Damage Free Curtains (Got Ruffled!)

Published Categorized as Musings, Sewing 63 Comments on Damage Free Curtains (Got Ruffled!)

Let’s start off with the fact that I’m not a huge ruffle girl.  I signed up for the Think Ruffle hop as a challenge for myself; try to push out of my 2D” comfort zone to ruffle a few feathers.



So what projects are on my to do that I can incorporate ruffles… Bingo: I desperately needed a curtain for one of my bedroom windows.

Backstory: Both of the bedroom windows in my apartment have bright security lights right outside them. Almost a year ago I picked up some room darkening blinds (pricey but totally worth it.) I love sleeping in darkness (oh and sleeping in on weekends!!) The problem is that New England winter cold knows no bounds and there was a draft on the side of the window.  I threw a spare quilt on the headboard to keep it off my head but this nonsense had to be stopped.

The barren windows!
The barren windows!

The quilt on my bed is my Summer Solstice sampler and while I love it I knew I needed curtains that would work with just about any quilt as I plan to rotate when I finish my other bed sized quilt. So I needed something sassy but neutral.  I already “re-upholstered” my bed’s foundation with a fun Parisians inspired home decour fabric, so coupon in hand, I ordered a few yards of a another version, this time a bit darker and bolder!

"Reupholstered" Box Spring - subtle but far classier than the ugly box spring fabric!
“Reupholstered” Box Spring – subtle but far classier than the ugly box spring fabric!

After I had the fabric in hand I was suddenly in ruffle panic mode. I didn’t want to layer the whole thing with ruffles, that’d be just too much volume for me.  The bottom was going to have to hang just around the height of my bedside table so no ruffled bottom.  Ruffled top? Might overwhelm the print…


The it hit me: ruffles as accents. Let the print be bold, let the statement be strong and let there be ruffles!

For the panels, I measured and cut the length I wanted plus hem allowances, I have a 1/2″ hem at the top of the panels and a 4″  hem across the bottom.  Instead of having to hem the sides I sewed the panels into two tubes. This also added some volume to block out the drafts so that worked well.

Preview of the final shot but the curtain panels are sewed into tubes for easier hemming and additional draft protection.
Preview of the final shot but the curtain panels are sewed into tubes for easier hemming and additional draft protection.

I did some quick measurements and then created some pleats up top, I know they’re not ruffles but they’re kind of the cousin right, same 3D family.

Pleats and placing the upholstery tacks
Pleats and placing the upholstery tacks

I then brought in the legit ruffles.  Cutting some linen I had in my stash on the bias I ruffled a 2 1/2″ strip by basting down the middle and gathering. I stitched that onto a simple 3 1/5″ tieback in black home decor fabric.

Bias cut gathered ruffle on the tieback

[pullquote align=right]
Subscribe to my blog or leave a comment an check “Notify me of new posts by email” and you’ll be up to speed when I redo part of this curtain mount and document it to share with y’all[/pullquote]As a renter I need to try to do damage free decoration when I hang things. I never think to take good photos and document my craft process till after the fact. This window was flush to the wall which posed some challenges but gave some advantages, I figured: 3M sticky stuff and 2″ craft wood but the weight of the panels would be too much with the home decour fabric doubled up so I dug through my toolbox and found some “L” braces and the ruffled ligth bulb went off. but here’s how I ended up hanging these curtains:

  1. Cut 2″ lightweight craft wood to overhang the window by 8″
  2. Cover the wooden strip with fabric to give it a lightly upholstered look (could use padding but I opted for flat)
  3. Mount panels to either end of the wood strip using upholstery tacks
  4. Mount L braces to the back of the wood strip
  5. Slide L brace between the top of the blinds and the ceiling (or top of window frame)

More foreshadowing but those last two steps were WAY better than hoping the 3M sticky tape lasted all night and again no damage done to the rental property!!!!


