Comparing the Cost of DIY and non-DIY Curtain Options

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 that would block out the light when I wanted, and let light in when I wanted.

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As I’m sure you know, curtains are freaking expensive, especially when you have a bunch of really big windows. So, I decided to make curtains out of sheets which was an idea I had seen from a few different bloggers on Pinterest. In this post I will walk you through all 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 and 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 wanted to use both a solid and patterned sheet to make the curtains thicker and I liked the idea of making them 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 such as a living room or office, I think just the 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).

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Pricing of Pre-Made Curtains and DIY Fabric 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 from what I can tell from the user reviews these curtains would not block as much light as my curtains.

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

As a quick overview, here are the list of 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

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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 ❤

Comparing the Cost of DIY and Non-DIY Curtain Options

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