How to make blackout curtains tutorial

I have to admit, I have been really intimidated to make my own curtains. Remember when I bought the fabric for Kate’s curtains and I posted my review for Fabric.com?  That was two months ago already!  But better late than never, I suppose!  Finally, here is my tutorial for how to make blackout curtains.

I’m not going to tell you I did it myself, because I really felt like I needed help with this project.   And when I go to make the curtains for Leah’s room, I will definitely need help again.  It’s just way too hard to lay everything out and measure it perfectly all by yourself, so I definitely recommend getting a helper if at all possible.

How to make blackout curtains tutorial. Step by step instructions with tons of photos!  onelittleproject.com

How to make blackout curtains

Being Mother’s Day, I had my own mother helping, my grandmother helping and my 3 year old “helping”.  We probably didn’t need THAT many people, but it was a fun Mother’s Day activity that all 4 generations of women could enjoy together!

I bought 6 yards of Premier Prints Twill Amsterdam Corn Yellow and 6 yards of Roc-Lon Blackout Drapery Lining Ivory and I have enough left over to make a throw pillow.  You can check out my Fabric.com review here (it’s written for Canada, but the details of it would apply to any country).

Measure from the curtain rod down to about 1″ above the floor to get an idea of what the finished length of the curtains will be. I had the fabric clipped on and hanging from the curtain rod since I got it (one side of it anyway, since I didn’t cut it until now!) but you can just measure from the curtain rod to get the height.  The length of mine was about 90″.

How to make blackout curtains tutorial. Step by step instructions with tons of photos!  onelittleproject.com

Lay the fabric flat on the floor and use a measuring tape to mark where you need to cut.  Add 4″ for the top hem and 3″ to 4″ for the bottom hem.  So for mine, they were 90″ + 4″ + 4″ = 98″ long.

Keep in mind that if you have a patterned fabric you will probably want the patterns to line up.  We didn’t consider this when we did our cutting and by shear luck they lined up, but that definitely won’t always be the case!

How to make blackout curtains tutorial. Step by step instructions with tons of photos!  onelittleproject.com

We folded down the top hem first and measured from there:  DSC_0015

So we marked out 94″ using a pencil.  (If this is confusing, just measure the entire length you need from the end of the fabric, so in our case, it would have been 98″):

How to make blackout curtains tutorial. Step by step instructions with tons of photos!  onelittleproject.com

Make about 4 or 5 pencil marks across the width of the fabric:

How to make blackout curtains tutorial. Step by step instructions with tons of photos!  onelittleproject.com

And use a meter stick (or something) to draw a straight line:

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Use scissors to cut out the piece of fabric at the line you marked:

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Again, I had my fabric folded in half, so I only had to make one cut through it.  And when it was cut, it was 98″ long.

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Set these pieces aside and pull out your blackout lining (or regular lining, depending on what you are making).

Lay the lining out flat on the floor, and get ready to measure.  This lining piece will be the finished length of the curtains (in my case 90″) since the main curtain fabric will fold over top of it, you don’t need to add extra length for the hem:

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Use the same measuring technique described above, and cut out the piece of blackout lining:

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Since we want this piece to “tuck inside” of the main fabric, I also had to trim the width of the blackout lining.  Both my main fabric and lining were 55″, so I took off 3.5″ for the right side of the curtains and 1.5″ for the left side of the curtains and cut the lining to be 50″ wide:

DSC_0029 Repeat the measuring and cutting steps for the second piece of blackout lining.

Now get ready to iron, because you are going to be ironing for awhile!  Iron out the wrinkles from the fabric:

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Then pre-iron all of your hems.  So all of my hems are double folded, so we folded in about 1/2″ first and ironed:

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Then we folded over another 2″ and ironed again.  This was only for the sides of the curtains where the panels met in the middle.