Just a preview of mounting the L bracket to the wood strip

I'd tested before but you can see the L bracket just slides in between the ceiling and the top of the shades!
I’d tested before but you can see the L bracket just slides in between the ceiling and the top of the shades!

You ready to see the full final result? With some of ruffles sassy cousin (pleats) and some ruffled tiebacks I present my boho Parisian curtains:

Curtains up and looking classy in my room!
Curtains up and looking classy in my room!
Curtains up and looking classy in my room - and look my spare quilt can retire to the quilt stand not the headboard!
Curtains up and looking classy in my room – and look my spare quilt can retire to the quilt stand not the headboard!

I just LOVE the way this window has changed the whole room and how warm my head is! I even grabbed an old gathered comforter I’ll be bringing back out of retirement come spring and these curtains look so charming with it!!!


The curtains are lovely with the simple white gathered comforter

Hope you enjoyed my ruffles!  I know it wasn’t much ruffle but I think it added just enough subtle sass to this project.  As a parting gift here’s a photo of one of my first sewing projects in this apartment, a ruffled shower curtain. There’s a funny story behind this one too but I’ve yet to write it down and I’m sure you’ve had enough narrative for now!


The ruffled shower curtain I made after moving into my apartment I LOVE how it came out!

Don’t forget to visit the other folks gathered in the blog hop today! Cheer em on and try something outside your comfort zone!

Blog hoppers for March 7th

Childlike Fascination (that’s me!!)

I’ll leave you with a photo of the awesome pillow featured on my bed, both the pillow and the bedside table are AWESOME Joss & Main finds!

The Power of Imagination Makes us Infinite
the power of imagination makes us infinite


  1. For sure your room looks much more cosy than before, well done! I like the fabrics you chose, it is a wonderful collection!

  2. Your curtains are so lovely with the ruffles and the room looks so cozy. A wonderful idea. Thanks for sharing your creativity.

  3. Lovely projects. Your bedroom window looks all jazzed up now!
    That shower curtain is such a cool idea. I might have to try that sometime!

  4. ohhhh such classy and elegant window treatment…your fabric choice is very striking too…love the shower ruffle as well..

  5. You are so innovative! A real, rental problem solver. I like the minimal rufflage. It suits the fabric which is very chic, current, and just a tiny bit feminine. Your linen ruffle is just right. I hope to read about the ruffled shower curtain. It has me wondering!

  6. What a great way to use ruffles for a purpose that most wouldn’t readily think of! I think your curtains are great, and I’m sure you will have any restful nights staying warm! 🙂

  7. What a great way to use ruffles for a purpose that most wouldn’t readily think of! I think your curtains are great, and I’m sure you will have many restful nights staying warm! 🙂

  8. I really need to follow your lead and make curtains. Perfect fabric for those and that shower curtain is beautiful.

  9. OMG!! I love it all…the curtain fabric is gorgeous and they tutorial is fantastic! I love your white quilt!! Did you make that? How is it done? Oh the questions….lol. Fantastic job.

    1. Yea I made the duvet cover from flat white sheet using a similar technique from this post: http://www.viewalongtheway.com/2013/06/diy-pintuck-duvet/

      The only difference is I put more tucks in by putting them closer together to make for maximum floofyness and instead of the tornado twist I painstakingly made two pleats face each other then stitched across that gap for each tuck. There’s actually still threads I haven’t finished trimming on it and the bottom isn’t finished either…and to think, I made it over a year ago!!

  10. I love the fabric you chose to make your beautiful curtain and that tie back adds just the right amount of class…nice!

  11. Your curtains are just the right addition to your room. The subtle ruffle was a great idea. Thanks for sharing the process of making your curtains. Love the quilts too!

  12. Wow, wow, wow, your “sew” right about it changing out the entire looks of your room. I love the fabric you picked out for your curtains, and really enjoyed seeing the steps you took to complete things. There are some great ideas for us all here! The pillow on your bed says it all! Great job!

