DIY Blackout Curtains

Hi Globetrotters,

I am officially on a roll. Homeownership is crazy. You want to consistently personalize your home and make it special.

So I have a Loft condo, and it came with partial shade from the previous owners. This is great for natural light, but not so great for neighbors who can view directly into your condos. I don’t need any peeping Toms.

It also comes with extremely high ceilings/windows. Because I didn’t want my curtains to fall short at the base, I would have had to ask for custom curtains.

On top of that, I was looking for a berry color. This hiked up the price from $3000 to $8000. Why? I noticed that I had a roll of ivory sayin cloth, which I originally wanted for our wedding arch. Due to our canceled wedding, I had it just laying around and the color already matched with my color combo, so why not? I was going to make my own curtains.

I lacked a lot of floor space for these giant curtains, so there was a lot of folding to cut out matching shapes. Also, it was hard to cut in a straight line. All I can say is be prepared to be frustrated but also very happy you saved A LOT of money.

So I used View Along the Way‘s blog tutorial. It was absolutely amazing, because it laid out everything step-by-step.

Now, the author’s curtains were a lot smaller than mine, so I am sure she didn’t have such horrendous crooked trimmings on the top and sides. Here are my tips if you are doing large panels like mine:

  1. Try your best to cut straight, but it is OK if it isn’t exact. During the part where you fold the hems, you will have your chance to make the curtain straight.
  2. Sew as straight as you can if you need a large panel. It made it a lot easier for me to get a straight edge on the lateral edges.
  3. For your curtain cloth, it is OK if the width isn’t exact to width measurement. I was missing about 8 inches. As long as the curtains are wider than the lining, you can iron it out and hide the lining.
  4. Point #3 is true, because I multiplied 1.5 to my panel width and then added the blogs suggested inches. I personally like ripples in my curtains when they are pulled closed. If you want more ripples, multiply up to 2 times the width.
  5. Make sure those tabs are secure. Because all of mine were hand sewn, some were shorter than others. Then after the stitch on top, the tap was still loose.
  6. If you can, choose lighter fabrics that block out light. My curtian fabric was heavy, so we needed to make sure we hand hardy anchors.
  7. If you don’t have a lot of floor space like me, fold up your fabrics and work in sections. For example, I folded up the bottom fabric so I could maintain eveness on the flat floor. Then, I worked on the top hem of the curtain.
  8. My curtain was heavy. It must have been at least 10 pounds. Folding up your curtain and having someone else help straighten the fabric on the other side helps. Gravity stinks and crookedly drags it.

Once you are ready to hang the curtains, you will need to decide on the rod. So we almost had an error, but we lucked out.

I bought two rods, one for each panel from Home Depot. I thought I needed to use the extension for the width, which would require a middle support. However, the middle support wraps around the whole rod. Therefore, the curtain would become stuck halfway when pulled open. If you are using the middle support, then you need two smaller panels on one rod.

Another alternative is a curtain track (found some on Amazon). Companies have come up with some that look more like curtain rods. Then, you can attach the clips to the tabs in the back or pierce the tabs with curtain hooks. That way, your clips are hidden and you still achieve that back-tab look that I love (eww to grommet curtains).

Through this process, I have never been so excited for Mr. Lumberjack to hold that curtain up, so we can make sure it hit the floor right. In the end, I could wait for the ou-of-stock berry cloth to be replenished. I decided on lavendar instead. You can find the cloth on this website; it was super cheap.

For the ivory, I got it from Joann Fabrics. I love how one side is silky and the other side is rough. Make sure you differentiate between the two, so the silky side faces outwards.

Good luck on making your own curtains. You will do great with View Along the Way‘s instructions. If all else fails, you can stop halfway and turn the curtains into a light-weight blanket. 🙂

Let me know if you give it a try and take lots of pictures.



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