Sometimes it’s the easiest of DIY projects that make the biggest impact in our homes. Hopefully, it’s the easy AND the inexpensive ones. In the case of our outdoor DIY curtains and DIY curtain rods, that’s definitely true. We’ll go over how we made them, the cost, and all the materials we used. Because today, I’m gonna give these guys some much deserved recognition for their contribution to our outdoor space. It’s time for our DIY curtains’ curtain call.
The deck got a major DIY overhaul last year on a pretty tight budget. We knocked down railings, stained, and painted some outdoor rugs. We built a pergola, and made a DIY chandelier out of vintage cans. One of the easiest, most inexpensive parts of the DIY deck equation was making curtains and the wire DIY curtain rods.
diy curtains – supplies
- red gingham polyester fabric (less than $3/yard!!!)
diy curtain rods for pergola
- IKEA Syrlig curtain hooks/rings (similar style from Amazon)
- galvanized cable
- socket set
- wire cutters
- screw hooks
- U-bolt cable clamps
- turnbuckle (get the kind with a loop on one end and a hook on the other)
diy curtains – how to
Here’s the long and short of it, guys. I only know how to do ONE thing on my sewing machine. And that’s run a basic straight stitch. To make these DIY curtains, I simply ran a straight seam along both sides of each panel, then another straight seam along the bottom and top of each panel. Done. That’s all. Each seam was about 1″, which was easy with this gingham fabric because the squares in this material are 1″ in size. I am sure you could do a no-sew variety as well. I’ve never tried that technique, but I plan to at some point. Bottom line is, I didn’t spend all day on this project…more like 20 minute per panel, and I made 6 panels for my pergola.
diy curtain rods – how to
Our DIY curtain rods are made of cable wire that we have fastened to our pergola.
1.) Install screw hooks at either end of the desired length of your curtain rod. We placed the hooks about 24″ apart (these curtains are purely aesthetic, so the rod is really short, as we are not going to be opening or closing these curtains). Pre drill into the pergola posts. Screw in the screw hooks by hand, but the process is made easier if you use a pair of pliers to help you turn the hook into the post.
2.) Grab a turnbuckle and extend it about 3/4″ of the way into it’s fully extended position. This will allow you some play when you install the cable.
3.) Cut desired length of cable wire with wire cutters…be sure to add extra length for the loops at both ends and take into account the length of the turnbuckle.
4.) Loop both ends of cable wire and secure each end with a U-bolt cable clamp.
5.) Place loop of cable over the screw hook, as shown below.
6.) Now feed the curtain onto the wire, or your curtain rings if using rings, like we used, as shown below. I use these super inexpensive curtain hooks/rings from IKEA (if you don’t have an IKEA close by, here is a similar option I found on Amazon).
6.) Attach the “hook” portion of the turnbuckle to the other end of cable.
7.) Now attach the “loop” part of the turnbuckle to the screw hook. Adjust turnbuckle so that cable/curtain rod is tight.
8.) That’s it! Here’s how ours looks completed (without the rings/curtain).
And I tie them back to the pergola post with a simple jute bow.
We considered buying expensive “outdoor” fabric to make our curtains with. But we decided against it. Any time stuff is left outdoors, at least where I live in Maryland, it takes a beating. I’ve tried expensive “outdoor” rugs and fabrics in the past, and the reality is, unless you drag them indoors before every April shower, even those pricey outdoor fabrics and materials don’t last forever. So I opted for cheap, woven polyester fabric. And you know what? It held up GREAT this past year. I left them hanging through every, single rain storm, and they still look like the day I put them out there!
With the extra fabric I had after making the curtains, I made a couple easy envelope throw pillows.
They look awesome next to these home state pillows we got from Finch & Cotter on Etsy. I LOOOOOVE THEM!!
I brought them in over the winter, washed them, then used them to decorate over the holidays!!
Yup, it’s our super inexpensive outdoor curtain again!! We are definitely getting our money’s worth from this $3 fabric! As the curtain is now closing on this DIY blog post, I’ve gotta get off my duff and give this hard working fabric a standing O. For less than $3 a yard, these outdoor curtains deserve some serious applause.
Shop our Outdoor Living Area
Links below to items purchased, or similar products if an exact match is no longer available.
If you are wanting some more budget friendly options for your outdoor space, head over to these posts for Act II of today’s show: