How to Make Curtains for a Patio Door

The most important part of making curtains for any patio door is that the curtains are designed to be functional and complement the door's design. If your patio is a high-traffic area, the curtains should be functional as well as fashionable. The last thing you want is curtains that get caught in the patio door or are a safety hazard. The material is just as important as the style. Choose lighter materials such as light sheers, linens, and cottons. Curtain design will change based on your type of patio door; for example, sliding doors need a different style curtain than French doors. The principle is the same, but the details will vary.


Step 1

Determine the best style of curtains needed based on the design of your patio door. For sliding glass doors, install the curtain rod to the wall over the door. For French doors, use the two-rod method to cover the panes of the door or allow the curtains to flow freely over the panes with one rod.

Step 2

For sliding glass doors, mark placement for the brackets at approximately 3 to 4 inches above the frame of the door and 2 to 3 inches wider than the frame of the door. Measure the width of the door from one bracket mark to the other. This determines the length of your curtain rod. For French doors, mark the placement for the brackets at approximately 1/2 inch over the frame of the panes and align the brackets the same width of the window panes. If you are using a rod at the bottom of the window panes, place the brackets 1/2 inch beneath the bottom of the window panes and the same width as the panes. Use a level to ensure all brackets are placed correctly.

Step 3

Drill pilot holes at specified location for brackets. Screw the brackets to the wall or door.

Step 4

Measure for your curtains. For the sliding glass door, measure the length from the rod placement mark to the floor. Obtain the width of the curtain by using the rod measurement and add an additional 5 inches. Use a cafe rod for the curtains on French doors.


Step 1

Cut your fabric according to the measurements.

Step 2

For sliding glass doors, sew a 1-inch hem along the sides of the curtain. Sew a 2- to 2 1/2-inch hem along the bottom of the curtain. Sew a 5/8-inch hem along the top of the curtain, fold over approximately 3 to 3 1/2 inches (depending on the size of your curtain rod) and sew another hem along the same line, creating a pocket for the curtain rod. For French doors, sew a 1-inch hem along the sides of the curtains. Sew a 5/8-inch hem along the top and bottom of the curtain. Fold over the top and bottom of the curtain by 1 inch (respectively) and sew a hem to create a sleeve for the curtain rod.

Step 3

Insert the rods and hang the curtains. Adjust the curtains on the rod until the desired look is achieved. For the French doors using the double-rod method, be sure the curtains are taut. Adjust the measurements as necessary.

About the Author

Sherita Smedley is a freelance writer whose work often focuses on women's issues. She teaches English at Central Texas College, and her short story "The Hour" was published in "The GNU Literary Journal." Smedley holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from Valdosta State University and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from National University.