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Sheet…that’s cheap. ($4 Ready-Made Curtains)

January 5, 2011
Curtains. Are. So. Expensive.  

–Especially since I like to hang curtains all the way from ceiling to floor–that means I need 96″ of curtain as opposed to the standard 84″.   And 84″ curtains are expensive enough at something like $15 a panel for even affordable options from Target?  Suppose I would need somewhere around 24 panels for the entire house (I do, as a matter of fact) and suppose I would actually settle for 84″ curtains (never!!)–that brings the hypothetical grand total to $360 for curtains at $15 a pop. 

And you’ll spend many times that amount ($40+/panel?) if you get your curtains from a place like West Elm or Pottery Barn. 

Cotton Drapes from Pottery Barn


If you have the money and it’s important enough, then more power to you.  But I just wouldn’t feel OK spending so much on curtains that are mostly  for decoration anyway (I don’t close my curtains, I draw the blinds. Pfft.). 

Plus, 96″ curtains are almost never everrrrr found in stores–they need to be special ordered online or from a catalog at at least $10 more per panel. 

So here’s an easy way to save a ton of money on curtains:  Use a twin size bed sheet and get ring clips to hang them. 


I know it sounds…odd.  And you’re thinking it would be obvious to all that you have used sheets, but look at those curtains from PB at the top of the page ^.  Do they honestly look much different from a bed sheet? 

It’s not always easy finding affordable sheets and so often you have to buy the entire sheet set.  But if you go to the bedding department at Wal-mart, you’ll find that they sell individual twin sheets for for around $4 and in a large array of colors–including white, a no-fail choice for curtains (you could stencil them with fabric paint, dye them, embellish them–do whatever you want to customize them if that’s your style ).  

And just guess how long a standard twin sheet is?  Yup, 96″ so there’s no sewing involved–and if you find that they are a little too long, you can fold the top over before using the clips  (Full sheets are also 96″ and give you a bit more width, however, in this case they are also twice as much at $8 a sheet.) 

Update: I see that Bed Bath & Beyond now (or has always?) sells individual flat sheets. They’re more expensive per sheet, but their color selection is also more, uh… sophisticated.

The ring clips cost a little under $5, and you’ll probably want at least one package per sheet (I use 1.5ish packages per sheet for a little bit of a “tighter” pleat–personal preference. But if you want or need to use fewer clips, just fold the fabric before clipping, and it will look more tailored.) That brings the cost of a celing-to-floor length curtain in at around $9-$11.50 

The only caveat to this is that you’ll need to be willing to raise your curtain rod to just under the ceiling if you haven’t already.  It’s easy though…   Plus it makes the room feel much taller. Here is the end result in our master bedroom… 

Here again in our living room…

One of my favorite things about these curtains is that they’re easy to take down and throw in the wash–that’s not always true of expensive curtains (the thought of lugging  curtains to the dry cleaner makes me sad .)

P.S. If you’re handy with a sewing machine, it’s also possible to simply open up the sides of the top fold so that you can put them directly on the rod and thereby save the $5 for clips. Or, over at Remodel This House, Bethany used seam tape to create a pocket…yet another way to save $5 for clips…

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Lynda permalink
    February 14, 2013 7:38 am

    I’ve been searching for the perfect cream/ivory 96″ panel for weeks….gosh they are expensive. I was going to order the 8 panels I need from Penney’s today, but happened upon this informative site….now I’m going to Wal-Mart and get sheets instead. Thank you for being so creative.

  2. November 27, 2012 7:03 pm

    You can catch 96″ curtains at Tuesday Morning sometimes. I also got great sheer panels there for $4 a panel.

  3. Telly permalink
    August 15, 2012 11:22 pm

    Problem Solver. I didn’t want to spend $60 on ONE panel. I’m trying to liven up my living room with long coordinating draperies, use some to section off my dining area, I hate when the dining area and living room is literally in ONE area…I can afford to even add a little flair to my patio. I love beautiful, relaxing surroundings. ^5

  4. Tamara permalink
    April 2, 2012 9:29 pm

    This was such a fabulous post! I was just lusting after those pottery barn curtains and I’m sooooo glad that I did not purchase them! Thanks to you I will be able to do this now! I love all of your posts and you have a lovely home!

  5. Patsy permalink
    February 13, 2011 12:11 am

    I am so glad I came upon this post. I need 96″ curtains because I have 10 ft. ceilings. I need a total of 6 panels just for the great room. This sheet idea sounds very appealing to me. Thanks so much.

    • February 13, 2011 12:40 am

      Awesome! These would work great in that situation.

      If you decide give it a try, I hope you love ’em as much I do.


  6. February 7, 2011 2:40 pm

    I love this idea! I’ve been searching for the perfect curtains within my budget for far too long. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • February 7, 2011 3:11 pm

      Aw, you’re welcome!

      Be careful, though…they’re so inexpensive, it’s dangerous. (I have a few different sets in my possession now. Plus I keep checking for new colors.)


      P.S. If anyone is preferring curtains with a modern/graphic pattern, I’m hoping to do a post soon on how to accomplish that with the same $4 sheets (no sewing, I promise.) Stay tuned ;)

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