Theater or Concert Play Curtain

Theater or Concert Play Curtain

A couple of months ago when the kids had a playdate Ada asked her friend if they wanted to put on a play. Once they were dressed up in their makeshift costumes and ready to start Ada realized she had no curtain. As the show must go on I had to quickly come up with a makeshift curtain by grabbing my afghan so they could hold it up and drop it when they were ready for the play to start. It was adorable as they sang and danced in their dress up dresses and capes. A bit later the girls had another playdate and the same thing happened. As I sat and watched them I came up with this doorway curtain which I kicked into high gear about mid-February when the 52 week sewing challenge called to make a toy. I figured that although this wasn’t a traditional toy like a stuffed animal or something it still fit the bill as the kids would, hopefully, play with it.

Pinterest image showing a collage of four images of the play curtain. Each image also appears below. Image also includes the title and this website's homepage.

I wanted to make the curtain as simple as it could be. Something that wouldn’t be too intense to make so it didn’t matter as much if they went through phases of not using it (I’m looking at you kitchen stovetop cover) yet keep it nice and workable enough that if they love it and use it often it’s not an eyesore. Since I wanted the curtain to be easy to put up and take down I decided to use a dowel or a rod to hold the curtain up and command hooks to attach it to the doorway. I was originally going to check out a hardware store for a wooden or plastic dowel or an extension rod but when I next went to Walmart I came across a selection of wooden dowels, all 36 inches long, in the craft section and picked out one of the wider ones, at 5/8th inches, that ended up being a bit shorter than I had wanted but otherwise still worked great. Once I knew that I had the right dowel I went through my command hooks and picked the ones I thought would work the best; both with the dowel and to attach to the door frame.

Blue blanket with the command hooks spread out on them. On the far left are two medium-sized rectangular command hooks followed by three medium oval hooks, and then a large rectangular hook. Above them are a random assortment of other command hooks mostly too small.
I sorted through my command hooks so I knew how many I had in each size.
Closeup image of the side of the door frame as my hand holds two command hooks on the flat-ish surface of the door frame.
I next grabbed the hooks and checked if they appeared to fit on the beveled door frames. The larger command hook appeared as if it might not work as the surface area was too wide for the curved space. The medium-sized one looked like it may just fit on the flatter section of the door frame.
My finger holding the dowel in place on four medium sized command hooks.
I next took the command hooks I thought would work on the door frame and checked if the dowel would fit inside of them.
Dowel laid out in two small command hooks.
I then checked my smaller command hooks and although it looked like the dowel would still fit I wasn’t sure if it would be secure enough long term so I chose not to use it.

Now that the curtain rod and fixtures were decided the next step was the curtain itself. When we were moving I had grabbed a piece of fabric and made a make-shift curtain by tossing it over a clothes rack (we had bought for dress up dresses) to separate the kids mattresses. I found the ‘curtain’ kept falling off so I actually used masking tape to hold it in place as it didn’t matter if the curtain could open or close. The plan with this was to create a wall to help give the kids privacy if they needed alone time and stop them from arguing… in reality; however, I had to keep attaching it to the clothing rack and we eventually only used it upon kid-request. However, once we were fully unpacked I thought fondly of the fabric and wanted to come up with the perfect project for it but beyond unneeded pillows I couldn’t think of anything to do with the fabric so I set it aside until I could think of the perfect project… which was now. The second I thought of making the kids a curtain I knew I had to use it. After finding where I set the fabric aside I examined it to realize that it only had selvage on one side so I quickly knew that was the side that I was going to use to create the channel for the dowel. I started out by using my iron to stop the selvage from curling and then folded up that side, measured it, and clipped it in place.

Fabric on my ironing mat. The bottom of the fabric shows the selvage while the top portion shows the cut end as it's folded up.
I used my iron to make sure the end of the curtain didn’t curl up so it would be simpler to fold, clip, and sew.
The top of the fabric is folded over and clipped in place. A measuring gauge is laid overtop so you can see that it's two inches from the fold to the selvage edge.
I then flipped it over making sure the fold was even by using my measuring gauge. I wanted to make sure there was more than enough space to feed the dowel in and have it move easily so I ended up folding it in two inches, not including the selvage, and clipped it in place.

To create the channel for the dowel I sewed along the edge of the folded over fabric making sure that the created channel was wide enough that the curtain could easily slide along the dowel. This was the only sewing part of the whole project and if you don’t have a sewing machine you could always attach it another way. The first time around I used masking tape (did not stay too long with this fabric type) although I’m sure you could hand stitch it, attach snaps or Velcro, or use fabric glue too. This was supposed to be a quick sew right before going to bed and my sewing machine tried to eat the fabric multiple times. I ended up giving up, tired and frustrated, and saved figuring it out for when I was calmer the next day. I can’t believe such a simple thing gave me so much trouble. And even with the break my stitching ended up not being perfect but in the end the channel was mostly closed, the dowel fit, and I could always go over it again in the future if need be.

