Wednesday, January 25, 2012

DIY: Lined Curtain Panels

I’m so excited to share this latest project with you all and I am absolutely smitten with my new dining room curtains. First, I need to preface by saying that I am in no way an expert curtain maker, iron-er, or sew-er. In fact, I am pretty bad at all of those things (more on that later). What I am an expert at is writing instructions and procedures. So, if my instructions for this process are not clear, I should be fired from my full-time job and forced to stay at home with my little guy everyday – playing, laughing, and having TONS of fun. Which I would love of course! :)

On to the project!

I’d been waffling about putting up curtains in my dining room for years now. We have nice wooden blinds that we close in the evenings so people who like to go for evening walks and peer into their neighbor’s houses to see how they are decorated can’t get a glimpse. I don’t know who would possibly do that! Hehe.
The dining room needed some color and personality though. It didn’t feel finished.

Now, I am happy to say that it is getting there!

DIY: Lined Curtain Panels

Want to know how to make your own lined curtains?

Here is what you will need:
  • Fabric
  • Curtain Rods
  • Clips (if desired)
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Curtains Lining (I purchased two twin size flat sheets on clearance from Target for this one)
  • Sewing Machine
  • Ironing Board and Iron (hopefully yours works better than mine)
  • Pins for pinning the fabric in place

Step 1: Purchase curtain rods and hang them.

This step is really important because you need to know exactly how much fabric to purchase. If you buy your fabric before knowing the measurements, you may end up with too little or too much.
I purchased my fabric from Joann’s with a 50% coupon. The fabric is called Basquiat Patina by Robert Allen.

I chose cafe rods because we layered the curtains over fully functional blinds and will therefore never need to close them all the way. Plus, it was much cheaper to pick up two $9.99 cafe rods at Target than on long rod to fit all the way across the window.

Step 2: Measure the length from your curtain rod to the floor and add about 10 inches to that measurement to allow for the seams.

My curtains needed to be 96” so when I purchased my fabric (from Joann’s with a 50% off coupon), I purchased six yards. I probably purchased a little bit too much, but I wanted to have some extra fabric to make a pillow for the bench too.

Step 3: Purchase your fabric and wait patiently until it arrives. Come on UPS!!
Step 4: Measure out your window panels with about 5” extra in length. Cut to the length desired.
Mine needed to be 96”, so I measured out 101” long. I decided to keep the standard width of the yard of fabric for my curtains, so no cuts were needed to adjust the width. If you would like your panels to be skinnier, just measure out the desired width of both panels and cut.

Step 5: Fold the fabric approximately 1/2” on both sides and the top of your panels. Iron the folds. 

I found that this was easiest to do on my ironing board and ironing the folds as I went. This isn’t an exact science. I didn’t bother measuring my folds to ensure that they were exactly 1/2” because I knew once the curtains were up in place, no one would be able to tell if the edges weren’t perfect. So, I just estimated about a half inch and ironed out the sides.

DIY: Lined Curtain Panels

Step 6: Repeat step 5 for both sides of fabric so that you have a double fold and a nice edge on both sides.

Step 7: Fold the top over about 3-4” and iron the fold. 

This can be the pocket that the curtain rods slide into if you do not want to use clips or it will serve as a nice, thick place to clip onto if you are using clips to hang the panels.

Step 8: Iron your liner.

As mentioned above, I chose to purchase two flat sheets on clearance from Target for my liners because they were cheap! I have to mention though that because of this decision, my liners had a ton of creases and wrinkles and it took me forever to iron them out. If I had simply purchased white cotton fabric from Joann’s, it wouldn’t have taken so long.

I also have to take a moment to mention my relationship with my iron. I am convinced that either A.) I own the worst iron EVER, or B.) I am the worst iron-er EVER. My guess would be “B”. I can iron a pair of work pants and when finished, they will end up looking exactly like they did before I wasted 20 minutes ironing. Also, my iron leaks water everywhere. Anyone have any tips? Help!

Step 9: Once your liner is nice and smooth (or in my case, not), tuck the upper left corner of the liner under the folds you have created on the left side and the top. Leave the bottom and the right side out. Pin along the edges, securing the fabric to the liner.

DIY: Lined Curtain Panels

Step 10: Smooth out the liner and cut your excess fabric from the remaining side and bottom of the panels. 

You can see in the picture below that I cut just inside the fold so that the liner would be close to or exactly the same width as the fabric once tucked under.

DIY: Lined Curtain Panels

Step 11: Tuck the remaining side of liner under your fold and pin in place. You should now have both panels pinned on three sides and a raw edge of fabric and liner on the fourth side (the bottom of the panels).

Note how awesomely ironed my liner is in this picture. Can you tell that I spent almost an hour ironing those liners.

DIY: Lined Curtain Panels

Step 12: Congrats! Your ready to sew! Get out your sewing machine and sew a straight line all the way around the three pinned sides, making sure to catch the liner in between the fabric. 

A few hints: whenever you start and stop sewing a line, always backup and sew backwards an inch or so to ensure that the thread never comes undone. Also, when doing corner, simply leave the needle in the down position, lift the sewing machine “foot”, rotate the fabric, lower the foot and keep going. That way you aren’t starting and stopping a whole bunch of times.

Step 13: Once your three sides are sewn, hang your curtains from the curtains rods.

I chose to hang my curtains with a faux pinch pleat, meaning that I squeezed together the fabric about an inch down from the top and clipped a ring to it. Note that your curtains will be a little long still since you haven’t hemmed the bottom yet.

Step 14: Once the curtains are hanging, pin the bottom of the panels to the desired length. Take down the panels and sew this fourth (and final!) side of your panels.

Step 15: Your almost done! Hang your curtain panels, step back and marvel at how pretty they are, and give yourself a pat on your back for saving yourself big money but DIY-ing!!

DIY: Lined Curtain Panels

I’m in LOVE with how mine turned out! What do you think? Have you made your own lined curtains before? Please share!



  1. Such a great tutorial, I love that fabric!

  2. Jen, your curtains turned out great! I really love the fabric you chose. I am so envious of people who can sew!

  3. I love these! Such a great addition to your room. Isn't it amazing what a pattern can add to a space. Wonderful job.

  4. that is SEW much easier than the way I have made curtain panels before, and I am going to give it a try. Thanks for the clear and easy to understand photos.

  5. This is a SEW much easier way to construct curtain panels than how I have done it before. I am going to try it with my newest project. Thanks for the great idea and the easy to understand instructions and photos.