Jamie here, I’m no Martha Stewart, but I’ll happily embark on a little DIY to save money on household items I want but can’t afford. In this post, let’s take a look at how to save on curtains by purchasing things that aren’t exactly curtains… and making them work!
I mean, what is a curtain really? It’s just a long, rectangular piece of fabric that looks pretty while covering a window or shower. Lots of things can fit that description – like tablecloths, sheets, and duvet covers (cut in half). You can even swap shower curtains for curtains and vice-versa. Look for patterns you like in the clearance section, at yard sales, and thrift shops to find unexpected treasures for a song.
First, let’s go over a no-sew way to save on curtains.
If you’d rather not even look at a sewing machine, you’ll want to start your curtain project by purchasing a set of these Drapery clip rings, or Shower Ring Clips. As long as you have these babies you can change up your DIY curtains with ease, without the bother of creating holes or a rod pocket to hang them.
Now let’s take a look at some fabric options you can DIY to save money on curtains and shower curtains.
While at Target last week, I found this gem of an oblong tablecloth on clearance for just $4.78. (It was $15.99 previously) It measures 60″ x 84″, which is very close to the measurements of your average curtain panel. I plan to use it for a shower curtain in my bathroom, and although it’s a tad short – those handy clips above compensate perfectly by adding a extra couple inches to the length.
If you (or someone you know) can perform some minimal sewing….
Shower Curtains for Real Curtains (And Vice-Versa):
It seems that we always need what’s not on sale, and what we find on sale, we never need at the time. It was one of those frustrating experiences that had me trying to justify buying a beautiful patterned, fabric shower curtain that would look awful in my bathroom. It was so cheap! Fabric would cost much more on it’s own! I finally convinced myself it would make for some lovely kitchen curtains – and I took it home and cut it into 4 pieces to make two valances and two bottom tiers. A little hemming, and overlapping for a rod pocket, and voila!
You can use a shower curtain for a regular curtain panel without cutting it as well – provided you have some handy drapery clips like we mentioned above. Or use a nice fabric curtain for a shower curtain. Just check the measurements to make sure they’ll work!
When my husband and I were first married, we were in a beans & rice kind of situation. But I wanted to make my living room something my new husband could be proud of and so I planned a masculine, nautical theme he’d like. I found a couple of decorative ships at yard sales for the fireplace mantle, picked up an inexpensive maroon and navy floral rug, and all I needed to pull it together were a couple sets of navy blue curtains. Which I couldn’t afford…
Instead, I bought two navy blue flat sheets. I cut each sheet in half to form two panels, for a total of four curtains. The top of most sheets already form a basic rod-pocket – because the top is sewn over creating a few inches of doubled-over fabric. I opened it up for a curtain rod by using a seam ripper on the outside edge. The other side that was cut (and looking a little ragged) I hemmed, leaving the top few inches unsewn so it would remain open for the rod as well. Then I handstitched the rough edges of those rod pockets so they looked respectable.
Those “curtains” lasted us many years – and are now in my children’s bedroom!
Fabric stores have all the patterns your heart desires, with the price tag your budget doesn’t. It’s true – if you were ever led to believe that fabric was inexpensive, you were duped. However, even fabric stores have sales, and there are always places that sell scrap fabric (and don’t forget about those trusty thrift stores and yard sales!) – so it’s definitely still on the table as an inexpensive DIY option.
Of course, you’ll need a sewing machine and a little know-how – and always buy more fabric than you’ll need to allow for hemming all four sides and creating a rod pocket.
You can usually get a 40% OFF coupon for Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, Jo Ann’s and other craft stores by signing up for their emails/text alerts. That will certainly help save some money!
Duvet covers are NOT usually cheap – unless you live near an Ikea – but they are usually very pretty. You’ll find way more patterns on a duvet cover than you normally will on sheets. And that’s basically all they are, two sheets sewn together into a giant pillow case to house your blanket. If you cut a duvet cover in half, you now have two perfectly lovely curtain panels that just need a little hemming. Look for duvets at yard sales – or check out Ikea for some really fun patterns.
Check out more of our How to Save posts to find other tips and tricks!