This post may contain affiliate links. That means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions are my own
If you live in a home with bright light filtering into windows in the wee hours of the morning, causing certain little ones to wake up for the day with the sun, you might want to invest in some blackout curtains. And of course, if you get some blackout curtains, you might want to have a handy (and cute!) way to tie them back during the day to let some wanted sunshine in. Enter: DIY curtain tie backs.
This is a project I wasn’t anticipating having to do, but once we moved into our new home a few weeks ago, it became clear really quickly that our kids needed some major blackout curtains in their room–for the sanity of us all.
I bought the curtains but wanted to see if I could find a way to easily hold the curtains back during the day. They weren’t really staying open very well on their own, and it was driving me a little crazy. I knew I need to find a solution. It really was easy and a very inexpensive and decorative way add a useful touch.
The finished product will be a set of two tie back strips measuring 2 inches by 27 inches, fastened with velcro.
Sounds easy, right?
First, you’ll need fabric. If you have scraps lying around, this is a great use for them.
You’ll need four strips of fabric–each 2 1/2 inches by 28 inches. I used some leftover fabric from a quilt I recently made for my littlest boy.
I also made some for the boys’ room, but I didn’t have long pieces of extra fabric so I pieced together shorter pieces until I had 28 inch strips. Just sew two strips together (print facing each other) using a quarter inch seam and iron the seams flat before carrying on to the next step.
Once your strips are the right measurements, you can sew them together. Place two strips together, print side facing print side. Start at one of the long sides and sew a quarter inch seam the rest of the way, ending at the long end opposite the one you started at (so you basically sewed a giant U shape and have an opening at the top).
Your tie back is now inside out, so starting at the opening at the top, pull it through so that it’s right-side-out.
Then take a needle to pull out the corners for a cleaner look.
Once your tie back is right side out with nice, pointy corners, you will want to iron the seams flat.
With your pressed strip, you will then fold in the fabric at the top and sew it together using a quarter inch seam (or just enough to seal the strip). They’re done! Next up is adding velcro.
How to attach the velcro
Cut 8 pieces of firm velcro and 8 pieces of soft velcro–all 1 1/2 inches long. Lay out your strips and press the adhesive side onto the end of each, about 1/2 inch from the end. Flip them over and do the same thing on the opposite side (so one side of the tie back has the soft side of vecro on front and back). On the opposite side of the tie back, press the adhesive side of the firm velcro onto the strip, also about 1/2 inch from the end.
For this step, you have a few options.
a) You’re done. You can start using your tie backs once you place two more firm velcro pieces onto the walls by your curtains.
b) You can sew the velcro pieces to reinforce the adhesion. The will make them sturdier and will most likely last longer. I tried this, but after breaking a couple needles, I gave up. This is probably just issues I have with my machine! I’m really bad at trouble-shooting (aka I don’t understand that sewing machine) so I’m sure you will have better luck than me.
c) You can reinforce these by hand with a needle and thread. This is what I opted to do. It took a little longer than I thought, but it was worth it knowing they’ll hold up a bit better.
To attach them to the wall
When you’re ready to hang them on the wall, find the point on the wall that you’d like your tie backs to be and add your final pieces of firm velcro. Make sure both sides are even!
Then stick the soft side onto the firm side with the strip going around the back of the curtain. When you bring the strip around to the front, press the firm side onto the soft side and voila!
In my case I already had the fabric and the velcro, so it didn’t cost me anything to make. But even if you have to buy these things, it should still be about $5-10. Not bad for a cute, decorative solution that works!