DIY Hidden Tab Curtains Using Cafe Rings

DIY Hidden Tab Curtains Using Cafe Rings

I can’t remember the last time I bought curtains.

I’m not really sure I’ve ever bought curtains for that matter.

My grandma taught me to sew before I ever stepped foot in a classroom. I learned quickly that if I couldn’t afford the look I wanted from pictures in my favorite magazines, then I would just make it myself! Not much has changed over the years.

Last week I revealed Ren’s farmhouse nursery room makeover. If you missed it, you can see it HERE.

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For the curtains in this room I used a heavy, navy upholstery fabric to compliment the furniture and add some contrast to all the creams and whites. I use cafe rings for a lot of my curtains because they are so easy. However, for this project I wanted pleated, back-tab curtains…only without all the hassle of sewing tons of individual tabs! With a little experimentation this project was born!

DIY Hidden Back-Tab Curtains Using Cafe Rings

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What You’ll Need:

Sewing Machine

Heavy Fabric (OR make a lightweight fabric stronger with some fusible backing behind the pleated area. Once hung, the lightweight fabrics won’t hold the pleat naturally, they will sag without extra support) P.S. I realize that just sounded like an ad for a bra. 😉

Scissors, thread, pins, etc.

Cafe Rings (I bought the cheapest ones I could find at Walmart – they squeeze open)


1. Cut your curtain panels. Measurement should include:

Length of the desired finished product + Seam allowance (1/4 to 1/2”) + how tall you want the pleats (area above the curtain rod – I allotted an extra 5-6”) = Total length to cut

2. Hem all the edges of the panel. I used a rolled-hem to eliminate any raw edges. (No photo for this, sorry!)

3. Find the top of curtain. Fold the top of panel down onto the backside as if you were creating a casing (wrong sides together).

4. Then fold the hemmed edge upward in opposite direction (like an accordion). Pin it down and sew the pleat you just created. By creating this upward pleat, the cafe rings will have a “lip” to attach to and be able to support the pleats above the curtain rod. Otherwise the pleats will droop. We don’t like drooping now do we?! (Again with the bra ads here) 😉

Here’s a diagram to help:


Sewing the upward pleat (the top of my curtain in to your right in the below photo):


5. Simply clip on the cafe rings, evenly spacing them along the backside.


Lastly, inserts the curtain rod and hang.


This is what it will look like from the backside:


Shape the pleats after hanging.

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You did it! I hope you don’t find my directions too confusing (they are from my brain after all… which can be a bit cluttered at times).

This truly is a SIMPLE project for any room!

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Pin these directions for later:

DIYcurtainThanks for visiting!


P.S. Come back later this week for my basket changing station tutorial!