When my son needed curtains for his newly designed high-tech neon green area 51 style room I was at a real loss for what to do. He didn’t want ordinary purchased curtains and he needed something to filter the light from shining through. These curtains made from old CDs were the perfect solution. They were easy and cheap and here’s how you can make them yourself.
Fabric of your choice 4 inches wider than your window and 6 inches longer than your window.
No sew seam tape
Old or new CDs
*optional clear plastic shower curtain
The first thing you’re going to do is measure your window. Be sure to add an extra inch on both sides of the window so that your curtains will adequately cover the edges. When you take the vertical measurements of your window start measuring 2 inches above the top of the window so that your curtains are long enough to hang on a rod above the window.
When you purchase your fabric keep in mind that you will be applying the CDs to the fabric so it’s best to purchase a solid rather than a print. I prefer denim for young men however you can take this to a whole new level and use a shiny metallic fabric.
Whatever the dimensions of your window are, add an extra 4 inches to the width of your fabric so that you have enough to create no-sew hems. Since most bolts of fabric come in 48 inches wide you will typically need a minimum of 2 panels. The number of panels you make will depend on the width of your window. You can purchase heavier fabrics intended for reupholstering that come in wider widths though. Upholstery fabric makes excellent sun-filtering curtains.
Once you have your fabric fold and iron a one inch hem on right and left sides as well as the bottom of the material. Apply the no-sew seam tape to the hems according to the instructions on the package. Most times this simply means ironing but application can vary depending on the brand you buy.
After you have created 3, one inch hems on all your panel pieces, find a large enough space to lay one of your panels out flat. I prefer to use my living room floor but where you lay them out is up to you.
Fold 3 inches of the material at the top and iron flat, just like you did for the hem. Once again apply your no-sew seam tape but leave a one to two inch tubular hole for your curtain rod to slide through. See illustration 1 for clarification.
If you’ve done everything correctly you should have at least one curtain panel that could be hung just as it is. Now is the time to add the CDs to your curtains.
Measure 5 ½ inches from the left edge. Using your masking tape run a line of tape vertically down the length of the curtain at exactly 5 ½ inches. You will repeat this for every 5 ½ inches of fabric from left to right. This should create very large stripes on your fabric. See illustration 2.
In the first stripe, right next to the edge of your material start laying your CDs down the length of the material. You will need to space them out according to the length of your material. If your CD’s edges are touching and you have 3 inches at the bottom of the material try spreading them a little apart so they are uniform up an down the length of the material.
When you have the first column of CDs laid out the way you want them simply apply gorilla glue to the FRONT, not the back. The reason you want to apply the glue to the front of the CD is because it is the iridescent, shimmering crystal-like backing that we want as decoration not the label for a blank Hewlett Packard CD.
THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT- when you lay out the rest of the CDs skip every other column. The reason for this is because you will need to open the curtains and the only way to do that with CDs glued to them is to leave enough space between the CDs to overlap each other. You can use beads, stencils, appliqués and other decorative craft items to decorate the space between CDs; or you can just leave them blank and let your fabric speak for itself. See illustration 3 for clarification on how to lay out your CDs.
If you have any confusion on how to construct the hems and folds of the curtains take a quick peek at your existing curtains and study the hems. If you don’t want to bother with the hems at all you can always go with the frayed edge theme or hot glue trimming or ribbon to the edges to hide the fray.
To make your curtains easier to clean you can attach a clear plastic shower curtain over the top. simply fold edges of the shower curtain over the edge of your hems and glue down with gorilla glue, fabric glue or hot glue. Enclose all seams this way so that you can throw these curtains in the washing machine later for easy cleaning.
That’s it. You’re all done, just hang your curtains and enjoy. P.s. Don’t forget to remove the masking tape.