Rehab – Bed Sheets into Curtains

Jennifer —  April 25, 2011 — 8 Comments

Has it been raining where you live?  Here is Missouri we are getting dumped on!  It literally has not stopped raining since Saturday morning!  The hubs and I had so many plans to work outside in our yard, but all of those plans were curbed.  The hubs continued to work on the garage and I pulled out some sewing projects that I had wanted to do for a while.  I needed to make curtains for my Master Bedroom.  There are two windows that face the front and exposed side of our house so they needed to be privacy curtains.  As I said in my last post I have a thing for stripes.  I love horizontal stripes right now and I am trying to find a way to put it in every room of my house.  I have determined it the theme of my house.

So far in what I have shown you here are the places that have stripes:

  • My Guest Bedroom:  The yellow striped pillows, the pin striped sheets and the chevron curtains (I like chevron just as much as stripes)
  • My Hallway – the striped bins
  • My bathroom – the framed striped fabric (leftover from the striped bins)
Striped fabric is hard to come by.  I love my favorite fabric store in Springfield Missouri but they did not have the color or size of stripes that I was looking for. I wanted navy and white stripes.   I looked online.  Sellers on Etsy were selling panels of curtains for $200.00 a pair.  Nope…too much for me.  Fabric online was about $18.00 a yard and not exactly what I wanted.  I decided that I wanted to make curtains for my closet because the bi-fold door option hindered access to the storage around my bed (to be posted soon :)  So That meant I needed about 13 yards of fabric…at $18.00 a pop that”s a total of $234!  That is too much for curtains.  I didn”t even spend that much on my bed.   So, I decided to make striped curtains out of cheap Wal-mart bed sheets.  Here is how they turned out:
The window:
The closet:
I used three twin sized bed sheets for one window.  The other window (not shown) is behind my bed so the panel had to be half the size.  I used only two twin bed sheets to make and line that window.  Finally, I used to full-sized bed sheets for the closet.  I lined the window curtains but did not line the closet ones.  (there”s no sunshine or neighbors to block out there)  The total cost to curtain three windows and a 60ft closet opening: $41.00!!!  
Here is how to do it: (I am going to give you the “how to” for the tall window size but you can change your dimensions for your needs)
  • One white twin flat sheet from Wal-Mart. ($5.00)
  • Two blue (or the color you like) twin flat sheets from Wal-Mart ($5.00)
  • Invisible string.  ( I use this because you are sewing through two different colors)
  • A good ruler
  • A good pair of scissors
  • Sewing machine of course
  • Seam Ripper
Here is the type of sheets that I bought.  Target has some cheap sheets too.  Their brand is RE-style.
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  1. Take the sheets out and iron.
  2. Figure out how long you want your curtains to be and how big you want your stripes to be.
    • A twin bed sheet is 96 inches long and 66 inches wide.  My window was thirty inches wide so I knew that I would just cut the sheet in half for two panels.  I wanted my curtains to be 85 inches long.
  3. Determine how you want the stripes to begin and end.  I wanted the top and bottom of the curtain to be navy.  That means I needed an odd number of total stripes with more of the navy fabric.  I did a little math and I decided that I wanted  11 – 7 .75 inch stripes. (6- Navy/ 5- White)
  4. Lay the sheet out flat.  On both white and colored sheets cut the seamed edges off the sides of the sheet. (sides only)
  5. On both sheets take a seam ripper and gently rip out the already sewn seam at what is known as the top of the bed sheet. This is the  4inch fold.  This will give you some more fabric for your curtain.  Keep the bottom seamed edge.  Iron out the folds from the seam you ripped out.
  6. Fold the width of the flat sheet in half  three times.  Be careful to make sure the edges at the top all  line up.  Pin them if you need to keep them together.  You should now have your sheet folded to about 12 inches wide.  (It should still be 100 inches long.  Don”t fold it in half where it makes the sheet shorter…you are cutting stripes along the width of the sheet not the length)  
  7. The first strip that you cut will be the curtains top.  Use the already seamed edge from the sheet…one less thing to sew.  Measure down 8inches (1/4 inch for seam to sew) from the top and mark with chalk.  Do this three times and line up the marks with your ruler and chalk.  Cut your first stripe on the line.  (This will make a 64 inch wide 8inch tall stripe)  Ignore my line above.  I was making the closet curtains when I took the pic.  Your mark should be 8 inches down.)
