Finding just the right draperies without breaking the bank is a DIYers dream. But when presented with a simple sewing task vs. paying sticker price for the perfect curtains, many of us go running to the bank because we’d rather put those hard-earned pennies to work than break out a needle and thread. Well, no more! Our guest today has a super simple tutorial to show how even YOU can create these chic back tab curtains:
Or you can paint those drop cloth curtains or other curtain panels to get this confetti drapes style that I love in my daughter’s room:
Try a faux roman shade on for size:
Here’s Tanya to show you how simple it is to make your own tab-back curtains (and don’t they look fabulous in her master bedroom!)
How to Make Back Tab Curtains
by Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
My name is Tanya and I blog over at Dans le Lakehouse, where I’m transforming a cute bungalow on the shores of Lake Superior. One of my recent projects is sewing a set of sleek back tab curtains with my Mom. My bedroom is still very much a work in progress, but I was so blown away by how easy these curtains were to make – and how sophisticated and professional they look – that I had to share the tutorial.
To get started, we just hemmed the sides and bottom of the curtain panels as usual – turning over twice and sewing, for a tidy seam. For the tabs, we cut out 4.5″ x 6″ rectangles of fabric, which were sewn into tubes (right side facing), flipped right side out and then ironed flat with the seam in the middle. The finished tabs are approximately 2″ wide. Once the tubes were turned into flat tabs, we folded and ironed each end of the tabs under. These tabs were then hooked under, pinned onto and sewn into the top seam of the curtain panel, which is around 5″ wide.
6″ between the tabs is often recommended for a nice drape and gather. Each of my finished panels are about 53″ wide and we did a total of 7 tabs per panel. In case anyone is curious, the curtain rod has an overall length of 8 feet. Ultimately, we could have done as many as we like; more tabs would have created a fuller, more pleated look. (The one thing to pay attention to is to make sure that the overall width of the curtain isn’t shortened too much by the addition of more tabs and thus more gathers).
Here is what the back looks like when the tabs have been completed:
Then we just slid the curtain rods through the tabs. I worried back tab curtains would stick and not open smoothly, but my fears were unfounded. These curtains function just as smoothly as curtains on rings, plus they look much more polished. The tabs result in soft pleats which control the drape of the fabric. I used to spend forever fussing with the office curtains in the townhouse, which Hubby would close nightly and fling open with wild abandon every morning. I would adjust the drape, pulling and fluffing the top so it would drape just so. When Hubby flings these open they fall perfectly. I wonder how many hours I’ll save annually, thanks to these curtains? It’s embarrassing to think about it.
There are many different tutorials for back tab curtains, some of which propose a different construction or placement of the tabs. We sewed the
tabs very close to the top of the curtain which I think creates a cleaner, more modern look than when the tabs are placed lower, which creates a soft ruffling at the top.
In some of my photos, the fabric reads as more blue/teal than it is in real life. In real life it’s a bit greener than what is depicted here and – more importantly – a perfect match to the 1960s Hungarian posters hanging across from the bed.
A note about lining curtains: you might have gleaned that Hubby and I have conflicting attitudes toward the use of curtains. I like to keep them open at night and wake up to the sunlight (hence my love of sheers), while Hubby prefers a total blackout curtain. The fabric I chose is fairly opaque and lined it would have been very opaque. Keeping it unlined lets a tiny bit of sunshine filter through in the morning, so I don’t feel like I’m waking up in a coffin, but Hubby gets enough of what he calls “actual curtain-curtains”. Lining would help prevent fading and other damage to the fabric and is a simple step to add should you choose.
Lovely curtains, Tanya — and so simple to make, too! Thank you for sharing with us!
Tanya has been a regular visitor here at Remodelaholic — check out her fireplace here, the desk here, and a great upcycled play kitchen here — and then head over to Dans le Lakehouse to check out her latest endeavors, like a $100 bathroom makeover and a fabulous turquoise kitchen (and get some info about her awesome headboard here!)