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How to Make a Linen Curtain From a Vintage Tablecloth

Create a sustainable and romantic linen Curtain From a Vintage Tablecloth.

This fun and beautiful DIY linen curtains from a vintage tablecloth are a great addition to any part of your home and a wonderful way to repurpose vintage fabric and materials. These natural fiber linen curtains are a simple project, perfect for the beginning sewer.

DIY linen curtains hanging in window of kitchen

This summer, one of our resolutions is to take one day a week for a family adventure. Once a week, we pack up and head out to hike, explore new towns, and enjoy our time together. 

Where we live in California, there are often days that are just too hot to take adventures outdoors, or it’s too smokey from nearby wildfires. Fortunately, that time passes, and we can return to our adventuring.

But lately, it has been really hot and really smokey. 

I’m talking double digits hot and days and days of smoke. And with kids, it’s just not fun for anyone to be out in these temperatures. So instead, we decided to take a family adventure day – at home. 

What does this look like? We filled our day with making homemade gummies, making dyeing with our favorite flowers, doing crafts, playing games, and letting go of many of the everyday responsibilities that we usually undertake. It was a simple, cozy day at home.

This DIY curtain project from vintage linen tablecloth is perfect for a day like today. The curtain is simple enough to make in less than an hour while repurposing vintage materials and giving them a new life, and teaching my kids the basics of sewing.

vintage linen tablecloth folded on chair to be turned into a curtain

How do I select a vintage tablecloth?

There are a few key characteristics of vintage tablecloths I look for repurposing projects. First, look for fabric that is 100% natural fibers like cotton or linen. I prefer using linen for curtain projects, especially those that will hang in the bathroom or kitchen, as linen is naturally anti-bacterial. Honestly, you can use a wide variety of materials, such as drop cloths, silk or cotton sheets, or even pieced-together old vintage dish towels. Avoid using heavy-duty fabrics like denim, at least for this project.

Vintage linen tablecloth that has been turned into a curtain - hanging in window

What is the best thread for handmade linen curtains?

The best thread for linen curtains is Coats and Clark hand quilting thread, precisely because it is strong and can withstand the weight of hanging fabric. Synthetic thread will also do.

Materials and Tools You May Need to Make a Vintage Tablecloth Linen Curtain:

Vintage Linen Tablecloth- Linen fabric is elegant and easy to clean, and thrift stores are packed with various options. If you don’t have access to vintage linen tablecloths, almost anything will work here: cotton, grain sack, or drop cloth are all great choices. I would simply avoid using any super heavyweight fabrics.

Thread – Hand quilting thread is an excellent option for its strength and versatility. It can be used with a sewing machine or without.

Sewing machine (optional, but I used a sewing machine to create my curtain, so the project instructions will reflect the use of a sewing machine in the instructions).

Taper Measure/Ruler


Curtain Rod

Curtain made from a vintage linen tablecloth hanging in a kitchen window

How To Make Vintage Tablecloth Linen Curtain:

Measure your window and determine how many curtain panels you will need. For this project, my window was narrow, so I only needed one curtain panel, and I used a tablecloth that was 55″x 94.” Wash and iron your tablecloth in preparation for sewing.

Lastly, spread your tablecloth on your work area, and from the top of your tablecloth, measure 4″ from the top. Fold the top edge of the tablecloth over to the 4″ mark.

Pin 1/2″ above the folded edge all the way along the fold. This will become the area for your curtain rod.

Close up of sewing pin in a curtain made from a vintage linen tablecloth with hand

Over the years, I have tried several options for homemade curtains. I have used bulk fabric, scraps that I have pieced together, old aprons, and even hankies. The best reason to use a vintage tablecloth is the edges of the fabric are already finished. There’s no need to hem and tablecloths are often beautifully detailed.

If you don’t have a vintage tablecloth, don’t fret, you can try the other options listed above. You can also use a new tablecloth, too. The benefit of using vintage is it’s a fun way to repurpose old materials, give materials that may have slight damage new life, and enjoy old family pieces in new ways!

close up of sewing machine and woman's hand making a curtain from a tablecloth

Sew vintage tablecloth linen curtain:

Next, with your sewing machine, set the stitch type to zig-zag or something equivalent and sew along the 1/2 pinned line, removing pins as you sew. You will have a gap between the folded layers for the curtain rod.

If needed, make any adjustments to your curtain length and sew a simple hem.

Curtain that has been DIY-ed from a vintage tablecloth hanging in window with text that reads: How to sew easy curtains from vintage tablecloths

Enjoy your beautiful handmade creation.

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