Easier Than it Looks: DIY Rod Pocket Curtains

In high school, I took a Clothing class where I learned my way around a sewing machine, and I LOVED it. Thinking back to that class, I’m not sure why I ever stopped sewing. Actually, that’s a lie, of course I do. I went to college, partied a lot, met new friends and occasionally studied – there was absolutely no time to be sewing. Then when I graduated, I scrambled to find a full-time job, bought a house with my boyfriend (yes, totally lived in sin), got hitched, and here we are now (with a bunch of other fun stuff in between) :).

Lucky for me, I knew sewing would make its way back into my life during this kitchen reno.

I have a hard time with finding the right curtains. And when I say I have a hard time, I mean that most things I find that I actually like, I don’t want to pay the money for. Having expensive taste is a debilitating condition that I struggle with daily, trust me. So, in the spirit of DIY-ing everything for this kitchen, the curtains were no exception!

I will admit that I was the slightest bit intimidated when I turned on my Stepmom’s sewing machine that she so graciously let me borrow, but that subsided quickly. It was just like riding a bike.

And, YOU can sew too. Really, it’s pretty simple, and I’m not just saying that. So go order a few yards of some seriously awesome fabric, borrow a sewing machine and get going! Here’s a quick tutorial on some super simple rod-pocket curtains that are do-able for anyone just starting out.

How much fabric to buy:
While the width of fabric varies (mine was 54″ wide), 1 yard of fabric is 36″ in length. A good rule of thumb for curtains is to double the width of the window for your curtain measurements. So, if you’re doing 2 panels per window, each panel can be the same width as the full width of the window. This doesn’t have to be exact, either, since the panels will be scrunched up. A few inches more or less probably won’t matter too much.

I ordered 4 yards of fabric from fabric.com (They have free shipping over $35, free return shipping if you hate it, and you can always Google a 10-15% coupon code on top of it).

Here’s how you git er done:
First, you cut your raw panels.
For this project, I was able to use the full width of the fabric for one panel, and I cut the length based on the height of the window. Once you have your window length measured, you’ll need to add 12 inches to that number (8″ for hemming the bottom and 4″ for creating the rod pocket at the top).

curtains 1

Next, you hem the sides.
Fold and press the raw edge over 1 inch.

curtains 3
Fold and press again for a clean edge, 1 inch. Pin the length of the curtain.

curtains 4

Umm.. I forgot to take any more action shots. Whoops! I got way too into it. The good news is that the remainder of this tutorial is just sewing straight lines and repeating this process, for the most part.

Anyway, sew a straight line down each side, staying close to the inside fold.

Now, you hem the top and bottom.
For the top, fold and press the raw edge over 2 inches*. Repeat. Pin.

Sew the top just as you did the sides but remember, this is a pocket for the curtain rod. it’s important that you sew close to the inside fold so that your rod has enough room to fit inside.

*You may need to adjust your measurements depending on the diameter of your curtain rod.

For the bottom, fold and press the raw edge over 4 inches.

This amount of fabric at the bottom gives the curtain a little bit of weight so that it hangs nicely, in case you were wondering.

Sew the straight line to finish it off.

Now, trim any stray threads and congratulations! You just sewed a panel. Repeat until your windows are stylin’.




Don’t get me wrong, I know these are by no means fancy, but I made them! It makes me excited to get going with the sewing machine again. I have plans to make a couple more panels for the big window (last one featured) and I bought some fun yellow ribbon that I’m planning to add to them as well.

What hobbies have you long forgotten about and picked back up years later?


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