Comparing the Cost of DIY Curtains and non-DIY Curtains

Easily the best feature of my new room is the insane amount of windows I have. On the other hand, having an insane amount of windows is not so great when you’re trying to sleep.

When I moved in, there were plastic blinds on half of the windows and the ones that were left looked like junk. My friend that lived here before me tacked blankets up to keep the light out. I knew I was going to go in a different direction and wanted something pretty. Something that would block out the light when I wanted and let light in when I wanted.

Comparing the Cost of DIY Curtains and non-DIY Curtains | Windows Before

As I’m sure you know, curtains are freaking expensive, especially when you have a bunch of really big windows. So, I made curtains out of sheets which was an idea I had seen from a few different bloggers on Pinterest. In this post I’ll show you the materials I used and their cost so you can weigh the pros/cons of doing a similar project.

My Window Dimensions

In my room I have 3 windows that are all 70 inches by 70 inches. Therefore, I needed 6 curtain panels that were at least 35 inches wide and 70 inches long. Obviously, these dimensions would cover the window but the length would not look great.

Ideally, curtains are hung at least 3 inches above the window. Personally, I like the curtains to touch the floor but not pool too much. To make sure I got sheets that were long enough, I measured from the top of the window to the floor and added three inches.

Curtain Materials

After searching around a little bit for different sheets I decided on the Mainstays 200 Thread Count Sheet in twin size. They had the best color option at the cheapest price so it was an easy decision. I used both a solid and patterned sheet to make the curtains thicker as well as reversible. I chose navy for the solid color and the blue diamond ikat pattern.

These sheets are $4.97 each and I needed 12  (6 patterned, 6 solid) for a total of $59.64. Each sheet is 66 inches wide by 96 inches long. In a different room I think one sheet would have been fine, but I wanted to block out a lot of light in my bedroom.

Below is an example of how much light 1 sheet (left) blocks versus 2 (right).

Comparing the Cost of DIY Curtains and non-DIY Curtains | 1 sheet versus 2

Cost of DIY Curtains (Fabric) and Pre-Made Curtains

I thought I was shelling out a decent amount of money for these curtains, so I was interested to see how much more I would have spent to buy fabric or just straight up buy curtains and achieve a similar look.

If I would have bought fabric from JoAnn’s:

  • Lining Fabric (54″ wide) – $3/yd (on sale) x 16 yds (to match 96″ length)= $48 (not on sale = $96)

  • Print Fabric (54″ wide) – $4.50/yd (on sale) x 16 yds = $72 (not on sale = $144)

The total price for just fabric would have been $120 on sale, $240 not on sale!

I found a pretty good deal at JCPenney on 50″ x 95″ back tab curtains for $13.99 each (clearance) times 6 panels for a total of $83.94. These aren’t that much more expensive, but the user reviews mention these curtains are not the best at blocking light.

Curtain Hardware

In all honesty, I didn’t want to do a whole lot of work besides hanging the curtains up so I didn’t get all fancy and make back tabs or put in grommets or anything. Instead, I just bought clip rings in oil rubbed bronze. There are 7 rings in each package, each package costs $4.74 and I bought 5 packages for a total of $23.70. I ended up using 5 rings on each panel so I still had 5 left over.

Last but not least I got curtain rods from Home Depot, also in oil rubbed bronze, for $6.97 x 3 for a total of $20.91. They’re 48 – 84 inches long and 7/16 in. thick.  I was trying to get the cheapest option possible, but aesthetically I think a thicker curtain rod would be better.

Total Cost Breakdown

here is an overview of the items I bought and their costs:

  • 12 twin sheets x $4.97 each = $59.64
  • 5 packages of (7) curtain rings x $4.74 each = $23.70
  • 3 curtain rods x $6.97 each = $20.91

Bringing the total cost of curtains and hardware (without tax) to $104.25

Comparing the Cost of DIY Curtains and non-DIY Curtains | Curtain Pattern

I absolutely love the way these curtains turned out and I think they add a lot of style and function to the room (but hey, I may be a little biased). I know in my next apartment I won’t be using all of the panels but I think it was a great investment compared to buying pre-made curtains.

What do you think? Would you try sheet curtains, DIY curtains out of fabric, or just buy curtains? I would love to hear your pro/con list!

See You Around!

Lauren <3

Comparing the Cost of DIY Curtains and non-DIY Curtains

3 Replies to “Comparing the Cost of DIY Curtains and non-DIY Curtains”

  1. I love your windows!

    My family has been using sheets for curtains for longer than I’ve been alive. It looks like the dark liner does a lot to block out light. I’m looking forward to having something that does a better job with that after I get new windows and casings in my bedroom. The cheapie blinds aren’t cutting it. But because I have radiators, I can’t have curtains that hang to the floor unless they’re always open and I have something else to close at night. I’m still trying to figure out how I want to decorate my bedroom around that rather formal furniture I have. I’m kinda hoping something used pops up at just the right time, like it did for basically every other piece of furniture or decor I have.

    1. Hi Chad!

      I’m glad you found your way over to the new site! 😀

      You could possibly do DIY roman shades with some cheap sheets! I think that would be just the right amount of formal for your house.

      1. DIY Roman shades sound daunting but maybe by that time I’ll be able to take it on! We do have 2 old sewing machines in the attic, and I had a brief sewing class rotation in middle school. There’s a street light right outside one of my bedroom windows and the glare will be pretty bad once I take the awnings down, so I’ll still need to put some $$$ into blackout linings.

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