Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Hidden Tab Curtain: A Tutorial

This project all started with a design dilemma trifecta.

1. We have a small window in our master bath that looks across onto another townhouse. It has no blinds, so you find yourself thinking, "Hi neighbor!" every time you get out of the shower. Awkward!

2. The landlord left his curtains & rods up when he moved out. Which was nice! But the curtains were not my style and the rods were super-wide. I'm sure there is a technical term for them, but they are basically a flat metal strip that is about 3 inches wide. Have you ever tried to find a decent window covering that fits on a 3" rod? So impractical.

3. I'm cheap. Which I may have mentioned once or a few hundred times before. But I am. And I didn't want to spend big bucks on something to fit this uber-wide rod. {And I'm lazy. So I nor did I want to buy or install a new rod.}

(Ok, so that was 4 things...but trifecta really has such a fun ring to it. And I don't think "quadfecta" is a word.)

So I set out to solve my no blinds-wide rod-cheap wifey trifecta.

I dug through my box of window coverings, hoping that there was some sort of relief in there. I found some white sail cloth tab curtains that I bought for my office in my last house. They're from Target. The tabs seemed to be just the right height...hmmmm.
So I whipped up a hidden tab curtain panel!

It was a snap to whip up. Want to see how I did it? Of course you do.

Start with a regular tab top curtain.
I ironed all the tabs backwards against the back of the panel.
Then stitched the tabs to the panel. I just did a single line of stitching along the very bottom edge of each tab. (This way, I can undo the stitching later to restore the panel to its intended use if I so choose.)
Then I looped the tabs onto the curtain rod.
This is what your curtain panel will look like from the front. We've just created a hidden tab curtain!
I also made a pull back so that I could leave the panel open to let light into the bathroom during the day.

I made a simple tie back out of some scrap seer sucker. 
I attached two drapery rings to each end. (You can buy these for $5 a package at Target.)
Then I just tapped a small nail into the wall next to the window frame, and hung the loops onto it.
You could use a hook if you're concerned with appearances...but no one can really see this part. :)
And success!
The ugly metal rod is hidden, and we have a breezy, beachy curtain! {And some privacy. Hooray!}

Linking up to these fun parties this week:
Transformation Thursday at The Shabby Chic Cottage
Frugal Friday at The Shabby Nest


Anonymous said...

This is fantastic! Completely changed the whole look. Love it!

Ginny said...

Clever, thrifty, and talented-that's my girl!!

Amanda said...

Great idea! I love how you tied it back!

amy magda said...

Thanks for visiting my little blog page today & leaving me a comment! My husband is from beautiful PA. Congrats on becoming a "mommy-to-be". Being a mom is the best...well, most of the time it is. :)
I love your tab curtain idea. I am so going to do this!

michelle said...

You are so clever, that is a great idea!! I love the look of your window and no more awkward moments! ;)

Design Elements said...

lovely idea!