Looking for how to make curtains? Here are five of the easiest ways to add curtains to your room without spending a dime.

And the best part? All of these curtain hacks are no sew, which makes them the perfect solution for any space.

curtain hacks

Remember when I posted this room last year?

In case you missed it you can see all the befores and afters and room details here.

And you can see how we painted the checkerboard floor here.

It feels like a lifetime ago because I’ve been on a cruise since then (which was totally amazing and I came home with a tan and the best anniversary celebration).

When I posted this room I got tons of questions about the space, but can you guess what the number one question was?

(total aside: it wasn’t even close on the question contest. This one won by over 50%.)

Everyone wanted to know, “What did you do about the grommets on the curtains?”

The curtains I linked to had grommets and then they showed up at my windows appearing to be completely and utterly grommetless.

In amazing news?


Here’s how I did it along with all my other favorite no sew curtain hacks.


How To Make Curtains With These 5 Curtain Hacks

Before we get started?

Let’s start with some of the most commonly asked questions people ask all about how to make curtains.

What are some easy curtain hacks for ready-made curtains?

  • add finials to your existing rod to give it a more decorative touch
  • add fabric border or trim to the bottom or sides of your curtains to add interest and dimension
  • you can also add pom pom trim to ready made curtains
  • if you want your curtains to look fuller, consider adding a second set of curtains behind the first set to create a layered look
  • add tiebacks or holdbacks to keep your curtains open (door knobs are also great for this)
  • add blackout lining to your curtains in a guest room to make it feel cozier

How high do I hang curtains?

  1. When it comes to hanging curtains, a good rule of thumb is to hang the curtain rod at least 4 to 6 inches above the window frame. This will make your windows look taller.
  2. If you have high ceilings, hang your curtains even higher to balance the room.
  3. If you want your curtains to just touch the floor, you should measure from the bottom of the curtain rod to the floor.
  4. If you want your curtains to puddle on the floor, you should add an extra 2-3 inches to your measurement.

How do I measure for curtain length?

  1. To measure for curtains, start by measuring the width of your window and adding a few inches on each side for fullness and coverage.
  2. Next, measure the length of your window from the top of the window frame to where you want the curtains to end. Don’t forget to add extra length for hems and headers. If you’re hanging your curtains from a rod, make sure to account for the height of the rod and any additional hardware.
  3. It’s always a good idea to double-check your measurements before ordering (or sewing your own) to make sure they are the right length.

What is the best way to hang curtains?

For a casual look, you can simply clip your curtains onto a rod or use rings to hang them.

For a more formal look, you may want to use a valance or a cornice board to conceal the top of the curtains. It’s also important to make sure your curtains are hung at the right height – typically, curtains should be hung a few inches above the window frame to make the room appear taller.

And now?

Are you ready for a few curtain hacks?

Oh, good.

Me, too. 🙂

curtain hacks bedroom

1. Curtain hacks: how to disguise grommets

First, let’s start with the curtains.

You can see the striped linen here.

They are such an INCREDIBLE find. I have four windows in this room and my goal was to decorate this room on a budget. I found these striped linen curtains (they have gray stripe and blue stripe and sage stripe, t00) and they come in a SET for under $33.


Under $33 for the pair.

And they are 95″ long.

Let’s GO.

The only challenge with them is they have grommets. And the grommets are silver. And my curtain rods and my curtain rings both have a brass finish.

Enter curtain hack number one.

curtain hacks rings

All I did was flip the grommets over and add curtain clips.

Here’s what the back of the curtain looks like after I clipped them onto the new top of the curtains.

The best part with this curtain hack?

The area where the grommets are has a built-in header that is a little stiffer than the rest of the curtain. It creates a natural fold.

curtain hacks clip on rings

Here’s what the clip looks like clipped onto the fold.

These clips are the best value I’ve found.

They come in a set of 28 for under $20.

You can see the curtain clips here.

curtain hacks striped curtains

Here’s a close-up of these linen-striped curtains with the grommet part folded over and clipped in place.

I also LOVE these curtain rods. They are the same ones I’ve used for the twin’s apartments and in other rooms in our house.

You can see the curtain rods here (they are 30% off right now, too).

I was worried you might be able to see the grommets because the curtains were linen, but you really don’t notice them.

They are hung above the window frame so the light doesn’t filter through where you have the grommets clipped over.

And then?

If I ever want to have grommets?

I can just unclip them and use the grommets.

So simple

Or NO SEW simple. 🙂

Here are the same curtains with blue and white stripes.

I love the linen look and feel of the curtains.

You can see these blue and white curtains here.

how to make curtains with sheets

2. Curtain hacks: use a sheet

This is a version of the curtain hacks from number one.

However, instead of curtains, I’m using flat sheets. Yep. How to make curtains from sheets 101.

Same principle.

Same clippable curtain rings.

how to make curtains with clip on rings

The only difference is that instead of clipping curtains, you are clipping a twin flat sheet.

You can see a version of the sheets I used here.

It’s so much easier if you just find flat sheets by themselves, but sometimes I find the pattern I like in a set and then keep the pillow case and fitted sheet for the twin beds.

I really like using twin sheets because they are typically 96″ long and 66″ wide which adds a lot of curtain to a window.

how to make curtains with lining

3. Use a sheet to line a curtain

This third hack involves sheets, but instead of using them as the actual curtain, I’m using them to line the curtain instead.

