How to Make Tab Top Curtains

Different styles of curtains create different dramatic effects in your overall interior design. From pocket rod curtains to back tab and now tab top curtains. Using a few common materials, you can revamp your curtain’s look by learning how to make tab top curtains. 


Adding a bit of fabric is an excellent way to change your drapery’s aesthetic appeal. Give your living room, bedroom, or kitchen a new style in a few simple steps. Brush up on those cutting and measuring skills and add your own tabs to your regular curtains. 

how to make tab top curtains

Step 1: Gather your materials

Transform your regular curtains into a casual and stylish tab top curtain using just a few common materials. All you need is your fabric, sewing pins, thread, ruler, scissors, needle, and sewing machine. If you don’t have a sewing machine, a simple hand needle and thread will do the trick. 

Tip: Choose your fabric wisely. 

Since we’re doing a tab top curtain, it’s important to note that the tabs are visible since you are attaching them at the top part of your curtain. Try to choose a fabric that matches or at least complements the curtain.


You can use an old regular curtain and some fabric to turn your old drapery into a modern window treatment. Or you can create your own customized curtain using some fabric and sewing materials and learn how to make tab top curtains from scratch. 

Step 2: Make the necessary window measurements

If you’re going to customize your own curtain, you need to know the exact measurements that will enable you to cover the entire window. Get your measuring tape and take note of the window’s width, length, and height from the ground. 


Decide on your curtain’s preferred length. You can let it fall just a few inches below the window’s edge or let it hover an inch or two above the ground. Use your tape measure to determine the exact length of the entire curtain.

Step 3: Note the curtain dimensions

If you want your curtains that appear loosely gathered while it is closed, add extra inches to the fabric you will use. Using the exact width of your window for your curtains will result in a stiff cover.


Determine first the required dimensions of your curtain, including the tab top. For instance, if you’re going to need a 108-inch curtain for it to hover precisely an inch above the floor, that 108-inch height should include tab tops, not only the curtain itself. 

Step 4: Determine the tab’s dimensions

Your tab’s length and width should be consistent all throughout. You can choose longer or shorter tabs to attach to your curtain. If you prefer a tab that adds 3 inches to the curtain, deduct those 3 inches from the original measurement. 


For example, if you need a 108-inch long curtain panel and a 3-inch extended tab, your curtain panel’s height will be 105 inches. 

Step 5: Cut the fabric

A curtain requires three primary pieces: the main panels, curtain facing, and tabs. The main panels refer to the curtain’s dimension without the tab’s length. This should be determined after following the procedures in step four. 


Add six extra inches in the length and width for the hemming. You can make as many panels for your windows as you wish. But two panels should be able to cover one window. Use the curtain’s width that you took note of in step three.


Cut out your tabs using the dimensions determined in step four. Remember to multiply it by two since you will be folding it to hang your curtain correctly. For example, a 3-inch long tab should be made from a 6-inch strip. Cut as many tabs as you need for each panel. 


Create the two pieces of curtain facing by cutting out a strip from the fabric with the same width as your curtain panel. Make it three inches tall. 

Step 6: Sewing

Start by sewing the tabs. Fold each tab in half in a crosswise direction. You can iron it so that it holds its shape. Pin the sides in place and use a sewing machine or needle to stitch along the edges of the fabric. Use a half-inch seam allowance. Repeat this for all your tabs.


Hem the side seams of your curtain panel. You can also iron them to make the stitching process easier. Sew the hem at a three-quarter-inch seam allowance. Do this for all sides except the top seam. Determine the placement of your tabs in each panel, and sew them in place.


Sew the facing of your curtain at the top seam and lay right side down over the curtain top. Sew the top edge with a half-inch seam allowance. Iron the fabric to define the folds and creases. Make the finishing touches by securing the tabs in place.


Hem the lower part of your curtain and press the iron to give it a crisp finish. 


It may be a lengthy process, but learning how to make tab top curtains from scratch is a fantastic way to brush up on those creative and sewing skills. Choose medium-weight materials for better handling, and try to consider the color of your curtain. 


