3 Quick and Easy 15 Minute Curtains

Have I got the easiest sewing tutorial for you today friends!! I promise, even if you’re terrified of your sewing machine (it’s totally intimidating I get it!) these simple curtains only require a few simple straight lines and 15-minutes of your time!
Quick and Easy 15 Minute Curtains | www.blackandwhiteobsession.com

We've been chugging right along with the entryway (click here for the last update, and here to start from the beginning) and we desperately needed to add some curtains. Because these peachy retro ones, left by the previous owner, just weren’t cutting it:

Quick and Easy 15 Minute Curtains: Original Curtains | www.blackandwhiteobsession.com

I should also mention that our new curtains couldn’t be just ANY curtains, they had to be the shorter ones to fit our tiny window.

Quick and Easy 15 Minute Curtains: Entryway Window Before | www.blackandwhiteobsession.com

These guys also needed to provide privacy since our bathroom doorway was at the top of the stairs in a direct line of sight from the window.

Instead of wasting time to find something at a big box store that a) may or may not match the d├ęcor b) may not fit the aforementioned tiny window (thus sewing may ensue anyway), I made them myself.

Oh and I have a little secret, these simple curtains were made back in October of 2012 (hence the pumpkin in a photo later on), shortly after moving into our house. Yeah slacker blogger here. At the time, I was super pumped that our fabric stores were FINALLY carrying chevron. In a color combo I loved. To top it off, the price was perfect too. $5 for 1 yard of material (with 50% coupon).

I digress… let’s get to the meat and potatoes tutorial shall we?

First things first, measure your windows to determine how much fabric you will need. This step is as hard as the tutorial gets. The explanation I’m about to go through will probably take you more time to read than to actually measure.

Our window is square and doesn’t require a lot of fabric, since they’re not floor length curtains. As you can see, our short curtains only needed to drape slightly below the windowsill:

Quick and Easy 15 Minute Curtains: Measure | www.blackandwhiteobsession.com

You will need to give yourself room for a sewed border (otherwise known as a seam) on each side of your panels, and enough fabric to cover the area of your window you wish to cover.
Quick and Easy 15 Minute Curtains: Measurement guide | www.blackandwhiteobsession.com
Lastly, be sure to calculate enough extra fabric to cover your preferred ‘hanging method.’ For our particular set, I folded mine over creating a pocket for the curtain rod to go through (also known as Rod-Pocket Heading).  I like my curtains to ‘thread’ nicely on the rod so I like my ‘pockets’ with a little wiggle room. 

For additional curtain styles and other curtain considerations check out this helpful resource.

Our window measurement came in at just shy of 3x3 feet (30 inches). We added 3 inches to the top (for the Rod-Pocket Heading) and 1/2 inch seam around the three remaining edges of each panel. With all these measurements, we only needed 1 yard of fabric. 1 minute

This step is very simple, simply cut the fabric in half. Or better yet, have your fabric store do it for you (they have those perfect metal guides). 30 seconds, or 0 if the fabric store cut them for you.

Fabric is usually wrinkled and/or creased in some way directly from the fabric store/online. Thus, a quick iron should do the trick. Be sure to iron your seams (as explained in the measurement guide above) to save time during the “sewing” step. 2 minutes tops. -Tack on an extra 5 minutes if starching (below) applies to the fabric you chose.

However, the chevron fabric I chose was of the some-what thin, although not transparent by any means, 100% cotton variety (as opposed to thicker cotton like duck or twill). I really like my panels to be quite heavy so they won’t move in a slight breeze/door slam. After-all this is our entryway.

Quick and Easy 15 Minute Curtains. Optional: Prep with Starch | www.blackandwhiteobsession.com

Thus, an OPTIONAL additional step was needed to ‘toughen/stiffen it up.’ My trick: layer on the starch. Here are the basic steps: 
  1. Run the fabric through the iron Au naturel.
  2. Spray a light layer of starch front and back*
  3. Iron front and back a few times to set the starch.
  4. Repeat steps 2&3 about 5-6 times or until the panels can basically stand on their own.
 *Be sure to do a light misting each time or you could run into the dreaded ‘flaking’ issue. If that’s the case, run it through your washing machine or hand wash real quick. Bummer your curtains are no longer take 20 minutes…
**If you decide to wash your curtains down the road, you may lose some stiffness (if not all) so you may need to pile on the starch again.

Since you already ironed your seams, you’re set to zip your curtains through your sewing machine.

Quick and Easy 15 Minute Curtains: Sew Seams | www.blackandwhiteobsession.com

I like to start with sewing all four seams on each panel so that when I work around to the “Rod-Pocket Heading” it's overlapping seam is already nice and straight. 
Quick and Easy 15 Minute Curtains: Sew Guide | www.blackandwhiteobsession.com

When you're done your seams should look like this:
Quick and Easy 15 Minute Curtains: Sew Seams | www.blackandwhiteobsession.com

Then, finish off the top (aka Rod-Pocket Heading). Since the three side seams are finished, simply fold over your pocket heading and sew your final straight line. The ‘pocket’ will look like this when you’re finished:
Quick and Easy 15 Minute Curtains: Sew Pocket Seams | www.blackandwhiteobsession.com

The last, super simple step, is to hang the curtains and marvel at your work.

Quick and Easy 15 Minute Curtains: Finished| www.blackandwhiteobsession.com

Total time: 14.5 Minutes!
  • Measure = 1 minute
  • Cut = 30 seconds
  • *Prep = 2 minutes
  • Sew = 10 minutes
  • Hang = 1 minute
*if your fabric is not as thick as you’d like tack on an extra 5 minutes.

Alright so file this tutorial under the ‘takes more time to explain than to do the project’ category ha! I promise simple straight line sewing is all it takes. No fancy stitching/switching needles/switching thread/etc required.

Even if your windows are slightly larger or even floor length curtains, these simple curtains will probably take you more time to hunt down your sewing machine (and where on earth you put that perfect color thread) than to run them through your iron and sewing machine.

Oh and remember the laundry basket I made and all the pretty fabric I chose from the Online Fabric Store? Well I’d love to give these windows a fresh new look (sadly we’ve already outgrown the chevron) by using the grey and white sketchy-ish fabric:
Quick and Easy 15 Minute Curtains: New Fabric Choice?| www.blackandwhiteobsession.com

Guess I’ll be referencing this tutorial in the coming months!!

Next up on the entryway, is creating a storage area for all our winter coats/spring jackets.

So, are you brave enough to bust out your sewing machine and whip up a batch of curtains? I’m DYING to switch out the chevron already! Do find your craft supplies scattered throughout the house? Do you prefer stiff curtains? Wait, that doesn’t sound right…

P.S. We were not paid or perked from any of these vendors; we just happily picked up the supplies necessary for the job.



  1. I'm one that is a little afraid of my sewing machine. Thanks for the easy looking tutorial. I love your entry!

  2. You make it look so easy Trisha!!

  3. Now you just need to write me a tutorial to remind me how to THREAD my sewing machine, and I'll be all set! ;). Seriously, I really need to do this....I keep making "no sew" curtain panels and stuff, and I'm sure I spend way longer messing with iron on hem tape than I would just sewing a couple of straight lines! The curtains look great :)


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