Home » DIY Tutorials » DIY Sewing » Decorate My Home, Part 1 – Simple Curtains

Decorate My Home, Part 1 – Simple Curtains

When we moved to Georgia, we got rid of a lot of stuff. We sold, gave away, and donated a lot of things that just didn’t make the cut on our moving trailer going down south. Sad for our old stuff….but fabulous for me. I could now scour the town (okay, craigslist, goodwill and fabric stores) for new stuff.
And scour I have.

So in case you too need a little pick-me-up in one of your rooms…..or just need a new focal point up on a shelf, hopefully something in this Decorate My Home series will spark an idea for you.

Or maybe not.

But perhaps it’ll help pass a gloomy day or two as you skim through pictures of my efforts to scrounge up some inexpensive decorations.

So, over the next several weeks, I will add things here and there that I have found and re-finished or made from scratch…… make our little house our home.

First up?

Simple Curtains.

And they are seriously simple. As long as you have a curtain rod and some rings with clips on them. (I found them on sale at Bed Bath and Beyond.)

All I did was buy two yards (should have bought 2.5 yards) of this drapery fabric at Hancock Fabrics, cut both ends to make them even, and then hemmed all four sides. (But you’ll need to measure your own windows and decide the amount you’ll need. And with a bigger window, you’ll probably need two panels.)

I first hemmed the sides of the curtain by folding ever each raw edge a 1/4 of an inch, then about a half inch….then sewed it in place. Then I hemmed the top the same way.

Then I hung my curtain on the clips, just to see how it hung. And sure enough, I had to trim the left bottom side just a smidge.

Then a little trick if you’re using flimsy fabric that blows around and doesn’t hang nicely….
Hem the bottom of your curtain, but with enough room to slide pennies in. Then slide the pennies all along the bottom hem. I used about 20. Maybe 25.

Then I put two pennies stacked together in the very end and sewed the end shut. Then I sewed on the other side of those two pennies, just to keep it in place. Do this to both bottom corners.
I did this to make sure that my bottom corners were always hanging nicely, and straight down.

Hang your curtains.
And you’re done.
Nice and quick and fairly inexpensive.

Especially if your fabric store is having a 50% off upholstery/drapery sale like mine was. This seriously beats paying for new curtains.
Have you price checked those suckers lately?

Ashley Johnston
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Ashley Johnston

Owner at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with my craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!
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  1. Lee Ann says:

    I like to look for clearance table covers to use for curtains! I can usually find ones that are big enough to split in two pieces for around $15 at Marshalls or TJ Maxx. You can also use the matching cloth napkins to make pillows!

  2. depro says:

    I did the same thing for one odd window in the dining room, but instead of penny weights I took a bunch of old earrings (broken, lost one, clip ons, etc) and sewed them to the bottom of the curtain. They function as weights and add a little glitter.

  3. Brie D says:

    I like this idea but wish you showed the draperies w/ a liner-looks more professional & more expensive than seeing the hems all around the sides of the fabric.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I just found your site and Im so excited We are getting ready to buy our first home an all your decorating ideas have me sooo excited these curtains are beautiful an you have the greatest ideas thank you for sharing =)

  5. Anonymous says:

    Instead of using pennies use small washers ( like bolts & washers) you can find them at your local hardware store. Or i just sneek into my husbands misc. drawers in his toolbox and always find some laying around.

  6. Anissa says:

    I just posted about the curtains I made from your tutorial. Thanks again for such a wonderful series!

  7. Twigs @ Twiggles and Trunks says:

    wowza wowza wowza!

  8. kanishk says:

    Thank you for posting the tutorial. I'm bookmarking it for later use!

    Work from home India

  9. Katie says:

    Very pretty I can't wait to try this idea myself!

  10. Ashley says:

    Yes Holly, I got it at Hancock. It was on a big roll in the sale section. So maybe only certain stores are carrying it….and it's on its way out. Who knows? If you want me to see if it's still on sale at my store, buy you some, and then ship it to you…….wherever you are, send me an email and I would be happy to!!


  11. ~holly says:

    love your blog! are you sure you got that fabric at hancock? i have searched and searched at the stores and online. that fabric would be PERFECT in our bedroom.

    thanks again for all the tutorials.

  12. Emily says:

    Great idea with the pennies! I need to add some curtains to ALL my windows…..just been too lazy :)

    We do have wooden blinds, though, so at least there's something!

  13. Mandy says:

    I agree with everyone – the penny idea was genius. Have you ever considered putting in grommets?? I just did and it was wasy easy – I showed it on my blog:
    Just in case you need more ideas for curtains. Yours look great!

  14. Jenny says:

    Love all your ideas. These curtains are especially cute.

    Another weight idea — ransack your husband's stash of hardware for washers. They do the trick, as well.

  15. Melissa says:

    So beautiful. Thank you for sharing!

  16. Kayla says:

    That is seriously beautiful! I never knew you could even buy curtain rods that "clip". Thanks for the demo!!!

