How to Make Roll Up Curtains

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Roll-up curtains are reminiscent of old-fashioned window treatments and offer a whimsical charm. They are perfect for children's rooms, bathrooms or any room where you would like a different and fun window treatment. These roll-up curtains are lined, so the back is a beautiful contrast to the front when it is rolled. Functionally they take a little more effort to roll up than ordinary curtains, but the effect is well worth it. This is a simple window treatment to sew as it uses straight lines, seams and two basic rectangles of fabric.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Curtain fabric-amount determined by window size
  • Lining fabric-amount determined by window size
  • Curtain rod pole and hanging brackets
  • Straight pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Scissors
  • Tailor's chalk
  • Hand sewing needle and thread
  • Iron
  • 1" dowel rod-length determined by window size

Install the brackets for the rod pole. Set the rod pole in the brackets. Measure the distance between the inside of the brackets for the curtain width. Add an inch to the measurement. Measure from the rod pole to the desired length of the roll-up curtain. Add an inch to the measurement.

Measure and cut a piece of curtain fabric using the width and length measurements for the roll-up curtain. Repeat with the lining fabric for the lining of the roll-up curtain. Cut four pieces of fabric four inches wide by the length of the roll-up curtain measurement. These are for the roll-up curtain ties.

Fold a tie in half lengthwise, creating a two-inch width, and pin. Sew a 1/4" seam allowance along the long pinned side and one short end. Turn the tie right side out and press. Repeat for the other three ties. Place the curtain fabric on a flat work surface right side up. Determine how far from the edges of your curtain you would like your ties to hang and mark the spots along one short end. This depends on personal preference and the width of your window. For an average-size window, you will probably want them at least six to seven inches from the sides. Place the raw edges of two ties together and pin them to one mark. Place the raw edges of the other two ties together and pin them to the other mark.

Place the lining fabric right side down on top of the curtain fabric. Match the edges and pin. Make a mark 1/2" down from the top on one long side, skip 1-1/2", and mark again. Mark 1/2" up from the bottom on the same side, skip 1-1/2" and mark again. Repeat on the other long side of the roll-up curtain.

Sew down from the top on one long side using a 1/2" seam allowance. Sew a 1/2" length to the first mark, skip 1-1/2" to the next mark and continue sewing along the long edge. Leave a 4" opening for turning in the middle of the long side. Continue sewing to the first mark on the bottom of the long side. Skip 1-1/2" and continue to sew to the end. Sew across the bottom of the roll-up curtain and sew up the remaining long side. Skip the first 1-1/2" mark and continue to sew to the next mark at the top of the side. Skip 1-1/2" and sew to the end of the roll-up curtain. Sew across the top of the curtain.

Turn the roll-up curtain right side out through the four-inch opening on the side. Press the curtain and hand-sew the opening closed. Draw a line across the top of the roll up curtain 1-1/2" from the top using the tailor's chalk. Top stitch along this mark for the rod pole casing.

Draw a line across the bottom of the roll-up curtain 1-1/2" from the bottom using the tailor's chalk. Top stitch along this mark for the dowel casing. Measure the width of the sewn roll-up curtain and cut the 1" dowel using this measurement. Insert the dowel into the casing and hand-sew the ends closed. Hang the roll-up curtain in the rod pole brackets. Position one tie from each sewn pair in the front and one in the back of the curtain. Roll the bottom of the curtain toward you to the height you desire and tie the ties.

Tips & Warnings

  • Ribbon could easily be substituted for the ties.
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