Today I wanted to share a project with y’all that I recently finished – DIY boho curtains that I made from thrift store sheets. These light and bright curtains add a beautiful texture and soft feeling to my bedroom. I’m so happy with how they turned out!
These curtains were conceived out of necessity. Our landlords remodeled the interior of our house themselves – and while they did a great job, some of the things are definitely the budget option. Like the doors to the closet in our bedroom. They were a cheap, hinged style that completely fell off the runners within a few weeks of moving in. They hung there, sad and useless, held out of the way by my shoes until I decided I couldn’t stand it anymore. I was tired of staring into my closet, and quite frankly, looking at the clutter. So I started brainstorming solutions.
I decided curtains would be super easy to make and install. The doors were only propped up against the wall by this point, not attached to anything. I had Jeff and my 17yo carry them downstairs to our basement storage room, and I tasked my mom with bringing me home some nice, king sizes white sheets from the thrift store. My mom is an avid thrifter and she likes it when I send her out on missions. I get a lot of great vintage linens that way!
I had an idea for making really quick and easy boho curtains out of sheets – and I was *pretty* sure it would work if I just winged it. Sometimes I plan and execute a perfect couture project, and sometimes I like the creative process of putting stuff together in an imperfect way. For the look I wanted, minimal planning was needed.
I started with 3 king sized sheets – 2 matching, plain ecru colored and 1 pure white cotton with a top border of pin tucks. I measured the length against my closet and determined that they would cover the opening pretty much perfectly. I decided to sew the 2 matching ecru sheets together and gather them to make a full curtain, and place the white sheet on top as an over layer. My plan was to cut the overlay sheet into strips and tie them together, macrame style.
I began by stitching my backing sheets up the center. I used a 1” seam allowance and didn’t bother making any kind of finished seam. The edges were already hemmed.
Next I laid my top sheet out on the floor and used a pencil and a 2” wide plastic ruler to mark even lines from the top to the bottom, all the way across. This was a super tedious process, as the sheet was very large and I was careful to make sure the lines were even and parallel all the way across.
I wanted the pin-tucked border at the top of my overlay sheet for a decorative feature as well as to hide the gathers of the back sheets. I flipped the top sheet over, laying it out flat on the floor. Then I took my sewn-together backing sheets and laid them on top, making big, roughy even pleats by hand all the way across until the fullness was gathered into the top sheet. I pinned the pleats at the top and then stitched all the way across.
Now I needed to make some loops to hang the curtain from. I grabbed another thrift store sheet my mom had – a twin size. I ripped some strips from it, roughly 6 inches wide. I didn’t bother finishing the edges – for this curtain, rough edges were what I wanted. I measured roughly how long they should be to go around my curtain rod and provide enough length so my curtain would go all the way to the floor. Then I cut 6 even lengths, pinned them to the top of my curtains, and stitched them on along the same line that I used to sew the front and back sheets together.
I decided to try an idea of adding some texture to the bottom sheets by snipping holes in regular intervals all the way across the bottom in two rows. Then I threaded long, torn strips through them a safety pin, gathering the sheets as I went. Since I sewed two king sized sheets together, there was still a lot of fullness at the bottom, and it created a cool looking border. I simply tied the ends together in a bow at the sides.
At this point, I figured it would be easiest to cut and tie the strips in the overlay sheet if it was hanging, not laying on the floor. So Jeff helped me slide the curtain onto the curtain rod and put it up. The sheets were surprisingly heavy!
From there on, it was simply a matter of cutting strips, tying a knot in the top, and tying them together. I didn’t look up a pattern – I just tied them in a crisscrossing diamond pattern, using the previous knot’s position as a measurement for where the next knot should go.
I made sure to work from each side inwards, so that I wouldn’t be left with an awkward extra strip hanging at the edges if I had an uneven number. I like the experimentation of trying something to see if it works – I tried a few patterns that I untied until I found one I liked. The tying took a few days, as I worked on it bit by bit. One thing to note is that the process of tying shortens the strips as you go – I made sure my sheet was extra long and then stopped tying when the strips brushed the floor.
All the work was worth it, however! I love the way the curtains look and so does Jeff. They add a beautiful soft texture to the room – they are very romantic and bohemian looking. I love the texture of the macrame style strips with the soft white and ecru. It’s just enough visual detail without being too overwhelming in the room, as they take up most of one wall. I also like how the strips flutter softly in the breeze from my fan, like leaves on a tree in the breeze.
I find this type of project can be very rewarding and creatively stimulating – you start with a rough idea of what you want, and then wing it as you go. It’s fun to gather supplies, and then determine what type of design would work best with what you’ve got. For instance, the pretty border on the top sheet ended up adding such a nice touch to the curtain, but I didn’t know I would get a sheet like that.
Another idea I have for this style of sheet is to dip-dye the sheets, creating an ombre pattern from the bottom up. I think that you could create some really cool effects that way!
I’d love to see your results if you end up making some curtains like this – make sure to drop me a comment with a link so I can check it out!