How to Make Easy No Sew DIY Cafe Curtains

A quick, simple step-by-step tutorial for repurposing kitchen towels to make charming DIY cafe curtains in under 10 minutes.

If you can’t sew worth a lick, this one’s for you.

Hi! Welcome to the club of lost causes with a needle and thread. (To be fair, my mom tried to teach me how to use a sewing machine multiple times since I was a kid, but it never stuck.) 

I really wanted cafe curtains in our kitchen window though. This spot above our kitchen sink always felt a little too bare. I wanted a window treatment, but I didn’t want to block the beautiful natural light streaming in. 

kitchen sink window with striped diy cafe curtains

Best Item to Repurpose for Cafe Curtains

Then I saw this trick floating around Instagram: use kitchen towels as panels of fabric with curtain rings on a small tension rod to make easy cafe curtains. Best idea ever!

Honestly, this project barely constitutes the need for a tutorial, but here’s a quick step-by-step if it helps. 

Related: Easy DIY No Sew Curtains With Trim: Step By Step Tutorial

striped kitchen towel

(Don’t go out and buy new kitchen towels; it makes more sense to repurpose ones you already have for this project.)

If you have a kitchen, mud room, or bathroom window where you just want a little privacy and a nostalgic feel, linen cafe curtains are a great way to add charm.

Even if you choose thick curtain fabric to hang across the lower half of the window, you’ll still have the top of the window uncovered to allow in some sunlight. 

Related: Best Luxury for Less Amazon Curtains & Window Shades

kitchen sink window with striped cafe curtains, white upper cabinets, green lower cabinets, and pressed tin backsplash

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Supplies

  • 2 kitchen towels (use more if you have a wide window… I see cute ones for super cheap on clearance at HomeGoods all the time.)
  • 14 curtain clips (use more if you need more than 2 kitchen towels for a wide window)
  • Cafe curtain rod or tension rod
  • Iron and ironing board
curtain ring clips

Tips

1. Use a tape measure to get the correct measurements of your window to make sure 2 kitchen towels will be enough to cover the width of the window. If you need more, just use more kitchen towels to hang them side by side on the rod. 

2. I hung my kitchen towels horizontally so the short sides would be the side of the curtain. But for larger windows where you need more curtain height, you can turn the kitchen towels to hang them vertically instead. 

3. If you want more custom fabric options than using towels, see how to make no sew cafe curtains here using hem tape instead. 

white and green kitchen cabinets with mini lamp on countertop

Step 1 – Press Fabric

Press the side seams and any wrinkles of the kitchen towels with a hot iron first. 

hot iron on a linen kitchen towel

Step 2 – Attach Ring Clips

Lay a kitchen towel on a flat surface. Begin attaching the ring clips so they’re evenly spaced along the top hem. As you attach the clip, create a single fold to pinch the fabric so it creates makeshift pinch pleats. 

pinching fabric in ring clips to make diy cafe curtains

Step 3 – Hang Rod

Slide the curtain rings onto the tension rod. Adjust the tension rod so it fits the width of the window frame. 

ticking stripe cafe curtains in a kitchen window

Voila! Easy DIY cafe curtains done in minutes. It’s such a great weekend project or a quick DIY you can knock out during a little one’s nap time. 

There are so many kitchen towels out there with cute designs that your curtain options could be endless. (Just open your towel drawer to see if you have any in good shape that you can use without any additional cost.)  

And of course, add a plant or two to the window sill for good measure. 

More Window Treatment Ideas

Easy DIY No Sew Curtains With Trim: Step By Step Tutorial

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Best Luxury for Less Amazon Curtains & Window Shades

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4 Comments

  1. Lauren, I made no sew drapes from tablecloths from Target, in a stripe that is very similar to what you have. Even though I can sew, they are cotton, and I couldn’t find any ready made that were . The length was longer than I needed, so I just folded the top down and clipped the rings on. Nearly 5 years later, they’re still filling the bill. Not only were they a time saver, but a money saver as well.

    1. Gayle!! This is awesome!! It is a great thrill to hear how someone can make something they want with what they can find or what they already have. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Great post. I have also made cafe curtains with clip rings using decorative cloth napkins (usually sized 20” x 20”) and, depending on window size, ironed white gauzy flour sack panels