How to Get Pretty, Easy and Inexpensive Curtains (Ikea Curtain Hack)

In this post: Curtains are often expensive or just plain ugly! Get pretty, easy, inexpensive curtains with this simple Ikea Curtain Hack!


Blinds. Curtains. Shutters. Everywhere you look, it seems that the options for window coverings have one of three problems:

  1. They’re ugly,
  2. They’re a cleaning nightmare, or
  3. They’re expensive.

Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m not interested in having ugly in my home. At. All. And while I ADORE the look of California shutters, I cannot seem to get past the dust factor. Who wants to have to clean those things all the time?! Besides, I most certainly do NOT want to have to remortgage my house just to get a little privacy from the locals.

In the past (at our last house actually) we used drop cloths to create inexpensive curtains. And they were great – for a time.

But for our new house, I wanted something a little softer. A little more romantic, maybe? Or perhaps elegant is the word I mean.

In any case, I found the perfect solution for inexpensive curtains – with an Ikea hack!

Curtains are often expensive or just plain ugly! Get pretty, easy, inexpensive curtains with this simple Ikea Curtain Hack!

easy-inexpensive-white-curtains

How to Get Pretty, Easy, and Inexpensive White Curtains

Supplies

(Supply list contains affiliate links for ease of shopping!)

*Some have mentioned that the Vivan curtains are not available on Amazon or at Ikea. I’ve also used this same curtain hack with other curtain panels. Most recently in our dining room with these ones from Amazon (shown below). 

Warm Neutral Dining Room Wood Table

ikea-curtain-hack

Instructions

1. Wash curtains according to package directions. This will make them softer and they will hang much better than if not washed.

2. Hang curtain rod(s). Remember to hang “high and wide” to give the impression of larger windows and to let in plenty of light.

3. Add the curtain rings with clips to the rods. An uneven number on each side/for each curtain panel works best. For our living room curtains, we used 7 rings per panel. In the dining room, we used 5 for each panel (we used a total of four panels in the dining room).

4. After washing curtains, lay them out over a chair or on a table top upside down. Depending upon the height of the curtain rods, fold the small hemmed edge (what is meant to be the bottom of the curtain) over to create sort of a ruffled edge. For our living room curtains, this fold was about 11 inches. For the dining room, because of the bulkhead, the fold was closer to 13 inches.

5. While carefully keeping the fold in place, attach the curtain panels to the ring clips. First clip one end, then the opposite. Next attach the center of the curtain using the middle ring clip, followed by the remaining clips. (I just eyeballed the distance between clips, but you can measure if you’re more particular than I am.)

inexpensive-white-curtains

By flipping the curtain panels upside down, you get a softer top hem and a nice wide lower hem. And of course, you get the look of soft ruffled curtains for a fraction of the price!

cheap ruffled curtain hack

Have you tried any curtain hacks at your house? What have you found to be a pretty, yet easy and inexpensive curtain solution?

shannon sign off

home made lovely book on table with get it now text button

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

74 Comments

  1. love, love, love this idea! know what i’ll be doing tonight and gosh, golly, geeze…will have to make an ikea run this weekend lucky me πŸ™‚

  2. Looooooove this idea! I actually did something similar! Was having a heck of a time finding nice curtains. While at the Supercentre I noticed they had lovely linen-looking table cloths – $20/ea! So yeah, I did the same hanging trick with rings and fold over (cuz I’m not gonna hem these guys!) And voila! I did a soft grey in my dining room – tan colour in my kitchen. Makes me smile that they were only $20 a pop – and they wash nice too cuz they’re tablecloths (not lined though – but I’m ok with that too!)
    Thanks for letting me know about the IKEA curtains – I need some nice ones for a bedroom!!
    P.S. glad to hear your FIL is on the mend – it’s hard when our parents aren’t well! Just went through that last year. Prayers for a full recovery!

  3. What a wonderful idea!! Headed to Ikea this weekend as I need some curtains for my daughter’s bedroom! Can you tell me where you got the chair with the slipcover? Is that an Ikea chair? Thank you for your creative tips.. your new home is coming together so nicely and is gorgeous!!

  4. Great idea Shannon. I do like IKEA curtains! I wish I could hang curtains in our house but we have electric baseboard heaters so it’s a No No to hang them longer than 6 inches above the heaters and they don’t look right that short. Yours look really nice and I like the soft look of them. Thanks for the tip of hanging them upside down! Have a nice evening.
    Blessings,
    Pam

    1. Oh yes! We had electric baseboard heat when I was a kid. You could use blinds and then hang curtains just to be pretty wider than the baseboards if they aren’t too wide.

  5. Great look for your new windows. It does look very elegant plus I like the look of the black rods.
    I will have to remember this trick for future needs.
    Waiting to see what more you have to share!
    Helen

  6. My curtain, or actually valance hack was using table runners. I just wanted something simple and light for the windows in my keeping/kitchen area where I already have plantation blinds. I wanted to replace the blinds, but just couldn’t find what I wanted at a good price, so decided to just replace the heavy red print valances I have had for 10 years, instead. I found some ivory burlap table runners that had a nice jute trim on them and I didn’t want them to be gathered, but just straight and simple. I cut them in half and hemmed the tops and sides of them and also bought Ikea rods to slip them onto and they turned out great. The runners were already lined and only cost me $10 each at The Home Store ( Garden Ridge ). So each window only cost me $5. I plan to show them on my blog soon.

