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I’ve been wanting some pretty ruffled linen curtains for a while. I love how linen compliments farmhouse 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. So I decided to make my own. However, there were two problems standing in the way.
Firstly, I don’t own a sewing machine. So my curtains had to be completely no-sew. I ended up googling 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 explaining how to make no-sew curtains. The tutorials were so easy to follow that even an idiot (ahem, me) could do it. Inspired, I headed to the fabric store.
And this is where problem number two showed up. Linen was $17 a metre. I needed 9 metres of fabric for my curtains. I don’t know about you, but I can’t afford $153 for some curtains.
Feeling like the personification of the “urghhhh” noise, I put my dreams of pretty farmhouse ruffled curtains aside.
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. At 2.25 metres each, they worked out at $5.30AUD/metre – much cheaper!
I excitedly purchased a few tablecloths and did the responsible adult thing: Dropped everything I was supposed to be doing to make my curtains.
(Hey, I was excited, okay, mom.)
And here’s the finished result:
How to make no-sew ruffled curtains
- Tablecloths. I used these tablecloths from Kmart Australia. If you’re in the US, Amazon have some good alternatives, such as this real linen tablecloth, this blue-striped tablecloth , or this super cheap polyester tablecloth. Any of these would work.
- 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.
A note on measurements: The number of tablecloths you’ll need 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, make sure you have fabric that’s 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. But it makes the whole process easier.
Step 3: Create your ruffle fold
Find a large, flat space where you can lay your tablecloth flat (a floor works well for this).
To create the ruffle fold, fold the top of your tablecloth over itself so you have a little ‘ledge’ like this:
You can make your ‘ledge’ any size you like – the shorter the ledge, the smaller the ruffle, and vice versa.
Step 4: Create pleats by folding
I wanted my curtains to look pleated, so I experimented with a few different folds until I got the desired effect. This step might initially look confusing, but it’s actually pretty simple.
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 the fabric, then repeat the above process with your second curtain panel.
And that’s it!