How to Make Burlap Cafe Curtains (Guest Post)

(Guest post by Jennifer of Black Fox Homestead)

Today I’m happy to share with you a simple tutorial for a very inexpensive*, very easy burlap cafe curtain that you can make even if your time and sewing skills are limited. In just a few hours you can make a pretty, rustic curtain like this one to hang in your window.

We’ll be making a panel that is 24″ long and equal to the width of burlap (approximately 48″); although the length can easily be adjusted to accommodate your needs. Just be sure to purchase extra fabric if need be. The fabric amount can also be doubled if you wish to make a pair.

For this project you will need:

~1 1/4 yards of burlap in a color of your choice

~Thread to match

~Scissors

~An iron and ironing board

~A sewing machine

~A tape measure or ruler

~A spring tension rod** and clip on curtain rings if you choose.

*1 1/4 yards of burlap came to less than $12, the rod and rings can be purchased at any home store for less than $30.

**A spring tension rod is a rod that is mounted inside the window. A spring mechanism inside the rod allows it to fit snugly when adjusted to the proper width.

Step 1: Prepare your fabric

Before any cutting I would recommend washing the burlap to give it a softer feel. Please note: burlap tends to shed. I put mine through two gentle wash cycles followed by a low heat cycle in the dryer. This helped to eliminate some of the lint but it still made me (and my dog) sneeze a bit so be mindful of this beforehand if you are sensitive to that sort of thing.

After washing, run an iron over the fabric to eliminate any wrinkles and provide for an accurate cut.

Now, you’ll notice that the bottom edge has probably started to ravel creating a very crooked, uneven line. We need a straight edge from which to measure so that the curtains will hang evenly. To do this, pull a thread a few inches from the bottom creating a snag across the width. Then, using this snag as a guide, cut across the width of the burlap leaving a nice, perfectly straight edge.

From that bottom edge measure up a distance of 32″ and cut. (To arrive at the cut length of 32″ we take our finished length: 24″ + 6″ for the hem + 2″ for the top header = 32″.) For best results, I recommend measuring 32″, pulling a thread, and cutting across the snag as mentioned above.

As you cut, you may notice some imperfections in the fabric. If they bother you, you can try to cut around them but my advice is to not stress out about it too much. These imperfections add to the overall charm and rustic effect.

Step 2: Bottom hem

Most professionally made draperies and curtains have a heavy double hem across the bottom which gives them a nice body and weight. So we’re going to give our curtains a 3″ double hem ~ it just adds a nice touch. Working from the wrong side of the fabric, measure and fold up 3″. Press. Then measure and fold up 3″ again. Press, pin, and stitch staying as close to the folded edge as possible.

Typically at this point one would sew a double hem down the sides. But since burlap is so heavy, I felt that would create too much bulk so I have decided that the woven selvage edge is sufficient for a side hem. We’re going for a rustic look anyway.

Step 3: Header

Now let’s move on and finish off the top, or what is called the header. Again, working from the wrong side of the fabric, press up 1/2″ from the unfinished edge with the tip of your iron.

Then press 1 1/2″ and secure with pins.

Sew just like you did the hem, staying as close to the folded edge as possible.

And you are finished!

To hang your curtain:

Clip on the desired number of rings at even intervals. Slide the rings (with curtain attached) onto the tension rod, and mount inside the window. It is preferred that the curtain hang just about 1/2″ above the sill, but there are no hard and fast rules.

A few pointers:

~In order to save time: do all of your pressing at once ~the hem and the header. Then to all of your sewing at once. The project will go much more quickly.

~If you don’t care for the look of rings, the curtain can be gathered onto the rod instead.

~Two panels can be used together, opening in the middle. Be aware of the fact that when burlap is gathered “full” it becomes stiff and tends to pouf out.

~Fewer rings spaced further apart will create a more “relaxed” look.

~I am available and more than happy to answer any questions you may have. Please feel free to contact me through my website here.

~More tips, tricks, and drapery/curtain terms can be found here.