  7. Praying for Dean’s Dad- that he’ll recover quickly and completely.
    Love the airy curtains! I’m enjoying watching you make your new house your own-

  8. That is a very creative idea. They look classy & soft. Will have to try that in my study. Thanks for the inspiration.

  9. Love this idea. I have a question for you. I have a traditional sofa in my living room. It is like new because we don’t use that room much, but it is an ugly color. I would like to put a white or cream color slip cover over it, but the back pillows are attached to the back of the sofa, not separate. So what do you suggest? Do I detach the pillows to cover them? thanks for you help I just love your ideas!

  10. This looks like a great idea – I’m planning on a re-do of a VERY SMALL bedroom in our home that had currently been used as a ‘catch-all’ for boxes, etc. Want to be able to use it when one of the grandkids show up to stay over. Thinking of stamping the top half of the walls and was puzzled about what to do with the window without spending a fortune trying to ‘match’ whatever I pick for the bedding.
    Will let you know how it turns out.

  11. I’ve been concerned about you guys but didn’t want to pry. Y’all will be in my prayers; I know recovery from a stroke isn’t always easy on the patient or the family.

    1. I know. It’s so hard to share enough with you without oversharing other people’s personal details. Plus we really didn’t know what happened to Dean’s dad until after we came home. Thank you so much for the prayers.

  12. What a great way to use IKEA curtains! I have taken down almost all curtains in my home (after one kid started yanking them out, pole and all!) but I think it is time to add them back into our space again. Love the softness they bring to a room!

  13. I cannot believe how beautiful and affordable these curtains are!!! I’m definitely going to try this in my living room!!!

  14. I did this in my living room with a heavier weight curtain from Ikea and LOVE IT! Sucha fabulous idea! Thanks for sharing it. I want to do it in all of my bedrooms as well and want to use these curtains that you are suggesting. I am concerned that they are too sheer though. What is your opinion?

  15. Love your idea .It’s not what money can buy, it’s what your taste can achieve! Sandee Traverse City, Mi

  16. I saw your dining room on Pinterest. I’ve been all over you site, but couldn’t locate the source for you wicker looking chairs in the room. They look like Ikea, but I’m also curious about the cushions. I didn’t see the thicker ones at Ikea. Thanks for you help!

    1. Unfortunately I’m not sure about the cushions. The chairs and cushions are both Ikea but we picked up the cushions in the store and I have no idea what they’re called or anything. I’m so sorry!

  17. Are your rods black and wooden rings black. When i looked on amazon i found the black rods and only walnut wooden rings.

  18. I love white curtains! I have a problem in my new open concept house!
    There is a bay window, the 2 very narrow windows on either side of the big window, looking out into the backyard
    I bought custom blinds – white – slatted blinds for the house through out
    There just is no room for a curtain or valance between the windows plus it needs to tie into the living & kitchen space, color wise
    If this looks terrible, we can repaint it, instead of curtains, because these windows are so close
    Together & like a bay window, kind of in its own “bay window enclave or nook,” we are going
    To paint the very small amount of wall space between the windows my Sherwin Williams SeaSalt ,
    But I Will stay in the “bay window nook” area with the SeaSalt, We have painted the interior side of the exterior
    Doors SeaSalt & the backside of a bar facing the dining area space SeaSalt, we are about to start searching for the right white paint for the walls in this 3 rooms in 1 open concept space / all my furniture & accent pieces are in the blue/ greenSeasalt color family & I love white……….wishing I could just hang curtains! But I have my white curtains in other rooms & the white slatted blinds through out…as I have said, when you moved, I wanted to move & we sold & bought right after you did! Love your style Shannon!

    1. Hello Susan. Could you put white curtains on either side of just the two outer windows (not between them and the bay window)? πŸ™‚ Congratulations on your new house too, by the way!

  19. Very pretty however your window frames are next to the ceiling. Do you have any ideas for Window frame that is 18 inches from the ceiling? I love the drapery to flow to the floor like in your post but I am not sure that I can buy ikea drapery in that length. Thank you!

    1. Actually, they are only right next to the ceiling in the dining room. They are not in the living room or kitchen. You could simply make the folded-over part shorter. Or buy longer curtains. Ikea sells many long versions as they don’t hem them and give you the option of how long you’d like them to be.

  20. Do you mind sharing which heavier curtains you used to do this with? I’m also wanting to try this with a bit less sheer curtain. Just wondering what worked best for you. Would love to see pics if you have any as well! πŸ™‚

  21. What an awesome idea to hang these drapes upside down! I’m off to Ikea to buy some for my dining room! So pretty and lets lots of light in.

  22. We wanted to continue having the light in the room yet have privacy. We did this same thing with flat 100% cotton sheets from Walmart starting at 5.00 per panel. We needed to shorten some so we made a double roll at the top. We did not turn any upside-down as we used the top hem as our fold line.

  23. Felt the same about the expense of shutters when I built my sum room. Bought β€˜Vivian’s too. The price was so good. I needed 12 for the sunny side,hemmed them easily. I can’t believe the softness they bring to my room!

  24. Love that idea for soft romantic inexpensive curtains thank you. I’ve seen a similar look for inexpensive crossovers, using tab curtains & decorative hooks evenly spaced over top of window, hook both curtains tabs on hooks then tie each curtain back with tie backs, looks effective also.