Decorating Tips

Easy Breezy Curtains On a Budget

January 6, 2007

If you’re already planning for a Spring spruce up, consider this…

It’s great how little improvements can make a huge impact on your space, isn’t it? Our decorating goal for 2007 should be to get creative in decorating instead of heading for the easy out – things that are already made and ready to install. I don’t mean we have to go nuts here, but let’s at least try out a few new ideas, okay?

Easy Breezy Curtains On a BudgetOne thing that comes to mind are window treatments. You can use tea towels as cafe curtains – a no sew version is to add clip rings to the tops and put them on a rod. Easy. Linens are pretty, and look for a tea towel that is around 17 x 22″. Two of these are all you’ll need for a single window.

Or, if you need curtains for your bedroom or living room, you can use a twin sheet to create a single panel (or a full if you like more of a gather). Just flip the sheet upside down (depending on the pattern, of course) so the wide hem puddles on the floor and the thin hem is at the top, where you will simply add clip rings to hold it onto a rod. You can also hang the sheet the correct way if your pattern demands it, with the wide hem on top, just open up the hem on each side of the sheet and put a rod through the newly formed pocket. Again, very easy and no sewing machine required.

If you have a good eye for print and pattern, your sheet curtains can add a lot of beauty to your space.

Not a fan of DIY? Well, try to change that. You’ll save a lot of cash and, funny as it may sound, it’s a huge self esteem boast to do things on your own – no matter how simple. Some people are a bit snobby when it comes to doing anything for themselves, others would never admit to using sheets. But think about it, a sheet is a textile right? It wasn’t a sheet until someone made it into one. Before that, it was on a bolt like every other textile out there. So lighten up if you find yourself overthinking things a bit too much. It’s fabric, get over it. :)

This is sheeting from The Company Store, it’s called Hexagon, and it just so happens to be on sale right now…

Easy Breezy Curtains On a Budget
Can’t find sheets that appeal to you, or perhaps you’re looking to use something different like chenilles, velvets, brocades, or heavy cottons? A quick change for any living space is to add simple tab top or rod pocket curtains. Although this may not be a DIY project, it a budget solution for a tired room. Try to locate some inexpensive $20 panels. Target has some beautiful and inexpensive ones, so do other stores likes Pier 1, even the Martha Stewart brand at Kmart is nice. A simple curtain swap for Spring can breathe life into a tired space without breaking the bank.

Remember, you don’t have to spend a fortune to give your space a quick facelift. With bed sheets, you can create a cozy grown-up space in a single afternoon.

Good sheet resources:

Martha Stewart Everyday at Kmart
Thomas O’Brien for Target
Garnet Hill (the GH outlet store in the mountains of New Hampshire is the best if you’re ever up that way.)
Bed, Bath + Beyond
The Company Store
L.L.Bean (they have some of the best colors for solids, pale blues and greens, for instance.)

Tip: Always wash sheets after purchasing them, as this will soften the fabric and help remove the creases. Apply a hot iron before hanging. 200+ thread count cottons work best. Avoid sateens and flannels.

Please measure your windows before purchasing. Some windows are much larger than the standard sizes found in most homes, and others are much smaller. BTW – If your windows are tall, you can always take out the wide hem for extra length or look for extra long sheets.

Easy Breezy Curtains On a Budget(images from and the company store)


  • Reply Anonymous January 6, 2007 at 4:09 pm

    I love your idea for opening up the ends of the wide pleat and putting a rod through. I can’t wait to try it!!

  • Reply diydiana January 6, 2007 at 5:28 pm

    thanks for this post holly. i’m going to start looking at sheets in a different light now.

    i have a question though, if you can only find sheets in sets (with cases), do you have suggestions for the spares?


  • Reply pinkmohair January 6, 2007 at 7:28 pm

    This really does make me think of sheets in a different way. Sheets are textile, too! It also makes it very easy to change curtains by the season, which would be quite fun for kids. Thanks for a great post.

  • Reply kayte January 6, 2007 at 9:08 pm

    great ideas! there are tons of vintage sheets out there too in really pretty patterns.
    another thing you can do if you have really tall windows is to hang the curtain rod below the top of the window. it lets in a little sunlight but still gives you some privacy.

  • Reply Jess January 6, 2007 at 10:12 pm

    Or buy inexpensive, plain white curtains or sheets from Target and get some fabric paint. Paint on some abstract geometric shapes or organic lines, and you’ve got custom curtains. I tried it, and I get lots of admiring comments. Fun post, Holly. I’m inspired to sew some for my kitchen now!

  • Reply Amy January 6, 2007 at 11:55 pm

    bravo diy! cutting expenses here and there may allow you to save for a real show-stopping piece. if you sew a little, sheets also make great tablecloths and napkins. maybe that would be a good use for the fitted sheet that comes in the set.

  • Reply decor8 January 7, 2007 at 1:28 am

    oh i’m glad this helped. i have books filled with notes and tips that i save from either my own brain or ideas from magazines… i seriously need to start posting these things on the blog and working hard to catalog all of them because they’re really a value add i think. i am glad this post has given you some ideas!

  • Reply boltandfrolic January 7, 2007 at 3:00 am

    I love the honeycomb pattern you show here. I wonder what/where that fabric is?
    This was a great thoughtful posting. Thanks for your continued inspiration!


  • Reply decor8 January 7, 2007 at 3:05 am

    Hi Elle! It’s from The Company Store. I just updated the post for you with a link. Look at the post again directly above the photo and you’ll find details there. :)


  • Reply Anonymous January 7, 2007 at 6:19 am

    More posts like these would be nice. Keep up the good work!

  • Reply decor8 January 7, 2007 at 6:23 am

    Thanks Anon! I’m happy to get feedback like this because I don’t live in a bubble here and I need to know what readers want to see. I just take for granted the knowledge I have, and I don’t mean that snobby, but it’s true. Little tricks and tips I just assume everyone knows. But, obviously I can be of value to some of my readers through these posts so I’m going to get more creative in ’07 here on the blog.

  • Reply lharwin January 7, 2007 at 5:45 pm

    At IKEA the other day, my mom gave me a lecture about simply buying the largest amount of fabric for the cheapest price and then cutting/sewing it for whatever is needed. It’s easy to forget that sheets (or tablecloths!) can be used as curtains, and that patterned napkins (when matched with a solid back) can be great pillows.
    I think I’m going to use some pillowcases (that are a reverse color combo of the duvet) to make tie-backs for my curtains…

  • Reply Sandy January 8, 2007 at 3:10 pm

    Any suggestions on where to get the curtain clips? I was actually hoping to find time to make curtains for my dining room before a party this Saturday, but it would be a lot easier to just clip up the material I’m going to be using. This is a great idea that I never would have thought of, instead I would have stayed up til 2a sewing curtain tabs on my fabirc!

  • Reply decor8 January 8, 2007 at 3:17 pm

    Sandy – You can find a link to them in the 2nd paragraph above. You can also find them at Target – that’s where I get mine. They have them in black, silver, and I think, gold.


  • Reply boltandfrolic January 9, 2007 at 1:52 am

    Love to hear those words: [on sale]
    Thanks for the hook-up, Holly!
    Clicking on over to the Company Store now…

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