  13. You are so clever!!! What a great way to hang a curtain when you can’t put holes in the walls. I love your curtain. It has just the right amount of ruffles to give the room a nice look!

  14. Very classy curtains! Great use of fabric. Somewhere I acquired a piece of this fabric line with no selvage info. Now I know what it is and where to find more. Thanks for all the links. I always enjoy reading more.
    Now how about the story of the shower curtain? … 🙂 Pat

    1. I always try to link back to where I find materials I use; admittedly though it’s for selfish purposes so it’s easier for me to re-buy but I’m pleased the rest of y’all find it useful too!!

  15. Love your ruffled accents — I need to make some of those for my IKEA curtains. Right now I have them tied with a piece of cloth and they look so neglected. 🙂

  16. Love the curtains. And plan to use the great tube idea in a slightly different way. I have a bolt of weather resistant lining that I bought for the curtains I plan to make for my bedroom. Two double windows, so ideally need 8 panels. If I cut the lining narrower than the curtain fabric, I’ll have an easy go of it. Just hem around the bottom, treat the doubled top layer as one to make the header, and, voila, done! Also love the idea of covering my box spring. Quilts, whatever, never seem to stay put so it doesn’t show; the upholstering is a great idea.

    1. The box spring reupholstering was so fun too cause I love my staple gun! Tip when you do it: stretch and staple further into the box spring than you think you need to. I loathe that when my mattress shifts I can see the staples 🙁 the OCD in me cringes.

  17. What a creative and innovative artist you are. The landlord should give you a rent adjustment for being so conscientious. Great curtains and your ruffles look wonderful to me.

  18. Love the curtains! And I would defend your pleated top could be considered ruffles. Adorable! Thank you for sharing. ~Shari

    1. Maybe that should be the next blog hop: pleats and pin tucks! Hmmm I might be on to something….. 🙂

  19. What a great way to take care of that ‘draft’ and, at the same time, decorate your room. Beautiful job…love your choice of fabric! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  20. The curtains a wonderful and the ruffle is perfect with them, Well done,

  21. I love the difference in the look of the room with the curtain. That was such a clever idea, and the fabric is perfect.

  22. Your curtains not only keep the drafts off your head, but they add a lot to the room. Very pretty with the ruffled tie backs.

  23. Your curtains are Super!!! Great job!! Made your room so much cozier too…

    Love your Pillow….such a true verse! 🙂

  24. Nice Job, and the currents are great. Very clever how you thought to hang them to. I also rent, and that is pretty darn cool.

  25. I love your curtains and I am glad you showed how you hung them. I have a window like that and it needs curtains. I just didnt know how I was going to hang them

    1. I had a bunch of scrap pieces in my toolbox and the “ah-ha” moment when I saw those L braces.

  26. The curtains are a perfect addition to the room and the ruffled tie back is a nice touch. I can’t wait to hear the story about the shower curtain./

  27. Absolutely wonderful curtains and they look lovely and the ruffled the backs are perfect.

  28. Your curtains turned out so nice and just made a big change to this room. crystalbluern at onlineok dot com

  29. Now that is really using your head! It really dressed up your room and aided the draft that surely must have been playing Hobbs with your sinuses. Well done!

  30. The curtains really add to the feel of the room, looks much cosier – glad you no longer have a draught too:)

  31. Your curtains look wonderful! I like the way you hung them and your fabric choice is great. The ruffled top on the shower curtain is a good way to lengthen it and pretty too. I like your quilt rack at the foot of the bed!

  32. Great job on the curtains! Decorating in a rental is always a challenge and you found a really stylish answer to the problem. The fabric you selected is wonderful and the small ruffle is the perfect touch with them.

  33. I adore your curtains. I love the fabric and the tie backs are absolutely perfect. I love the pleats (ruffles) at the top. And the shower curtain is wonderful. It seems that you really have taking care of the rental property down to an art. Thanks for participating and sharing. I want to hear the story of the shower curtain.

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