  8. Cut four more stripes from the blue. Since these are in the middle cut  8.25 inch stripes (this allows fourth inch on the top and bottom seam)  When you unfold these stripes you will have 64 inch stripes that are 8.25 inches tall)
  9. Cut your bottom strip the same way except it should be 9 inches tall because you will need extra inches to seam the bottom of the panel.
  10. Take your white sheet and cut the one seamed edge off the sheet.  (It now should have three side seams cut off and the top folded seam undone by your seam ripper.   Your length should be 64 inches wide and 100 inches long)
  11. Fold the white sheet the same way that you folded the colored sheet. (In half three times width wise)  Make sure the edges of the sheet are lined up.
  12. Measure with your ruler 8.25 inches from the top.  Mark three times with chalk and draw a line with your ruler.  Cut the stripe.
  13. Repeat this four more times.  You now should have 5 white stripes that are 64 inches wide and 8.25 inches tall.
  14. Stack your stripes in order from top to bottom.  The first stripe will be your 8 inch colored stripe with the sewn seam.  Alternate white and colored stripes.  End with the 9 inch colored stripe at the bottom.
  15. Start sewing your stripes together with a 1/4 inch seams.
  16. Once you have sewn all your pieces together, iron open all the seams.
  17. Iron your third flat sheet.  This sheet will line the curtain.  Cut the edges off the sides of the sheet.  Open up the 4inch seam on the top part of the sheet.
  18. To avoid ripping out another seam, at the top of the curtain panel I folded the top of the liner in 1/2 inch and heat bonded the folded edge to the top the curtain panel just under the seamed edge.
  19. Fold the sides of the curtain (panel and liner together) in 1/4 inch and then fold again 1/2 inch and pin. (ironing as you do this helps)  Sew the seams down both sides of the curtain.
  20. Lay the curtain flat.  The curtain should now be 62.5 inches wide.  Measure and mark the halfway point in the curtain panel.  (31.25 inches) all the way down.  Line up your marks with a ruler and draw a line.
  21. Cut down the middle of the curtain panel.  Now you have two curtain panels with stripes that line up!
  22. Fold both unseamed edge of the curtain in 1/4 inch and then in 1/2 inch and sew.
  23. Fold the bottom of both panels 1/4 inch and then another 1.4 inch.  Pin an sew.
Now you have two curtain panels.  I hung mine with clips.  You could buy a pillow case for $2.00 in the same color and sew tabs on the top or back of the curtain panel to slide it on a rod.
Here is how I hung my closet curtain.  (I used the same steps above with a white full sheet and a navy full sheet.  There was no lining so my closet curtains cost $16.00.   I bought a $3.00 curtain rod from Lowes like this one
I did not use the hardware it came with but screwed the curved part into the side of the  closet opening behind the piece of trip.  There was no hole.  I just made one.
I slid on the cheap clips from Wal-Mart and screwed the other side into the opposite side.  I clipped on the curtains and there you go!!!  $20.00 closet doors.
Hope this gives you an idea.  This project has many steps but literally took me about three hours while watch Pride and Prejudice.  It requires knowing how to sew a straight stitch.  Have fun!
Thanks for reading


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8 responses to Rehab – Bed Sheets into Curtains

  1. “Bedsheets? Who invited that kid?” (For our Disney Trivia)

  2. love this idea! i had know idea walmart sheets were so cheap. i want to try this!

    • I know! They used to be cheaper. They have gone up a dollar. They used to be $4.00 for twin flat sheets. Now they are $5.00 for Twin, $8.00 for Full, $11.00 for Queen and $14.00 for King. Have fun!

  3. hey where did u get your striped blue and white sheets?????????? They’re cute!!

  4. Love it! In the 80′s, I worked as a decorator/ designer in the drapery dept. of a dept store. Well, I was the first to design and have the seamstresses sew lined, custom draperies from bed sheets. I would design an entire bedroom suite mixing and matching the sheets. I was but 20 years at the time, really had to fight for acceptance, but won out in the end. (The older women took me seriously after that…)
    So, as the years passed, I had my apartments, and eventually married and had children, I used the simple and inexpensive ideas such as this. I am pleased to see it here and being passes on. It is the best (maybe only) way to have the affordable, just-what -you-want accessories in your home.
    Your sister in stitches, Redbird

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