Ruffled Curtains

I recently decided that I needed some ruffled curtains…

I must say that ruffles are VERY out of character for me (I have two boys, remember?), but I love them.  I am NOT a very accomplished seamstress, so they were pretty slow and labor-intensive for me, but they weren’t hard.  Good new is, if you can sew a straight line, you can make these!
Unfortunately, I took very few process pictures, and they are all horribly dark because it was late at night, so I will spare you those.  I will give you a few instructions, though.  Since I’m going for a neutral, cottage-y look in my guest room, I used a 40% off coupon on plain ol’ unbleached muslin.  Total cost for all the fabric for 3 panels (plus quite a bit of extra): less than $30.  Yay.
I bought 96″ wide muslin so that the width would be the height of my curtains.  Capiche?  I bought about 8 yards, cut the width of my three panels (the room has three windows) accordingly, and used the 96″ length for the strips:
Then came the tedious part:
  • iron and hem all four edges of each panel
  • choose the number of ruffles you want (I put 7 per curtain and cut them 6.5″ each so they would cover about 1/3 of the panel)
  • cut strips for all but the top ruffle
  • iron and hem three sides of each ruffle
  • cut top ruffle .5″ wider (so you can fold over the top to hide the raw edge)
  • iron all four sides but hem only three sides of top ruffle
You now have three huge panels and a million strips.  Change your sewing machine setting so that it makes a REALLY loose stitch. Do not double back at the start… just give yourself some extra thread.  Run the loose stitch along the fourth side of each ruffle (the unfinished edge) about .5″ from the top.
I then laid my panels out on the floor and used a yardstick to make a very light pencil line where I wanted each ruffle to go.  Be sure to make them close enough together to allow each ruffle to cover the unfinished part of the ruffle below. Then take your ruffle strips and hold your anchor thread (the one that doesn’t go through the material) and scrunch the ruffles until they are approximately the width of your panel.  Pin them in place.  Don’t forget to readjust your sewing machine so that it makes a tighter stitch. Sew each ruffle into place along your faint pencil line.  The back should end up with simple parallel seams (one for each ruffle you added to the front):
For the top ruffle, simply follow the same instructions, but make sure your raw edge is hidden (it should be if you ironed it earlier, per instructions) before sewing your loose seam.  Attach it to the panel the same way, but be aware that it will be thicker than the rest (since you’ve folded over the scrunched side) and be extra careful to sew it on straight.
For the top, you can sew a pocket or use curtain clips, but I wanted something a little softer to go with my feminine ruffles, so I bought thin grosgrain ribbon (at 50% off) and cut it into 8″ strips.  Fold them in half, and sew to top seam of panel with both ends sticking up.  Then tie to curtain rod:
Like I said, this was a very feminine project for me… but I love them.  They’re in my guest room, and I want that place to be a retreat.  To be soft, inviting, homey, and I think these accomplished just that.  Actually, I was surprised (and pleased!) to find that the curtains didn’t feel as girly as I feared they might.  By using the neutral muslin, it softens the effect tremendously.  I hope you are able to make some sense out of my nonsense tutorial!  Feel free to ask any questions. :)

Did you enjoy that?

Have my best tips on home decor, DIY, and life delivered directly to your inbox.

Powered by ConvertKit


  1. Wow, these curtains are SO CUTE!!!
    All the windows in my house is with blinds( my hubby’s idea…)but this makes me want to make & hang these lovelies!!
    Thank you for sharing :)

  2. Rachel, they look amazing and you let me out of the game by saying “if you can sew a straight line”….I cannot! I wish I had inherited that talent, too. I’m green! Love how yours turned out. I’m to your right on “The Scoop” hop this week. Helen of Helen’s Decor

  3. Haha… My lines aren’t all that straight either! The ruffles help to hide it, though. :) Thanks for stopping by!

  4. So pretty! I love how light and airy these are.
    I visiting from Sugar Bee. I hope you can stop by my blog and leave a comment and Link Up!
    ~ Megin of VMG206

  5. Um, gorgeous!! Thank you for the inspiration for my new curtains. Found you via Sugar Bee Crafts. :)


  6. These are beautiful. I tried to get my mom to make something similar for her house, but she just bought plain old curtains. These would have been way better. Great job. I am hosting a link party and would love it if you would share this.

    • Thanks, Lauren! I’m so excited to join the link party on your blog – I appreciate the invitation. And I agree, even neutral curtains need a little something special. :)

  7. These are absolutely lovely ~ thank you so much for sharing at Project Inspire{d} ~ Pinning to the party board!


    Mary Beth

  8. Saw your feature on Sugar Bee’s. I love these curtains.

  9. Wow, these are so gorgeous! If I only knew how to sow I would totally be making these! Thanks so much for linking up at Give Me the Goods Monday.

    Hope you will join us again next week and check back Sunday to see the features!