  • Middle side hems = 1/2″ + 2″
  • Top hems = 1/2″ + 3.5″
  • Outer side hems = 1/2″ + 1″
  • Bottom hems = we saved this until the end so we could get the length right

DSC_0037

Take your fabric and  lay it on the floor, right side down.  Then take your blackout lining and place it inside the fabric, right side up.  The blackout lining should fit right where the folds of the hem are ironed in:DSC_0045

Take one hem and fold it over the lining:

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Then take the other hem and fold it over the lining:

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And pin it in place:

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Repeat the folding and pinning until you have pinned all the way around:

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But at this point, leave the bottom open.  We are going to hem that after it’s all sewn:

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This is the easy part.  Sew down all the edges:DSC_0049

You have to do all of this measuring, cutting, ironing, pinning and sewing twice because you have two panels.  It looks like a lot of work, but it’s really not that bad if you have someone helping you.

So now that the sides of the panels are sewn, here is how you get the pinch pleat look. Lay your curtain on the floor again, and set out your drapery clips spacing them evenly:

DSC_0052

Rather than clipping from the top, clip the rings so that the top of the ring is just visible above the curtain:

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Clip them all on:

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Hang them on the curtain rod, and you get the pinch pleat look without the hassle: How to make blackout curtains tutorial. Step by step instructions with tons of photos!  onelittleproject.com

Now, at this point, we were getting tired, so we stopped taking pictures.  But all you have left to do is check the length of the curtains, and pin them to the proper length.  If you want, you can hand hem it, but it’s way easier to just take it down and run it through the sewing machine.

So this is what the bottom corner looked like:

How to make blackout curtains tutorial. Step by step instructions with tons of photos!  onelittleproject.com

So at this point the curtains are done!  Phew!  With 3 women working on this it took us about 4 hours total.Premier Prints Amsterdam Blackout Curtains

This was a crazy long post, so you are just going to have to wait until the next post to see the rest of the photos of how they turned out!

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  • Shauna K

    visiting from Making the World Cuter Monday party- this tutorial is exactly what I need!! I’ve been wanting to black out our bedroom curtains for a while now. Thanks for sharing!! Pinned ya ;)

  • Rachel

    Very cute! I don’t think I have the patience to make curtains… But they look awesome!

  • Al

    I made black out curtains for my house last year, having no idea what I was doing and minimal sewing experience. I’m glad to see I did mine the same way you did yours. I love the yellow fabric.

  • Sarah Simpson

    This is a great tutorial! Pinning this, because I know this will be helpful in the future!

  • Audra @ Renewed Projects

    Wonderful tutorial. Very clear. I like that the fabric you picked for the curtains is a bright color. Beautiful!

  • abby

    Best tutorial yet !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!ppppplllllllzzzzzz make a tutorial on how to make no sew doll clothes

    • http://onelittleproject.com/ Debbie @ One Little Project

      Thanks! No sew doll clothes…. wow, that’s a tricky one! I’ll have to think about that!

  • Leslie Stewart

    Thanks for sharing your great tutorial for blackout curtains at my Twirl & Take a Bow Party! Stop by House on the Way tomorrow to see them featured. Feel free to grab a “featured” button.
    Leslie

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  • Judy

    You did an awesome job. I will be featuring this tonight at my Swing into Spring party that opens at 8pm EST. Please stop by and pick up an I’ve Been Featured button. Thanks. http://diybydesign.blogspot.com

  • http://DressThisNest.wordpress.com/ Yvonne King @ Dress This Nest

    This is a GREAT tutorial with lots of helpful photos. I need to tackle this project in the future for our guest room. Thanks for posting this! I am going to pin this for when I (finally) get around to that room.

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  • ThirdFirl

    Thank you Debbie for creating this wonderful site. I just found it and I love your style and simplicity! The details of your project is encouraging for people to actually do some of these little projects! I am in the process of re-purposing many items that I would not have normally done…thank you! You’ve inspired me!

  • Pamela

    Did you use a multi purpose thread or did you use a heavier thread for this?

    • http://onelittleproject.com/ Debbie @ One Little Project

      I just used regular thread. I’m not sure what kind exactly, but it definitely wasn’t heavy duty.