You can see how I did it here.

I know, right?

ISN’T IT the most BRILLIANT of brilliant curtain hacks?

I wish I could tell you I discovered this, but my mother is the one who told me the easiest way to line curtains.

Back when I rented my first apartment and wanted curtains for my house and I was trying to figure out how to line curtains, I actually used sheets for the actual curtains.  I would take white sheets (or printed sheets) and cut a hole in the border at the top and thread the curtain rod through it.  Then one day I found the most amazing decorator fabric at a yard sale that worked perfectly for the window in my living room, but it needed a liner.  We were living on love and couldn’t afford to worry about lining curtains, so my mother suggested using the sheets at the window as curtain lining.

And I’ve never looked back.

You can see the sheet liner curtain hack here.

how to make curtains the easy way

how to make curtains roman shades

4. This no sew roman shade

Now before we get started on the whole no sew roman shade, I do have a tutorial where I actually sewed a roman shade out of drop cloth.

You can see my drop cloth roman shade tutorial that involves sewing here.

But this easy curtain hack?

It only involves pins.

That’s right.

All I did was take the rectangle and pin it in place.

That’s it.

You can see my entire tutorial on how to make a faux no sew roman shade here.

5. No-sew valance

For this no-sew tutorial I had to go all the way back to my kitchen at the farmhouse.

I made these no-sew valances for the windows.

It’s so easy. I started with a table runner then we simply measured from inside molding to inside molding and cut a piece of 1 x 2 board to fit using the dimensions of the inside of the window.

The board for the window was 36″ long.

Next, determine the length of your fabric. I started with 36″ then I added an additional 6″ of fabric for each pleat (and a little extra to wrap around the end of the board.

That made my fabric 48″ long.

Next, I decided where I wanted my pleat to go and measured an equal distance from the edge of the board so the pleats lined up.  Then I folded the fabric in approximately 3″ on each side and stapled it in place.

Then attached it to the window.

You can see more detailed directions here.

how to make curtains

I still love this bedroom in 2023.

But you know what I love even more?


We have an unlimited question policy here at Thistlewood and I’m here for all of them.

They inspired posts just like this on how to make curtains.

Ask away.

I’ll get my answers ready. 🙂

PS Follow along with me on Instagram for more tips like these.

disclosure: Affiliate links are used in this post.

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  1. Image for Jodena Beale Jodena Beale

    I have done a lot of strange things to make curtains work but I have to say I never thought of folding the grommet. I dont like them so I always bypass them. Thank you for this idea. You are such a smarty pants. Lol 😊

  2. Image for Angela Angela

    Absolutely brilliant!…. I love everyone of your curtain ideas! You give new meaning to the old saying…. “Where there’s a will there’s a way!” You are a great encourager for this old woman who is stuck in her old styles.

  3. Image for Rizae Rizae

    Good Morning, I am not commenting on curtain hacks as they are great! I am wondering how your Moms knee surgery went? I hope she did well and you are spoiling her to pieces!! I wish her a speedy recovery and lots of chocolate...

  4. Image for Marlene Stephenson Marlene Stephenson

    Your ideas are perfection, I pinned the one for roman shades, think I'd like those better than bambo shades. Thanks and have a blessed day.

  5. Image for Regina Merrick Regina Merrick

    You. Are. Brilliant. I have been searching for curtains for WEEKS, and now my choices are between the blue ticking ones and the floral blue ones from the same brand!!!! So, so pretty, and so, so AFFORDABLE!!! Whoo-hoo!!!! Bless you, friend! See, God knew I didn't need to go and search through fabric and SEW! ;)

  6. Image for Val Val

    I love all your curtain ideas especially the one folding over the grommet header. I have wide windows: 72” wide and one 96” wide. Wide curtains are very expensive. Do you have a hack to cover wide windows? I have basted two panels together. Sometimes it looks ok and sometimes not so good. Thank you Karianne. Your blog is my favorite. Love the way you write. You’re such a great story teller.

  7. Image for Kris Kris

    I love the idea of using a white sheet as a curtain liner. And curtain clips rock! Thanks for thinking outside of the box for affordable solutions.

  8. Image for June June

    Great ideas!!!! Keeping this post for ideas when we downsize. When I was single in my first apartment I use to make my own shower curtains out of queen size flat sheets (of course I hung a vinyl liner behind it). Back then you could buy sheets separate from a set. It wasn’t a total no-sew as I used my buttonhole attachment to my sewing machine to slide a ring through.

  9. Image for Bea Kuchta Bea Kuchta

    Karianne, Reading your blog is the way I usually start my morning. I need to ask whether or not you have a cleaning lady or even two of them. Once I believe that you have introduced me to a wonderful hack (as the no-sew curtains), I go about the rest of the day shopping for sheets, buying clips and rings, measuring everything, moving a step stool around the room from one window to another. Before I know it, it's time to make lunch or oven dinner. All I've done is made these beautiful curtains and hung them. No one did the shopping, or the cooking or the dusting or the vacuuming---nor is there anyone who knocked on the door to volunteer to. So, if I'm going to be your partner in creating my home with your ideas, who can I get to help with the "other family needs stuff"?

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