make this: bleach pen design curtains (+ office sneak peeks)

The office is nearing completion. Finally!! I’ve still got a few final touches to make but in the mean time I want to share, what I think, is a pretty dang cool project. You see, our office needed curtains. And bad! During the afternoon, the sun is blinding in there. It makes the room hotter and it is in the prime position of creating a glare all over Josh’s workspace.

The criteria for the curtain search was as follows: not girly, dark in color, not expensive. I checked out a few options at Target but ultimately I knew this was going to be a DIY challenge from the get-go. I already had a black queen size sheet that I had used as a table cloth for an event a while back. It was just gathering dust, not being used, so “bingo”! There is my material. But I didn’t want just plain black. That’s not how we roll.

So, how do you dress up black? Well, here’s how I did it! Bleach pens!!


Yes, people, I used bleach pens to create a design on this fabric and then turned it into curtains. It’s probably one of my proudest DIY moments because I actually thought up this one (of course, that’s not to say that it might not have existed somewhere else before this, but I didn’t see it on Pinterest and recreate, I just did it!). And the best part is, this project was pretty easy.

So, if you’re interested in whipping up some of these bad boys, here’s what you’ll need: dark fabric (yardage will depend on the size of panels you’re trying to create. Like I mentioned, I just used a queen size flat sheet), bleach pens (two should do the trick), iron-on hem tape, iron, & ironing board. Yes, we went the no-sew route, which we have successfully used several times throughout our home decorating careers. You can find a great tutorial for that method here from Young House Love!


The process basically boils down into four steps.

  1. Create your design. Layout your fabric on the largest flat surface you have (I just used our dining room table) and go at it. It is important to note that you’re dealing with a gel so you’ll need to work in sections. Let each section dry for a while (until you can see the bleach working and it starts to look a little crusty), then just slide your fabric to the next empty space.
  2. Wash, dry, and iron your fabric.
  3. Follow the no-sew tutorial steps. (Or, if you’re a bad-a, feel free to whip out your sewing machine and get all fancy).
  4. Hang and enjoy. I picked up two packs of those curtain rings that just clip  on the top and it was all good.


Seriously, I love the way they turned out. I’d even go so far as to call them hip. But you know what’s not hip? Having to censor your photos because the mess could make your lovely readers run away in terror! Thank goodness for big black circles, right? You’re welcome! (And don’t worry, that mess is gone now!!)

In the finished office reveal, I’ll give you the full, head-on shot, but it’s hard to photograph windows well in the early afternoon, so now you have something to look forward to (right???). Oh, and if you’re feeling funky and you want to keep on the curtain train, you can check out this post on our DIY bold striped living room curtains!

Have you ever made DIY curtains? Do you have any cool tips or tutorials on awesome techniques? I’d love to see them!

20 Comments on "make this: bleach pen design curtains (+ office sneak peeks)"

  1. Kristi says:

    What a great idea, I love this! I think they turned out wonderfully!

  2. Anu says:

    What a great way to customize simple curtains! They look great!
    P.S. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. :)

  3. Sarah says:

    Just saw this on Pinterest and just had to click through! These turned out gorgeous – I’ve always wondered if you could use bleach pens successfully to draw on fabric. Any tips if I try this myself?

    • Thank you!!!

      I’d suggest testing out a small corner before jumping in and go with a design that doesn’t have to be perfect, just in case! But really it’s a pretty simple project! Thanks for the kind words! :)

  4. Julia says:

    Those curtains are amazing! And the last picture is hilarious – I wish I could do that in real life sometimes when people come oven and want to see something in a room that I don’t quite have ready for company :)

  5. Congratulations on the Centsational Girl feature! I’m going to try these curtains for my boys’ shared room. Thanks for the idea!

  6. Oh, LOVE this idea. I have dark brown drapes in my home office and have been thinking of doing something to jazz them up a bit. Will test a sample on the back of but I really love how yours came out!

  7. Vel says:

    This is super cool! love it! Easy, unique and fabulous!

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