DIY Tie-Up Curtains

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These DIY tie-up curtains have been on my to do list for forever! I’m so happy to be able to share this project with y’all here on the blog… It was a super easy project, even for a beginner sewer. And it’s an extremely affordable window treatment option, which is great if you have a lot of smaller windows like we do here at the farmhouse.

blue bedsheet as temporary curtain
blue bedsheet over blue exterior door as temporary curtain

My husband has been begging me to get rid of our “temporary”, make-shift bedsheet curtain for the last year or so and this week I finally did it! I’ve never shared this view here on the blog for obvious reasons!! But I wanted to give you an idea of the “before” so I had to share it in this post… It was pretty bad before, but I’ve been sitting on this idea for some time now! And this week I finally gave this pretty door the window treatment it deserved!!

DIY tie-up curtain on blue door
white and gray striped tie-up shades

Would you believe me if I told you this curtain started out as a tablecloth?! Because it did! Now would you believe me if I told you that that it cost me less than $40 to sew 4 of these DIY tie-up curtains for our exterior doors? That’s around $10 per curtain! And I bought very budget friendly rods, at under $10 a pop, so in total I spent less than $80 for 4 of these window beautiful window treatments! And yes, that’s all this project cost!

white and gray striped tie-up curtain on blue door
white and gray striped tie-up curtain on blue door

So here’s how I made it happen:

Step 1) Measure your windows and determine what size panels you will need.

I actually made four of these DIY tie-up curtains for our four exterior doors. Based on my window measurements, I purchased this 120″ by 60″ striped tablecloth from Target.

For this step, remember to account for the extra length and width needed for your hem and for your rod pocket. For me, my hems are around 1/2″ wide, so I added an inch to the width of the sides that will need to be hemmed. Because I used the finished edge of the tablecloth, only one side of these panels needed to be hemmed. I make my rod pockets roughly 3 inches wide, so be sure to leave enough fabric for that as well. The tablecloth I chose provided plenty material to make curtains for 4 smaller windows, and I had some fabric leftover that I plan on using to recover a pillow or two.

blue farmhouse door with X design

Step 2) Cut out your material.

Double check your dimensions and cut the panels from your tablecloth, being sure to allow for the hems and the rod pocket.

cutting gray and white striped fabric

Step 4) Prep your edges.

I like to use an iron to get the fabric to lay down for my hems. I fold just a tiny bit of fabric over and iron all the way down the fabric. Then I fold over my hem (roughly 1/2 inch) and iron flat. This step makes for cleaner edges and much easier sewing. I didn’t use pins because the material stayed in place.

ironed edge of fabric
ironing the hem of a curtain before sewing
ironing the hem of a curtain before sewing
freshly ironed hem ready to be sewed

Step 5) Hem the seems.

This step is pretty straight forward. Just hem the seem closed and trim the thread when you’re done.

sewing the hem of a curtain on a white sewing machine

Step 6) Prep your rod pocket and sew it closed.

Repeat the same process you did with the hem, using your iron to fold over the fabric for your rod pocket. I typically make my rod pockets about 3 inches wide. Then sew your pocket closed. Once you have this step completed, go ahead and hang your curtain panel.

gray and white curtain on blue farmhouse door
farmhouse window treatment for blue exterior door

Step 7) Prepare your tie ups.

I considered sewing my tie backs using leftover fabric, but it was hard to get the look I wanted with the striped pattern of the fabric. So I ended up looking for ribbon to use for this part of the curtains. I chose this silk like, cut edge ribbon from Hobby Lobby in off white, and I’m loving how delicate and playful of a material it is! I ended up using half a roll of ribbon per tie, with 2 ties per curtain. So one roll of this ribbon was enough for one curtain. I unrolled the ribbon and cut it in half. Then I draped each piece over the already hung curtain panel.

silk like, cut edge ribbon from Hobby Lobby
open ties on white and gray tie-up curtains
open ties on white and gray tie-up curtains

Step 8) Secure both ties.

My next step was to secure both ties by making a bow on each side of the curtain. Just make sure your bows are at the same height.

delicate white bow on tie-up curtain
DIY tie-up curtains in progress
white and gray striped window treatment

Step 9) Fold up your curtain and secure with the ties.

The next step is to fold the length of the curtain panel upwards accordion style. Once folded to the desired height, you can easily slip the panel into the ties. Or for a different look, you can also roll up the shades and then tuck it into the ties.

farmhouse style DIY tie-up curtains
simple white bow on gray and white striped curtain
cottage style DIY tie-up curtains

And that’s all there is to it. This was a very simple and super affordable project with a huge impact on this space! Then again, I guess it’s not hard to improve when you’re starting with a make-shift, bedsheet for a curtain, right?! I love the way these DIY tie-up curtains turned out in this space!

neutral striped DIY tie-up curtains

I’ve actually used these same tablecloths to create curtains for the small windows in our kitchen, master bath, laundry room, and in the upstairs hallway. I love the print, and I also love that they add a little privacy but still let in plenty of light! Here’s a look at those curtains below. They’re a slightly simpler project, just two rectangular curtain panels with a rod pocket at the top. All sized to fit each window. I hung these using basic tension rods, and you may notice I’ve use tension rods for most my curtains throughout the farmhouse.

neutral striped DIY farmhouse style curtains

There’s actually two reasons why I went this route for the curtain rods. 1) They’re very affordable and super easy to install. 2) We love our window trim! We wanted your eye to be drawn to the trim work rather than the curtain rods, and using a simple white tension rod allows it to blend in with the top of the windows. You barely notice it, and it allows the window trim work to shine!

white and gray striped DIY farmhouse style curtains for small windows

These hallway curtains were one of the first DIY’s I tackled here at the farmhouse, but it was before my blogging days. And in writing this post, I realized I had never shown the original DIY tablecloth curtains here on the blog until now!

simple white bow on gray and white striped curtain
white cottage window treatments for exterior doors
DIY tie-up shades for blue exterior door

I’m loving the way these DIY tie-up curtains turned out! The pattern and the colors suit our style and this space. But honestly, you could use any material or even any tablecloth large enough to fit your needs. Because we were able to cover several windows with just one tablecloth, it was a very affordable way to add window treatments to our exterior doors!

DIY tie-up curtains

Lately I’ve been all about some simple sewing projects, and budget DIY’s!! If you liked this post, and if you enjoy a simple sewing project, you should check out this post where I used cloth napkins to make my own pillow covers! I hope this post inspires you to tackle that project that’s been on your list for months and months… we all have them! Take care, and as always thanks for following along! It means the world to have you here today and everyday…

Love, Brittany

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  1. I love your roll up curtains and really appreciate you sharing. Unfortunately, Target no longer has the tablecloth. Would you be able to share the type of material it is? It seems to be just the perfect weight.

    1. Hi Lani! It’s a thin cotton material. I left the tag on it from when it was a tablecloth, and the tag says 100% cotton. The weight and feel of it is more linen like in my opinion. Hope that helps!! 🙂

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