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


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how to make cafe curtains
how to make cafe curtains

Retro Tea-towel Cafe Curtains

These say ‘Cowboy America’ to me. Note the personalisation with buttons and fabric jewels on them. really cool!  I love the look of this style.

Source: Susan Beal, West Coast Crafty

Tip 1: Map tea towels: Learn more about options and purchase them here at Amazon

Tip 2: other map crafts


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Cafe curtain tea towel

Classic Tea towel Cafe Curtains

These are perfect for ‘privacy’.

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.


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How to Make Cafe Curtains

Napkin Cafe Curtains

These sheer bright curtains say ‘Hip California’ to me. So sheer and cheery.

Image: southern living


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Layered Cafe Curtains

Tip 4: Line your kitchen curtains with a bold striped fabric and let it peak out on top for 3 inches to a fun color and pattern contrast.

The tassel trim transforms these kitchen cafe curtains into nothing short of a heirloom piece. Stunning!

Image credit and design by Sonya Hamilton Designs


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how to make cafe curtains

Design & Plan

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. (learn more or purchase on Amazon)
  • 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.

Materials Needed

  • Fabric of your choice
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Curtain rod or tension rod
  • Curtain clips or rings (optional)


  1. Measure the window: Determine the desired height and width of your cafe curtains. Measure the window frame or the desired length of the curtains.
  2. Cut the fabric: Using the measurements from Step 1, cut two panels of fabric. Each panel should be the desired width of the curtain and twice the length plus a few extra inches for hemming.
  3. Hem the sides: Fold and press a small hem along each side of both fabric panels. Stitch the hems in place using a sewing machine.
  4. Create the rod pocket: On the top edge of each fabric panel, fold over a larger hem (approximately 2-3 inches) to create a rod pocket. Press the fold and stitch it securely, leaving an opening at each end for inserting the curtain rod.
  5. Hem the bottom edge (optional): If desired, create a neat hem along the bottom edge of each fabric panel to give the curtains a finished look. Fold and press a small hem, then stitch it in place.
  6. Install the curtain rod: Place the curtain rod or tension rod in the desired position above the window. Insert the rod through the rod pockets created in Step 4.
  7. Hang the curtains: Slide the curtains onto the rod and adjust them to your desired position. If using curtain clips or rings, attach them to the top edge of the curtains and hang them from the rod.
  8. Finishing touches: Adjust the length and position of the curtains to ensure they hang evenly. Give them a final press with an iron to remove any wrinkles and achieve a polished look.

Now you have a beautiful set of cafe curtains that add charm and character to your kitchen. Experiment with different fabrics, patterns, and colors to match your kitchen decor and create a cozy ambiance.

Cafe curtains provide a delightful touch to your kitchen, offering a combination of style and functionality. With this easy-to-follow pattern, you can make your own cafe curtains and infuse your kitchen with a warm and inviting atmosphere. Enjoy the natural light filtering through while maintaining privacy in your culinary space. Let your creativity shine as you choose fabrics and designs that complement your kitchen decor. Create a charming window display with handmade cafe curtains that reflect your personal style and add a finishing touch to your kitchen’s aesthetic.

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