    ~Chelsea @ Married Filing Jointly

  10. Thanks for linking to Take-A-Look Tuesday over at – you were featured yesterday!
    – – Mandy, Sugar Bee Crafts

  11. Your ruffled curtains are so pretty and what a great room. You did a fantastic job on dressing the windows with the soft muslin and ruffles. Those corner windows can be tricky but I like how you used one long panel on each window. Love the bed too, I’m a sucker for pine cannonball beds. We have our original one in our son’s bedroom (think a 16 year old boy would mind white linens like yours haha) and I’m searching for an affordable one for our guest bedroom.

    • Thank you so much! I love the old bed, too; it belonged to my husband’s grandparents. :) You’ll have to come back when I finally dress the naked walls and do a full room reveal! Thanks for stopping by.

  12. Thanks for sharing you beautiful curtains at Project Inspired! I featured you today! Also sharing it on Google plus, Pinterest, facebook and twitter! Have a fabulous week 😀

  13. Love your blog Rachel! I also liked you on facebook and am following you on twitter, pinterest and google plus! Take care! Heather

  14. I thought you said you were no seamstress. Those are fantastic. Simply gorgeous. Great job. BTW I see you are pretty new to blogging (or at least I am assuming you are) if so….WELCOME. You are doing great already. Can’t wait to see more. Have a fantastic day.

  15. Rachel I LUV these! Shared on G+ today. Thanks so much for linking up to ITS PARTY TIME. Hugs, Clydia

  16. I am featuring your ruffled curtains today on my blog. Thanks for linking it up. The next party starts later today. I hope that you will link up again.

  17. Hello Rachel!
    You have done a lovely job on those curtains! I think they are perfect for your room and make it look so fresh and lovely. They add the perfect touch! Thank you so much for joining me for my party last week. My home coputer got hit by a storm burst of electricity and the system went out so I am terribly late commenting!!

  18. Rachel, your curtains are gorgeous. I love the soft ruffles. The entire room is dreamy. I would like to try making something similar sometime. Thanks for sharing them with Share Your Cup.

  19. I love these curtains as-well…Great tutorial and perfect results.

  20. Hi Rachel, just popping back to say that I will be featuring you at Share Your Cup Thursday.

  21. Love these curtains Rachel. Congrats on being featured by Jann at Share Your Cup. Blessings, Patti

  22. Gorgeous! I will feature today at Home Sweet Home! Thanks for joining me!~

  23. I love these! I may try it, but with hot glue. I’m lazy like that. However I guess I won’t be able to wash them :(

  24. They’re gorgeous! Great tutorial too! Including a link back in tomorrow’s highlights and pinned for inspiration! Thank you so much for sharing your hard work and creativity, Rachel! :)

  25. Love love the curtains… I just have 1 question. It may be listed somewhere but didn’t see it, How wide did u do each panel?? I know u said u did the length a 96 but didn’t see how wide each panel was. Hope this isn’t a silly question. I sew a little but not an expert by no means, so this may be something I should know…LOL

    • Rachel Paxton says:

      Thanks, Tonya! I’m so glad you like them. :) And don’t worry about the question; I always have detailed questions like that about tutorials! I made them just a few inches wider than my window. The windows are ~36″, so I think I made them about 40″. That allows them to fully cover the window. I hope that helps!

      • Oh thank you so much, that info helps so much. I plan on attempting to make these and tying them to tree branches that my awesome husband cut for me.

  26. I love your curtains, they are so cottagey without being too frilly, Love them! I have a question, how big of a hem did you put in the ruffles? Hope that makes sense.

    • Rachel Paxton says:

      Thank you so much, Teresa! I’m so glad you like them. :) And your question makes total sense; the hem on the ruffles is only about 1/2 and inch. Hope this helps!!

  27. Rachel I made your curtains, well one for now, I need to make two more. I think they turned out great and I wanted to thank you again for the tutorial. They changed the whole look of my room! Here’s a link if you’d like to see

    • Rachel Paxton says:

      Oh, Teresa, I’m so glad you told me! Your curtains turned out just stunning, and I’m so happy to know that you found the tutorial helpful. Thank you for sharing!!

  28. I absolutely {LOVE} these Rachel!!! They add so much charm to the room! I can’t wait to share them tomorrow with my favorite posts this week at! Wishing you SUCH a lovely weekend!

  29. jen johnson says:

    I looove these! Can I order some from you?!

    • Rachel Paxton says:

      Hi Jen, you are SO kind! I wish I had the time to make them right now (because you’re not the first person to ask), but unfortunately, I don’t. I really am not a super skilled seamstress, though, and I was able to make them; they’re just time consuming. :)

      • jen johnson says:

        aww man! I understand, I have 4 kids 5 and under so time is one thing I don’t have enough of. Well want you get tired of the ones you’ve got and want to sell them, please pick me!! :)

  30. Found your tutorial and have used it as a base for making curtains for my daughters nursery. I used Swiss dot fabric, which isn’t as wide, but I am loving how they are turning out! Thank you for this post–helped my pregnant brain a ton!

    • Rachel Paxton says:

      I bet they are adorable, Marisa! I’m so glad to hear it’s working for you. I hope you continue to love them in your daughter’s room… and congratulations!!

  31. Brandi Herrera says:

    I’m not girly girly either, but I love the ruffles also! I think I might just have to make some for an alcove window seat area in my bedroom. It will be perfect.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *