Tab Top Curtains ... and a Giveaway!

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This project tutorial featured a giveaway that is now closed.  Congrats to Sara and Misty, please send me your contact information so I can get your packages shipped right away!  Thank you everyone for entering!


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Last week, when I posted plans for these simple wood magazine files that you can make on the cheap

(thank you for your nice comments and pinning!) many of you asked about the curtains in the photos.
It's nice to know I'm not the only one who cannot find the perfect set of curtains for their space.  I've actually bought two other curtain sets (more on that in a moment) but they just were not perfect for my color thirsty office space.
These curtains that my mother-in-law and I made are just perfect.  The fun bold over sized floral print brings a light playfulness to my office, but the well thought out pattern we used makes these curtains look professionally made.  
The tops are tab tops so the curtains slide easily on the curtain rod, and form pleats when opened. 
These tabs are actually pretty simple to do.  I can't wait to show you how to make these curtains!  
But first a little bit of business ...

Giveaway!

What to do with the old curtains that were quite lovely, but just didn't have the color splash I needed?  I thought I would give them away to you!  I have actually two sets of West Elm Tortoise Shell Curtains (one new in package, one freshly laundered by yours truly) that I would love to ship to you.  If you would like these curtains, simply  leave a comment subject line GIVEAWAY and we'll choose two random winners.  Check back on Friday to this post - winners will be announced in the post.  Best luck!
And for those of who still need curtains, read on ... of course I am going to show you how to make these!
Keywords: 
make curtain, floral curtains, pretty curtains, how to make curtains, how to curtains, diy curtains, west elm curtains, modern curtains, pier1 curtains, anthropology curtains
Dimensions: 
Standard 84" long curtain panels - can be customized to fit any size.

54" wide home decorator fabric cut to desired length of curtain panel + 12" per panel (so for my curtains, I bought two 3 yard panels to make two 84" long panels, with some scraps leftover)

Matching thread and notions
Sewing Machine
Iron
Cutting mat, rotary cutter and ruler

Skill Level: 
Estimated Cost: 
General Instructions: 

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!

Step 1

Step 2

Now take the four inch strips and fold in half, right sides together, and stitch along raw edge with 1/4" inseams as shown in diagram. Inside outside the strips so you are left with a tube.

Summary: 

DIY tab top curtains! Use this free easy step by step tutorial to make your own tab top curtains!

Step 3

Lay the tubes flat, seam up centered on the tube and press flat. Keep the seam centered on the tube as shown in the diagram.

Step 4

Cut the pressed tubes into 6" long strips and set aside. These will be your tabs. You will need a minimum of 7 tabs per panel.

Step 5

Now the panels. Start by folding the sides of the panels in 1/2" on each edge and pressing. Then fold in another 1/2" and press again, pin and stitch with 1/4" seams along edges.

Step 6

For the bottom hems, fold up 1/2" and press. Then fold up another 2" and press and pin. Stitch along folded edge as shown in diagram.

Step 7

For the top edge, start by folding the top edge seam over 1/2" and pressing. Then fold over another 4" and press and pin. Then line your tabs up, evenly spaced, and tuck under the folded edge (at least 3/4" under) and pine tabs in place. Stitch as shown in diagram with 1/4" seams to both secure tabs in place and finish top edge of panel.

Step 8

Finally fold the tabs upward, folding the top edge of the tabs under. Press and pin so top folded edges of tabs are even with top of panels. Press. Stitch along top edge with 1/4" seams.

Step 9

Step 9 Instructions: 

Some tips in closing ... if you are making multiple panels, make sure the lengths match up exactly. Check to make sure you prints are cut in the same direction, or make sure you cut sew your panels so the pattern runs in the same direction. Best luck!

Finishing Instructions

Preparation Instructions: 
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth. It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.

Comments

Love the West Elm curtains! They would look great in my living room.

I'm going to try to make your curtains for my bedroom.

Thanks

Love the West Elm curtains! They would look great in my living room.

I'm going to try to make your curtains for my bedroom.

