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Cabinet curtains are versatile and really bring some personality and charm to a space with lower cabinets and tables. Our easy step-by-step tutorial will show you how to make DIY cabinet curtains of your own.

How to make cabinet curtains

I just finished the most satisfying cabinet curtain project!  It’s beautiful, it’s functional and it marks a major milestone on this journey my family has been on to build our own pole barn home

When Mr. Tidbits and I designed this home, we planned for a very large butler’s pantry that would be versatile and provide lots of storage. Of course, it also needed to be beautiful. 

How to make cabinet curtains

This pantry has been the last interior space of our home that needed to be completed.  Having it done feels SO good!  I’ll share the reveal of the entire space soon!

How to make cabinet curtains

We recently finished installing wooden countertops in this butler’s pantry using the same method that we shared for our kitchen counters. We also added a beautiful European-style faucet and rock accent wall.

cabinet curtains with a ruffled top

After checking those items off our list, it was time to tackle cabinets. 

While we went with wooden doors for the upper cabinets of this butler’s pantry, I decided that the bottom cabinets called for something different.  I chose to go with gathered linen curtains to give some softness and style to this space.   

storing kitchen items behind a cabinet curtain

I’m not sure who loves these curtains more – me, because I think they add the perfect touch of charm, or Mr. Tidbits, who was happy he didn’t have to spend hours building cabinet doors (his least favorite DIY project by far).  

Cabinet Curtain Examples

Cabinet curtains aren’t a new idea.  They are a classic that has been around for decades.  You’ve probably seen them at some point.  Maybe on a bathroom or kitchen cabinet or while browsing the internet or Instagram for new ideas.

How to make cabinet curtains

Recently, they’ve been making a bit of a come-back and it’s easy to see why.  They are so simple, so functional, and so adaptable to different styles.  Hunker recently shared an article about how to make cabinet curtains work for a modern home.  Checkout House and Garden where they just shared some amazing examples of using curtains in place of cabinet doors.  And this round-up of unique cabinet curtain ideas from HomeBNC has some gorgeous examples. 

Why Choose Cabinet Curtains?

Cabinet curtains can be so versatile!  You can really make these your own.  Do you want ruffles along the top? Trim along the edges?  A print that perfectly complements your existing decor?  You can absolutely do that!  Your curtains can be light and flowy or rich and luxurious. 

How to make cabinet curtains

You can choose from a huge range of fabric types, colors, and prints.  You could even swap out your curtains seasonally to match your mood or the holidays. 

Although I love and have many wooden cabinet doors, they aren’t as easy to adapt.  Wood costs much more than fabric.  Refinishing or building wooden cabinet doors is also a much bigger project.

What Décor Styles Work Well with Cabinet Curtains?

I love cabinet curtains for our Old-World European home style.  But don’t be discouraged from trying these if another style is more your jam. 

How to make cabinet curtains

These curtains would work well for farmhouse, coastal cottage, bohemian, shabby chic, country rustic, the list goes on and on.  I think these would even work with traditional style décor because they are so customizable in texture and patterns. 

Give these curtains a go and you’ll soon be hiding all sorts of clutter while looking stylish!

Can You Make Your Own Curtains?

Yes!  This DIY project is not hard.  If you can sew a straight line then you can make these curtains.  We use basic stitches and no special equipment. 

I think this project is great for a beginner or intermediate sewer.  Don’t be intimidated.  Just have fun and imagine how great these curtains will look on your cabinets!

How to Hang Cabinet Curtains

You can simply opt for a standard curtain rod to hang cabinet curtains. Even an inexpensive tension rod would work great, especially if you are hanging the curtain on the inside of the furniture frame.

However, if you have a large run of curtains to hang (like we did) – I have a great solution for you! Go to a local hardware store and buy as much EMT conduit as you need.

hang cabinet curtains with a EMT electrical conduit

This is very inexpensive steel piping, used for electrical work when building homes. It comes in a few thicknesses, so you can suit your project space best.

To hang the conduit rod, you can use the conduit straps that work best for your furniture.

hang cabinet curtains with a EMT electrical conduit

If you are gathering your curtain, the pipe will be completely covered, so the color on the rods won’t matter at all. However, if you are going to be able to see the rod, simply use some Rubb n’ Buff to get it the metal color you like.

What Type of Fabric is Best for Cabinet Curtains?

Linen is my favorite choice for fabric curtains like these.  I love linen because it has amazing texture and is so easy to work with.  I purchased mine here

linen fabric for cabinet curtains

You can also use cotton.  Cotton is great option if you want a unique print on your material.  Other options are muslin, canvas, poplin, or silk.  It all depends on the look you are going for.  I would just recommend to avoid knit fabrics.  Fabric Resource has some good tips on choosing fabric for your curtain project. 

