DIY Bay Window Curtain Rod & Back Tab Curtains

Bay Window Rods and Back Tab Curtains - Domestic Imperfection

Although this project was really simple it did take me nearly a month to complete, from picking out fabric and brainstorming about how to make the curtain rod to only really being able to work during nap time. I love the way it turned out though! Here is the before picture. Well, its not a true before picture…
Dining room in need of curtains
The first step was to figure out how the heck to hang a curtain rod. It’s a four window bay rather than the standard three, so I couldn’t find anything online. Plus all the spacing between the windows is different….nice right? So off to Home Depot it was to try and create something. Four trips and a week later I had my solution. I bought four pieces of electrical conduit, four packs of wooden rod hangers and some plastic tubing. Oh, and a hacksaw. The cheapest one I could find ($3)…which turned out to be a not so good idea.  First step was to measure and cut all the conduit. I measured from crease to crease and took off about 3.5 inches to leave room for the joints.
Using conduit to make curtain rods
And here is why the $3 hacksaw was a bad idea…it kept falling apart! One tiny piece of metal wouldn’t stay in place and that was that. It this about six times during the cutting process. I know what your thinking…”wait did you even have that many cuts to make?” All I have to say to that is thank you for assuming I get everything right the first time.  I actually make about 15 cuts because I thought “eyeballing it” would be sufficient.
Don't buy a $3 hacksaw
Luckily my little helper was there there to encourage me….
321W
I put (more like stuffed) some plastic tubing in the joints (to make sure the curtain tabs wouldn’t fall between the cracks) and it worked great.  Here is what it looks like finished…
Bay Window Curtain Rod DIY
Next step…make the curtains. After a few rejects I ended up choosing a grey/blue chevron pattern I bought off of fabric.com. I bought 15 yards and had juuuuust enough. I had to make back-tab curtains to that I could lace them around the hardware and have a clean finished look. I’d never made them before so I just winged (wung?) it. First I made the tabs by cutting 4 inch strips, folding in half and sewing. I did it this was so it would have a nice edge when I turned them pattern side out. Not that it mattered because they are hidden anyway.  (Also, I’ve discovered a way to make “back tab” curtains without actually having to make tabs. It really is so much easier and I don’t ever think I’ll make tabs again. CLICK HERE to read that post.)
Back Tab Curtains
Here they are finished (yes, I pressed them). I made eight for each curtain for a total of 40.
Make Back Tab Drapes
Next I hemmed all the four edges of each curtain, which was definitely the least fun part of this project. Well, that and getting all my cuts wrong ;).  Then I folded down the top edge of the curtain (4.5 inches) and pinned the bottom part of the tabs to the edge, sewing the tabs and seam all at once. For the top of the tabs I folded them over to be even with the top of the curtain and sewed them individually.
How to make drapes
 Here is a view of the back of the curtains all hung up…
hidden tab curtains
 And here it is finished! My casual dining room looks much more “grand” now!
Chevron Curtains
Chevron Window Panels
The grand total for this project ended up being just under $100. Not bad considering I’ve seen the same curtains (shorter, rod pocket) selling for $150 a pair on etsy. Hmm…maybe I should sell curtains…
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Update: This post was one of the first posts I’d ever written and we have done a ton to the dining room since then.
Dining Room Ideas

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Interested in making curtains, but want an even easier tutorial? GO HERE
How to make curtains - Domestic Imperfection

 



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Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    You are such a good wife! Clipping coupons, being crafty, and now blogging. Not to mention the bun in the oven. I want to come see this in person! What are y'alls plans near the end of July?
    “`Robin

  2. Jessica White says:

    It looks SO GOOD!!! Great job Ashley!! Love the blog!

  3. Your curtains are BEAUTIFUL!!

    I feel your pain on cutting conduit! We borrowed a pipe cutter…didn't go well. It was worth it for the cost savings!

