There is so much involved when it comes to moving or setting up your first house. Unpacking, arranging furniture, putting away dishes – there are literally hundreds of things that need to be done. One of the first things people like to do when arriving at the new place is to hang curtains. No one wants the neighbors and passerby’s to peer into their uncovered windows. Don’t have any curtains for a bathroom window? A kitchen window? Sure you do! If you have bath towels you have curtains!
It’s very easy to make quick curtains from ordinary bath towels. Thin towels, lush towels, white towels or colored towels can all be made into fabulous curtains for certain windows. Of course, you probably don’t want to display bath towels as your living room curtains, but the towels make fabulous curtains for the bathroom, laundry room, or even the kitchen.
Many people who want to cover their windows temporarily with towels, until they can get new curtains, go about it all wrong. Some people simply take tacks and stretch one towel across the window. With this method there is no draping to the “curtain” and the tacks are an eyesore. It only takes a couple of extra minutes – and a sewing machine – to create real curtains from ordinary towels.
The towels you choose for the window treatments are all-important. Although color and design do not matter there is one stipulation that goes along with choosing towels for curtains: they must look the same on both sides. That is, the towels can’t be the type that are printed or colored only on one side. The back of the towel must not be distinguishable from the front of the towel.
The reason the towel must be the same on both sides is that one side will be folded over to form the top of the curtain. If the towel appears different on one side it will be very noticeable when the curtain is hung. The towels need to be at least 5 to 6″ longer than the intended window. This excess is needed to form the rod pocket and valance.
Lay the towel out on a flat surface so that the top of the towel is horizontal. Fold the top of the towel down over the front of the towel. Allow about 5″ for the fold-over. Measure two inches down from the fold. Use a yardstick to draw across the curtain, just below the fold, and all the way across the width of the towel. This mark represents the seam you will sew to form the rod pocket.
Stitch across the line you’ve drawn making sure to back-tack at the beginning and at the end of the stitch line. The back-tack will ensure the stitches don’t come out in the wash. After you’ve stitched across the line the curtain is finished! By sewing the simple seam you’ve created a panel along with a valance. Make a second one and you have a pair of panels and a pair of valances – all from two towels!
Slide the curtain rod into the two rod pockets of the curtain set. As you do, the main body of the towels will create the panels and the part you folded over to start, will become the valances. It only takes minutes to lay out the towels, mark the rod pocket, stitch, and hang the curtains. If two towels aren’t wide enough to cover the window simply make two additional towels into curtains.
If you intend to hang the towel curtains temporarily, until you buy others, they will serve the purpose. But, if you want to leave the towels up as your real curtains you have many options for embellishing them. Before hanging them on the rods sew a narrow piece of lace along the valance – and along the bottom – of each towel. Create tie-backs by folding matching or coordinating wash cloths and using them to hold the curtains back.
Multi-stitch machines make it easy to embroider a beautiful floral basket, seashell or other design onto the front of each towel. Or, use the machine to create a monogram for each panel. There are many options for making the towels appear more like luscious curtains. For a stiff look choose thick towels, but if you want the curtains to drape easier, choose lightweight or thin towels. Either way, you’ll love the look, and you’ll how easy it was to accomplish!