I was looking for a cheap curtain solution for a bunch of windows recently and discovered a simple trick to convert a rod pocket curtain to back tabs.
My quest started with $10 clearance panels — a super bargain! Although not my top choice fabric, at that price (for 6 windows), it was worth it to make it work. Unfortunately the curtains were rod pockets, I hate rod pockets. They don’t slide easily, they don’t bunch out of the way, they look ruffled. I don’t like them. It’s personal preference. But they are only $10 a panel…
I broke out my scissors to experiment with converting the rod pocket to back tabs. I prefer back tab curtains. They fold better out of the way when open and are easier to move (although for this room moving them regularly wasn’t a requirement). Looking at some other panels it seems the tabs should be ~2″ wide and 8″ apart. So I carefully cut tabs into the back side of the rod pocket. On the ends only one cut is needed so the edge of the curtain will hang from the rod. For middle tabs, two vertical snips a couple inches apart centered at 8″ intervals. Note these snips go through the back side of the rod pocket only, so the front of the panel is untouched.
Here is the after result with just a few minutes of snips. The before shot shows how the rod pocket looks, the fabric is so stiff that the curtain can’t be pushed all the way to the right (it springs back open). The back tab solution suited my purpose better, with no extra $$ and minimal additional time.