design: DIY tea towel curtains

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I’m still in the process of making my pantry a ‘baker’s paradise,’ albeit slow (but continual!) progress. One of these steps forward was the addition of curtains to the window in my walk-in pantry. As much as I love sunlight, this is not the place I want it streaming in! My sister helped make my vision a reality, and we kept it super-simple and economical by using my supply of ‘burnt crust’ Tartella tea towels as the fabric for the curtains, and coordinating bright bias tape for ‘finishing.’



This is a great way to retire old tea towels or showcase a new favorite (but, you must be ok with cutting it up)! The relatively thin quality of flour sack tea towels gives you privacy without blocking all the sunlight. This easy project requires only tea towels, basic sewing machine skills, thread and a pair of scissors.  Add any embellishments you want; here’s how we made ours:

1) Select as many tea towels as you need to cover your window. (We used 3 28″ square towels for a small pantry window.) Cut each one into equal quarters in whichever direction gives you the best coverage, or based on pattern. For example, if it is a longer window you may want to cut widthwise. (We cut lengthwise.)

2) Lay out your pieces in a large rectangle- this will be your curtain, so have fun with it! Go for a pattern or mix randomly.

3) Pin and sew together your blocks however you have laid them out. If you want two curtains that come together in the center it may be easiest to sew one giant curtain first and then cut the center seam. (Note that this method creates a rather ‘rugged’ backside.  I don’t mind it, but if your window is prominent from the outside, you may want to consider attaching plain cotton curtain lining fabric on the opposite side of the top seam for a clean look both inside and out! Remember to also hem and press the three other sides of the lining before pinning and sewing to the curtain. )

4) Sew a channel on the top of the curtain to fit whatever curtain rod you are going to use -OR- sew 2 equal lengths of bias tape (or a cotton ribbon) at equal distances on the backside of the top seam.  You can then tie these over a rod, cafe-curtain style.  But, make sure to sew on enough pairs of tape/ribbon (and equidistant!) so that the curtain hangs evenly (and without too much sagging) from the rod.

5) For added polish; instead of hemming the outer edges, consider covering them with double fold bias tape in a fun color. This was our approach, and it really made the curtains pop!


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hang up and ENJOY!

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One Comment

  1. I’m IN LOVE with those curtains….if you get tired of them, think of me….

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