Perfect Eyelet Curtains | Frugal DIY Window Treatment

If your eyelet curtains look floppy & flat, leaving you to spend your valuable time re-adjusting each panel to make them look evenly spaced, you are going to appreciate this easy DIY window treatment update!

before and after of a pair of eyelet curtains.  One side shows flat and lifeless, the other has had toilet paper tube spacers inserted and looks plump and waved.
Quick, simple and inexpensive update with significant impact.

Make your DIY Window Treatment look expensive.

Curtains that look more expensive without the expense!

Yes, without spending a dime, you can make your eyelet curtains look like a home-decorator waved their magic wand.

This empty toilet paper roll hack is a simple, creative SOLUTION to give your eyelet panel curtains perfect, long-lasting pleats and have people wondering the secret of HOW you got them to look so good.

Perfectly waved pleats without any expensive extra hardware. 

Yup, I said Empty TP rolls.

Have you been saving toilet paper tubes in a target bag, on a hook in the depths of the craft closet, just waiting to hop on the next craft for toilet paper rolls to trend?

Well, my creative DIY'er friend, I have good news! 

I am going to show you how to finally upcycle those cardboard tubes. Putting them to use today for this easy step by step window treatment update!

This simple DIY won't take very long but has a significant impact.

Was this Home diy worth the effort?

YES! It was. It took much less time than i expected and I am happy I did it.

I can say for sure now that putting a simple toilet paper cardboard roll between each eyelet will keep curtains hanging perfectly neat even after opening and closing repeatedly. 

Before I did it, I had my doubts, but it turned out to be THE THING that I didn't realize I needed to do, but always wanted!


Let's go over the supplies you need and get to your magazine worthy window treatments!


  • 4 Cardboard Toilet Paper Rollers per 8 eyelet curtain panel.
  • Strong arms
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Ruler

  • Acrylic Craft Paint
  • Mod Podge
Two Images of eyelet curtains. One shows the before when the curtains were limp and one shows the after when the toilet paper tubes were added.  Showing the difference in how they are puffed out.


1. Collect your toilet paper rolls.

I used a total of 16 cardboard toilet paper rolls for 4 curtain panels with 8 eyelets each.

It took me a while to collect the TP cardboard since we have been using a bidet more often here. 😉 As an alternative, you can also use paper towel tubes, measuring and cutting to the right size. 

IMPORTANT: Make sure you have enough before you go taking down your curtains.

2. Take down your curtains and wash them.

Give them a freshen. It's probably been awhile?  It is a big job that I like to avoid.

Make sure you read your labels to wash your curtain panels properly, first.  I have noticed over the years that some eyelet curtains will need handwashing.

3. Decide How much Roll You Need.

This is where you need to decide how much you want your curtains to protrude into the window opening when they are pushed back into “daytime” position.

How much just depends on what your personal preference is.

In the effort of trying to save you the annoyance, I highly recommend this step. I did have to take the curtains down again after the first attempt, I used the whole cardboard roll, which was just too much.  

  • Measure each TP roll and add that many inches to the curtain panel when it fully compresses without the rolls.  If a whole roll is too much, go ahead to the next step: cutting.

4. Cut the Toilet Paper Rolls to size

I decided on 2.5 inches, which gave me the perfect wave for my 4-pane window. I still had enough light shine in on the sides so that my plants continued to get the sunshine they need!

If you cut the rolls, know that if you just cut them strait on with scissors, they will squish! 

  • To prevent the rolls from squishing, draw a ring around the roll where you will cut, make a small slit horizontally into the roll, and cut around the circle with scissors.

5. Fold your first curtain panel like an accordion.

This process is easier if you are doing it as a two-person job.  You will need someone to hand you the cardboard rolls while you are up on the stool, holding the curtains.

Folding the curtain panel before you get up on the step stool can be helpful!  

  • Lay the first eyelet hole, pretty side down then you are going to want to lay the next, on top of it pretty side down until you are finished stacking the eyelets. 
This image shows the curtains  how the TP tube is hidden and isn't shown behind the eyelets.

6. Put the first eyelet on the curtain rod

With your curtain panel in hand, all folded up like an accordion, insert the first eyelet and keep the rest of the panel in your hand.  

This is where you are going to have someone hand you your toilet paper tube & slide the cardboard tube onto the rod! *do not slice the roll to put it over the rod.



A Simple home hack that can make a difference in how your curtains make your HOME feel!  

An image with a before and after of the
Before and After


Answers to some of the questions you may have about using toilet rolls to transform your window treatments!


NOPE!   Even though it looks like they do in the image, once I slide them and stand back, from my view, they are not visible at all, and my eyelets are quite large. 

If your toilet paper rolls are skinnier, there may be a chance they will slip through your eyelet hole.  In this case, you may want to measure the size of the eyelet and compare it to the size of the cardboard roll.

TIP: If you are still concerned, the cardboard rolls will show on your curtain panels, paint the cardboard toilet rolls in the color of your curtain rod.   


I have had my toilet paper roll spacers up now on my DIY window treatment for two months; I wanted to make sure that I tried them out before I shared my take on this hack here. 

The Good News!

The curtains get opened and closed regularly, and are still sliding effortlessly across the rod with little to no friction, just as they did the day, we put them up. 

Taking a Shortcut

Do not slice the toilet paper rolls to insert them over the rod that is cheating! LOL 

If you do insist on doing that, because you can't get your curtain rod down, okay…  just do yourself a favor, give the toilet paper rolls a light coating of mod podge first to seal that paper, make them stiffer and keep it from unravelling.  

After you slide the split roll over the rod, make sure to add a piece of tape to close it up, otherwise, when you are sliding the curtains back and forth, it will fall off!

Are you going to give this curtain update a try?

Are YOU going to try this frugal DIY Window Treatment update and give some lonely, un-recycled toilet paper rolls a permanent home?

Carrie Stephens Author


Meet Carrie – A passionate visual content creator / digital artist from Canada.
She has 15+ years of experience creating & selling with over 150,000, downloadable digital product sales across multiple online marketplaces.

6 thoughts on “Perfect Eyelet Curtains | Frugal DIY Window Treatment”

  1. I just finished mine! Follow every tip given. Yes you need to cut. You can’t open the curtains enough if you don’t. My husband can’t pushed them all to the endo of the pole now. Thank you so much.

    1. Hey Jenny! Interesting, i thought cutting would weaken them, its great to hear that it worked out for you! Thank you for sharing that. i have a very large window with a long rod that extends a foot past the window to allow the curtains to be pushed back and flank the window, so that may be the difference.

  2. Frances

    My toilet paper rolls were too large for the eyelets! Didn’t want to split the rolls so gave it up!

    1. Oh no! sorry to hear it. I have an idea frances, cut a small slice out of each roll and then use some duct tape to close them back up again, making them smaller? Alternately, maybe take a look at paper towel rolls or wrapping paper, you might be able to slice them to size and get exactly what you need.

  3. Bree

    I just did this hack to my living room curtains. Huge difference!! If I could post before & after pics, I would!

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