How to make Back-Tab Window Panels From A $5 Flat Sheet

Sew-Simple!  Nothing glamorous, but makes me happy for the moment-and I am totally about instant (well almost) gratification.  This project took me about an hour to make 4 panels.

I’m always longing for lengthier window panels which are often hard to find in stores, not to mention, they are expensive!  Hubby and I decided on an impromptu bedroom freshen up (this is usually how projects begin in our home, no planning involved—we get a burst of energy and just do it).

So first we decided we would freshen up the paint, as it’s been about 3 years since we’ve painted.  Plus the walls had all the evidence of our teen son once living in this space before we moved back in– tape from posters, and holes and paint nicks and scrapes-so a paint job was definitely necessary.

Do dads go through a nesting phase too?  Because after he painted our bedroom, he moved onto the bathroom-Lucky Me!!!  When things like this happen I have to take full advantage, even if he uses a random paint that we had leftover and ZERO design plans for that space have been made, you just gotta kinda go with it.

flat sheet curtain panels

Any who….back to the curtains . . . I used 2 of these twin flat sheets, about $5 each at Walmart.  I actually like the texture of these sheets, they have a little weight to them,  One sheet cut in half the long way fits a 32″ window nicely.

Laying the sheet out on the floor is ideal, but I’m 9 months preggo, if I got down there, there’s no guarantee I’d get up!  Keep sheet folded in half as it usually is in it’s packaging, and then cut along the long folded edge.  You can go ahead and run an iron over it now, or steam it later, it’s totally up to you.

After you cut it in half, work at the top of the sheet where there is a pocket.

 Measure about an inch from the sheets top edge, and mark a line with a light pencil all the way across the sheet, or iron a crease on the sheet to mark where you will start your “tabs.”

Then decide how far apart you’d want the tabs, half of the sheet is about 32″ so you should mark every 4 inches starting at the finished/hemmed side of the sheet/panel.  Your first slit should be right on the inside of that hem.  (not visible in these pics but basically where the 4 is in the pic below)

 Use an x-acto knife or sharp scissors to make an inch slit at each four inch mark, making sure not to go through both sides of the fabric, just the top layer.  Next hem, or use stitch witchery to hem the unfinished side of the curtain, then feed your curtain onto your rod starting from the inside (the original finished edge of the sheet).  Then be sure to hang your “curtains high and wide.”  You may need to cut a little length off of the bottom if you don’t like your panels to puddle on the floor.


 To be honest I haven’t even hemmed my edges yet, and I may take a little length off the bottom, but overall, this gives you a quick, cheap and easy way to add a little softness to your windows. I also like the fact that you can go and add some some ribbon to jazz them up if you want to.

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  1. Rachel
    February 18, 2015 / 5:15 pm

    Hi Carli!I love how "romantic" these curtains are. What a great way to give your bedroom a little mini makeover without breaking your budget. I'm looking forward to reading more of your blog. Thanks for following me on instagram.

  2. Brandi
    April 12, 2015 / 12:45 pm

    Such a clever and inexpensive solution. I love the way they puddle on the floor. Looks feminine and romantic. Great for a bedroom!!!

    • Carli
      April 12, 2015 / 4:43 pm

      Thanks so much Brandi!

  3. Dee
    October 31, 2015 / 1:44 pm

    Hi Carli, I saw you on Brandi's blog and thought I'd come on over and say hi. I'm glad I did because I love how you created pretty curtains by using bed sheets. What a brilliant and affordable idea. I'm all about saving, too, especially with the holidays quickly approaching.I love to 'meet' new blog friends so I'm glad I found your blog today. I really enjoyed the visit. Have a lovely weekend… 🙂

  4. Linda Terry
    December 19, 2015 / 4:59 pm

    I love white curtains, and this is a great DIY!

  5. Linda Terry
    December 19, 2015 / 5:03 pm

    I love the look of white curtains, and this is a great DIY.

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