How to: Make DIY Curtains with Fabric Strips

These easy-to-sew curtains make great use out of leftover fabric. They're the perfect DIY patchwork drapes!

These patchwork drapes are a great make if you have some leftover fabric that you’re itching to put to good use. We made ours from a set of painted and washed linen table runners – but you could use any fabric torn into wide strips (approx 40cm wide and varying in length). Perhaps you have some random strips of fabric leftover from another project or the fabric you have isn’t wide enough to cover the width of your windows. This technique gives you the flexibility to make curtains exactly the way you want them.

To make your own patchwork curtains, you’ll need a sewing machine, header tape and fabric. We used natural linen that was painted in Chalk Paint™ for another project. You can also look at dyeing fabric with Chalk Paint™ or even tie-dying if you so choose. Whichever fabric you choose, think about the colours and patterns you’d like to really make the most of the patchwork effect.

Step by step guide to making curtains with leftover fabric 

  1. Lay out your fabric strips, overlapping them with the raw edges showing. We mainly used vertical strips with a few horizontals.
  2. Pin and sew your strips together using a straight stitch in a neutral colour.
  3. Fold over the top of the fabric, called the header, by 10cm. Pin this into position.
  4. With the fold facing away from you, pin and then sew one inch header tape across top of the back of the curtain.
  5. Turn up the hem twice with a double fold – 10cm and then another 10cm.
  6. Press into place with an iron and hand sew with a slipstitch.

Sewing curtains from strips of fabric is a great technique for making use of leftover fabric. It’s also a terrific way to make your drapes the exact fit for your windows. Now you’ve seen how it’s done, perhaps you want to try making some patchwork no-zip cushions to match. Besides, why let perfectly good fabric go to waste? To find more projects just like this, take a look at Annie Sloan Paints Everything published by CICO Books. Photography by Christopher Drake © CICO Books.

Curtain made from strips of fabric painted with Chalk Paint® furniture paint by Annie Sloan

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