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For about a year I’ve been seriously lusting over those linen farmhouse curtains with the pretty ruffle on top (if you search for “farmhouse curtains with ruffle” on Pinterest, you’ll see what I mean). I love how linen curtains compliment farmhouse home decor and I’m an absolute sucker for feminine details like ruffles. I had a look around for pre-made curtains that matched the style I wanted, but none of them were within my price range. Undeterred, I decided I would try to DIY some farmhouse-style curtains. However, there were two problems standing in the way of my ruffled curtain dreams.
Firstly, I don’t own a sewing machine. My old machine kicked the bucket about a year ago and there was absolutely no way I was going to be sewing curtains by hand. Not one to be defeated by trivial matters like “not having the essential tools for the job”, I went to trusty google and did some research. I was determined to figure out how to make curtains without sewing (not even a tiny bit). So I typed in what ended up being every variation of “no-sew curtains” and “easy DIY curtains” I could think of. I came across a large array of bloggers much more talented than I who had written tutorials showing you, step by step, how to make DIY curtains. The tutorials were so easy to follow that even an idiot (aka me) could do it. Inspired, I headed to the fabric store.
And this, my friends, is where problem number two reared its head. I arrived at Spotlight (a store akin to Michael’s in the US or HobbyCraft in the UK) only to find that they were asking $17 a metre (!!!) for linen. I needed 9 metres of fabric. That worked out to be $150 for the fabric alone.
Way, way overbudget.
Feeling like the personification of the noise “urghhhh”, I put my dreams of pretty farmhouse ruffled curtains aside for a few months and busied myself with the other 250,000 projects I have going at any one time.
That is, until I was in Kmart one day and stumbled across these “linen-look” tablecloths.
They were perfect.
They looked like linen. The fabric, I found out after sticking my finger sneakily inside the package, was soft but a little structured – perfect for curtains. They were the exact colour I was wanting for my DIY farmhouse curtains. At 2.25 metres each, they worked out at $5.30AUD/metre – much more reasonable than $17AUD/metre!
I excitedly purchased a few tablecloths and immediately got to work, experimenting with different techniques until I found one I liked.
How to make easy DIY no-sew farmhouse curtains
To make your own easy DIY no-sew farmhouse curtains, you will need:
- Tablecloths. I used these tablecloths from Kmart Australia. If you’re not in Australia, I found some great options on Amazon, such as this real linen tablecloth, this blue-striped tablecloth (very farmhouse!), or this super cheap polyester tablecloth. Any of these would work to make your curtains.
- An iron
- Curtain clips/pegs
- Hemming tape (optional – only necessary if you need to fuse two tablecloths together). I personally use Heat ‘n Bond ultrahold in all of my no-sew projects, as it’s the strongest iron-on adhesive I’ve used.
Some notes on measurements: The exact number of tablecloths needed to make no-sew farmhouse curtains depends on a few factors, such as your window size, how pleated you want the curtains to appear, and the desired size of your ruffle. I used four tablecloths for my curtains. To get nice pleats and ruffles, I suggest purchasing enough tablecloths that you have fabric 1.5 – 2 times the width of your window.
Step 1 (optional): Fuse two tablecloths together
If your window is particularly large or you want a dramatic ruffle, you may need to join two tablecloths together to have enough fabric. I used iron-on adhesive tape to fuse two tablecloths together without sewing. Simply follow the instructions on your brand of hemming tape before proceeding to the next step.
Step 2: Iron your tablecloths
I know. I’m sorry. Ironing sucks.
However, ironing your tablecloths makes the process of making your own curtains easier and it improves the look of the final product.
Cry while ironing if it helps release the pain.
Step 3: Create your ruffle fold
Before you begin the folding process, find a large flat space where you can lay your tablecloth out flat. I recommend something like the living or dining room floor.
Now, it’s time to create your ruffle fold.
Fold the top of your tablecloth over itself so you have a little ‘ledge’ like this:
This ledge will eventually create the ruffle for your no-sew farmhouse curtains. You can make your ledge in any size you like. The more fabric folded, the larger the ruffle and vice versa.
Step 4: Create pleats by folding
I wanted my no-sew farmhouse curtains to look like pleated curtains. I had to experiment with a few different folds before I found one that gave the desired effect.
This step might look confusing, but it’s actually really simple once you’ve done it a few times. If you don’t get it on the first go, don’t worry (I didn’t either…my first attempt was a mess, if I’m to be totally honest!)
Make a little fold, like so:
Then, right next to the first fold, make an identical fold. It should look as though you have a set of bunny ears in your hand, like this:
Grab one of your curtain clips and clip your bunny ears about 2/3rds of the way down, like so:
After you have done this, make a much larger fold (to space out your pleats), and then repeat the above, making another set of bunny ears. You will have something like this:
Repeat until you reach the end of your tablecloth-turned-curtain-panel.
Once you have finished clipping your panel, attach your curtain clips to your curtain rings, slide the rings on to your curtain rod, and feel bam – your easy DIY no-sew farmhouse curtains are complete!
Look at that lil ruffle. Love me a good ruffle.
The best part about curtains is being able to fool others into thinking you’re an adult with your life together, instead of just three small children stacked on top of one another wearing a big coat.