What Materials Will I Need for These Cabinet Curtains?

  • Fabric of your choosing. Because these curtains are gathered, you will want your fabric to be 2 to 2.5 times wider (side to side) than the space you plan to cover.  Make sure that the fabric you have chosen is also tall enough (top to bottom) to cover your cabinet height and still allow for seam allowances and the curtain rod casing.  For my project I made sure to have several extra inches of fabric in both directions to allow for these.
  • Coordinating thread
  • Fabric scissors
  • Measuring tape or ruler
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Sewing machine
  • Curtain or tension rod with mounting hardware

Cabinet Curtains Video Tutorial

If you learn sewing better in video format, feel free to watch this video tutorial!

Video tutorial for cabinet curtains

Step by Step Written Instructions

1 – Prepare and Cut Your Fabric

  • Wash and dry your fabric.  You’ll want your fabric to be pre-shrunk to avoid shrinking problems down the line when you launder your curtains. 
  • Press your fabric to remove wrinkles and get a smooth finish.
step by step sewing tutorial for making cabinet curtains
  • Measure out the width (side to side) of your cabinet.  On your fabric (width wise) mark out a distance that is 2 to 2.5 times longer than your cabinet.  Because we had so many sections to do, I had to sew 7 individual panels to cover the space.
measuring width for making cabinet curtains
  • Cut or tear your fabric to desired length.  Don’t worry about the height of the fabric at this point.  We’ll address that part later. 
measuring your fabric to make cabinet curtains.

2 – Sewing Curtain Top and Sides

  • Beginning with the top edge of the cabinet curtains, press with an iron or finger fold in a ¼ inch seam allowance onto the wrong side of the fabric.  You can pin the fabric if you find that helpful.
step by step sewing tutorial for making cabinet curtains
  • Sew down using a straight stitch, remembering to back stitch at the beginning and end of your run.
  • Now you’ll sew the sides.  Press or finger turn a ¼ inch seam allowance onto the wrong side of the fabric. Repeat this ¼ fold again so that you have a double fold.  Pin or iron if needed.
step by step sewing tutorial for making cabinet curtains
  • Sew down.  Do this on both ends of your curtain panel.

3 – Making the Curtain Casing

  • This is the part where you have to do some playing around.  You’re going to take the top edge of your cabinet curtain panel and fold it down a few inches to create a rod casing.  How far you need to fold your top edge down will depend on the size of your curtain rod, whether or not you want a ruffle along the top and how tall you want that ruffle to be.  Try wrapping the top edge of your curtain panel around the rod and see what looks good to you.  You can use pins to hold things in place while you experiment. 
step by step sewing tutorial for making cabinet curtains
  • Once you’re determined how far down you need to fold your top edge to create casing, mark or note how many inches that is.  For my curtains I marked a spot 7 inches down from my fabric edge.  I then folded the top edge down to that spot.
  • Fold over the entire length of the top panel toward the wrong side of the fabric and pin or press into place. 
step by step sewing tutorial for making cabinet curtains
  • You’re now going to sew that edge down to the fabric.  You should be left with a sleeve running along the top edge of the curtain panel that the curtain rod will be fed through.
  • Press the top edge of your curtain panel again for a nice finished edge.
step by step sewing tutorial for making cabinet curtains
  • If you are doing a ruffle along the top, you will now measure how far down from the top you need to sew another seam.  This seam should allow for a curtain rod casing and a ruffle above the casing.  For my project I wanted a 1.5 inch ruffle.  I measured down 1.5 inches from the top of my casing and sewed another seam.
step by step sewing tutorial for making cabinet curtains

4 – Hemming Bottom Edge

  • You’ve now completed the top and side of your cabinet curtain panel.  Take your panel and string it on your curtain rod.  Hang in place for reference.
step by step sewing tutorial for making cabinet curtains
  • Note where your curtain meets the floor.  Measure two inches beyond that point and mark.  This will give you enough extra length for the bottom hem.
  • Cut along the line that you have marked.
  • Press again if needed.
  • Fold the bottom seam over 1 inch toward the wrong side.  Fold again another 1 inch.  Press or pin if needed.
  • Sew down, remembering to back stitch.
step by step sewing tutorial for making cabinet curtains

All done!  Now, go hang that curtain panel up and enjoy your new cabinet curtain! 

How to make cabinet curtains

Other Sewing Projects You Might Enjoy

I hope you’ve enjoyed this project.   If you want to check out some of my other sewing projects you can find them here.

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  1. This pantry…by far, is one of the prettiest and well designed that I’ve seen!! Brava!
    You and Mr. Tidbits have beautiful taste and great talents to create such a lovely home.