Home » Thrift Store Decor » Vintage Barkcloth Curtains | One Becomes Two

Vintage Barkcloth Curtains | One Becomes Two

I’m crazy about vintage Barkcloth. Maybe it’s the design…..or the texture…..or the weave…or the bold colors. They just don’t make fabric like that anymore. pretty fabric trim tieback

Vintage Barkcloth Curtains

Vintage Barkcloth fabric from the 1920’s –1960’s isn’t made from tree bark. That’s how Barkcloth got it’s name. At one time it was made from the inner bark of a tree and the bark was beaten flat by some long drawn out process. Can you imagine that??

vintage Barkcloth fabric

I found the curtain panel at the thrift store a long time ago. There was only one short panel. The design and the colors are me through and through. I ran across it while re-organizing my fabric stash. I decided then to pull it out and use it for something. Too pretty to sit in a box.

I made a new kitchen curtain out of the one panel. The other thrift décor girls have projects today too. Don’t forget to check them out after seeing my crazy curtain project.

Kitchen Curtain Valance with Yellow Pom Pom Fringe 2

This is the cheery valance I made from a shower curtain back a few months ago. The whole project was a disaster. If you missed it you can read about it here…pom pom curtains. I really like the valance but that little bit of fabric doesn’t give much privacy.

new kitchen curtains made from vintage barkcloth and fabric trim tiebacks

So I made these. A bit skimpy because of the fabric shortage but very colorful. The original Barkcloth curtain panel was 42” by 42”. Not much to work with.

used vintage barkcloth curtain

The hem was unraveling.

iron on hem tape

I fixed that right up with iron-on hem tape.

cutting fabric

Then I folded the panel in half and cut it. Not real precise but that’s me.

kitchen curtains

I took the valance down and hung the new curtains on the same tension rod.

unhemmed curtain

This is the part of the story where you guys go “REALLY KATHY”. I didn’t hem the cut fabric. I hung the cut sides next to the cabinets. The curtain folds in so no one can see the edges….right?? Come on….admit it….you do things like this too. I’m okay with the curtains like this. It’s how I roll.

green and yellow fabric trim

The curtains definitely looked skimpy and unfinished hanging as is. While searching for more pom pom fringe to use as a tieback I spotted the green and yellow fabric trim, a Goodwill purchase. I never pass up a good buy.

new kitchen curtains made from vintage barkcloth and fabric trim tiebacks

Well, how perfect is the flowered trim against the Barkcloth.

Vibrant Vintage Floral Barkcloth Curtains

I’m loving the new curtains. They may be skimpy…..and a little imperfect….but they’re mine.

Vintage Floral Barkcloth Curtains

You guys know they probably won’t be hanging in the kitchen window long but I’m going to enjoy them while they are. They make a bold statement.

vintage barkcloth curtains

Vintage Barkcloth Curtains

Do you do crazy things like I do when decorating? Leave me a note and visit the other thrifty projects by clicking the pink text links below the photo.

May Thrift Store Decor projects before makeovers

1. Metal Garden Flower– Domestically Speaking
2. Kitchen Scales Makeover – Refresh Restyle
3. Glass Globe Solar Lights – My Repurposed Life
4. Piano Bench Makeover – Our Southern Home

Have a great day and I’ll see you tomorrow.

Kathy Owen founder of Petticoat Junktion
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Author: Kathy Owen
Kathy Owen is the founder of the home decor blog Petticoat Junktion where she shares tutorials on painting furniture and upcycling thrifty finds into unique home décor. Her DIY projects have been featured on the Home Depot Blog, Plaid Crafts, Behr Designer Series, and in numerous magazines. Kathy’s newest website is HappyHomeDIY.com

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  1. Cute curtains! I love that you didn’t bother hemming the side and just put the raw edge up against the cabinets! If you hadn’t told us no one would ever know. Life’s too short to do things that don’t really matter like hemming an edge no one will see!

  2. They are perfectly imperfect. They look great, especially with the flowered ribbon. If you really want privacy, go with ‘cafe’ style curtains, you can see out but others will have trouble seeing in.

  3. Thank you for posting. You do a great job articulating your thoughts and I really enjoy reading your site.
    You’ve created a very valuable resource here. Just wanted to say keep up the good work!

  4. I don’t know if they make barkcloth anymore. I run across the vintage stuff at flea markets or thrift shops.

  5. ah Naomi. That was so nice! You just need to step outside the box and go for it. Don’t worry about perfection.

  6. I thought the same about the tiebacks Regina. I bet that drove you crazy seeing the unhemmed edges! I will probably take them down and use the fabric for another project before they need laundering. I’ll worry about that later. You see how I am. Plain lazy

  7. Kathy, You find the best treasures! I just love this fabric….so cheery!

  8. I love the print, too. You couldn’t have found better tie backs if you’d searched the world over! Now…about not hemming the cut sides. I certainly would have. I would have removed the stitches from enough of the hem to double turn the sides in, stitched them, and res-stitched the open parts of the hems. That’s the way I am–very particular about details and things being finished. (There was a time when I did a lot of sewing (mostly clothes) and very good at it. Then fabric, patterns, zippers, etc., got to be more costly than buying off the rack.) Anyway, the unhemmed barkcloth will ravel terribly when laundered.

  9. The curtains are very cheerful and the tie-backs just give them the touch they need. Now the boldly colorful pattern would not be one I would choose for my house but it is perfect for you because you love bright colors. And I, unlike you, would probably never have started them because I would have known at the beginning that I couldn’t do a “perfect” job with them. Now isn’t that sad! I think just going ahead and working with what you had says volumns (sp ?) about the benefits of taking a risk now and then! Bravo for you! I dub you one of my valuable role models! Truly! Thanks for a great post!

  10. I like the bold pattern! Where can you get barkcloth? Is that something that is still available?

  11. Kathy,

    Your barkcloth curtains turned out so cute! I love the bright and bold colors.


  12. Considering the “print mixing” trend, have you tried scrunching up the pom-pon valance and hanging it on the tension rod between the new long panels? I’d love to see it if you do 🙂

  13. HA! You are after my own heart, Kathy. I ALWAYS take shortcuts with my decorating projects where and whenever I can. My shortcuts are too many to list here. Have a wonderful day, my dear!

  14. I love the curtains – very late 1960’s!

    When you’re done with them they woud look cute on a chair or bench.

  15. The curtains do perk up the wood cabinets. I like how you were able to skip the sewing part, which is drudgery as far as I’m concerned. Great makeover.