It’s crucial to establish precise measurements and dimensions before cutting the fabric. Otherwise, you might have to repeat the entire process again. Secure your tabs in place, and don’t forget to do a topstitch.


where should café curtains hang

Where Should Café Curtains Hang? 5 Common Places

Do you wonder where should café curtains hang? Read further to know!

Before anything else, let us get to know more about café curtains first.

So, café curtains are attractive decorative pieces that are used to enhance cafes and diners.

You can usually see this installed in an old roadside café.

This type of window treatment lets plenty of light enter as it also provides privacy.

That is possible because it only hangs partway up your window.

It can either be displayed near the top of the window or closer to the bottom.

But most often than not, it is made to match a natural dividing line that is already present on the window.

Just like most curtain types, a café curtain is also made of fabric.

Whether the fabric is semi-opaque or sheer, it can be made with or without linings.

Commonly, they are installed using a tension curtain rod.


5 Places At Home Where Café Curtains Hang

During the old days, café curtains are installed in cafes and diners only as mentioned above.

But now, more and more homeowners used this window treatment at home.

So, where should café curtains hang?

Now, to answer your question below is the list of the places where café curtains usually hang.


#1. Kitchen

A lot of homeowners use café curtains to cover their kitchen windows.

This is one of the most ideal covering to hang on the windows above the sink in your kitchen.

That is because they can offer an unobstructed outside view as you are washing the dishes.

This type of curtain is also an excellent addition to your breakfast nook as it will let plenty of sunlight fill the space.

It is extremely ideal for the area because that is where the lively conversation takes place in the morning.


#2. Bathroom

The second most common spot in the house where café curtains are installed is in the bathroom.

This will add texture to your bathroom windows.

Not only that, but it will also provide light as well as the much-needed privacy that you need in taking a bath.

It is extremely soothing to take a bath while you are basking in the sunshine at the same time.


#3. Office

Because of the pandemic, a lot of people are required to work remotely.

If you are someone who is working from home, it is nice to have a space at home where you can optimize your productivity.

Putting plants in your office can increase your productivity.

According to research, it can also help in decreasing stress.

Hanging café curtains in the space can offer the natural light that your plants need.

But more importantly, it will also provide the right ambiance to your working environment.


#4. Nursery

A café curtain is a small and delicate embellishment that can be an excellent addition to a nursery.

Aside from the cute appeal that it can contribute, it also serves some practical purposes.

Since you would like to spend plenty of time bonding with your baby in a nursery, it would be good to have café curtains to allow the light stream.

This is good both for you and the baby.


#5. Entryway

The entryway will leave a first impression on people that are coming to your house.

It would be better to make it more inviting if possible.

Perhaps, your front door that is leading to the entryway has glass panes, install café curtains to get the right amount of natural light.


How To Hang Café Curtains?

After you decided where to hang café curtains, follow these steps to hang them.


Step #1. Measure the space

You need to get the exact measurement of your window so that your café curtains will surely fit later on.

In selecting a curtain, the width must be two times that of the window and the length must be four up to six inches more than the window length.


Step #2. Picking the curtain rod

You can either choose from return and classic rods as they are the most ideal types of curtain rods for café curtains.


Step #3. Gather the tools

You will need screws, standard level, drill, tape measure, and pencil for the installation.


Step #4. Choosing the rod placement

You should hang the curtain just above the middle of the window.

It must cover the part where the window panes meet.

This is to allow privacy at the bottom half of the window then the light can come through the top part.


Step #5. Install the curtain rod

Using your pencil, mark the spot where you intend to install the curtain rod. Do this on both window sides.

Ensure that the lines are level before marking for the holes.

Once done, you can now secure the curtain rod brackets in place.

Use a drill to install them in the wall.


It’s A Wrap!

To answer your question as to where should café curtains hang, it depends on the light control and privacy requirement of your space.

Commonly, it is used in bathrooms and kitchens. But it can also work well in your bedroom.

Hanging café curtains is a nice way to add texture, pattern, and color to the room.

Sign up to our newsletter!