  17. The Harris Family says:

    I love your fabric you used. Your curtains look so pretty. Also thanks for the penny trick.


  18. The Stewarts says:

    Love them! They are lovely

  19. Sarah Goddard says:

    Love it!! Thanks I just might have to try this

  20. marisa says:

    awesome! Love the peeny trick!

  21. Mary says:

    We totally need curtains in our living room. Or valences, or something!

  22. Mary says:

    We totally need curtains, or valences, or something!

  23. jami says:

    i love your ideas and come and look often, but today you have truly inspired me. i have been living in our house for 2 years now – after moving across the country just like you. sad to say, i STILL have sheets on my windows. it's pathetic, but now i know what i need to do. i'm hoping mine look as great as yours! thanks for the great ideas – always – and mostly, thanks for the inspiration to make my house a home – finally. :)

  24. Nishant says:

    What a great idea to use the pennys as weights. You are so smart. Love the blog

    Work from home India

  25. Rowanmayfairs says:

    Great job ! I keep promising my husband I will make curtains for our kitchen.

    I love the idea of clips and pennies in the bottom !

  26. Farfán Family says:

    Hey, Ashley, how do you get your name across your photos?

  27. Bailey says:

    The penny idea is priceless. I have heard of using magnets for added weight but pennies is a wonderful idea!

  28. brandy says:

    I LOVE the penny idea. I think I am going to use these in my living room. You have a million followers and probably don't have time to look at many other sites, but I nominated you for a little blog award over here:

    I just love looking at your stuff.

  29. Our Deli-Sub says:

    I love reading your ideas. I am so excited to see what you come up with for the home decor. Thanks for inspiring me.

  30. katevet says:

    You amaze me! that's so cute!

  31. Anna says:

    Thank you for the encouragement. I bought the fabric on the 50% off sale before Christmas and got the rods at Target for $7 ea. (were over $30 ea.)They are waiting on me to get that HUGE roll out and cut it. That is the scary part. Mine is heavier for drapes so I will be hemming with a 3 in hem but only rolled hem at top and sides. I think I can, I think I can.

  32. Jared and Bryanne says:

    OOooo, I am really excited about your new feature. I would LOVE some good ideas on how to update my wonderful 1960s home. :)

  33. sjones says:

    Love the penny idea!!!

  34. Tristie hearts Dax says:

    lining your curtains cuts the light, heat/cold and helps them hang nicely. plus, you won't see turquoise from outside.

  35. The girl who painted trees says:

    Great idea. We used to shop at Hancock Fabric when I lived in GA. We're actually moving back soon(2 weeks) and are in the process of selling so much stuff.

  36. Jennifer Williams "Blueskysunburn" says:

    I would have never thought to use pennies as weights in the bottoms. I could actually try that trick with the curtains I made for our living room. The bottoms hang a bit wonky.

    Thank you for posting the tutorial. I'm bookmarking it for later use!

  37. Kristin Dyer says:

    Creative penny idea, I am so glad that you are back posting fun ideas. Can't wait to see what is next in your series!!!

  38. Aaron and Kristi says:

    I love it! This is the first time I've commented on your site, but I am browsing though all your great ideas constantly, and I have bought a few patterns from your etsy store! Keep them all coming! You are my crafting idol! :)

  39. Anissa says:

    Oh, and I blogged about your new series on my new craft blog. Thanks!

  40. Emily S says:

    Oh my goodness this is GORGEOUS!! Great job!!

  41. Anissa says:

    THANK YOU for doing this new series. After reading through all your comments I can see I'm not the only one that desperately needs affordable and cute ideas for their home. I'll be making things right along with you, starting with the curtains. If only I had seen this 2 years ago when I forked out way too much money to Pottery Barn for my daughters curtains. Live and learn!

  42. Chantalle Bishop says:

    I'm so glad you have a new house- we just moved and I am working on projects too. Keep the great ideas coming!

  43. Ashlee says:

    Love them!
    I wanted to say that I have been "lurking" for a while on your blog and absolutely love it! I am in SC, so I can say welcome to the south…glad to have ya'll! ;)

  44. Amanda says:

    So simple but yet so elegant! I NEEDED this…we just moved into a home with ZERO window treatments and I have 11 windows to make curtains for. Now I know that I can keep it simple while still making it look chic. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! :)

  45. Laurel @ Ducks in a Row says:

    Curtains make the biggest difference – I'm a big believer. Love the penny trick!

  46. the thrifty ba says:

    so many windows to cover inthis house…so little time!
    but this might be do-able. thanks!

  47. steffany says:

    I love the penny idea.

  48. carmenMar!e says:

    Cut, easy, fast, and fun! Thanks!

  49. Helen says:

    Thank you for sharing this! I LOVED IT! I'm gonna go get some curtains done for our guest bedroom. Thanks again!

  50. Pacific Northwest Cottage says:

    Fab curtains! You're right, buying them from the store these days is pretty pricey. Making them yourself is so easy, even for beginning sewers that can only sew simple things.

