!

Jenny, you rock!
Xoxo

Vicky @ Pearl District said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Muriel Miller said...

Seriously!!! Love this idea! May just have to give this a shot! thanks for sharing!

Rachel said...

Another cheap drapery fabric is tablecloths! All sides are already hemmed, just clip and you're done. Plus the fabric is heavy duty enough to not need to be lined. I bought my living room drapes from Target at $16.99 each. They are 60"x 84".You can't buy fabric by the yard for that cheap!

wideopenspaces said...

I posted on bedding all of last week but then it's your post here that makes me think i'm going to go with the striped sheets from west elm. huh.

isn't it funny how crazy powerful blog opinions can be?

Briane @ objectively awesome said...

Love the pattern! Another new-sew option - tablecloths. I used 60x84 cloths from Target and the result was pretty great. You could use some light linen fabric, attached by iron-on stitching to the back of the cloth for some extra lining/protection.

Sara said...

So smart! I love using more inexpensive sheets and pillowcases (especially when you can find them as clearance bargains ;)! ) for other decor projects...throw pillows, duvet covers (2 sheets are usually cheaper than a cover), etc., and this is great!!

Jenny said...

Love the sheet idea!!! Thank you for posting!

I just bought an amazing set of ikat shower curtains to use as drapes, and I'm obsessed!!

http://housefullofpretty.wordpress.com/2011/01/18/deal-alert-curtains/

Vale Cervarich said...

I loved this post, and actually ordered some of the Macy's sheets - the little medallions (they're back ordered, but I got 50% off!)

But I'm commenting to show you a cute new girl's outfit I just got at Gymboree - see if you recognize the print. It's not exactly the same as the sheets in your post, but close!
Anyways, thanks! Best of luck to you!
http://oscarandlucy.com/2011/02/04/stinson-beach-photos-part-i/

Connie said...

Those watercolor polka dots are so fun! I've linked to this post in my post Daydream in Watercolor: http://www.daydreamincolor.com/?p=260

Anonymous said...

I've made fancy draperies for clients and its simply too much work for me to do in my own home. I love this idea AND just scored some awesome sheets at the thrift store for $3 for the set! Thanks for the tip!

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