| |

Ikea Dishtowel Hack

Cafe Curtains

We have new neighbours.  I miss my old neighbours.  They were neighbourly and pleasant.  Our new neighbours pretty much keep to themselves, which is fine really.  But, the thing with my old neighbours was that they didn’t mind us not having kitchen curtains.

They didn’t peer into the window for no reason.  They knew that the reason I had no window covering was because this window gave me the best light for my photography and they didn’t think anything of me taking picture after picture!

The new neighbours, I get the impression that they prefer things a bit more private!  It’s not like our houses are an arms length apart or anything, but I can only imagine that they think I am spying on them when they see me in the window with camera in hand, snapping away at angles that may look a bit peculiar from their point of view!


Thing is, I enjoy all that light coming in with no curtains to block it.  It is perfect lighting almost anytime of the day for getting some great photos.  Never-the-less putting up some curtains is probably the right thing to do.  The problem is, I have no idea what type of curtain I want here for the long term.  So instead of wasting a ton of money I decided to purchase extra of my favourite Ikea tea towels.  At only 69 cents, they have been a long time frugal favourite.  I had a vision…..and a mom who can sew!

Cafe Curtains under $5

I knew I could not stand having the entire window covered so I decided to go with cafe curtains, and as it turned out the length of the tea towels were perfect when my mom added a 1 inch rod pocket at the top.  It took 6 towels sewn together (3 for each panel) for my 55″ wide window!

Ikea Tea Towel Cafe Curtains

Total cost was $4.14 for the six towels to make the curtains and $5.99 for a brushed nickel cafe curtain rod!!  I think the total time it took me my mom to whip these up was about 10 minutes!!


Although I kind of like the way it cozy’s up the kitchen, I am glad I can still have the light pouring through the tops of the windows.  And I just push the curtains open when I am taking my photos (but even open they still give enough coverage that my neighbours can’t see me with the camera if I position myself right!)

Cafe Curtains Ikea Tea Towels

I am loving the rustic vibe they have added to the feel of the room, and for under $10 total it won’t break my heart when if I decide to change them!  I am not sure who is more happy with the my Ikea dishtowel hack, me or my new neighbours!

Thanks so much for stopping by today.  Until next time….



Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. I like your little curtains. Did you try speaking to your neighbours about the fact that you are “curtain free photographer”? Maybe if they knew that they’d feel differently and could turn out to be good neighbours too. I’m thinking you might have tried this and still felt curtains were the way to go. If so, then you are a very nice neighbour.

    1. Thanks Lori! I haven’t had the chance to speak with the neighbours yet 🙁 They moved in late September and the only time they are outside is to go to and from work. Didn’t even come out to shovel after our first big snow fall!! I was thinking about dropping them off some Christmas baking with a little card of introduction a little closer to Christmas! I know so many people tend to hibernate when the cold hits (including myself if I am not careful!) so perhaps we can make formal introductions in the spring!

  2. I actually think they look beautiful for a permanent solution! What a great idea transforming the tea towels into cafe curtains. That’s a bummer about your neighbors, hopefully everyone can get to know each other during the Christmas introductions 🙂 Pinned!

  3. Hi Heather! In St.Catharines it is Queen Street Baptist Church, I believe on Thursdays. But you can certainly check to see if Port Colborne has an out of the cold program or branch of community care. If not, let me know and we can maybe arrange to meet and I can take them in with mine!

    1. Thanks Maureen! We do have a program taking old gently used coats for the less fortunate, but we apparently don’t have a homeless issue here. I guess because we are so small. I have to make a trip to St Catharines to shop for my newphew so I could drop them off. Are there specific times for drop off? I’m still hopeful we’ll get to see you guys before Christmas. The other day we were watching Home Alone and Ty started talking about the time he watched it at Uncle Tim and Aunt Maureen’s house!!

  4. I just recently thought of the same idea for covering my kitchen window. I arrived here looking for a solution though. Do you have a support at the center of your rod? My window is comparable in size to yours, spanning 58 inches across. There are no cabinets on both sides to attach a rod as you have done and neither is there a center board to which I could attach a center support for the rod. I’ve gone years without a curtain after a replacement window changed everything and now for the first time I really think I should have curtains. I think we have new neighbors behind us and I feel differently for the first time. Like you, I take digital pictures, lots of them, because it’s so easy, but outside most of the time. Clouds can be so interesting and I’ve lost count. I think it will be necessary to install the rod above the window where a support can be attached to the wall but that is where I’m stumped. The curtains will have to be long and and using these tea towels the way you have used them won’t work because they are too short. I don’t know if sewing them together end to end to make longer ones will look good. If I can get away without a center support for the rod I would. The way your window looks is perfect, soft with just a touch of color.

    1. Hi Linda! I have had these curtains hanging now for a couple of years with no center support, and have had no problem with the rod sagging at all. They curtains are quite light and don’t put any pressure or pull on the rod at all, so I would think you would have no difficulty without a support at that width. The tea towels I used are not the biggest, and I actually have found all white ones called grain sack towels at Walmart that are really big. I think I paid about $9 for a 5 pack. While I haven’t used them to make curtains yet, they are quite light and would work well too! Even though they are all white, you could easily add a a similar stripe with fabric paint and then wash in cold water to fade the colour out a bit.

      1. Thank you for your reply. I can now assuredly put up a rod like you have installed and hang tea towels. Wonderful news!

        1. Hi, after reading your post Maureen i got to thinking about what you could use some that you don’t have to worry about your curtain rod sagging. What about pipe, conduit or copper. I know you can buy the copper in at the least 1/4 ” maybe less but not sure about the conduit. Depending on your style, choose the one best to accentuate it. Or the diameter would choose for you but if the copper comes in your diameter needed but not the conduit but you want copper then use spray paint in copper. I just realized this is an old post but hope it helps just in case you haven’t put up any yet.

  5. Hi Maureen, just came across your blog on hometalk about cafe curtains. How cute are they ??? VERY ! So much so that I will be leaving here and going right to idea’s website to order tea towels ! I know they are probably alittle more expensive now, but would hardly call $5.00 expensive to begin with, haha. These are perfect for me because, not that I’m a photographer like you rather i prefer my neighbors not have to look at me in my pj’s every morning ! I wish i had an ikea by me but sadly the nearest one is hundreds of miles away. I have Pinned and Saved your post so thank you again and will check out your blog for holiday decorating ideas !