Posted January 20, 2010 05:11 pm

Cheaper to buy than make curtains

            I’m preparing to move into a new apartment with huge, gorgeous windows. These, of course, need huge, gorgeous curtains. I wondered if it would be cheaper to find a fabric I like and make them on my own.

            I’m going for bright colors in my living room – I have a hot pink loveseat and a chocolate brown couch, so I’m looking to tie in accent colors of bright green, Tiffany blue and more hot pink. Spending more than $50 is not in the budget.

            I found a gorgeous fabric online at Jo-Ann Fabrics: Waverly Metropolitan Soho Stripe in Popsicle. It’s a bright pink and orange textured fabric with a line of lime-green-and-white stripes. Unfortunately, on sale still means $17.49 per yard, down from the regular price of $34.99 per yard. To make a set of panels for my huge, gorgeous windows, I’m estimating I need about 6 yards of the 54-inches-wide fabric. Total? $104.94.

            At Overstock.com, I found Zandra pink, green and blue pattern curtains for $34.99 for a set of two. The fabric was 54 inches by 84 inches, or 2 and 1/3 yards, also 100 percent cotton. This is a much cheaper alternative, but it’s not exactly what I’m looking for.

            If you’re making solid curtains, there’s less of a difference. You can find 100 percent cotton fabric for two 54 inches by 84 inches panels in a solid color at Hancock Fabrics for less than $20, according to the prices listed on their web site. You can get faux silk panels at Target – in limited colors – for $12.99-$14.44. If you’re looking for a color that’s not a standard red, white, blue or black, making your own is a better choice.

            Another way to customize – cheaply – is to create a valance with the print pattern, or buy a yard and use it as a tie to a solid panel.

            I’m still on the hunt for the perfect curtains, but at least I know where to start. Do you have a good place you buy curtains? Do you have a cheap DIY addition?