Make Your Own Tab-Top Curtains

I’m definitely not the greatest interior decorator ever, but I’m pretty happy with how these curtains turned out. They were easy to sew–the hardest part was spacing the tabs across the top!

I used a nice chocolate brown corduroy fabric and shell buttons on the tabs. The rods are bamboo rods I got at a lumber store and the hooks are just standard robe hooks. Someday I’d like to replace those hooks, but it works for now :)

I’m sorry I don’t have pictures of the entire process, but I started these a long time ago and didn’t finish them until a few weeks ago when I finally found the rods I wanted for a steal of a price.


My curtain pieces were approximately 18″ x 42″ rectangles. You should measure your window to see how long and wide yours should be (I like them with a little waviness between the tabs, so I made mine a little longer than my window). Not too hard. :)

Turn under and press down 1/4″ on each side of the curtain. Then turn under and press down 1/2″ to give each side a nice clean edge. Stitch these side hems down.


For the tabs, cut strips that are 5″ wide and 8″ long. ┬áThere’s about 2 1/2″ from the top of the pole to the top of the curtain and 2″ of overlap onto the curtain.

Fold the tabs in half, right sides together, and sew with a 1/4″ seam across one end and down the side. Leave the other end open. (This is a great time to use the chain-stitching method (also called strip-piecing) I mentioned during 31 Days to a Handmade Quilt–sew right onto the next tab without stopping in between. Such a time saver!)

Trim a little triangle off the corners so there will be less bulk when you turn the tab right side out.

Turn all your tabs right side out.

Press the tab so that the seam is right along one edge. The top end should be sewn closed; the other end should still be open.

Attach tabs to curtain

Cut a facing strip the length of your curtain and about 4″ wide. I used the selvage of the fabric as the lower edge of my strip so that I wouldn’t have to hem it.

Spread your curtain piece out on the floor right side up and arrange your tabs evenly across the curtain. The raw edge of the tabs should be lined up with the raw edge of the curtain, and the rest of the tab should be lying on the curtain. (Also make sure your first and last tabs are even with the edges of the rectangle.)

Mine ended up being around 5″ apart. I have no idea how to tell you how to figure this out mathematically. I tried several ways and they didn’t work, so I just eyeballed it. :)

Place the facing over the tabs, right side down, aligning its raw edge with the others.

Sew through the facing, tabs, and curtain with a 1/2″ seam allowance.

When you’re done, flip the facing around to the back and your tabs should be sewn in between the curtain and the facing. Press it down really well, and let’s move on to the hem!


Turn under and press 1/2″ along the bottom side of your curtain.

Then turn under 2 1/2″ and press again. This gives you a nice deep hem that will hang nicely at your window. Of course, you can feel free to modify those measurements if you think something else would be better in your particular situation. (That’s the great thing about sewing–nobody says you have to do something a particular way :) )

I used a blind-stitch to hem mine so that there wouldn’t be a horizontal line distracting from the rest of the curtain. If you don’t want a top-stitched hem and aren’t familiar with blind-stitching on your machine, just tack the hem down by hand.

Finish Tabs

To finish the tabs, pin them in place, overlapping with the top edge of your curtain by about 2″. Sew a decorative button right in the center to hold it in place.

Hang Your Curtains

Slip your curtain rod through the tabs, hang above your window, and adjust to your liking.

Ta-da! :)




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