  4. Visiting from Remodelaholic. Your curtains make the room look more finished. And I love the color palette and the chevron pattern. Nice work!

  5. Love the chevron pattern…looks so much nice with curtains!

  6. Wow! Those look awesome! I never would have thought about making a continuous rod! The chevron print is so cute also!

  7. Great transformation!!
    Thank you so much for linking it up to {nifty thrifty sunday} last week as well!
    xoxo,
    Vanessa

  8. Great way to hand curtains around a corner. My mom and I were looking for an inexpensive solution to her bay window!

  9. You just solved my problem!!! I've been wanting to make curtains for the bay window in my front room and didn't want to fork out the big bucks for the fancy curved curtain rod! I'm running to Home Depot as soon as it stops raining!! Thank You!!!

  10. I am stopping by from TDC – what a difference curtains make! I love the look and the fabric you chose is awesome!

  11. Why do you need a new table? The whole space looks great!

  12. Very very cute!

  13. Beautiful!! You did an amazing job on those curtains! I would have never had the patience to set all those little tabs. The whole is just perfect!

  14. Hi Ashley…

    Wow…I am sooo impressed! What a job you took on…to make the drapery rods and the drapes! It turned out sooo beautiful though! What a creative and talented lady you are, my friend! You have a beautiful dining room…I just love the walls of windows…FABULOUS!!!

    Thank you for sharing your lovely home with us! I'm coming over from Jena's Roomspiration party.

    Warmest wishes,
    Chari @Happy To Design

  15. Beautiful job! I am so impressed you made the curtain rods and the curtains. They both look fabulous and you can't beat less than $100. Way to go!

  16. Ashley, the new curtains look beautiful and at such a great price! I love the fabric you chose. It looks great with the wall color and really accentuates your gorgeous windows. I can also feel your pain sawing through metal with a hack saw…it's totally nails on a chalk board! Thanks so much for linking up to Roomspiration!

  17. Your new curtains are very pretty and that was genius the way you connected the conduit around the curves. You saved yourself a fortune making those rods. I have a question though, what did you use at the end of the rods? I can't tell from looking at the photo's. Thanks

  18. This looks great!

    Jenny
    http://www.simcoestreet.blogspot.com

  19. love the open window feeling and the blue and white looks great oh my so elegant come see me at http://shopannies.blogspot.com

  20. Oh I just love your drapes! I hope you will add your lovely metamorphosis to my Fall in Love linky party on Wednesday.

    Until then, stop by and see the under $20 makeover I gave an ugly brass light fixture.

    Happy Monday!

  21. Your window looks awesome! I love the curtain rod idea!

    ~JamieS@ Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom

  22. Patsy – For the ends I wrapped the curtains around the end of the rod and then added a carpet tack to secure the curtains to the wall. I didn't want the gap between the curtains and the wall to be the first thing you see when you walk in, plus it makes the curtains look fuller.

  23. The curtains are great. I also take the sides to wall (above comment).

    I hope you are able to stop by and share at the It’s a Wrap Link Party at Artful Rising

    Erika

  24. These look great! And I love your table! : ) Thanks for sharing at Craft and Tell!

  25. The homemade rod is genius!

  26. I love your homemade rod, it's so pretty in that gorgeous room with all the windows!!!
    XOXO
    Kristin

  27. Wow – your curtains are gorgeous! Adds just the right touch and feel to your beautiful room!
    shannonsews.blogspot.com

  28. wow, these are perfect! and i can't believe you made that rod! way to go! glad you had your helper with you! ;)

    i would love for you to come link up this or any other amazing project at my creativity party going on right now!

    letbirdzfly.blogspot.com

    thanks so much for sharing!

  29. very nice! I might try that hidden loops trick. I usually let the loops be seen but this is prettier. I bought cheap curtain rods at IKEA – just need to move my butt and sew the actual curtains!

