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How to Make Extra Wide Drapes for Sliding Glass Doors

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I know this post is way overdue and many of you have been writing to me asking me to explain how I made the extra wide drapes to cover all the sliding glass doors in my house that I wrote about in this post.

Sliding door drapes on a budget

If I only had to make two panels to cover one door, I would have had this posted sooner, but I had 4 doors to cover and I lost my production line mojo back in June!

When I started researching ready made white drapes for sliding glass doors, all I could find was ugly custom made ones that costs over $1000 per door.  I had to figure out a way to get the width I needed on the cheap. I didn’t want them to look like sheets hanging from the windows. I wanted them to have ample fullness when closed.  I did lots of research in this post and came up with a way to semi-DIY what I needed.

where to buy extra wide drapes for sliding glass doors

After the pile of ready-made drapes I bought sat waiting all summer long to be transformed in my studioffice, I decided to hunker down and get them made before winter comes.

I am happy to report that I got the job done. Here is how I made them.

How to Make Budget Friendly Extra Wide Drapes for Sliding Glass Doors

White drapes that are affordable

I bought 52″ x 95″ pre-made white drapery panels from Target and All-Modern. I needed four panels for each door.  Two per side.

I wanted to mount the rods as close to the 8′ high ceiling as possible, so I purchased 95″ long panels knowing that they would shrink and I could hem them if needed.

To make one extra-wide panel, I used 2 store bought panels. I needed to rip out the side seams on every panel so I could then sew two together to make one very wide panel.

I could not make one super long panel to cover the entire door that would go off to only one side because the rod length needs a center support. This support stops the drapes from going any further then the center. When the support is placed right in the center of the rod, each panel can easily close all the way up to it.

supplies needed:

  • 2 – 52-inch wide drapery panels for each side of the door.  To cover one door, I needed 4 panels.
  • Drapery hooks
  • Sewing gauge
  • Stitch ripper
  • Sewing machine and thread
  • Iron and/or hand held steamer

Note:  I did not hang the rods until after I washed and dried the panels to allow for shrinkage. Once I knew the shrunk length and the length of the ring clips, I could figure out where to mount the rods on the wall so the drapes would just skirt the floor.

  1. Wash and dry each panel in hot water so the fabric shrinks. ( You need to allow for shrinkage so after future washings when you go to hang the panels they won’t be too short.)
  2. Since each panel may shrink a bit differently, I did a check. I measured all the panels to see if they were all still the same length after washing. All of them were except one that was one inch shorter. To get it the same length as the others, I stretched it out with my hands.
  3. Lay the washed and dried panels right side down on your work table or floor.
How to make extra wide drapery panels on a budget

4. Using a stitch ripper, remove one side seam on each panel. (Notice the red lines in my drawing?  They show where I removed the seams. It is important that you remove the seam on the outer side of each panel if you have them face down). This is so that when you place the right sides of the panels together to sew a new seam to create one extra wide panel, the correct sides of the drapes will be sewn together. You also need to open up the rod pocket and hem a little so that you will be able to sew the entire length of the panels together.

5. Once the seams are open, place the right sides of the panels together, one on top of each other with the right sides together and the ripped seams lined up.

6. Use straight pins to attach the two seams together, then sew the seam on your sewing machine. I made a 3/4″ seam. Remove pins and press the seam open. Note: I didn’t use the rod pocket to hang my drapes, but if you will be, make sure you open up the seam enough around the rod pocket so that when you sew two panels together, you can leave the rod pocket usable.

One extra wide panel done!

I did this 7 more times so I would have 8 extra wide panels to cover 4 sliding glass doors.

