How to Make Cafe Curtains

Kitchen Design, Sewing Patterns

Shabby or chic, cafe curtains have made a come-back. Or did they never leave the kitchen??? Either way, I’m sure you’ll be happy to find a pattern and step-by-step instructions how to make your own cafe curtains.

Cafe curtains offer an easy & inexpensive way to create an informal cozy atmosphere. They let the light in while maintaining a certain degree of privacy. In terms of decoration value, they offer a great way to add a dash of color and so can help tie your overall kitchen color scheme together. Cafe curtains are ideal window treatments to do all of these.

Types of Cafe Curtains

There are essentially two types of textile cafe curtains: those hung with clips and rings, and those that are directly covering the curtain rods.  I am showing you both types of curtains, and am offering a few additional options for you. Actually, there are no limits to your options: you can use just about anything as a cafe curtain.

Cafe Curtain Variations

Choose your style

how to make cafe curtainshow to make cafe curtains1.Retro Tea-towel Cafe Curtains


These say ‘Cowboy America’ to me.

Note the personalisation with buttons and fabric jewels ~ really cool!  I love the look of this style.

source: Susan Beal, West Coast Crafty

Tip 1: get map tea towels here

Tip 2: other map crafts

2. Nice Tea towel Cafe Curtains

These say ‘privacy’ to me.

image: bhg
Tip 3: Ikea sells a set of blue/white sheer tea towels for just a few dollars that would be perfect to create these curtains, or patchwork versions of these. And I would want my bistro cafe curtains to be a bit sheerer than these one pictures here.

Cafe curtain tea towel

how to make cafe curtains

3. Napkin Cafe Curtains

These say ‘Hip Vancouver’ to me…
… or Hip California for that matter…
as Southern Living is based in CA.
image: southern living

4. Coffee-themed, Layered Cafe Curtains


Tip 4: No sewing or craftiness required: order these ready-made. Price tag is attractive too: about US$15. To order, click here:

coffee-themed kitchen cafe curtain set


how to make cafe curtains

5. Striped Linen  Cafe Curtains

These curtains actually are made with pure white linen. 

The orange lines are created by applying twill tape.

Decorating Tip 5: note how the lines of the curtains and the lines of the wood trim on the wall and the lines of the cubby holes all reinforce an expansive horizontal look
that make rooms look larger and less cluttered.


Suggestions for Cafe Curtains Made from Recycled Materials

Before you go out and buy fabric for your own cafe curtains, look around the house and in the garage first. Great alternatives to expensive fabric include recyclables that have a creative, personal touch:

  • Off-white flour sacks, rice sacks or even coffee  or potato sacks. (If your sacks are made of really ruff fabric, pull out lots of strands of the fabric to create a open-lace look and let more light in. As well, these kinds of sacks look fantastic when paired up with other fabric remnants, ribbons, buttons and/or embroidery.
  • Vintage Lacey Handkerchiefs. If you have a stack of these, stitch them together in a patchwork design, and hang them up. These make for nice and light curtains.
  • Recycle old curtains, hides, doilies, crochet pieces and anything made with yarn or fabric. …. having said this, I dare you to make them out of plastic netting that your oranges come in. I am currently fascinated by that stuff….

Find more cafe curtains on sale here:

Other recycling ideas: shop for vintage pillow cases, doilies or other vintage fabrics at your local second hand store, shop for remnants departments at IKEA or your local fabric shop might also hold treasures.

How to Make your own Handmade Cafe Curtains


  • 1. Measure your window first: you’ll need 2 pieces of fabric that are 1.5” wider and 5” longer than your window section to cover. On the pattern below, I’m assuming 44 cm wide.
  • Tip: This is if you want to pieces to lay ‘flat’. However, if you want there to be a lot of ruffling, do add extra fabric accordingly. You can easily test how much fabric in each piece by pinning the fabric around the rod and see how it shapes. The thickness of the fabric matters: thin fabrics can ruffle, thick fabrics should not.
  • 2. You’ll need a curtain rod of that fits snug within your window, and two socket brackets or whatever comes with the rod to hang the rod.  Usually you buy these as a package. Go here for US Cafe Curtain rods , or here for UK (Europe) Cafe Curtain rods
  • Tip: if you are working with a print, measure & pin your curtains before sewing to see that it all lines up as you hope for.
how to make cafe curtains
  • 3.  Triple fold both side-edges and machine stitch with a simple straight stitch. Then, sew a hem along the edges, and fold over a few inches to create a channel for the rod. If you prefer to work with button holes, stitch them at 15 cm (about 8 inches) intervals, beginning 1.5 cm (about 3/4 inch) in from side. Style of curtain ring may vary placement of button hole height.
  • 4. Before hanging, press the curtain, and slide the curtain rod through the channel. Use socket brackets for hanging.

Cafe Curtains Diagram

This pattern is to help you determine the relative measures. ; This is not an exact project, other than lining up any bold print or large design you might be applying. The width of the rod determines the size of the channel, but as a guide, 3 cm  (see diagram) ; (1.5-2 inches) will do.

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