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How To Make Ring Clip Curtain Panels

October 14, 2020

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DIY ring clip curtain panels are an easy way to get custom, designer looking curtains for your home.

Sew or no sew, they're quick to make and so much less than ordering from a shop. Here are the details.

DIY Ring Clip Curtain Panels Graphic

Today I'm back with all the fun details about those ring clip kitchen curtain panels in my kitchen makeover.

Thank you all so much for the lovely emails and comments about them. I'm so glad you like them as much as I do.

I think I spent the entire weekend staring at them.

Want to make a pair of your own?

Easy peasy. I swear.

Ring clip curtains are great. There's no rod pocket or hooks involved. You don't need to add grommets or tabs. You simply cut your fabric, finish your seams and clip that fabric up. 

It's my favorite way to embellish windows and even tables. I've been doing it for years. 

However, this was the first time I ever attempted full length curtain panels and I was surprised at how uncomplicated it was.

I know, a lot of people tell me, they can't sew. I get it in the comments and in emails all the time. However, it's so much simpler than you think.

Dirty little secret?

90% of sewing happens long before the thread ever hits the material.

It's all in the planning. 

And with so many crazy products out there today, like fusible web tape - which I have been using more and more lately - and fabric glue, you don't even have to use thread if you don't want to.

The only caveat here, is that thread does form a very durable bond that can washed and ripped out if necessary.

I would say that it lasts longer, too, however my kitchen chair makeover is going on five years now and even with daily use, that iron on tape hasn't budged.

Ok, so how exactly do you make ring clip curtain panels?

Let me show you.

However, before we get started, I'd like to answer a few questions I've received about these particular panels.

Are They Lined?

No. I didn't line these. You could and it really doesn't add much to the process, however, I purposely did not for several reasons. 

#1. I have lined my curtains in the past and I don't love that bland white look from the outside. I sit in the garden often and enjoy seeing color. 

#2. If I had lined them, I would've chosen the same fabric, or a coordinating one and that would've doubled my price. At $24 a yard, I wasn't excited about that.

#3. Probably most importantly, I didn't line them because the fabric is a gorgeous thick 100% cotton dream. It's stiff and weighed and really didn't need any lining whatsoever. 

What Is The Name Of The Fabric?

It's called Lyme in Berry Natural DL20 from Roth & Tompkins. It comes in tons of colors and is made for upholstery and drapes. 

Can You Close The Panels?

I cannot. Again, I had several reasons why I did not make them to close.

#1. I needed 5 yards to make these curtains. If I had made them to close, based on the fact that the windows are over 6 feet wide with the mouldings, etc, I would've needed to at least double my yardage. 

I'm a super fickle decorator and I'm cheap. Ok...frugal, as my mom would say. Either way, I just couldn't justify spending several hundred dollars on curtains that will probably be replaced by April. 

#2. My intention was to make accents. I'm a valance girl. These are the first panels I've ever put up in the kitchen and I did so reluctantly because I didn't want to block the light.

Curtain panels that closed would also close in the room during the darkest parts of the day. That was a no.

#3. There are blinds on these windows that we lower every night. So the curtains don't need to be functional.

I Can't Sew. Where Can I Purchase Something Similar?

Before I made these, I actually bought a beautiful pair to try out. They were Park Designs Wicklow in Garnet

They were lined and also 100% cotton. I returned them because they weren't the right fit for my windows, but they were lovely.

If you do want to make them instead, here's the DIY.

How To Make Clip Ring Curtain Panels

I'm going to explain the basic gist of how to make these panels. Your exact measurements and yardage needs will obviously vary based on your individual project.

I'm also not a sewing expert. I'm self taught and do things on the fly and I cheat whenever possible to get the job done as inexpensively and quickly as possible.

Can you tell? Absolutely not. 

My curtains look store bought even when examined up close and they last. 

So never let the idea of doing it wrong stop you from creating. Dive in, give it a try and make something you love. 

No one's looking or judging. I promise.

Step 1: Measure

The first step in your project is to measure your window width and length to determine how many yards of fabric you'll need. 

