Easy Screened Porch Update: Sheer Outdoor Curtains Add Privacy (and Pizazz!)

screened porch sheer curtains

It’s the end of August, and while I try to use our screened porch from March to November (seriously!), it’s just starting to cool off enough that I can enjoy being out there during the daytime.  In the heat of the summer, I tend to utilize it in the morning, with a cup of coffee and my Bible, and in the evening, with a glass of wine and whatever book I’m currently loving, because it’s just too HOT to sit out there during the day.

A screened porch is always at the top of my wish-list when we’re moving to a new house, and while we don’t always get one, I love it when we do.  My husband is one of those sweet-blooded people who will get a thousand mosquito bites every time he ventures outdoors in the evening, and a screened porch gives me a chance to actually see him outside every once in awhile.  The porch here is great–we back up to woods and so there are lots of trees and birds–but while we really like our next-door neighbors, our porch is situated pretty close to their deck.  I’ll confess that I sit on the porch in the morning in my bathrobe, so I’ve been mulling over ideas that would give us a bit more privacy, and look pretty to boot.

Our neighbor in North Carolina had a gorgeous side porch on her big old historic house, and she hung huge white sheer curtains that just looked amazing.  I always thought I needed an open porch to achieve a similar look, but a few weeks ago when Amy and I were in Ikea, I found these sheer panels that were $5 (for TWO!):

screened porch sheer curtains

They’re the same panels I used in our master bedroom and sitting room, but for some reason I thought they were on clearance or being discontinued.  How great to know I can pick up a set or two anytime I need them!

I bought two sets for a rocking grand total of $10, and then let them sit in the corner for a week or two while I thought about whether I wanted to hang them on tension rods or with a staple gun.  They are machine washable, and I’ll likely need to pull them down once or twice a year to wash them and maybe even bleach them.  Obviously a tension rod would make that easier, but a staple gun would ensure that they hung exactly the way I wanted them–plus it would be cheaper.  The staple gun won.

I stapled each side up and then folded the panel to find the center.  I stapled the center in place and then continued to fold the panel, find the center, staple, and so on.  In the end I had about nine staples per panel and the panels hung in loose pleats, like this:

screened porch sheer curtains

Then I tied them with a scrap of burlap feed sack…I didn’t spend too much time on making sure they were hung “just so” as I knew I’d take the ties off and just let the drapes hang from time to time.

Here’s what I started out with (be sure to note our neighbor’s deck–as if you could miss it!):

screened porch sheer curtains

And here’s how it looks with the sheer panels:

screened porch sheer curtains

Of course the curtains are sheer–I wanted them to let light and air through, and because they’ll probably get a little wet when it rains, they’ll dry faster than heavier panels.  They add a bit of privacy without blocking our view, and the price was right!

screened porch sheer curtains

I hung a couple of ferns in the corners; they were on sale for $4 each since it’s so late in the season.  Our wrought iron table and chairs are great for al fresco meals.

screened porch sheer curtains


screened porch sheer curtains

It might say “Martini Time,” but it’s really a beer (and juice box) fridge!  I snagged it at the thrift store a few years ago.

screened porch sheer curtains

The fridge holds long matches for the firepit on the patio, a candle, and a wine bottle stuffed with twinkle lights that my clever neighbor gave me for Christmas a few years ago.  It looks so pretty at night!

screened porch sheer curtains


screened porch sheer curtains

screened porch sheer curtains

Here’s my “boring corner.”  I’ve thought about adding a bookshelf, a big basket with  blankets and magazines, or even an outdoor bar area, but right now it’s the catchall corner for rain boots and garden gloves (and I see the muzzle of a BB gun in the corner of the picture, too!).  The big white “B” is from the Cameron Antique Fair in North Carolina; I also bought a big “A” for my daughter’s room from the same lady.  Lots of monograms in my house!

screened porch sheer curtains

I’d like my next project out here to be painting black harlequin diamonds on the floor (which is just pressure-treated deck wood), but that might have to wait until after I clean out and paint my closet.  You know I’ll keep you posted!

OK, I hope ya’ll enjoyed the update, but it’s 5:00pm and my wine and book are calling me!

Thanks for stopping by!