  51. sa4grace says:

    Wow! Great idea with the pennies! We've been in our new house for 7 months now and I'm still dragging my feet to put up curtains in one of the rooms. Nothing has captured my attention. Now I think I'll seriously measure the windows and start scouring the fabric stores!

  52. ellsworth family says:

    Awesome, I am excited to see what else you share! You did a great job on the curtains!

  53. Scrappy Gifts says:

    love the fabric and how clever to use pennies to weigh it down

  54. transformingtidbits says:

    Also, you can make the panel a little wider and then fold the fabric before clipping it to create pleats! I have done this many, many times and it always looks great. I usually will accordion fold the fabric 2 or three times. The deeper you fold the fabric, the more pronounced the pleat.

    Looking forward to the fun series!

  55. Mrs. Winsor says:

    we are moving into our new place at the end of jan…I will definitely be using this tutorial…cuz curtains are sooooo expensive! Thanks for the great tips!

  56. Alaina says:

    I love it! I have to try that out as I am in deep need of curtains!

  57. Jessica says:

    Those curtains are so pretty. I love the fabric you used.

  58. Marilyn says:

    I love the penny tip and love the curtains. It's amazing how something so simple can make such a big difference to the feel of "Home"!!!

  59. Kristen says:


  60. Jessie and Kyle says:

    love it!

  61. Melissa says:

    I'm so excited for this series! I've been kind of stumped on how to brighten up my house on a low budget, so I'm excited to see what will be posted! And the curtain idea is great…I'm going to the fabric store today! :)

  62. Brooke Monk says:

    Ashley! I don't know if you remember me, but I worked with Steve at Melaleuca and we lived at Main St. Station at the same time. We made wreaths once? Anyway, several girls were talking about this awesome blog at church so I decided to check it out and then I saw your picture! Holy cow! Sounds like you guys are doing awesome, and I am so impressed by all the amazing things you do. I love your blog!

  63. Jess says:

    Neat trick with the pennies! Thanks for sharing!!

  64. Genevieve says:

    i would never have thought to use pennies! brilliant!! so fun to be decorating your house :) glad the move went well and your getting settled

  65. Kara says:

    I am so excited for this! I was wondering where you got your fabric? It seems like you've posted links to places you've liked before, but I haven't ever bookmarked them or anything. They look great! Thanks!

  66. Mrs. Bianca says:

    The penny trick is so much cheaper than regular weights. Nicely done!

  67. The Harwood Family says:

    So cute and I LOVE the penny trick! I'm going to try it.

  68. Jessica :) says:

    I'm actually really excitd about this series! I always want to do different decorating/organizing things to my house but can't ever figure out what to do that won't break the bank. I can't listen to those sites that talk about "affordable decorating." I'd like to know who can seriously afford that kind of decorating . . .
    Thanks for all your great ideas!

  69. Munchkin Things says:

    Super cute! I really enjoy following your blog! Welcome to the south by the way!

  70. Poulsen Family says:

    Very cute…I bet it'd be really cute with some black fabric and maybe on the bottom to add a little length (and weight) to the bottom if you wanted them longer. Love it!

  71. Kirsten says:

    Perfect idea! I've been looking for curtains (I have my eye on some Pottery Barn ones for the girls room) but maybe I should take a trip to Joanns to see what fabric they have.

    …and when you're really poor and looking for spare change, you can always go to your curtains :) Glad to see you are gettting settled!

  72. Rachel H. says:

    absolutely cute, cute! AS ALWAYS!

  73. Erin says:

    lovely! and the penny trick is genius!

  74. anhesty says:

    genius idea with the pennies! i wish i can sew in a straight line to do curtains. i am still practicing that. i can hem pants and small areas just fine but when i have to do long lines i tend to go crooked…

  75. Jane says:

    That penny trick is awesome!

  76. Alida L. says:

    When we moved into this house last June I was on a mission to do all of the window treatments myself. I have done roman shades, panel curtains, all sorts or complicated and frustrating stuff. If only I had seen this sooner! I never thought of using one panel to cover a window, but it looks beautiful! Well done!

  77. PECK says:

    Beautiful!! Will for sure be using this…I have 2 questions though…Is it safe to wash it with the pennies in there? and do you HAVE to use upholstery fabric? Can I use just regular cotton fabric?

  78. smallgrapes says:

    Never thought about putting weights in the bottom of my curtains. Brilliant!

  79. Kelli says:

    I just want to say that I LOVE your blog. I just found it and I'm excited. I have no clue how to sew, want to learn and just got a sewing machine for Christmas. Your basic sewing posts are really helping me. I go for my first sewing class next week. Thanks for all that you've posted and I'm excited to see more.

  80. Deborah says:

    Lovely. What a great idea to use the pennys as weights. You are so smart. Love the blog. Happy New Year!

  81. Jackie says:

    Love it, those are beautiful. I think I am going to need to do this. Looking forward to this series!

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Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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