  30. i just wanted to say thank you for showing your curtain rod idea.. i have a wall of window and the cheapest rod i could find was $350.00… way way over my budget. i am going to be brave and attempt to make one myself.. and i will splurge on the hacksaw. ;-) thanks for showing us.. they look fab!!

  31. Your room is beautiful! What a transformation! I really like your fabric choice.

  32. Awesome job on the diy curtain rods & curtains definitely gives the room a more glam feel.

  33. Wow, your curtains turned out darling! You did a wonderful job.

  34. Ah chevron. I'm definitely a fan. Just wanted you to know that my post was late today but I did feature you this week on Motivated Monday at BeColorful
    Pam

  35. SO pretty!! Would love it if you would link this up at my turquoise lovin' party going on right now!! http://www.sweetlittlegals.com/2011/10/turquoise-lovin-7.html

  36. Fabulous! I've never used conduit – great idea! And thanks so much for sharing the underneath/behind pics.

    Dropping by from TDC's Before & After.

  37. Featured these on my facebook! Love them so much : )

    facebook.com/cherishedbliss

  38. Love your fabric. We are closing on a house we bought at auction tomorrow. Lots of DYI in my future. Thanks for the inspiration.

  39. Your curtains are so lovely and your step-by-step is wonderful. I pinned this project to my DIY board!!!

  40. Hi there! Stumbled over from Someday Crafts and your Pantry (gorg!). I have used and will be using conduit piping again for curtains. What a great idea – yes?!? I share a similar corner issue, but was considering the metal conduit elbows. Is the plastic piping you found flexible, or rather a hard PVC sort? Did it come as an elbow, or were you able to bend it? I'm really interested in knowing just how you did it!! Thanks! I'm over at http://todoimmeasurablymore.blogspot.com. Also, thanks for the back tab reminder – so much cheaper than the curtain clips – and they'll stay on! Great effort!

  41. Hi Jen! I tried to use the metal elbows, but could never find the right angle. The piping I used is flexible and comes straight, but bends fairly easily. To stuff it inside the conduit I left about an inch extra on each side and cut a long skinny triangle out as to make it a tight fit. Does that make sense? Good luck on your curtains and feel free to ask any questions you have along the way!

  42. Ashley, thank you sooo much for that information!! You have inspired me to tackle a set of windows that I have been putting off due to the corners. The tips will be helpful! Thanks for getting back to me, and so quickly!! Now I have no reason to procrastinate! :-)

    I am also linking up with Linky!

  43. Suzanne Barnett says:

    I love the curtain rod idea. We have been trying to come up with something for this same sort of issue. Awesome!!

  44. Gosh what a wonderful idea! And I’m loving this blog!
    Helen — Firenze Cards

  45. Raven Hessheimer says:

    YOU, are amazing!!! I have never liked “Chevron” anything until I saw your curtains! Absolutely LOVE THEM!!! The curtain rod thing is genius!!!

  46. I’m wondering how the wooden rod hangers don’t interfere with the way the curtains hang? The pictures seem to show the curtains hiding all the hardware except the tubing.

    • Yes the curtains cover everything. The wooden hangers don’t really interfere, I just laced my curtain tabs around them, half on one side and half on the other. Does that make sense? That being said the curtains don’t move very much because they are held in place by the wooden part. I never use them so it doesn’t bother me, but if they need to be completely functional then you will need to make the curtains wider.

  47. Eowyn West says:

    I was wondering if you would kindly share a link on fabric.com for your curtain fabric, please. Is the fabric by Premier Prints?