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  1. Love the look it gives the room! It definitely adds a little something. Thanks for sharing, looks like an easy fix {maybe not for me but…} lol.

  2. I love it! Makes me want a screened porch! :(. Good job, though!

  3. I love it! We have a screened in porch and since we moved in last spring I’ve been wanting to add some type of drapes/curtains to the porch. Thanks for sharing! Just wondering, do you get a lot of rain blowing in on your porch? Mine gets pretty damp everytime it rains so I fear that my curtains would mold.

    • Yes, Kara, we do get a lot of rain blowing in, and that’s one reason I went with these thin, gauzy curtains instead of a thicker fabric. It’s poured the last couple of days and they’ve dried quickly (even though it’s 100% humidity outside). I do expect I’ll have to take them down to wash and bleach them a couple of times a year, though.

  4. Linda@Coastal Charm says:

    LOVE the look of your THRIFTY curtains on your porch. Would love to have you share this great idea and look at my Nifty Thrifty Tuesday party.


  5. I love the way the curtains look!! I’m so glad you visited and linked up at Take it on Tuesday!!! Pinning this.

  6. Zia Cusano says:

    Outstanding. Love the sheers on your porch and all the other niceties. Am going to add sheers to my porch as well.

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  8. I would love to hang curtains like this but I have metal everywhere you have wood. Do you have any suggestions for me as to how I would hang these? Your porch is soo beautiful !!

    • Sheri, do you think you could use tension rods? That might work with metal. Or 3M command hooks; the double stick tape would adhere to metal and you could hook the sheers on them. Good luck!

  9. Do these keep Mosquitos out?

  10. Barbara leigh says:

    Christy.. i was up till 3 AM trying to figure out how to make under my deck look more attractive with the poles that are there which are pretty ugly. Your information is the only thing that makes sense to me and I was wondering where I could find economy curtains .. And you gave me that great info too but but I don’t understand when you say you stapled each piece and then folded in half To find the center I don’t know exactly where you put that first staple LOL If you could email me back and be super specific because I absolutely love the look and the pleats but I’m not understanding what you mean .thank you so much ..Barbara

    • I’ll try to explain, but let me know if it doesn’t make sense! I stapled the end (top outside corner) of each curtain panel to the porch; they were probably about 4-5′ apart. So I had the two corners stapled to start. Then I pulled the center of the curtain out to find the midpoint, and stapled that halfway between the first two staples. I continued to do that on either side, so that even though I wasn’t measuring, each pleat was about the same distance apart.

      You could also start in the middle with your first staple and work your way out. The idea is just to keep the pleats/staples roughly the same distance from each other.

      I hope that helps–it’s easy to do, but hard to explain!

  11. You are so smart! I can do that with the curtains on a screened porch but what about the staples when you take them down to wash? Does that damage the wood much? I have a porch open on three sides and rain blows right thru. Pollen also just kills it. Sigh.

  12. I just learned a lesson , hope this keeps others from trying it. We put industrial strength Velcro on the exterior (but inside) areas of our porch, hook and loop together thus exposing a sticky side. We pressed vinyl screening onto the sticky side. Worked beautifully, but in the AM it was all down, the adhesive loses its stickiness when exposed. Having read this article, I’m thinking of sewing pockets in top and bottom of the screens and inserting rods, then hanging them from Command hooks. The tension of the bottom rods may be enough to keep the screen taut, but I’d like to come up with a nail-less way to keep the screen attached to the sides of the posts. FYI there are posts 6 ft apart which support the roof and there is a railing between each post. I really want to avoid puncturing the vinyl, any comments will be appreciated.

    • Thanks so much for sharing your experience with everyone. You might see if Command brand makes hook and loop strips for outdoor use; I know the adhesive is a bit different on their outdoor products so it can withstand heat. Other than that, I think your idea of sewing pockets is a good one. Good luck, and maybe someone else will chime in with ideas (PS Hometalk is a good place to post questions like that for everyone to reply).

    • In reference to my earlier post regarding failure in attempt to screen my porch using industrial strength Velcro I have learned that vinyl screen will stick together using this method, actually, it melts together. Sandwich two pieces of screen between two pieces of aluminum foil and apply a hot iron briefly, if the screen is vinyl the two pieces will not separate. Planning to try this to create pockets for the curtain rods.

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