Skip to content

DIY Hidden Tab Curtains

April 22, 2013

The sunroom in our new home is directly off our kitchen and has an access door to our master bedroom. Since this area is so close to our master bedroom, it has become the ultimate dumping ground for everything master-bedroom-renovation-related. At any one time you will see probably 8 pairs of work gloves, three measuring tapes, carpenter pencils, and a pile of disposable masks on top of various power tools, extension cords, oh, and don’t forget the three inches of dust sprinkled on top. It’s quite the couture look, let me tell you.

So, as part of my “let’s clean up the clutter” rampage I started to clean up the clutter.  I found an empty bucket to dump all the work gloves, masks, and tape measures in. Power tools went back into the actual work area and extensions cords got wound back up. I mopped the floor and fluffed the cushions but didn’t bother to dust….at this point in the remodel process it’s really not worth the time.

sunroom before

sunroom before

The wicker furniture was left to us by Ryan’s parents. It was originally white.

2nd new sunroomI got on a painting kick when we first moved in and spray painted the entire wicker set brown (original house tour here).   When we were in Florida (mentioned here) we found a wicker trunk at a consignment store for $65.  It’s in really good condition and once it gets painted to match it will be a handy place to store my outdoor cushions.  Awhile back I picked up a blue and white ikat rug at Homegoods but besides that I haven’t really done anything with the space nor had I planned on doing anything anytime soon…..but then I discovered the perfect fabric….

On a random trip to Wally World I passed the “craft” section (by far the most pitiful excuse for a craft section) and a fabric caught my eye.  Hesitantly, I walked over to it, opened the bolt and was in love.  It was blue, grey, and white ikat, similar to my Homegoods rug… I never  expected to see such a contemporary pattern a Walmart (Walmart fabric seems to be reserved for camo, cartoon, and anything tacky). Then comes the typical Walmart experience:  I rang a bell, waited 5 minutes, rang the bell again, then went to another section, found an employee who called another employee and i finally got one yard of fabric cut with the hopes to make an awesome pillow for my sunroom.

sunroom i-kat fabric

When i got home with the fabric I discovered that is coordinated perfectly with my Homegoods ikat rug.  It’s almost the exact reverse of the rug which is a blue background and white pattern.   I went back the next day and bought an additional 6 yards because this fabric deserved to be more than just a pillow.  Hence, how I ended up DIY’ing some hidden tab curtains for the sunroom.  Oh, and as if there couldn’t be anything better…I forgot to mention the fabric was $1.50 a yard??! Crazy cheap. Like $9 for an entire pair of curtains cheap…Ikea can’t even compete with that.

Ryan golfs every Sunday morning so I had a few hours to myself to get get these babies made.  I surfed Pinterest and found Cathy from Fiscally Chic’s tutorial on hidden tab curtains and got to work.   (Oh yeah. Ryan shot a 72, I know you were wondering…).

fiscally chic

Cathy’s tutorial was great but I altered it slightly by not using a sewing machine.  My sewing machine/craft room is busy being buried by our old bathroom cabinets, bedroom furniture, and various other items we need to store during the master bedroom remodel, so I opted to use “heat and bond”hem tape where the only equipment required is a hot iron.

heat and bond

I went with the hidden tab because I like the clean look of the casual pleats.  Pinch pleats are really too formal for the room and I can’t stand a rod-pocket drape.  Here is a great guide to different types of window treatments from the blog As the Curtain Hangs.

Drapery Types

And one more tidbit on curtains and drapes…they are not the same.  Curtains are light and airy and often sheer, whereas draperies are lined and more formal…so in my case, I am making curtains.  Van Wilder would say “write that down.”

After a quick swiffer to the floor, I laid down my 6 yards of fabric and cut it in half.  In hindsight, I should have looked at the pattern first to make sure both panels lined up, but the fabric gods were looking after me and all was well.

sunroom curtains

Next I set up an ironing station on the floor by laying down some old towels and got to work.  My favorite assistant, Ninka, watched diligently as I ironed my fabric into curtains.

sunroom fabric Nink

The first panel took me around 2 hours to create but the second one breezed by in under an hour.  Its funny how it always goes faster the second time around.  If you are interested in an actual tutorial on how to make these hidden tab curtains, follow the link above to Cathy’s blog or you can always google search it on your own.  I’m sure there are thousands of them.

Before I could hang my freshly pressed curtains I had to hang my rod (this was the first time I ever hung one completely by myself= proud).  I picked one up at Homegoods for about $25 bucks.  Unfortunately this room has an awkward soffit on the left side of the window so I was forced to hang the brackets directly on the window casing.  It’s not my ideal place to hang a rod (a few inches from the ceiling is ideal), but desperate times called for desperate measures.


sunroom rod

When it’s all said and done I think it looks pretty darn good!  The curtains move focus from that weird soffit and off-centered windows and give a punch of color that this off-white room needed.  I added the ikat rug beneath the trunk and called it a day (for now).  Color me happy I love the new look of the room.


sunroom curtain

sunroom curtain


The casual pleat of the curtain adds enough interest but nothing over the top.  I can’t wait to accessorize the space with a lamp and some tchotchke’s once the master bedroom renovation is complete.  There’s no point in doing that now since the dust and tools are guaranteed to make their way back in before long.  Speaking of which we are moving along on the master, but it’s going slowly.  Hopefully I will have an update on that space soon.


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: