I love the difference that curtains make in a room. One of my absolute favorites are the Pottery Barn Fresco Paisley drapes. They seem like they would work well in any room, the colors and the pattern are just beautiful, and I'm sure the quality is fantastic. BUT.... as a military family, it is not possible to buy a house full of new window coverings every time we move.
We splurged on some beautiful red sailcloth panels for the nursery but for our master bedroom, I just couldn't bring myself to spend a lot on something that might not work well in our next house. I bookmarked some blogs with great DIY curtain tutorials and was intrigued by the idea of using tablecloths for curtain panels. My only hesitation came from the fact that a lot of tablecloths just look too much like a tablecloth. I didn't want to sacrifice style just to save money. I'd rather leave my windows naked.
My second job is shopping so while I was "working" at my local TJ Maxx, I spotted some pretty Ralph Lauren Veranda Paisley tablecloths. The key to what made them work is that they are a really pretty neutral beige and reminded me of the Pottery Barn pair that I love. I bought two 60 X 84 tablecloths for $16.99 each.
I really prefer to keep things as simple as humanly possible. To turn my tablecloths into curtains required an iron, some Steam a Seam fabric tape, and some curtain clips, all of which I had on hand already. Magic.
Step 1 Iron a 2 inch fold across the top of the panel. Making this fold prior to taping makes the seam easier to get perfect.
Step 2 When you are sure the fold is even and straight, lay the fabric tape on the inside, fold over, and iron with steam on a high setting. This should make a sealed seam at the top of the panel.
Step 3 Hang with your clips. I said I like to keep things really simple!
I followed this tutorial by House of Hepworths to make fake pleats using my curtain rings. Instead of clipping the ring to the top of the curtain, simply clip the ring to the back of the fabric in a way that produces a pleated look in the front.
Using the 84 inch long tablecloth resulted in curtains that touch the floor but there isn't a lot of room leftover. If you are looking for more floor skimming length at the bottom, I would just go for a larger size tablecloth then cut the length to your taste and make a folded seam on the bottom edge.
I thought about how a white sheet sewn or steam a seamed to the back would add to the thickness of the curtains and might provide more light blocking capability. If I make another pair I will consider it but then again, who am I kidding, I don't sleep very much during daylight hours.
Because I had the rings and the fabric tape on hand, this little DIY project cost $35. I have seen some reasonably priced curtain panels for sale with material that does not look or feel nearly as nice as these. The style and function provided by my little window tablecloths could have cost a lot more!