Thanks

Would love the West Elm curtains! What is the fabric that you made the tab top drapes from?

These are so cute! Love curtains, wish I had more time to make them!

Your curtains would look awsome in my bedroom! Just bought a new a house. Can't wait for it to start feeling like home.

These WEST ELM curtains would be so great in my apartment!

I haven't seen a tutorial for this type of tab curtain before. Thanks! If I don't win the West Elm ones, I will definitely make my own!

Those would be perfect in my library/workroom and I need some nice muted curtains since I painted the room a cheerful bright blue!

Awesome curtains (both sets)! I know my wife would love those in our room (or in any room in our house!). I've been making furniture all over the place... it's time she join in the DIY spirit and learn how to make some curtains! I'm forwarding this to her!

These look fabulous!!! I too will have to get my mother's help! ;o) I just can't sew! LOL

I will take them... they would actually go great with my newly remodeled living room :)

I would love to win those West Elm curtains for my living room, but I think I am going to try to make some curtains for my bedroom that is full of windows. Thanks for the pattern.

Awesome giveaway. I could use them in my office or bedroom. I will also be using your curtain tutorial. You rock!

wonderful! Thanks for the great tutorial. Something to try! And if I'm lucky enough to win the curtains then my bedroom will thank you too!

Love the tutorial. If I don't win the curtains, I think I am going to give these a try. I have been looking for curtains for my living room for what feels like forever. Thanks Ana.

I'm dying to know where you got the fabric for your new curtains. It's so cheerful and uplifting. By the way, your blog on momplex has me checking it several times during the day to see what you and Ram are up to next. Loving all the detail, being in the construction field myself, I love to see other women embrace the joy of building. Thanks for sharing.

I would love the curtains for our dining room!!! I do agree...please do tell on where you picked up that adorable fabric for the curtains! Thanks!

So cute! I love the idea of having pleated curtains without having to use a traverse rod.

I just moved to a new place and would love new curtains!!!

Curtains are tricky but those would look great on our basement slider!

Curtains are tricky but those would look great on our basement slider!

I would LOVE those curtains! They would look fabulous in my husbands home office. It's in deep need of some sprucing up! Thanks!!!

I absolutely love the West Elm curtains. It's sweet of you to give away something you purchased.

But I have a question about your curtains. Since there's no lining, the curtains probably don't insulate well. What do you do when the temperature drops? Do you add something to the windows? It doesn't get nearly as cold here in Missouri as it does in Alaska, but being a Texas gal, I struggle with the cold in the winter. I'm getting ready to make lined curtains, but didn't know if there was a better way to insulate the windows. Any cold weather suggestions are appreciated! :)

I LOVE LOVE LOVE these curtains... we just moved into a new house and they would look perfect in my currently curtainless bedroom :D

Ana-
I really need curtains, and the day I get a sewing machine (I have 2 miter saws but no sewing machine... hmm) this is absolutely on my list. BUT: the finishing instructions are about filling in all the holes with filler and paint preparation. Personally, I think it's sweet, funny, and adorable, but just in case you have readers who are a bit more literal, you could consider changing that to talk about ironing it before hanging it on the rod or something.

Thanks!
Mary

I love tab top panels. This is one of the best tutorials I've seen! And yup, I nearly always make my own curtains. Mostly because I'm too cheap to pay the exorbitant prices some places think we ought. But I'd love to take those West Elm beauties off your hands! They'd go perfectly in my living room. Thanks for the chance!

Ooh, would LOVE the curtains! And thanks for the curtain making plans!

And good tutorial. I love that after Step 9, your standard Finishing Instructions still appear. "Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed...." Unintentionally very funny!

Wow! These DIY curtains are easier than the ones I was trying to make...Think Ill scratch mine and go with yours for sure! And yes, those West Elm curtains are awesome! I would love to have em! Make it a great day!

I love the large print! I can never decide on a print I like but the curtains in the giveaway would work in my bedroom.

