If you haven’t guessed by now, I’ll let you in on a little secret…I am very frugal. I buy on sale, I use coupons, and if I think I can MacGyver something with a hot glue gun, I’ll do it.

Exhibit A: Instant Art w/ a glue gun and table cloth.

This weeks post is Exhibit B:

No-Sew Curtains

no sew curtains2


Well, remember, I’m cheap very frugal. We have 2 windows in our dining room, requiring 4 panels. We also have a large wall of windows flanking a door leading out to our deck, requiring a minimum of 6 panels,  plus 1 window, another 2 panels,  in our living room.  I was looking at purchasing 12 panels of curtains. Minimum.

The cheapest panels are a standard 84 inches long, and generally around 40 inches wide. Cost for the cheapies (at Walmart) are $10-15. Each.  So for me to buy 12 panels of too-short and ugly not to my taste curtains would be $120-$180! No, thank you.

And in case you are wondering, yes, I did shop around- Target, JC Penney, Bed-Bath-and-Beyond. I also checked out the fabric stores; but as you know, fabric is expensive (even with a coupon).

Problem is I want 95 inch curtains. I like my curtains to be hung high, and hit the floor. I found some beautiful ones at BB&B, but they cost $45 per panel. Again, per panel!

So while shopping around, I checked out Burlington Coat Factory. They have a fricking huge supply of both standard curtains and shower curtains. The wheels turned—

Required item, #1: Shower Curtain

I purchased a gorgeous, fleur de lys (made out of raised black velvet) printed shower curtain for $15 at Burlington Coat Factor. This would eventually make 4 panels for my dining room.

I also purchased 3 more shower curtains (with a tree motif) for my living room. They cost $10 each.

Each shower curtain was a standard size, 72 inches wide by 70 inches long.

Total Cost so far: $45

dining room curtain material

Required item, #2: Extra Fabric

I then hit Jo-Ann Fabrics and purchased 4 yards of some lime green duck-canvas.

Why duck-canvas?

It had the color I wanted. That’s the only reason. I’m sure other fabrics would have worked better, because this stuff is kind of stiff and “casual” looking. However, I wanted lime green.

Why lime green?

It matches our love-seat and I thought it would create a nice flow in both the living room and dining room. (I love designer-speak.)

Why 4 yards?

I needed to add a min. of 25 inches to each shower panel in order to get my 95 inches in length. (Of course, remember to add in an extra 2 inches per side for hemming and gluing.)

So, 72 inches width x 4 shower curtains = 288 inches, or 8 yards

Fortunately for me, the fabric I chose was 60 inches wide! So, I only needed  4 yards. (I bought an extra 1/2 yard to account for hemming.)

Total Cost for fabric: 4.5 yards x $10/yard, but have a 50% coupon, $23!

Required item, #3: Measuring Tape & Scissors

Now it’s cutting time. I cut the duck canvas in half, length-wise. So now, I have 2 panels measuring 30 inches wide by 4.5 yards (162 inches) long. I then cut the canvas in half again, giving me 4 panels measuring 30 inches wide by 81 inches long.

Then I  simply cut each panel down by about 6 inches in order to fit the width of the shower curtain and also allow for hemmed sides (right & left). Each panel should be about 75 inches.

I did not cut anything off the 30 inches.

As for the shower curtain, I cut them in half, then in half again. One shower curtain = 4 panels!! Whoo-hoo!

Required item, #4: Hot Glue (or Fusible Tape)

I already own glue sticks. It’s my go-to, fix everything product. Like duck-tape. However, for this project I thought that fusible tape would work really well, and leave a smooth hemmed look. So, I bought some Stitch Witchery at Jo-Ann Fabrics for about $4. (I didn’t use a coupon-poor planning on my part.)

I first hemmed the 4 panels cut from the shower-curtain. I use the term “hem” loosely. I hot-glued/stitch-witched the edges. i did the same for hemming the duck canvas (only had to do right, left, and bottom edges)

I’m sure if you sew, this would be easy and also look better. But I don’t sew…and it looks good enough for me. :)

no sew curtains4

I then tried to bond the shower curtain fabric to the lime-green duck canvas with the fusible tape. This did not work well, yet again. The canvas was too heavy. So, out came the hot glue gun. This worked great.

no sew curtains3

You can see in the above picture the shadow where the duck cloth is glued behind the shower curtain. I did it this way because the shower curtain already had a nice, sewn, edge. The overlap is about an inch wide because at first I was using the fusible tape. I think had I just gone straight for hot-glue, I would have tried for a smaller overlap, but oh well. Live and learn.


End result:

Dining Room Curtains: $22 TOTAL

no skill curtains

Living Room Curtains: $50 TOTAL

living room curtains 1

living room curtains 3

I hung all of the curtains using clip-on rings at about $5 for 7 (purchased from Lowe’s). I think I bought about 6 bags, so add $30 to my curtain costs.

Eventually, I will buy white black-out drapes for the living room curtains. (But damn, they are expensive!) I also thought about using velcro to attach the shower curtain to the duck canvas. That way, if I ever wanted to change the lime-green out, I could simply rip it off, and add something different. Like red, during Christmas. But then I realized, I could still do that cuz hot-glue isn’t permanent. Something to add to the list.

Overall, I love the curtains. I think the style works for my home. I think if I knew how to sew, they would look even better. However, I do think had I bought the panels I loved, from BB&B, I would be in heaven, design-wise. But I just can’t fork out over $500 ON CURTAINS. Maybe if I ever won the lottery…maybe.

ps: This is just part 1 of 2 for No-Sew Curtains. Check back and I’ll show you what I did for my kid’s room and my kitchen. Using, what else, a shower curtain, extra fabric, and a glue gun.

**UPDATE: Here’s Part 2! More No-Sew Curtains- 5 Minute Window Valances

***UPDATE: Here’s Another, Part 3: No-Sew Roman Shades

****UPDATE: Part 4, Update your No-Sew Curtains for the Holidays

I’ve just linked this post up to one of my favorite blogs, The Shabby Nest!

The Shabby Nest