Do you adore the look of big striped curtains, but struggle to find them in your ideal colors, and customized drapes just aren’t in your budget? Why don’t you try your hand at making them?

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For not much effort and basic beginner sewing skills, you can transform your previously purchased curtains into a fun and lively focal point in your room. These striped curtains can be used in bright colors in a nursery (and would be a great way to personalize your nursery if you’re renting) or in a beautiful hue for your family room. Many DIY options use paint, and if the thought of painting perfectly straight lines makes you break into a cold sweat, this new option will be right up your alley!

To start off, white cotton panels were purchased because cotton is the easiest material to dye. The panels were a standard 84″ long, though take your own window into consideration. The Martha Stewart brand was chosen specifically because of its thick hem on the bottom of the panels, allowing it to be taken out to keep the original length. Check the bottom hem.

Begin by washing and drying the curtains, hanging them to dry, and iron them.

Start with some basic math:

  • Take the length of the curtain, and add in an inch and a half to allow for the two new seams you’ll be adding. Divide that number by thirds, and cut. (For example: for an 84″ curtain, subtract 4″ due to the top hanging tabs, add an inch and a half, divide by 3 equals 27.17)
  • Measure from the top down, and mark a line using washable marker.
  • From the first line, measure another 27.17 inch, and mark another line.
  • Your final result will be two panels of equal length, and one shorter panel (which is the panel with the seam you will be taking out.)

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Dust off the sewing machine:

Using your sewing machine, sew a line on either side of each line. You do this because as soon as you cut the fabric, it will start to fray. Sewing the seam keeps it from doing this. Then cut on the line. Don’t have a sewing machine? Look for the best sewing machine to help with all your DIY projects.

Time to dye:

Take the middle section panel, dye the fabric according to bottle directions. (Dye has been known to make a mess of washing machines. For this reason, we suggest using a plastic bucket or organizing crates.) Rinse the dye off the panel and hang to dry.

Back to the sewing machine:

  • Line up the seams you created with the sewing machine earlier (so it didn’t unravel)
  • Sew the colored panel on top of the seams, so you’re not sewing on any part that could potentially fray.
  • Use a flat felled seam for this process.
  • Take out the bottom seam, and resew it to the length you desire.

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Iron the curtain again, hang, and enjoy!

You’ll want to be careful washing your curtains due to the dye potentially bleeding on to the white section. This is a cheaper alternative to ordering custom drapes, and you may not want to place them in an area that would require regular washing.

For more fun nursery ideas, check out this post on: Engaging Wall Art for the Modern Nursery

Photo Credit: The Memoirs of Megan