Hi Ana,
I'm getting married in January and moving to Italy where my fiance lives. We both love your blog and follow it!!! I would love to have curtains as a design inspiration to get started on turning a cute italian apt. into a piece of home away from home :)

I love the large print! I can never decide on a print I like but the curtains in the giveaway would work in my bedroom.

What a great & simple tutorial! My husband and I have been renovating our 1902 home including our built-in closet (c/o ana white - we will post pics soon). Now, we just need to fill wall space, accessorize, and make our home cozy. These curtains would look great! (hint. hint.)

I would love to take those West Elm curtains off your hands! They would be perfect in my bedroom. But even if I don't win, I will definitely be saving these instructions to make my own. Thanks!

That's a great print that would work in my room! I've been looking for curtains forever and those are gorgeous! Great job on the tab top curtains as well! I love when I get around to projects like that. I can't understand how you find time for that while you're trying to get a roof on the Momplex!

Oh, but where did you find that lovely printed fabric? I just gasped when I saw it - those are exactly the colors I've been looking for. Will you please share your source??

Nevermind! I found it! I remembered you mentioned it in a previous post.

Anyone interested can find it at Joanns (.com) just type "modern essentials fabric" in the search box and you'll see it. It's called "Waverly Modern Essentials Fabric-Pom Pon Play/Spa" and its currently on sale!

Nevermind! I found it! I remembered you mentioned it in a previous post.

Anyone interested can find it at Joanns (.com) just type "modern essentials fabric" in the search box and you'll see it. It's called "Waverly Modern Essentials Fabric-Pom Pon Play/Spa" and its currently on sale!

Nevermind! I found it! I remembered you mentioned it in a previous post.

Anyone interested can find it at Joanns (.com) just type "modern essentials fabric" in the search box and you'll see it. It's called "Waverly Modern Essentials Fabric-Pom Pon Play/Spa" and its currently on sale!

I love everything from west elm....but I like everything from Ana white better! Thanks for another great contest

Love your old curtains AND your new ones! The West Elm ones would look awesome in my already light living room!

Love the curtain tutorial! I haven't been able to find perfect curtains either and have been debating whether to make my own. I love your pattern!

Fun contest. I would love the curtains. We have several roooms ready for an update...and this would be a great step!

I absoloutley love those curtains and the directions on doing the tab drapes are awesome. Thanks so much for sharing your talent .. Oh and where do we find the floral fabric you used ??

Love what you've done with the curtains! (And the magazine files, for that matter!)

LOL@ fill all holes with wood filler. That is what I have been missing in my sewing!

Built the 25 cubbies the other day - slightly modified. I will post a picture when sanded, stained and on the wall!

Oooh love the giveaway...I'd love these curtains in my living room or my dining area!!! Thank you for the tutorial on curtains as well. Hancock Fabric always has lots of cheap home decor fabric...and I definitely need more curtains!

I'd love the west elm curtains in my family room and also plan on sewing the others for my bedroom because i need them longer than usual and this saves tons on cost. thanks for the plans

Oh! Those West Elm curtains would be so perfect. Thanks for the chance! I'll have to try your sewing tips when I get the change to tackle the next room in my house.

Oh! Those West Elm curtains would be so perfect. Thanks for the chance! I'll have to try your sewing tips when I get the change to tackle the next room in my house.

I am not kidding when I say, that was one of the most clear and easy tutorials I have ever read! So many tutorials make even the simplest of tasks seem difficult! You're awesome!

I love those West Elm curtains! Thank you so much for the curtain tutorial though, because if I don't win the West Elm ones I can now make my own.

Your West Elm Tortoise Shell Curtains are so perfect! I would love to hang them in either my bedroom or in my living room. Thanks SO much for the Tab Top Curtain tutorial too!

I love those West Elm curtains. Would be perfect in my soon to be painted den. And the tab tutorial is going to come in handy for the ones I am about to make for my bedroom! Lovely blend of casual and formal. Thank you!

Your curtains are awesome! Love the pop of yellow! My dining room window is screaming for those West Elm curtains so maybe they'll be mine :)

I love your site--I'm just struggling with which project to start first :)

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