Update on My “DIY Screened Porch” Sheer Curtains–18 months later

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dog on back porch
If you’ve been following us for any amount of time, you know that I love the look of sheer white curtains on my back porch.  I first added them to our screened porch at our Tennessee house:

Screened porch at 11 Magnolia Lane
And then I created a “DIY screened porch” on our back porch in our Savannah home:

We actually used those panels to keep bugs out when we were dining on the back porch–just untie them and let them hang, and most of the mosquitoes stay away!

I’m about to pull them down–18 months after I hung them up–so I wanted to let you all know that I think that’s about as long as they last.  I am going to replace them, and they are so inexpensive that I think it’s well worth it.

The panels are $3.99 a pair (usually $4.99 but they’re on sale right now) from IKEA, and they’re called Lill.  If you don’t live near an IKEA, you actually buy them through Amazon prime.  {Here} is the link (affiliate link).

After 18 months, this is how they look:


They’re definitely showing the effects of two springs/summers of pollen and weather!  Granted my entire backyard looks awful right now–this is February, after all–but they are not going to make it through another summer.

The tops have collected cobwebs and yes, even dead bugs–yuck!  But in some ways, that’s testament to their function, right?  They’re meant to keep the bugs out, after all.


I talk about how I hung them in this post, but basically, I just used a staple gun.  You could also hang them on tension rods, and that would definitely make them easier to take down and wash.  In fact, I have these same panels in our master bedroom, and they wash beautifully.  I have a front loading HE washer and I wash them on cold, then hang them to dry on the curtain rods while they’re still wet.

I’m going to take mine down using a staple remover, but I’m going to have to toss them instead of washing them, since they’re pretty ragged at the bottom.  They blow on top of the roof every time there’s a storm (see the photo above) and that’s been hard on them.

Bottom line, though, for under $20 and probably less than 30 minutes of my my time, they have lasted great over the past year and half.  Just be sure that you plan on this being a project that you have to redo every few years!


Thanks for stopping by–

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  1. Christy, for $20 and 30 minutes of time, it was so well worth it … Actually cannot believe they lasted that long. I will have to check those curtains out the next time I visit Ikea…but first, I will have to figure out how to hang them under my pergola…..I remember when you first did this and so love your patio area!..

  2. I love this look! I wish we had a space we could do this in! Such a great impact for twenty bucks!

  3. Pinned! Seriously smart for your humid Savannah weather. I’m thinking something similar is in order for my basement double doors to the house — hmmmm…. future project! Thanks for inspiring 🙂 xx, b

  4. Next time try adding a hem to the bottom and tucking in some small river rocks to weigh them down during storms. This might prevent them blowing onto the roof and save some wear and tear on them. Just a thought! I really love the look of these on your porches. They make it look very romantic.

  5. Love this. I’ve been looking for cheap, sheer white fabric to make curtains for our backyard screened in porch and boy am I glad that I ran across your blog!! Out of curiosity, how many panels did you use? I’m going to order some and want to make sure that I get enough. Thanks so much for the inspiration.

  6. Melissa, I was planning on doing this for our deck this year and was wondering what to use. How big is your porch? I love this!

  7. Christy,
    I was looking at turning our porch into a “sleeping porch” for the kids to utilize some this summer. I am wondering how well the curtains kept the mosquitos out?

  8. Hey Robin – –

    These are actually a really good option for a sleeping porch. The material is what they used l in the past for mosquito netting, so the holes are small enough to keep the bugs out but let the breeze through. How fun for your kids!

  9. Kimberly Winkler says

    I put out sheer curtains on my front porch every summer and have done so for about ten years now; however, I replace them every summer. This is not due to “wear and tear” so much as it does to just the good ole’ dirt that blows into them while they are up. Since I use white, there is just no getting them clean after a season out in the weather. In my backyard, on my gazebo, rather than white, I use sage. These will usually last through two summers when they begin to show fading. Even so, as has been mentioned in this post, they are very inexpensive, and I think, well worth it for the look that they provide.

    • Thanks for your feedback, Kimberly. I totally agree that they’re well worth the price for the great look they create outdoors! I saw that the IKEA Lill panels that I use are now carried on Amazon; they’re a little more than if you go directly to the store, but still dirt cheap. There’s no reason not to change them out every summer now!
      Take care,

  10. Christy,
    we live in the Lowcountry too. we turned an rv into a retirement home by gutting it and adding regular furniture. any ideas on how to attach the screen to an awning? Also does it keep the noseeums out? They are so much worse than mosquitoes. thanks!


  11. Dawn Zimmerman says

    Love the look and the romantic, cozy feel. I agree with you $4.00 a panel for two years?? Well worth it and very affordable to change out. I’m planning on using your idea for my porch. Thank you so much for all the info and photos. You helped me make my decision. I would not have tried this due to my concern over weather wear. Your review gave me the insight to move with the simple, inexpensive look. Thanks again. !

  12. How did you staple them direct. ?? I have a bar above trying to decide i just bought these im so excited to redo my patio and make it cozy

    • The roof on my covered patio was wood or hardy plank (I can’t remember which since that was three houses ago!), so I just stapled right into the wood on the inside. Tension rods for windows or shower curtains might be a good alternative, though. Good luck with your project–just in time for spring!

  13. Will they help to keep rain from blowing in?

    • They won’t. They’re completely sheer (think tulle) so if you really need protection from the elements, you’re going to want to use something much heavier. Hope that helps!

  14. Thank you! We have a screened 3 season porch off our kitchen, and it somehow still allows flies in that wind up in my kitchen. i don’t keep the doors because of this and miss the breeze. This will allow me to have my french doors open. I have been searching for a few years! I also found the perfect bracket and rod to hang up the curtain at Ikea, RACKA curtain rod combination. for $8.99.

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