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Seeing Stripes

2013 August 14
by Becky

Ethan’s room is coming along slowly but surely.

As usual, dealing with window treatments is my nightmare. I’ve been hung up (pun intended) on how to solve this problem for much too long. You know how one detail of a room completely consumes your thoughts and prevents you moving forward? Good thing these are the same turret windows as in our living room (here’s how I solved that problem) so I already have the rods up and ready for curtains. I just can’t find the right ones!

Because I want horizontal stripes. 

Have you ever tried finding horizontal stripe curtains? It’s impossible…unless you have boatloads of cash to spend on window treatments. I thought the solution was in the newest West Elm catalog. I got all excited about their price—$49 a panel—and zipped over to our brand-spankin-new West Elm here in St. Louis.


But alas, these curtains were waaaay too dark. The light stripes are greyish white, not bright white, which is what I need to grey-up the walls in Ethan’s room (it looks grey, but there is a hint of lavender). Plus I think white will help lighten things up..even with the three huge windows, it gets a little dark in the afternoons.

So I decided the answer was to make some myself, but OMG, the price of fabric was insane and made me nervous. Plus, it’s impossible to find reasonably priced horizontal stripe fabric…it’s all vertical.

I searched around and found several creative ways to do this on a budget, so I thought rounding them up may be helpful to anyone else attempting this feat!

The Nester Horizontal Striped Curtainsvia

1. Buy vertical stripe fabric, turn it horizontal, and sew the widths together to get the 111″ inches (it would take three widths) I need to reach the floor, similar to what The Nester did (shown above). I priced this out and it got pretty expensive with that third width needed for just a few extra inches.

The Creative Imperative - DIY Horizontal Stripe Curtainsvia

2. I could buy my two colors of fabric, cut strips, and sew them together like Jamie at The Creative Imperative blog did (above). She actually used two Walmart table cloths, cut them up, and sewed them together. Amazingly thrifty! But I’m only an amateur sewer and would probably never get around to actually putting these together. Plus I don’t think Walmart sells grey table cloths. 

A Thoughtful Place: DIY Horizontal Striped Curtainsvia

3. Courtney at A Thoughtful Place blog had a great idea. She bought a cream colored fabric in the full curtain length, then cut strips of tan fabric to sew on to cream. Still time consuming, as seems to be a common theme, but looks really fantastic and seems a little easier than the first two options.

Horizontal Stripe Curtainsvia

4. Yet another genius take on big horizontal stripes in a DIY fashion, Sarah of The Yellow Cape Cod bought white curtains and used Heat n Bond to adhere black fabric strips. She didn’t even mess with hemming, just ironed on ribbon to the top and bottom of each black stripe to hide the rough edge. Gorgeous. And she didn’t even need a sewing machine!

And finally…

Reckless Glamour: DIY Horizontal Curtainsvia

5. Can you tell these are painted? I can’t. They were just white Target ReStyle curtain panels until Courtney from Reckless Glamour blog carefully taped off and painted grey stripes.

So which option will I choose?

Well, since I need extra long panels, I ordered some white RITVA from Ikea. You can’t beat the price—$34.99 for TWO panels! And, they are 57″ wide, which is helpful for my layout.


I’ll use either #3, #4 (without the ribbon), or #5.  So this weekend (hopefully) I will decide and get to work. Honestly, I’d like to do the fabric stripes instead of painting, but I’m SO terrible at picking out fabric…the thought of searching for the perfect grey fabric makes me want to scream. Painting is pretty tempting. But if I do paint, I’ll use some fabric paint medium to ensure a non-crusty result.

After this weekend, Ethan’s room will be on the road to completion.


Now here’s where I make a last ditch and ask if anyone out there knows of a place to buy horizontal stripe curtains at a reasonable price. Tell me now! Otherwise I know as soon as these are done some store will start selling them. Remember my chevron rug? Urban Outfitters started selling them like a month later. SO frustrating.

I can’t wait to get these done!!!

12 Responses
  1. August 14, 2013

    So many great ideas!! Whatever you decide will look great in his room.

  2. Grandpa Joe permalink
    August 14, 2013

    I feel like a slug after reading still another of your incredibly energetic home decorating projects.

  3. Shannon permalink
    August 14, 2013

    I feel your pain!! I wanted horizontal striped curtains (navy and white) for Sully’s room and never found them. One other option- have you considered converting a striped duvet or sheets into curtains? I know I saw someone do that but can’t remember the blog name. Just a thought, though may not be long enough without piecing together.

    • Becky permalink*
      August 14, 2013

      I looked into the sheet option Shannon, and yes the length was an issue. Plus, it was really hard to find the colors for a decent price. :( Thanks for the idea though!

  4. August 14, 2013

    I am having the SAME issue. I looked that almost every site you linked in my search, lol! WHY do more people not have them?! Do they not read blogs? We obviously want them! I need four panels for my living room and I am a crap sewer so….

    I did find someone who makes them on etsy, although I can’t remember who now- still pricey though :/
    Kayla Aimee recently posted..What I Wore Wednesday: Stuff Parents Need Stitch Fixin’ It Up!My Profile

    • Becky permalink*
      August 14, 2013

      I know!! I can’t figure it out, why would stores like West Elm not sell these curtains? Actually, if your ceilings are low enough, West Elm has a horizontal striped shower curtain that people have used for windows. I can’t, it’s too short. And it’s probably not very cheap of a solution, but it’s an idea.

      Oh and the Etsy sellers? SO expensive!!!! Like $150 per panel. How in the world can they charge that much? I would never pay it. Maybe you and I should make them then link up to feature of the results. :)

  5. Linda Johnson permalink
    August 14, 2013

    Good luck finding your window covering for Ethan’s room. I know you will find exactly what your looking for.

    I can tell my grandson is all excited about the window treatment!! I wish he was here visiting grandma’s pool…miss the little man.

  6. Cara Haugh permalink
    August 14, 2013

    Hmmmm. Excited to see what you decide. I just painted a big drop cloth with adorable stripes (waterproof for picnics) and it turned out pretty stinkin’ cute. Can’t beat the color options in Martha Stewart craft paint. Taping was a pain – would recommend sans kids. :). Lyla was less helpful than I anticipated. Have you tried Hawthorne Threads for fabric? My fave (though never the same steal as joAnns with 50% off coupon). Good luck!

    • Becky permalink*
      August 14, 2013

      I love the drop cloth idea!! Too bad drop cloths aren’t white or I’d be heading to Home Depot to get one. :) I’ll check Hawthorne and Fabric Worm for my grey fabric (to make the stripes). Good thing my mom will be here soon to help with the sewing! Unless I decided painting is the route to go…decisions decisions.

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