How to Make Burlap Cafe Curtains (Guest Post)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 yards of burlap in color of your choice
  • Thread to match
  • Scissors
  • An iron and ironing board
  • A sewing machine
  • A tape measure or ruler
  • A spring tension rod (that is mounted inside the window)
  • Optional: Clip on curtain rings

Instructions

  1. Prepare your fabric: Wash burlap to get a softer feel
  2. Tip: Since burlap tends to shed, I put mine through two gentle wash cycles followed by a low heat cycle in the dryer
  3. Then I ran an iron over the fabric to eliminate wrinkles which allows for a more accurate cut
  4. The bottom edge has probably started to ravel creating a crooked, uneven line
  5. So, to get a straight edge, pull a thread a few inches from bottom creating a snag across the width
  6. Then, using this snag as a guide, cut across the width of the burlap leaving a nice, straight edge
  7. From that bottom edge measure up a distance of 32" and cut (To arrive at the cut length of 32 we take our finished length: 24" + 6" for the hem + 2" for the top header = 32")
  8. For best results, I recommend measuring 32", pulling a thread, and cutting across the snag as mentioned above
  9. Tip: If imperfections bother you, you can try to cut around them but my advice is to not stress out about it too much. Imperfections add to the overall charm and rustic effect
  10. Step 2: Bottom hem- give curtains a 3 double hem to add a nice touch
  11. Working from the wrong side of the fabric, measure and fold up 3" and press
  12. Then measure and fold up 3" again. Press, pin, and stitch staying as close to the folded edge as possible.
  13. Step 3: Header- Now let’s move on and finish the top, (the header)
  14. Again, working from the wrong side of the fabric, press up 1/2" from the unfinished edge with the tip of your iron
  15. Then press 1 1/2" and secure with pins
  16. Sew just like you did the hem, staying as close to the folded edge as possible
  17. To hang your curtain: Clip on the desired number of rings at even intervals
  18. Slide the rings (with curtain attached) onto the tension rod, and mount inside the window
  19. It is preferred that the curtain hang just about 1/2" above the sill, but there are no hard and fast rules
http://www.theprairiehomestead.com/2012/11/how-to-make-burlap-cafe-curtains-guest-post.html

I hope you enjoy your burlap curtain!

About Jennifer:

My husband and I are “newbie homesteaders”, having just settled into a few acres in rural Oklahoma where we are working to establish a thriving homestead. I love gardening, cooking, canning, and making our little house a home. You can read more about us and our homesteading experience at the Black Fox Homestead Blog.

 

 

 

This post was shared at: Frugal Days Sustainable Ways


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Jill Winger

Owner/Blogger at The Prairie Homestead
Hey! I'm Jill. I'm all about cooking from scratch, getting dirt under my fingernails, hoarding mason jars, and trying not to kill stuff in my garden. I firmly believe that anyone can be a homesteader. Stick around, and I'll show ya the ropes!

Comments

  1. Those look incredibly easy, they may just be the solution I was hoping to find for our new windows. Thanks for sharing!

  2. So cute!

  3. Gorgeous! I’m pinning and will definitely try these soon!

  4. I love this curtain idea, great job!
    Janie x

  5. What a great tutorial. My sewing skills are limited, but curtains I can do. You made sure even the novice would be able to complete this project with ease.

    • Yes- Jennifer did a great job explaining! I don’t sew at all, but her instructions made me think that perhaps this might be my first project someday. ;)

  6. I just love burlap – burlap is my favorite. Jute too.

  7. Great tutorial. I’ve been thinking of changing up the curtains around here.
    This is something I could do. (…as soon as I get the sewing machine working! Always something)

    I love the burlap. ~Pat

    • If I could sew, I would be making these in a heartbeat! Maybe that’ll be some incentive for me. ;)

  8. I LOVE these burlap curtains!!

    We’ve lived in our house over 5 years, and in the past year I’ve been getting excited about “decorating” the kitchen. (I’ve not started anything yet, just some thinkin’ and dreamin’. Well … unless you can count a picture I got for Christmas that hasn’t been hung because I’m not sure where I want it. :)) l think these burlap curtains are perfect! They’re both adorable and pretty. Kind of weird to think of burlap as pretty, but you’ve managed to do that.

    Great job! (And thanks for the inspiration.) :)

  9. I love these great ideas of making Burlap Cafe Curtains…

  10. This idea is great to use the Burlap Cafe Curtains.I have a cafe and I use the cafe curtain to decorate the cafe. Not only cafe I have to decorate my sweet home’s other parts like bed rooms,dining room etc.

  11. Thanks for the tutorial. I found this post on a search for how to sew burlap. I just bought some and plan on making a table runner for my Easter tablescape. I was a bit worried that it would unravel and be difficult to work with.Love the curtains!
    Thanks!

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