Monday, November 11, 2013

How to Turn Tab Top Curtains to Back Tab Curtains...

Hi everyone. We're just finishing up on 2 rooms that have new floors, baseboard trim and new paint on the walls. The final step is window treatments and I've been on the hunt for new curtains for 3 large windows for a while. I would love to sew them myself, but with 3 windows, that's over 18 yards of fabric and 18 yards of lining...that would be hundreds of dollars. Financially not possible right now.

Sometimes when you can't find exactly what you're looking for, a little transformation of one thing can lead to just what you need! I found tab top curtains at Ikea for $19.00 for TWO panels!! Yes, you read that correctly. Two panels per package for $19…unheard of these days.

I wasn't looking for tab top curtains, but the color was perfect and the 98 inch length was the yardage I needed. So, this is what I turned them into with just 2 straight lines of stitching…

tab top curtain to back tab

Pop in to see how easy…

These are the tab top curtains.

tab top curtain to back tab

First way to sew them "without" the ruffle at the top


To transform the tab top to back tab curtains, just lay the curtains with the wrong side facing up.

tab top curtain to back tab

Fold over each tab…

tab top curtain to back tab

and pin the end of the each tab down. Sew all the way across the curtain, catching each tab end in the stitching.


tab top curtain to back tab

This will create a loop for the curtain rod, but there won't be a ruffle at the top. It will lay flat on the rod.

tab top curtain to back tab

This is the back with the rod in, if I had sewn the tabs down.

tab top curtain to back tab

Second way to sew them "with" a ruffle at the top


To get a classic ruffle look without a lot of fabric gathering, you will need to sew 2 lines of stitching.

tab top curtain to back tab


tab top curtain to back tab

Still fold over the tab, but pin in 2 spots.

tab top curtain to back tab

Stitch the bottom of the tabs again as before and then stitch another line depending on how wide your curtain rods is.

tab top curtain to back tab


tab top curtain to back tab

Third way to hem the curtains from the top and make the ruffle!


These next pictures are the actual way I sewed mine. To avoid hemming the bottom up 2 inches, I turned down the top 2 inches on the original stitch line shown by the arrow.

tab top curtain to back tab

This was a coincidence that I needed to hem them 2 inches and the casing was 2 inches. If you need to hem your curtains too, just fold down what you need to shorten at the bottom.

tab top curtain to back tab

I pinned all the way across on the edge (top arrow) and also pinned each tab down (bottom arrow).

tab top curtain to back tab

Here is the whole panel pinned.

tab top curtain to back tab

First, I sewed the line of stitching on the right. I just followed the manufacturer's stitching.

Then I sewed another continuous line of stitching, 2 inches apart from that, catching the tabs. My rods are narrow, so adjust the width for your rods.

tab top curtain to back tab

 Here are the finished stitching lines.

tab top curtain to back tab


tab top curtain to back tab

Then here again with part of the rod through the back tabs, so you can see what it looks like.

tab top curtain to back tab

Finished in just minutes!!

I chose the curtains in the same color family as the walls, because I change the decorations throughout the house with the colors of the seasons and holidays. It makes it fun and easy to add inexpensive splashes of color with accessories and have the walls and curtains as a neutral backdrop.

tab top curtain to back tab

When I'm all done, I show you the finished rooms.

Hope you enjoyed this post…one more reason to visit Ikea...$20 curtains and the meatballs, gravy and lingonberry sauce!!

Take care,
~Karen~

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27 comments:

  1. I love these curtains WAY better without tabs! Brilliant!
    P

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  2. Fantastic and easy remake! Love the curtains.

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  3. What a great find.
    Thank you for the very clear tutorial. ;)
    Rose

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  4. You are nothing short of brilliant!

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  5. You clever girl!!!!! Thanks for sharing.

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  6. Thanks for this - it comes at just the right time. We're repainting and recarpeting the boys' rooms - all three have flown the nest. I have curtains for one of the rooms but want new ones for the other two. Now I know where to get them and how to make them special.

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  7. Truly brilliant! I'm in need of some new curtains and you've opened up a whole world of possibilities. Thank you so much!

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  8. What a FABULOUS idea! Thanks sew much!

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  9. Another idea to add to my IKEA list. Just a thought...maybe you could add an IKEA IDEAS section to your header for easy reference. (As if you didn't already do enough for us.) Thanks for all you do.

    Happy Sewing!
    Nancy

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  10. Great idea. You are so clever.Love following your posts.

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  11. This is a great way to change up the tab top curtains! And you can't beat the price!

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  12. I am new to sewing, quilting, all of it. I have so much to learn but i always did have an eye for decorating; yes i am a little OCD. However the other day i posted something and i didn't get a couple of nice replies back which was upsetting because i am trying and we all started from somewhere? Anyways, you have an artistic ability that i could only dream of having half of ever having

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  13. I am new to sewing, quilting, all of it. I have so much to learn but i always did have an eye for decorating; yes i am a little OCD. However the other day i posted something and i didn't get a couple of nice replies back which was upsetting because i am trying and we all started from somewhere? Anyways, you have an artistic ability that i could only dream of having half of ever having

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  14. Karen, as always you have a clever and easy solution for us! Thank you!

    Val
    artsybuildinglady.blogspot.ca

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  15. I also love IKEA for cheap curtains and frozen Salmon

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  16. Thank you for this article. I have also thought to give more body to the curtains. But I wonder if you close the evening and in this case, they slide well on the rod? I sewed a button in every way to better before they close. (my English is not good, I am using a translator, and I hope my question is understandable) Thanks for your reply and congratulations for the choice you made!

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  17. Thank you SO much for sharing this technique! It is exactly what I am needing to fix some curtain panels that I bought a few years ago and have never used. This will be perfect. You rock!

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  18. Thanks for this great post...have been eyeing some new curtains that only came in tab top...this makes it so easy...

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  19. Brilliant! And so easy to do! I've linked to your tutorial over at Craft Gossip:
    http://sewing.craftgossip.com/tutorial-turn-tab-topped-curtains-into-hidden-back-tab-curtains/2013/11/13/
    --Anne

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  20. Sorry to repeat all of the other comments but this is truly brilliant and so doable. Your photos and easy to follow instructions are excellent. Thank you for the inspiration! ~Thea

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  21. I wish my little brain could see half of what you see! You've got great ideas. Thanks for sharing.

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  22. Like your monogamous, simple, simple ...
    ——Love life, love art, beautiful curtains in ogotohome

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  23. Lovely sewing work! I like how that guide seems so easy to follow, thanks to you. I totally agree with the commenters above that some curtains just look way more gorgeous without those tabs. Thanks for sharing your crafts!

    Bob Ward @ Allure Window Treatments

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Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment...I just love hearing from you!

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