Sunday, May 4, 2014

No-Sew Cafe Curtains

I don't know about you, but I'm personally not a huge fan of window unit AC's. Unfortunately, they are a summer-time necessity in a hundred year old home. Why the builders of yesteryear didn't anticipate the need for duct-work...I just don't know. It was terribly inconvenient of them.

Eventually, I'm hoping to purchase one of these pretties. But until that happy day, I'm stuck with this gorgeous piece of machinery here:

Now isn't that a lovely kitchen-window view? Oh yes indeed. Its big, its bulky, its loud, its ugly, and it has this long annoying tail (aka, plug). Yet, in the summer, it keeps our house from turning into a sauna. And, since I don't have thousands to spend on installing duct-work, I must tolerate its noisy presence.

Or so I thought...until I read this mind-boggling post over at the ever-resourceful Apartment Therapy. The simplest solution: cafe curtains. Duh. Why didn't I think of that? So I set out to find a stylish pair of cafe curtains. Now if there was ever an oxymoronic statement this ---> stylish cafe curtains<--- is that statement. No thank you, shopping world, I do not want chickens, gingham, or embroidered flowers on my curtains. Don't get me wrong. Chicken, gingham, and flowers are fine...just preferably in someone else's kitchen.

Now what was I to do? Resign myself to staring at the ugly contraption? Oh, no. This Georgia girl is not to be defeated so easily. I decided to make said stylish curtains. But here was another obstacle: I don't own a sewing machine.


But, you tell me, friends, what purpose does Pinterest serve if not to help in such a time of need? And so you have it: no-sew cafe curtains. I found my fabric on sale at Joann's Fabrics. I only spent 8!

Here's the simple DIY for you to follow.


  • Fabric 
  • Curtain rod (or tension rod)
  • Cafe curtain clips
  • Scissors
  • Heat n Bond hem tape
  • Tape measurer
  • Iron

First, measure your window. I measured the whole thing and then took half of that measurement. Then, I measured the width. I left myself about an inch around for a hem. Next, cut your fabric (I had mine cut at Joann's. I didn't feel brave enough with scissors to cut a straight line.) I made two curtains, one for each side, so they could close in the middle/
Next, make an inch fold to mark the hem. I folded it over and ironed it once to make a line to guide my tape. You can see this move in the above photo. 

Then, you'll take your HeatnBond Hem tape. This stuff is awesome! You'll lay that long your hem line, right up next to the fold. 

I left a little bit sticking out at the end because the tape "draws up" as it bonds to the fabric. Once you have the tape straight, fold the fabric back over, and go over it with the hot iron. The iron will be on medium heat and try not to use steam. The package says to hold it "for about 3 seconds." It definitely took a little longer than that. You can tell when it bonds because the fabric goes stiff. 

Repeat this process on each side, folding over at the corners as shown above. Be sure to go back around and trim the excess tape!

 Voila! A finished curtain! Turned out well, if I do say so my self! Not bad for a first try, anyway!

Finally, secure your cafe curtain rod. You could also use a tension rod as shown in the first picture. I wanted my curtain to be further away from the wall, however, since the AC unit is in the window. Attach to the rod using cafe curtain clips. Both the rod and the clips can be purchased at Target. They also have these available at Joann's, if you want to do a one-stop shop, but--to be honest--they are cheaper at Target. 

And there you go! All done! And it was very easy! Can you believe that the fabric coordinated so well with my painting? Talk about a stroke of luck.

I will definitely be doing this again! The project was fairly cheap as well! At least  as far as home-improvement DIY typically goes!

Fabric (on sale): $8
Rod: $13
Clips: $6
Tape: $4
Total: $31

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