If you are unsure, bring your measurements to the fabric store and they will help you figure it out. For my project, I knew I was just making accent panels, so I was good with 5 yards.

That would give me enough fabric to create 4 panels, with seam allowances. Each finished one would measure 26" x 84".

Step 2: Map It Out

A lot of people don't need this step, they can figure it all out on paper. I'm not that girl.

Maybe it's my costuming experience, but I always approach curtain making the way I would dressmaking. It's easier to visualize.

Making Long Curtain Panels

Rather than measuring my fabric on a table and adding for seam allowance and subtracting for the clip and rod height, blah, blah, math, blah, I literally clipped the material up.

That way I could see exactly how long they needed be. I then added about 3 inches to that for top and bottom seams.

Measuring Long Curtain Panel fabric

As you can see, this is one continuous piece of fabric. It's doubled at the clips, so that I could have a larger piece of leftover material, rather than two small pieces.

The scrap is much more usable that way.

Step 3: Cut

Once my fabric had been marked, I cut it for length. I carefully went through both layers.

Cutting Long Panel Curtain Fabric To the floor

Working with buffalo checks is so simple, since the lines are right there for you. I barely had to measure and I didn't have to mark anything to cut. I just followed the lines.

Cutting Red Checked Fabric

Next, since my fabric was in one long 5 yard piece that had been doubled, I took it down from the clips and cut the material in half, so I had two pieces of fabric.

Each one was 54" wide.

Cutting and Folding Check Fabric

My last cuts were straight up the center of each of the two panels. 

Cutting Red Checked Fabric Down the center of a red line

When I was done, I had 4 separate pieces of fabric, one for each panel.

Step 4: Pin It

At this point I could've just measured each panel for a standard length hem - generally 84" inches for long panels. 

However, this house is old and even though that area of the kitchen is an addition, the floors are still uneven.

Pinned Curtain Hem

So I clipped those suckers back up again and pinned each one individually so it would be the perfect length. That is one of the benefits of making your own curtains.

Pinning Long Panel Curtains

Step 5: Sew (Or Glue - Or Not!)

Here's the place where you can get creative with your ring clip creations. 

If you're going to sew, you just run your pinned seams through the machine

I always start with the sides then I stitch up the top and bottom. Sometimes, I roll the edges over twice before I stitch, sometimes not.

If the material tends to fray, I do fold it over twice. If not, I don't always bother.

Sewing Curtain Panel seams

This time I rolled the top and bottom, but just folded the sides over once since I wanted as much of width as I could get.

I only used 1/2 seams. As I said, it's great fabric, so no worries. 

If you don't want to sew, you can use fabric glue or that fusible web tape and you'll get the exact same finished looking results.

I just recommend using a designated iron for the tape since, even with a rag over the tape, you can get some of the glue on the iron and then you wouldn't want to iron anything else with it. 

If you really want a quick and easy ring curtain panel, you can just cut your panels to the exact size of the finished measurements you need and hang them stitching no glueing. 

Again, you need a really good material for this that won't fray, unless of course, you're going for a deconstructed look and that tattered edge is your style. 

Or...if you don't want to sew the edges, but want a finished look, you can iron on a trim.  

There really are so many endlessly creative options. I say have fun.

When I was finally finished with my planning and pinning and cutting and sewing, it was probably about 2 am, but it was so worth it.

Update: I actually took them up a notch by adding pop pom trim!

Red and White Curtains In Kitchen

I had gorgeous custom curtain panels that looked so good, even in the dark. 

But trust me, they look just as good in the bright light of day.

Even up close.

Not that anyone's looking. 

I promise. 

Would you make your own?

Happy Stitching!!
Kim Signature

Post a Comment | 24 Comments

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  1. What about cleaning? Do you think they will shrink?

    1. Good question. And probably. They're 100% cotton, although I have washed cotton upholstery fabric after sewing it before, in cold water, hang dry, and it did not. However, I never usually wash my curtains since I don't want to chance that and I don't want those deep lush colors to fade, so I either hit them with the steamer or dry clean them. Hope that helps!

  2. I'm kind of wanting to change out my kitchen curtains over my sink. But I don't want to try to get the very heavy vintage Singer Featherweight down from the closet shelf. Maybe I'll try that tape. Your curtains look fantastic! I love red and white!

