Army Surplus Curtain DIY Revisit

This was actually one of the first posts on W&F some time ago, but I never published the full instructions because they appeared in ReadyMade Magazine. Since then, RM has gone out of business and I've got folks finding pictures here and there and wanting the DIY. So here goes... Re-releasing the full DIY so you can get your windows ready for winter.

Please note that W&F DIYs are for personal projects only and no rights granted for commercial use.

++ First Published ReadyMade Dec 2011 ++

You’ll need some tools:

  • Tape measure
  • Large sewing needle
  • Shears
  • Screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • Leather hole-punch
  • Elmer's glue or hot-glue gun

You’ll need a few materials:

  • Army surplus blanket
  • Pine 1x3 board, cut to the desired length
  • Leather or canvas straps, each 7/8 inch wide, 15 inches long
  • Snaps fastener kit, with setting tool and at least two complete snaps
  • Embroidery thread
  • Screws 1/2" long to mount snaps
  • Longer screws to mount board to wall

1. Measure your window to be covered, after deciding where you'd like to mount the board… inside or outside the frame. Cut your board to length, or have it cut when buying at your local hardware store. Measure the length of your window to be covered too, and use these measurements to cut your blanket dimensions. If your board is to be mounted above the window, be sure to add enough length for the blanket to reach the window sill. (It doesn't hurt to add a 1/2" extra all-around to your curtain as well.)

2. Cut two identical panels of your blanket (double panels really block the light). Stack your blanket pieces and blanket-stitch around the sides and top. I like leaving the bottom open for effect, but you can sew that shut too. Sew a couple small cross stitches in the body of the blanket so it doesn't bunch when you fold it up.

3. Assemble your straps by punching small holes in each end, one for the snap, one to mount to the board. On your snap side, cut a rounded edge on your strap. If you use canvas straps, make sure to glue the end to prevent fraying. Use your hammer and the setting tool to attach the female snap assembly to the strap, with the open end on the rough side of the leather.

4. Measure and mark where you'd like your straps to be on the blanket, generally 1/4 of the way in from your board width.

5. Lay your blanket over the board, aligning it centered width and a 1/4 inch over the top. Using the screws with the male snap piece, screw it through the blanket and barely into the wood. Lift up and put the strap (rough suede side up) into place and then completely screw assembly into the board.

6. If you're happy where everything is lining up, you can glue the top edge of the blanket to the board to prevent sagging. Elmer's or hot-glue works fine.

7. Then level the board over your window and screw it to the wall or window frame.

8. Fold, roll, or accordion your blanket and pull the straps to snap in place.

Tips / variations:

• Use contrasting embroidery thread to stand out or compliment the blanket color. • Find a blanket with tags, markings, or embroidered initials for an interesting element. • Add snaps to the middle of the blanket so you can snap it open half-way.

Wood&Faulk DIY guides are supplied for private use only and not for commercial use. Copyright Wood&Faulk 2015