DIY: a thrifty alternative to the screen door.

I love screen doors, but I hate having to open and close them all day long, every time a cat or a dog wants in. Or out. Or in again. Years ago I devised a solution…curtains instead of screens!

I love the way they waft in the breeze.

Dogs, cats & people go in and out as they please, all day long. Okay, a few bugs, too, but not too many. Not even enough to wrinkle your nose at.

014We needed a new one for the front door, so yesterday I went to the thrift store, spent $2.00 and came home with three lace curtain panels.

016The one I decided on for the front door wasn’t quite long enough, so this afternoon I sewed a sleeve from a fun pink and yellow print from my stash. The colour of happiness is pink (with yellow.) Did you know that?

013And because it’s so friggen hot today, I couldn’t be bothered to pull out my Janome and fuss with setting it up. All those cords, and a foot petal and all. Jeeze, Louise.   I used my pretty Singer hand crank instead.

009I like the way the pattern sort of mimics the lace. And I love the bright colour of the quilting cotton.

006Do you want to make one, too? Here’s how I did it: I used a tension rod on the inside of the door frame. An 8″ strip folded in half makes a generous sleeve. Be sure to leave at least an inch of space between the bottom of the curtain and the floor; otherwise, people and pets will step on it and pull it down. Don’t worry, it’ll still keep 99% of the bugs out.

021Voila! Beautiful and under $2.00. My little hippy heart is so happy! Take that, retirement budget!


  1. That IS a great idea! Now that we don’t have any pets (our cat was strictly indoor), we’ve put a screen door on the front, and a screen/magnetic closing-cover on the back. It’s amazing how many times we hear the screen door ‘slam’ even without kids and pets.

  2. Okay, I see what it is – the angle of the picture on the handle, and then the fact that the handle part from that angle looks different from mine. =)

  3. Oh, my gosh, your handcrank is GORGEOUS! I thought mine had a pretty faceplate, but yours is even better, and then those decals are the best I’ve ever seen.

  4. I really wish I would have mimicked this at home! I’ll be pinning up an old curtain panel and trying this out on the next hot day we get 🙂

  5. I love this idea of the curtain instead of a screen door. Way back when you decided to do that at the cabin, I did it too. It’s tres fabulous for the dogs. They feel such freedom!!!! And so do I! But last year, I had a squirrel come in. We didn’t realize it until the middle of the night. My biggest dog, Annie Dakota, was pacing beside the bed. Then she finally stopped and I was relieved, until I realized that she was staring up at something. I turned the lamp on. Yep, the squirrel was perched on a window curtain rod and was looking straight at me. It wasn’t far away, and I don’t know what they are capable of. Could he fly and land right on my face??? I screamed. Loudly! Dan cleared all of us (me and the dogs) out of the room and closed the door. We heard some screeching and then the outside door slammed. The squirrel, who was likely even more terrified than we were, was let out safely. We didn’t sleep with the door open, so he obviously had gotten in during the day and was hiding out somewhere.
    I still leave the door open with my lovely fabric curtain though…

I'd love to hear your thoughts!