Make Ombre Ruffled Curtains Using Bed Sheets

These full, ruffled curtains are fit for a princess. This DIY sewing project is made simpler with a few tricks involving an iron, but will leave people thinking you're a master seamstress.


Materials Needed:

  • two flat twin bed sheets
  • tape measure
  • four 4- to 8-yard pieces of cotton fabric (45" wide) in same color family, but graduated intensities from light to dark*
  • coordinating all-purpose cotton thread
  • sewing machine
  • scissors
  • pins
  • iron
  • 3 yards double-fold binding
  • fusible webbing strips
  • ironing board
  • curtain rod
  • 12 curtain rings with clips
  • *Amount of fabric required depends on curtain height and ruffle fullness. Tip: Cotton sheets, shower curtains or tablecloths can be used as well.

Cut and Hem Sheets

Prewash fabric and sheets. Iron sheets. Measure window height and transfer measurement to length of sheet, adding about an inch for a hem. Mark with a pencil and cut along mark with sharp scissors. Cotton sheets will tear in a straight line, so make an initial cut and then tear fabric. Repeat with other sheet. The sheets will be used as fabric panels and ruffles will be sewn to them. Raw fabric edge will be top of curtain panels.

Fold Panels and Cut Fabric

Fold panel width-wise four times in order to create eight equal "vertical stripes." Iron along folded edges to create evenly spaced creased lines. These creases will act as a guide when pinning and sewing ruffles to the panel. Cut fabric pieces to same height as "vertical stripes" plus two inches for overlap and hem allowance. Width should be approximately 2-3 times wider than panel in order to create a full ruffle. Pieces may be sewn together, if necessary. There should be two fabric pieces of each of the four colors for each curtain panel.

Hem Sides and Bottom of Fabric Pieces

Fold over three sides of one fabric piece (2 short sides and 1 long) approximately 3/4 inch and press along fold. Insert fusible webbing strip and press single-fold hem into place. Miter corners by folding them in at an angle. Repeat with three sides of all fabric pieces.

Pin and Sew Ruffles

Start at top of one panel (side with the raw edge) and line up top (raw edge) of one piece of the lightest shade of fabric. Pinch fabric into ruffles that are evenly spaced over the width of the panel and pin into place. Sew along pin line, removing pins along the way. Repeat this process with second piece of the lightest shade. Use ironed crease as a straight line to follow when gathering and pinning ruffle and always pin and sew raw edge of fabric piece to panel. Sew along pin line and remove pins. Repeat with remaining fabric pieces working from light to dark.

Pin and Sew Binding

Fold double-fold binding over raw edges at top of curtain panel. Fold ends over and pin into place. Sew along bottom edge of binding to secure to ruffled curtain panel. Repeat with other panel. Trim all threads. Hang curtain using rings clipped to binding trim. Tip: For larger windows, use full-, queen- or king-sized sheets and adjust amount of fabric needed for ruffles.

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