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July 20, 2015

diy blackout curtains

Tutorial on making blackout curtains

After the second day of living in the new apartment it became very apparent that we were going to need curtains. Before we got here I had all these plans to hang flowing sheer window coverings, hanging nine feet high from floor to ceiling & blowing lightly in the summer breeze. Reality turned out to be different than my lofty dreaming, & after two days of letting in all kinds of natural light, Heather & I realized we were letting in all kinds of natural heat. Not having A/C on the second story of a well-insulated building means that all that light we were letting in was baking us alive. Yeah, it'll be great in the winter to have all that warmth, but not for the hot, hot summertime. Blackout curtains were in order.

Tutorial on making blackout curtains

I've told you guys before how much I love Nate Berkus (evidence here & here), so duh, I got more Berkus fabric for our curtains. The lovely lady who cut my fabric at the craft store referred to Nate Berkus as "our hometown boy," which reminded me that he's originally from Minneapolis! I promise I'm not stalking him or anything...

How to make curtains that block out light

I made my blackout curtains using:

  • 2 3/4 yards* home decor fabric (54" width)
  • 2 1/2 yards blackout fabric
  • Thread to match
  • Sewing machine
* The extra 1/4 yard is for making tiebacks. If you don't want matching tiebacks in the same fabric, you'll only need 2 1/2 yards of home decor fabric. 

How to make blackout curtains

First, I cut off the extra 1/4 yard from my home decor fabric for my tiebacks, leaving me one big 2 1/2 yard piece. Since I wanted to make two panels, I cut both fabrics in half lengthwise. 

Next I trimmed my blackout fabric down 1/4 inch on all sides, making it slightly smaller than the panels of home decor fabric. Since blackout fabric doesn't fray, only the home decor fabric needs to be folded in & hemmed.

How to make your own DIY blackout curtains

I pinned the home decor fabric under the blackout fabric 1/4 inch on all sides.  The corners were folded as seen in the pictures above. 

Make your own curtains with this step-by-step tutorial

Using a straight stitch, I sewed along each side of the panel, sewing both fabrics together. I did the same for the second panel.

DIY Blackout Curtains

To make pockets for the curtain rod, I folded my panels down five inches, pinned in place, & sewed across the bottom with a straight stitch. 

That's it! I love how easy curtains are. 

How to make tie-backs for DIY curtains

To make the tiebacks, I cut the remaining 1/4 yard of home decor fabric in half lengthwise. I folded each piece in half lengthwise & pinned in place. Using a straight stitch, I sewed up along the raw edge, forming a tube.

How to make curtains - easy tutorial

I turned the tubes right side out, then turned each end inwards. Using a straight stitch I topstitched along all sides of each tieback.

How to make your very own curtains!

It's insane how much cooler our apartment is now that these bad boys are up. We literally couldn't photograph them closed because they do their job so well & block out so much light. Hooray!


P.S. Did you notice the map I made using grid drawing? Did you also notice how we need to put up more wall art?


  1. Thank you for posting this! I have been searching for step by step guide on how to make blackout curtains for my daughter's house. Will let you know how mine turns out!

    1. Awesome - I'm glad this tutorial could be of help! I love seeing how projects turn out, so if you take any pictures send them my way! :)

  2. Hi and thanks a lot for this great idea! I love the fabric! 😎🌸

    1. Thanks! It's Nate Berkus fabric fro Jo-Anns.


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