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.
Thanks for this post; especially the pictures. I duplicated this on some inexpensive panels tonight & they look is so much better than the old rod pocket.
Thanks for the feedback. I’m glad this was helpful!
Tried this today and I love it. It was so easy and quick and it looks so much better than the rod pockets. I have grommet curtains in several rooms and I wanted something different. I was going to settle for rod pockets until I stumbled upon this post. Thanks a lot!
Wonderful, thanks for sharing! For what it’s worth, I do like how grommet curtains slide easily. I have a set of 96″ back tab curtains that I do move regularly and I safety pinned some metal rings into the tabs to get that easy (but noisy) slide without the grommet look. Your comment just reminded me of that trick. Enjoy!
Please add a Pintrest feature; this is one that everyone can love!
Thanks for the suggestion. I finally added the pin feature.
You saved the DAY! And maybe even the month!!! I bought gorgeous lined linen curtains and was so sad when I hung them. The rod pocked looked terrible. A quick google search led me here and 10 minutes later I have the perfect curtains. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!
Yay! I’m glad this was helpful.
You read my mind! I was wondering if this would work – I hate sewing tiny details like the back tabs….so I am gonna DO IT. Thanks so much!
What a terrific idea! I love back tab curtains and have been searching for some type of header tape with the tabs already on so I wouldn’t have to sew individual tabs myself. Do you have any problem with the cut fabric fraying much after opening and closing the drapes repeatedly?