  48. Genius! I had a bay window in my last kitchen and just kept it curtain less because I couldn’t figure out an easy way to hang!
    Kelly
    Kelly @ Eclectically Vinage recently posted..DIY Cheese Markers from Plastic ToysMy Profile

  49. I missed this the first time around so thanks for posting it again! Not only are the panels well made but they are hung perfectly! Love them. :)
    Ann recently posted..Blueberry Zucchini BreadMy Profile

  50. LOVE it, Ashley! It’s such an amazing room…and the curtains are fantastic!
    Gwen recently posted..How I Doubled my Email Subscribers and Pinterest Followers in One MonthMy Profile

  51. omg….love the creativity

  52. Simply amazing!!!!
    Jessica @ Mom 4 Real recently posted..10 Fun Ways To Spruce Up Your Kitchen!My Profile

  53. Gorgeous! Love the chevron pattern of your curtains!
    Heather recently posted..Mother’s Day Blog Hop and Giveaway!My Profile

  54. That is genius! Thank you for the great tip! Hopped over from Blogtalk and pinned. :)

    Anna
    http://askannamoseley.com

  55. Katherine says:

    Love the dining room, where did you get your bamboo shades?

  56. Boy, I cannot believe how clever you were with the tubing between the conduits!!!! And the “winged (wung?)” made me laugh!

  57. Teri Axson says:

    Love your blog!! Your so creative. Love your color schemes & the fabrics that you chose for your chairs & curtains!! I would love to follow your blog!

  58. Hi there!

    I am so inspired with your diy bay window curtain!!! I am thinking of doing the same
    with mine. Can I ask what is the measure of your curtain? The length and with?
    I have the standard 3 bay window and 3 tiny square windows on top of each, weird right?
    I’ve been struggling on how to put curtain there. Any ideas???

    • Mine are as wide as the bolt of fabric, which is 54 inches I believe. For length, they a were just a little under 8ft, but I washed them (which I really should have done BEFORE I made them) and they shrunk a ton. I had to lower the rod. For your windows, if the picture I have in my head is correct, then I would treat the two stacked windows and one and make floor to ceiling curtains.

  59. Beautiful! I have a question for you though. The tabs are cut into 4″ strips. What was the width of the strip? Two inches, or so?
    Thanks!

  60. Stephanie Halliday says:

    Hi, I was just wondering how wide your curtains are? You put 8 tabs on them and I wanted to make sure I did it the same width apart as you. Thanks for sharing!

  61. LOVE these!! I’m newly inspired!! This past Spring, we moved into a new home with LOTS of windows. I love to sew, but these windows have me procrastinating because there are SO many of them and they’re so big/wide!! Luckily, we live in an area where our backyard is very private, so during the spring/summer, it wasn’t a problem to not have any window coverings. But now that it’s getting cooler, I’m now desperate to get those things covered! Love this idea so much! Thank you for sharing your talents with us all!

  62. I’ve seen you mention some measurements in the comments but I have a more general question. I am attempting similar curtains for my kitchen bay window. I am not a seamstress… I actually have to borrow a sewing machine from a friend just for this project. So I am seriously green at all things fabric. When I take the measurements of my windows and where I want the curtains to be, how much should I add to width & length to compensate for hemming and bunching?
    Thanks a ton for sharing your skills and creativity!

  63. I have been following your blog for the better part of a year. Well I happened upon this post while looking up DIY curtain rods, I seriously just ordered the same fabric and didn’t even realize that you had the same one. Great minds think alike! Being a military wife, we move alot so my hope is to be able to use this fabric in every house we move to.

  64. I love beautiful, creative ideas that most anyone can make. Thank you for sharing your ideas. My only question, what did you use on the ends of the conduit? Will a pipe end cap work? I think it’s threaded though.

  65. What exactly are those white things holding the middle part of the curtain rod , I made this but could not figure out what those were! Help! Please & thanks!!

Trackbacks

  1. […] I happen on a site and a list of the top curtain and curtain rod DIYs and SHAZAM, the solution to my curtain rod dilemma for my bay windows is solved. In like 10 seconds […]

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    DIY Bay Window Curtain Rod & Back Tab Curtains — Domestic Imperfection

  3. […] And if you want to DIY your curtain rods for cheap, check out these tips. […]

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