There are many ways to hang drapes and curtain panels.  The easiest would have been to simply use the existing rod pocket in the drapes. For my personal style though… I wanted the drapes to hang from white metal rings, so I had to semi-DIY how I hung them.

how to place drapery hooks on a drapes

I used drapery hooks and rings to hang the drapes. You can read about them in this post: 4 Tricks to Use When Hanging Curtains

the easy way to get wrinkles out of curtains and drapes

The thick woven cotton drapes from Target got very wrinkled as I worked on them. I used an iron to press them before I hung them, but after they were up, using a hand-held steamer helped remove the stubborn wrinkles. The brush attachment helps spread the fibers of the fabric before the steam hits it which makes the steaming process go very quickly.

How to find budget window treatments for sliding glass doors

I used the insulated sheer curtains from All Modern in my bedroom.  I like that there is very little stack back.

Extra wide curtain panels for sliding glass doors

I used the woven cotton drapes from Target to make the extra wide drapes in the kitchen…

How to make extra wide drapes to cover a sliding glass door

…the living room…

In My Own Style studioffice

… and my studioffice. 

How extra wide sliding glass door drapes look when closed.

It is hard trying to get a good shot of the drapes closed, but here is how the Target drapes look when they are closed. You can see that there is still some fullness in the panels and the light filters through them.

How to install a drapery wand

To open and close the drapes, I simply pull a drapery wand that I attached to each panel….

What is a drapery wand?

… the rings glide easily over the rod. When it is time to open the drapes, I simply hold the rod and push the drapes off the window to each side.

How to make curtain rod finials using glass door knobs

I made the rod finials using door knobs. I did this in my previous house using industrial metal tubing, but I did it a bit differently this time with store bought rods.

See how I made the door knob finials: How to Make Curtain Rod Finials Using Doorknobs

  • The drapes from Target that I used are no longer in stock, but they do sell similar ones, here.
  • Insulated Sheers
  • Drapery Hooks
  • The white rods and rings I used are called Nantucket Rods from Bed Bath and Beyond. They no longer carry them online, but may still carry them in stores.

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52 Comments

  1. Love your semi-custom drapes. I hope you show the back and how you installed the drapery pins. I’d love to know the make of your steamer. I just have a tiny folding travel steamer and it’s not very effective on bigger projects.

  2. Is the brick wall in your office painted? If so, can you tell what color it is? It looks as though it might be a metallic.

  3. Beautiful job, I love seeing your house come together. Can’t wait for the kitchen reveal.
    I had to do something similar for a set of French Doors in my bedroom. I don’t recall the width my curtains came in but I bought the 95″ ones, but the height had to be 89″ and I basically needed 3 panels, but I did not want a double and single panel. At the time I had nowhere to set up my sewing machine and was working 50+ hours, so a friend of a friend that is a seamstress said that she would fix them up for me for $30. I jumped on that offer. At ~$30 per panel and the sewing fee, I came in at ~$120. Very affordable. She cut one of the panels lengthwise in half and sewed each of the two sections to the other panels and I tell you, she did such an amazing job, you can’t even tell when the curtains are closed. She was super fast about it too.

    1. Hi Heike – I wish I had someone like your friend to make mine. $30 a panel is a great price. Very affordable. She is a good person to have around. :-)

      1. She is, and has a lot of table space to lay those out. I think I got the panels at Bed, Bath & Beyond or one of those similar stores. Mine are actually rather textured and a dark chocolate brown, as I mainly wanted them to keep the “winter” out. Right now they are rolled up over the curtain rod as I rescued 5 kittens and you can imagine what they are wanting to do with them.
        I could not imagine having everything white like you, don’t get me wrong, I love it, but I have a dirty husband, 2 large (80 lbs) dogs in addition to the kittens and two old lady cats. I have tile floors in all of the rooms in my house because of the dirt, you would not believe.
        So I live vicariously through you in your white house.
        :) Cheers

  4. Thank you for the easy tutorial, Diane. This is one of those jobs I’m going to have to tackle (just for one room, though, thankfully!) and your instructions are going to come in very handy! Looking forward also to seeing how you made the rods. The Lake House is looking wonderful. Sue