How To Make Tab Top Curtains

Tab top curtains can be a big fashion statement in a house. They can transform your home even without remodeling. They come in a variety of fabrics ranging from brocade and velvet to lightweight sheers. Their informal, modern look makes them chic and very stylish especially for smaller spaces. However, you can use them for larger spaces too.

The tabs are places are placed at about 8-inch intervals over the curtain top, with one at either end (each width of fabric gives six or seven tabs). But you can adjust the width and length of the tabs to suit your own likings. However, the top of the window frame should be covered by the curtain to get the best look.

tab top curtains

tab top curtains

These stylish curtains can be designed in a number of ways, including box pleated, lined and unlined button tabs, and gathered style.

Insulated Tab Top Curtains

The following instructional notes are for how to make tab top curtains that are not lined. For this style, the curtains should be 1.5 times the window’s width and the tabs at both ends must be sewed into the hem. You can adjust the width of your tabs to your preference.

insulated tab top curtains

insulated tab top curtains

How to Make Tab Top Curtains

What you need:

  • Curtain Fabric
  • Fabric for the tabs
  • Curtain pole
  • Suitable thread


  • Fix the curtain pole above the window as required.
  • Estimate the amount of fabric required for the width – Measure the length on the curtain pole between the finials. Divide the product of this length and the fullness ratio by the length of the fabric width. Round the decimals to the nearest whole number.
  • Estimate the cut length for the curtains – Measure the length from the curtain pole to the length that you want (Length-1). Measure the length from the pole to about 1-inch above the window frame, and add an allowance of 7-inches for the hems. When you multiply the cut length by the widths, you get the amount of needed fabric.
thermal tab top curtains

thermal tab top curtains

The curtains:

  • Use the window measurements to the cut the fabric.
  • Make the hems – Place the cut fabric on a flat surface with the inside face facing upwards.  Fold 1-inch of the fabric both at the top and bottom of the curtain.
  • Secure the hem with a whipstitch using a matching thread and a needle.
  • Make another 3-inch hem at the top of the curtain and secure it using a whipstitch

black tab top curtains

black tab top curtains

tab top sheer curtains

tab top sheer curtains

The tabs:

  • Measure the required widths for each tab (about 3-inches) and cut the number of pieces needed. Note that the length should be cut twice with another allowance of 4-inches for the seam.
  • Fold the pieces in half with the right sides facing each other. Stitch the free edges at about 6mm. After stitching, turn the folded side out.
  • Use a sewing machine to attach the tabs to the curtain hem by stitching the tab edges to the hem.

Finally, hang the curtains by looping the taps around the rod, and then fixing the rod into the holding hooks above the window. And there you’ll have your tab top curtains ready.

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Posted in Door and Windows on Oct 25th, 2012, 4:34 pm by andre

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