    1. Thanks Brenda! I have to say, I resorted to using the tape on my last sink skirt and it worked out really well. It was super quick and very easy.

  3. I love these Kim. I like how you hung them to cut them that way. I have no patience with the whole measure math thing either. I do not own a sewing machine so I think if I attempted curtains I would use the tape. I did make curtains like this with 84 inch table cloths that way I could use the rings and the ends were already finished. I did this in my last house and it worked out great for us peeps that do not own a sewing machine. I love the check it looks so great. Happy Wednesday. xoxo Kris

    1. Thank you, Kris. I really love the way they turned out and were so easy to make...and I was going to suggest the tablecloth tip. I forgot to put it in there. I need to go back and add that tip! Be well my friend. xo

  4. I like the short curtains you made and the check curtains will look great for fall and winter. I made curtains many years ago with my mom who helped me out. They were short valances and it was nice to work with her. I think if I attempted it again I would use the tape. Thanks for sharing the process on how to make the curtains and where to buy them too! Great job Kim, and I know you will enjoy these curtains.

    1. The tape is awesome, Julie. It works really well and there’s no need to sew anything! I know you miss your mom. It’s nice to have those sweet memories of working together, isn’t it?
      Hoping you have a great week. xo

  5. You make it sound so easy, Kim, and they look fantastic. I keep thinking about side curtains in my sitting room but I don't want to cover up the fancy moulding, but everytime I see yours I start thinking again..Stay well..xxoJudy

    1. Thanks Judy! I know what you mean...we've been here almost 20 years and these are the first full length panels I've had in here. They're lovely for the fall and winter, but I think once spring comes around, I'll be back to valances! Take care my friend! xo

  6. Very cute curtains. I don't sew any longer, but I do love your look.

    1. Thanks Linda! I don’t love sewing, but I just couldn’t find what I wanted/ needed out there for sale. Chalk it up to the perils of small cottage living!

  7. Great post Kim and tutorial. I still love these curtains!


    1. Thanks Cindy!! I hope I was clear...sometimes it's hard to know.

  8. Your curtains are beautiful, Kim. I am also a fan of hanging them up first and then hemming them. Curtains are a great project for beginners - the sewing is all straight lines! I'm sure post has convinced people to give it a try!

    1. You're so right, Ann, they're a great way to start...especially when you have the straight lines to cut on built into the fabric! 😉

  9. I can see buffalo check is the way to go when making these. I'm going to be looking for new living room curtains in the future. I'll keep this in mind!

    1. So easy when you have those lines to follow, Mari! They made this DIY so simple...

  10. There aren't enough words to tell you how much I LOVE these curtains!!! I am pinning this post just in case I ever get brave!!! I would have to use the fabric glue or fusible stuff because I can't sew a lick. My mother was a very, very accomplished seamstress and she so hoped my sister and I would follow in her footsteps. Unfortunately, neither of us did! Thanks for taking so much time and effort to write this post.

    1. Thanks so much, Cheri! I love them, it ok to say that? I have to say they really are so easy. And the tape works, try it. You can do it!!

  11. Thank you Kim, as always you do a great job with explaining the process to us. You do well writing your tutorials.
    I have to admit, I cheated and purchased our new curtains. I will be doing a post on our new look in our dining room soon.

    1. Carla, I heard Oprah once say if you can buy it you get no points for making it...and I agree. Making is much harder and doesn't always turn out the way you want. If I could've found these on the shelf, I would've bought them, too!! Can't wait to see!!

  12. Thank you so much for this post!! There is an old rod hanging in the kitchen of the house I rent a room in and so far I have bought the rings with clips and Raiders fabric (because he is a huge fan) but I’ve been hesitant to try to make the curtains. Reading this post has me inspired and feeling more confident about trying it! Pulling out my sewing machine tonight!

    1. Oh yay!! I'm so happy this post inspired you! Thank you so much for letting me know! ☺️ It really is all in the planning, once you get the size mapped out, the sewing is just a few straight lines. I know they'll be beautiful...and go Raiders!