How to make horizontal striped curtains

There’s two patterns that I will never, ever tire of: stripes and polka dots. I’ve done everything under the sun polka dot, but very few things have I made that were striped – until now. My old living room drapes were horizontal stripe curtains, too, but the color wasn’t what I wanted, nor was the size of the stripe. I made them from some material that had been in my stash forever, and after living with them a couple of years I knew that I loved the look, but wanted an updated version. Here’s the trick – it’s realllllly hard to find wide stripe fabric on the horizontal. It’s super easy to find it vertical, though (meaning the stripes run off the bolt long ways.) So, I took some fabric that was printed vertical and turned it into horizontal striped curtains. It’s only a few more steps than doing them my traditional way, and I’m gonna show you how.

horizontal striped curtains

However much fabric you need for two panels, add in enough for one more panel. I like to make my drapes 54 inches wide, because that’s the width of the my favorite drapery lining (from my sponsor Online Fabric Store). My windows need drapes that are 7 ft long, so I need 5 yards (it gives me 1/2 extra yard for hemming, etc.).

I know that seems like I’m talking in circles – but let’s think like this: you need 54 inches of width per panel, but you’re using it length ways – so you need 3 x 54 (for two panels) – because it takes one full width plus half of another width to make the stripes run horizontal.  Add in half a yard for cutting/hemming and you’re ready to go. If you need longer panels, then make sure to order enough that you’ll have double the amount for the extra length (6.5 yards of stripe fabric can make two panels that are 108 inches long).

Math makes my head hurt. And decorating math is the only kind that works in my brain. (Ask me what pi is and I’ll give you a killer recipe.)

horizontal striped curtains

To make it easy, lay your lining out, cut the length you need it (I cut mine 7.5 ft. long). So line up the edge of the stripe fabric running horizontal against the lining, then use the edge as a guide to cut it. Do that three times, then you will have enough for 84 inch drapes. (You’ll need to make 4 cuts for longer panels.)

horizontal stripe curtains

For the 84 inch panels, cut one of the stripe pieces in half, watching where the stripe is because you’re going to pin them together so you can sew it up to make the stripes match up. This is a little tricky, but just pay attention and think about what part you need to cut so that the pattern will go smoothly.
horizontal stripe curtainsThen pin them together right on the lines, so it all goes together seamlessly. Take your time, you want to get this right on the money.

how to sew horizontal stripe curtains

Then run a stitch carefully on the line from side to side, so when you turn the fabric out it will look like one big piece of horizontal striped fabric.

After you’ve got the fabric ready, use my tutorial for easy lined curtains and sew them all together.

horizontal striped curtainsIt really only takes about 30 more minutes than my traditional way, but you can get a look you love without driving yourself crazy trying to find horizontal striped curtains fabric.

Want more ways to make curtains? You can find more ideas in my curtain gallery!


About Gina Luker

Gina Luker is a writer, photographer and lover of all things quirky. She's usually found with a drill in one hand and a cocktail in the other while blogging along the way. She's addicted to coffee, polka dots, rock stars, Instagram, and everything aqua.


  1. How clever! I never would have thought of that. Neat.

  2. Love this idea and I love the striped drapes. Great tutorial.

  3. Carolyn says:

    I wish I sewed. I’ve been looking for EXACTLY the color and style you are showing…love the aqua and white wide stripes! Heck, I would’ve settled for finding tan and white stripes, horizontal, but find NADA. And I don’t sew. VERY sad….ending up with plain white curtains. You don’t sew for money do you?

  4. So pretty Gina, as usual! If anyone’s interested in the blue striped fabric here’s the link 🙂

  5. Gina, you are so very talented! Thank you, for the inspiration!

  6. Penny Neeld says:

    Love those! And the colors!

  7. When I saw your horizontal stipe curtains, I knew that is what I wanted for my (slowly going) living room makeover! What I did is bought yards and yards of white fabric and dyed half of it (I had to dye it 3 times to get the shade I wanted!) then I cut 12″ horizontal strips and sewed them all together, alternately, to make 2 large panels. I snapped on some curtain rings and hung them up and they look just like yours! (Someday I might line them, but for now it’s ok!) Thanks for the inspiration!

Speak Your Mind