The dowel is sticking out of the end of the channel showing the cinched up channel on the right side and the plain dowel on the left. Underneath you can see the wrong side of the curtain,
After, finally, sewing the channel closed I made sure the dowel fit inside and had enough space to easily move back and forth.
Underside of the channel shows it's not fully enclosed. The center section in this closeup shows a hole with the stitching underneath of the flipped over fabric.
My stitching wasn’t perfect and I ended up missing some of the folded over fabric but overall it worked. I considered seam ripping that section and trying again but remembering my issues the night before (mega seam ripping and a tear on the fabric) that made me decide it was fine how it was and I could always fight with it another day if needed.

Once I was done putting the curtain on the dowel I grabbed my glue gun and used it to add a stopper to either end of the dowel so the fabric couldn’t easily come off. I figure if I ever need to wash the curtain I could always pull off the glue and add fresh glue later. To do this I held the dowel and turned it as I pulled the trigger on the glue gun. I then continued around until I had surrounded the dowel two or three times so the cap would be wide enough.

Closeup of the dowel end with transparent glue attached to the end of it. I the background you can see the slightly blurry blue glue gun laying on the kitchen table.
I glued around the end of the dowel making sure to go over it a couple times making it large enough to stop the curtains from falling off the dowel.

Finally I put up the command hooks. I put them in the kids doorway and in the door leading into the living room. This way Ada and Zoey can use the curtain if playing in the bedroom or if they want to put on a show for the living room-sat audience. I made sure to use isopropyl alcohol and paper towel to clean off the door frames where I wanted to add the command hooks and, after attaching it, I pressed firmly on it and left the hook, itself, off for a day or two to make sure the base attached properly. Once I knew they were secure I slotted the hooks into place.

Closeup of the not-quite-fitting command hook trying to slide onto it's base.
Sliding the hook back onto it’s command hook base was a bit difficult as the edges of the door frame’s groove made it harder to fit. I applied a bit of pressure and was able to secure it.
The picture is taken in the living room doorway showing the right side of the doorframe with the rectangular command hook. Through the doorway you can see the wall and the bedroom doorway with another command hook. On the far left of the image you can see a blurry Zoey playing in her bedroom.
I then slide the other three command hooks into place making two different doorways all ready for the curtain laden dowel.

With the command hooks in place it was time to set the curtain rod inside.

Center of the image shows a command hook attached to a white door frame. On the left you can see the edge of the curtain on the dowel and on the right side you see the glue covered tip of the dowel.
Closeup showing the extra length I had with the curtain rod in the living room doorway. Love the glue at the end making sure it’s extra secure.
Closeup of the opening curtain on the dowel in the living room door frame. To the left you can see part of Ada's head as she closes the curtain.
Ada sliding the curtain closed as it sits on the command hooks.
Closeup of the back of the curtain showing the folded over edge and seam. This time it's sitting in place in the bedroom doorway so the kids inside can see the flowers on the curtains.
Since the dowel and curtain can be moved around easily you can move it from the living room doorway to the bedroom doorway and back or simply flip it around so the right (or wrong) side of the curtain is facing either way.
Full view of the curtain hanging in the living room doorway. The bottom just rests on the floor.
I made the curtain so the, unhemmed, bottom just brushes the floor as it sits in the command hooks.
The dowel is still resting in the command hooks on the living room door frame although this time the end of the curtain is twisted and flipped over the dowel so there's an empty space below the curtain.
If the curtain isn’t being used you could easily flip the end over the dowel so it’s easy for the kids to duck underneath. The issue comes when I try to quickly duck underneath as I attached the command hooks a bit too low for me although I love how Ada can reach to move the curtain rod herself.
The center left side of the image shows the dowel on it's end with the curtain wrapped around it leaning in the corner. The bedroom door is closed and you can see one of it's command hooks sitting on the door frame. In the slightly unfocused foreground, to the right, you can see a closeup of one of the living room doorway's command hooks.
To easily get into and out of the room it’s simpler to take the dowel off the command hooks and lean it against the wall. With just the command hooks on the door frames the setup isn’t too intrusive yet is so simple to setup each time they want to play.

When making this I pictured showing the girls the finished curtain and having them be so excited to play with it. In reality, the day I unveiled it I had already ‘surprised’ the girls with a preferred lunch, a surprise activity, and a snack so when I showed the girls Ada just asked what my other big ideas were. Zoey seemed more excited but it didn’t last too long as Ada wasn’t playing with the curtain with her. I later asked Ada about her reaction and told her that I thought she liked doing plays. She then informed me that she only liked plays when she had friends over. Yet a day later when I took the curtain down, as I was tired from ducking under it, they were disappointed as they loved going through the curtain to get into and out of their bedroom. Overall, I’m glad I made this as it does get used just not as frequently as I thought it would… at least so far.

Just a warning I made my curtain with a knit fabric so it won’t unravel. If you use an unfinished woven fabric you’ll want to finish your edges so it doesn’t unravel while the kids play with it.

Do your kids love putting on shows? Have you made them a curtain and if so how did you do it? Are you creating your own now? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below, through my Facebook page, or on Instagram. Hope your day is going great.

Related Posts

Latest Posts