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