Step-by-step Tutorial: DIY Blackout Curtains for Nursery or Bedroom!

Before I had my son, I knew sleep was going to be a key factor when it came to parenthood. I decided to do what I could to make our new baby's room as comfortable as possible for a good nap or a good night's sleep! And part of that was blocking out the sun that radiated into the room each day. I shopped around for black out curtains, but none of them were aesthetically pleasing. So, I decided to make my own! Here is my step-by-step tutorial for DIY blackout curtains for a nursery, bedroom or any other room in your house!
Here we go... eight steps to creating your own DIY black out liner curtain!
Honestly? This was probably the hardest task in this entire process. As you can see, I was working with a loooot of fabric. I kind of sat there and looked at it for a few hours, terrified to cut. After sixteen a few times of running back and forth to the nursery to double check my measurements, I finally came up with a formula. I planned to use a curtain rod with clips, so I measured from where the clips would hang (the rod would go as "high and wide" above my window as possible) all the way to the floor. 94 inches was my magic number. Then most tutorials recommended adding 10" to that figure for hem allowance. 104 inches per panel. Boom.
As you can see, I devised a little painters tape + dining room table measurement and cutting system, but do whatever works for you. Just make sure you have a big place to spread out since you are cutting big ol' long panels!
Alright, let's start at the bottom of these suckers, one panel at a time. Fold your bottom hem up four inches and then iron. By the way... I never realized how helpful ironing is in sewing. It really helps set your fabric to pin and sew! Duh, Michelle. Then go ahead and fold your hem up again another four inches and iron, so you've got a double-wide hem at the bottom of your curtain. Then pin and sew a straight stitch across the hem to keep it in place. Don't forget to back stitch at the beginning and end!
Now it's time to add the lining. I picked up my blackout liner at JoAnn Fabrics on sale- normally $6.99/yard but it was 50% off. I bought 13 yards of the liner for about $45.44. Now comes another scary cutting part... but luckily you already know your curtain measurements (remember, mine is 94 inches), so you just add 2.5 inches to that number and cut that length for the liner.
A lot of the tutorials out there suggest that the blackout lining should be about 6 inches less than your regular fabric in width. I'll explain why in a bit, but make sure your blackout lining is not as wide as your fabric. Mine was actually already pre-cut with less width than my regular fabric, so I didn't have to cut the sides down, but you may have to. Just 6 inches off the width of your regular fabric.
Just like we did with the regular fabric above, we're now going to fold, pin and sew the bottom hem of the liner fabric. Fold the bottom of the fabric up 2 inches and iron. Then fold up another 2 inches, iron and then pin it down. You'll make another simple straight stitch across this hem to hold it in place.
By the way, I think I used the back of my liner fabric as the front... the "front," I believe, is technically the off-white color. But I wanted the bright white side to show through, so I made it my "front." Hey, it works for me because it looks cuter : )
Now it's time to put these two pieces together. Ack! We're working with a lot of fabric here, so just be patient. I headed back over to my dining room table to measure all of this off. Lay both fabrics so that the right sides are facing one another. So for me that meant the front of my gingham print faced up and the white "front" of my liner fabric faced down, so that they were facing one another. Make sense?
Lay the hemmed bottom of your liner fabric about 1.5 inches from the bottom of the hemmed regular fabric. Then line up one side of the liner fabric along with the regular fabric and pin in place.
Once you get that pinned into place, it's time to pin the other side of the liner fabric to the other side of the regular fabric. Don't forget that the liner fabric is about six inches less wide than your regular fabric. So when you begin to pin the other side of the liner fabric to the regular fabric, you'll have to bunch up some of the regular fabric in the middle. It all works out, though, I promise! : )
Then you sew your pinned edges into place with a straight stitch. It seems like a daunting task because there is so much fabric going on, but I promise it's pretty easy! Just do one side at a time, straight down the edge.
Once your sides are stitched up, turn the fabric inside out so that both fabrics are showing their beauty sides. At first it looks like a hot mess, but then... all of a sudden... it looks like a curtain!
FOR THE LAST TWO STEPS (7 and 8) of the tutorial and lots more photos of the process (and the finished product!), check out my blog post over on my blog, Ten June!
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Michelle

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 5 questions
  • Margo
    Margo
    on Feb 18, 2016

    I couldn't help but notice your fabulous ironing board cover! I love a pretty cover! Where did you get it? or did you make that too?

  • Francesca
    Francesca
    on Oct 22, 2018

    what is the reason for folding the hem up twice?

  • Lisa Sinclair
    Lisa Sinclair
    on Sep 15, 2019

    First of all, let me say, they look great! And bravo to you! Bpth for getting over your fear of the cit. And for the finshed product! But what Im Wondering, is why you have to hem the liner seperately? I've always noticed this when looking at store bought black outs. But never under stood ....Why? I want to make black outs, too. And was wondering if this cold be skipped, thank you in advance!

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2 of 17 comments
  • Judy
    Judy
    on Oct 23, 2018

    I am looking at black out drapes and the like for our bedroom that has a small east window and a large north window. I am a retired 3-11 nurse and my husband has always been a night owl, so we prefer to sleep in at ages 67 and 83. I made burlap curtains long ago, but I like what you did....very pretty.

  • Mari
    Mari
    on May 15, 2019

    I want to try this but don’t see the link to your blog. Am I overlooking it? Thx!

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