Succumbing to Summer Meal Planning & DIY Bathroom Curtains

I’m finally admitting to the fact that I’m not doing a very good job with my meal planning this summer.  Rather, I’m having trouble sticking to my meal plan to be more exact; I’m doing fine coming up with the plan.  I love the spontaneity of summer fun and gatherings way more than I like to stick to a rigorous schedule or meal plan.  That’s not to say that I don’t still find meal planning very worthwhile, particularly for a strict budget and food allergies.

For this reason, I’m going to forgo posting a meal plan on here for a couple of weeks, at least.  If you want to know what we’re having for dinner, either look back at the meal plans for the past few weeks because I may try some of those meals or follow me on Facebook.  I may post a few “What’s for dinner?” over this time and I’d love for you to chime in.

In lieu of the meal plan this week (and it obviously has nothing to do with food allergies), I’m posting a quick 15 minute DIY tutorial on how to make no-sew bathroom or cafe curtains.  Back in April, I shared my DIY Kitchen Curtains with you and said that I would soon post my bathroom curtains as well.  The bathroom curtains were actually the project that gave me the nerve to make the kitchen curtains.

First, let me say that I cannot sew.  I’ve tried to sew.  I cannot.  I first discovered iron-on hemming tape (BEST.STUFF.EVER.) when looking for some way to have kitchen curtains that I liked, not something from Target that I just settled on.  Essentially, I wanted custom curtains without the custom curtain price or the required DIY sewing.  I absolutely loved the way my kitchen curtains turned out!

Second, I love having the natural light from the window in our bathroom, so I did not want to cover it up with blinds or shades.  We went without a curtain in our bathroom for far too long.  (You’ll notice that I have painting to do on our new window too. That’s not the only place I need to paint!)  I’m not much for voyeurism, so I was always darting one direction or another to stay out of view.  Our bathroom window sits above our toilet and beside the shower.

Third, I decided that a cafe curtain was the style I was looking for because it would give us privacy and not block out the natural light.  Unfortunately, all cafe curtains are either made for a kitchen or are down-right ugly.  Really!

So, I came up with my own design after looking through dozens of store options.  My design took me literally 15-20 minutes…with no skills!

How to Make No-Sew Cafe Curtains

  • Purchase 4 dinner napkins of desired color/design.  I bought a pack of 6 white cotton napkins from TJMaxx for $5.99.  They measure 16″ square.
  • Purchase enough ribbon of coordinating color/design that is about 1 1/2 times the width of your window.  I bought a spool of wired ribbon from Joann’s that was 50% off (~$2).  I have a lot left over that I can use for future projects.  Be sure the ribbon is wide enough to cover the seam, about 1 inch.
  • Purchase adhesive hemming tape.  I bought mine for $2 at Ikea, but you can get it at any sewing store for a little more.
  • Purchase a tension rod the size of your window.
  1. Measure and re-measure your window, both the width and the length that you want. For the length, I went a couple inches above the window lock.  I can just look over the curtain to see outside.  My width is 28″, so I did not do any hemming for the width, but allow the curtains to flow and wave naturally.
  2. In order to get the desired length, I “sewed” two napkins together.  For cafe curtains, you will make 2 curtains, so you want to make sure that all the seams match across the two curtains (I forgot this step, but was so precise with my measuring that they matched up…phew!).  Add enough hem space at the top of your curtain for your tension rod to fit through, about 1 1/2 inches for a small rod.
  3. Once you’ve figured out your length, make your hem for the tension rod.  (Iron the napkin to get out any fold marks, if necessary.)  For the hem, simply fold over the fabric and iron together with the adhesive tape.  Again, make sure you have enough space for your tension rod.  Do this for both curtains.  (If necessary, the rubber tips come off the tension rod to make slipping the rod in easier.)
  4. Now you’re going to connect two napkins together to achieve the length that you need.  Re-measure your length (I’m big on measuring!).  Flip your tension rod napkin over to the back side and lay the bottom napkin on top of it (make sure both napkins are on their back side — hems facing you).  Adjust the bottom napkin until you reach the desired length of your curtain.  Carefully iron on your adhesive tape right where the hem of the tension rod napkin meets the bottom napkin.  When the napkins are “sewn” together, cut off the extra fabric from the bottom napkin that is not needed (it will be behind the tension rod napkin if laid out flat).
  5. Before starting the 2nd curtain and putting on the finishing touches, do a test hanging of the curtain to make sure everything turned out right.
  6. Repeat steps 3-5 for the 2nd curtain.
  7. For the finish touch and to hide the seam from combining the 2 napkins, use the adhesive tape to glue on your ribbon.  Cut the ribbon to the width of each curtain and little extra to wrap around the side hems.  Make sure that you have the ribbon at the same location across both curtains, otherwise it might look a little off.
  8. Hang your curtains.  Now enjoy your privacy and an easy project made with your own two hands!

Any questions?  Since I’m not very crafty and definitely not a seamstress (a seamstress would be appalled at my work), my instructions may not be very clear.  I apologize for not having pictures of each step.  Feel free to ask for any clarification.

If you’re just dying for something food allergy related today, don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a copy of Barrett’s Unusual Ice Cream Party.  This book is wonderful for all families and children, whether you have food allergies or not.

Shared at Better Moms Monday, Titus 2sdays, Thriving on Thursdays, Home is Where the Heart Is, and Homestead Barn Hop.

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10 Responses to Succumbing to Summer Meal Planning & DIY Bathroom Curtains

  1. those curtains turned out so well! love the ribbon!

  2. erin says:

    Saw your link at Prairie Homestead. We have the same problem with our bathroom window and like you, thought the curtains out there are hideous. I have dreams of relocating the window so you can leave it all the way open without flashing the neighborhood. So, until then, this is a great idea. Thanks!

    • Cook says:

      Wow, relocating a window…that’s not an easy task! I’m glad you found this today too, in the meantime 🙂 I’m not sure my instructions are said very well, but it was really, really easy. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I have no crafting skills. So if I can pull it off, anyone can. Thanks for stopping in!

  3. Mary Jane says:

    I can sew, but my favorite curtains are the ones in my kitchen. They are a pair of antique pillowcases with clip-on rings, on a tension rod. Takes just a couple of minutes to clip the rings on and hang it all. I bought a package of rings and a rod at Walmart, and I already had the pillowcases.

    • Cook says:

      I tried that in my kitchen with some beautiful tea towels and it didn’t look right. I can’t remember if I tried in my bathroom. It’s a great idea!

  4. Pingback: Allergy-Free Wednesdays: July 25, 2012 | The Willing Cook

  5. No sewing?! that’s my kind of sewing! haha..these turned out really cute and the no sewing makes them even better! haha Please come hang out and link up to our link party “Home is Where the Heart is” Please feel free to link up any posts you might want to share! 🙂

    • Cook says:

      Thanks for the invitation, Ericka! And thanks for your kind words about the curtains. No sew is my new favorite “talent”. Ha!

  6. Mrs. R. says:

    These are DARLIN’! And I could actually make ’em, too! Thanks so much. 🙂

    AND, yes–you DO have skills, as is obvious, above…PLUS–your instructions are really clear. Appreciate that, too!

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