Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Patio Revamp: Stage 2 ~ Outdoor Curtains Tutorial

I'm sure many of you have this problem... We have this wonderful patio, but no tree in our backyard for shade. Anytime we went out on the patio in the late afternoon, about dinner time, we were blinded by the light. Not a good combo when you are having a BBQ! My first thought was... Lets put in a tree! But quickly changed my mind when I went to the nursery. Have you seen the price for large trees?!?!? WOW! Way out of our price range!

So, I came up with this great idea to solve our problems for under $60

I got this idea when I was looking through one of my Better Homes and Gardens magazines. There was this picture of an outdoor pavilion in the middle of a garden scape that had outdoor curtains on it! It was for a backdrop so it was being used for decorative purposes, but I thought, why not take something beautiful and make it functional too!

What you will need for this project:

  • Material -Curtain Liner (enough for 6 panels)
  • Heavy Duty Thread
  • Measuring Tape
  • X-Large Eyelets (You will want enough for 6 panels)- I purchased 1 Complete Eyelet Kit and 4 Additional Refill Packets- you will have a total of 50- I only used 42 in total)
  • Drill and Drill Bits
  • C Hooks (total of 39)
  • Ribbon

Curtain liner material- I chose white, because I wanted some of the light to still come through so it wasn't too dark, but I think that colors would be fun too! If you want a different color other than white, cream, brown, or black you will have to use a linen material (from my experience curtain liner doesn't come in other colors). These materials will be the most durable for outdoor use. (not only is the curtain liner more durable it is way less expensive than most other fabrics so you will find that you are going to spend about 2-3 times less on curtain liner than linen.)

How to determine the size you will need: Measure the height of the space you are wanting to cover (mine was 84"), then add for seam allowances (I did a 2" seam at the top and 1" seam at the bottom- so in total an additional 6" because you will be doing a double seam for extra durability-remember this is going to be outside!). My total length needed for each panel was 90". Now for width: The curtain liner I chose was 54" wide, but depending on what type of material you choose to use this might vary. Try to stay as wide as possible, this will make for a fuller look. The edges are already pre-finished so you won't have to do side seams. Yay! Which means less measuring and sewing, which means less thread and less material, which means more $ in your pocket!

GREAT TIP: I wanted to have 6 panels (two for each section that I wanted to cover. I wanted to have the choice of opening one or two, and the versatility of tying). Because of the large quantity of material that was purchased I had the fabric store pre-cut each one for me. This will make your job EXTREMELY EASIER, considering the length and the quantity of panels needed.

Next... Lay out each panel. Making sure that the length is equal on all panels.

At this point you will want to match up all corners so that they are square. Trim off any excess.

Next... you will want to mark your seams. For the top seam measure down 2 inches and mark, then measure down another 2 inches and mark. (You will be doing a double seam- for durability, so that is why you are marking twice)

For bottom seam you will do the same. This time you will measure only 1 inch down and mark then another inch down and mark.

Fold and press your seams down and pin along edge. Sew your seam closed for each panel.

Next... You will be putting in your Eyelets. I Purchased 1 Complete Eyelet Kit and 4 Additional Eyelet Refills- for a total of 50 eyelets (I only used 42 total- 7 on each panel). The following is a picture of an X-Large Eyelet Refill Pack. These are the ones I choose to use, only in silver.

This is what your Eyelet Kit will look like when you open it:

Now you will be measuring where your Eyelet placements will be. To do this measure where you would like your first Eyelet to be and using your Eyelet kit, follow the instructions included in the kit make your first eyelet punch. I wanted 7 eyelets on each panel so I measured every 8.5 inches. Using the first eyelet, I made marks of where each additional eyelet would be. This made it easier so I didn't have to measure down too.

Once all your eyelets are placed on each panel you are ready for your next step... Measuring for the C hooks. Using the distance between your area you are going to divide the space by 13. You will overlap your panels on the middle hook so you only need 13. Now, mark your spots and start drilling! If you are putting your panels onto a metal surface you will want to start with a small drill bit and work up to whatever size the screw of your C Hook is. Do nOT MaKE yOuR HoLE tOo LaRGEe!!!! So underestimate! If you are using Wood to put the C Hooks just make a small drill hole and then just put your C-Hooks right in.

Next... Screw in your C Hooks! You don't need a special tool, you can just do this by hand :) Then hang you curtains from the hooks.

Bunch fabric in the middle of each section and tie with Ribbon.

Now you have the option to leave them open...

Or close them if you need the shade... I think that they look absolutely GORGEOUS!

And we are Lovin' the shade!

Beyond The Picket Fence


  1. I would love to spend an afternoon there--so pretty and spa like relaxing! Thanks for linking up to the Under $100 Linky Party!

  2. I was just telling someone how much I wanted outdoor curtains! This is a great tutorial for them!

    Thanks for linking up to Show and Tell Saturday!

  3. What a smart idea! Came via Show and Tell Saturdays. Great tutorial too.

  4. I just did this last weekend with fabric and it turned out sooo luxurious! I will try this with liners instead soon...thanks!

  5. I'm your newest follower.

  6. They turned out great!

    I hope you don't mind. I linked your post to my Porch and Garden Party at

  7. Just dropped by from it's a blog party. Lovely ideas for the porch. Great details for the creation too. I've been think about uses for this, thanks for the inspiration.

  8. Did this for my back patio of my house out in the Mojave Desert. Used cloth painters canvas... very durable and was already hemmed. Worked perfectly!

  9. Beautiful and such an awesome tutorial! I have a patio just like yours that I wanted to have curtains on so I'm glad I found your blog!


  10. There was this picture of an outdoor pavilion in the middle of a garden scape that had outdoor curtains on it! It was for a backdrop so it was ...

  11. I love the style and simplicity of the patio roof. Do you have any other pictures of it?

  12. We have an extremely sunny patio, I want to be able to sit outside without it being so unbearable. I found this on the search for a solution! I love this project and it's so easy and affordable! I bought my material at Canvas, Etc., they had so many choices when it came to fabrics,

  13. Hello please can you help me I canot sew I have seriously I jures from joints from a Radiation / chemo is there some I can pay to help me .
    Very serious . Merry Henderson Nv

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