How can I reuse or recycle old net curtains?

We’ve had an email from Shannon:

We’ve got loads of net curtains from the days before we all realised they were naff! They’re chintzy and are nylon or polyester or something. Do you have any recycling ideas?

If they’re still in good condition, you could try passing them on – ask on Freecycle/Freegle or ask a charity shop if they’ll take them (a charity shop with a lot of furniture or a furniture specific charity would probably be best, if there is one near you). Most charity shops have a “rag man” for items they accept but can’t sell – so if they can’t sell them, at least they’d get into the textile reclamation cycle that way.

If they’re not in good enough condition to be passed on – and a wash doesn’t revive them enough, the better condition parts maybe be suitable for reusing or upcycling.

Lee Meredeith – aka Leethal – used lacework doilies as stencils for decorating plain picture frames for her wedding — if there are parts of the net curtain with a nice design, they could be used for something like that. I think I’ve seen a similar method used to decorate clear jam jars recently – making them into shabby chic candle/tealight holders.

Or if there are any focus-point designs, you could cut those out and use them as doilies for other craft projects – if there isn’t enough of the real thing outside where you are, these snowflake doilies are a fun festive window decoration. Sticking with the fabric stiffening idea, these bowls are fun too.

Any other suggestions?

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10 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle old net curtains?”

  1. lovelygrey says:

    Bits of net curtain that are really at the end of their useful life can be used to add texture to fimo or precious metal clay. Just roll the clay over the part of the pattern on the curtain that appeals!

  2. cathy moore says:

    Why not try sewing them into produce bags to use instead of the plastic ones markets provide? The fabric should be light enough to not add much weight to your purchase, and if the pattern is open the cashier will be able to see what’s in the bag without opening it. It’s easy to turn a hem over on the top & stick in a drawsting of cord, yarn, skinny ribbon.

  3. Alexis says:

    if you have a wormerie (or is that wormory .. .. ) you can use them to keep the worms from falling into the sump.

    If you have a pond -you can “craft” some of it into a net for clearing out muck, and the occasional victim of the angel of Fish Death.

  4. louisa says:

    Both cracking ideas – thanks Cathy & Alexis.

  5. Linda says:

    They are fantastic as bird netting over berries or newly sewn garden beds. I have used the same old stained ones for 3 years so far!
    Could also make support of hanging heavy fruit or vege such as pumpkins trained up a fence etc.
    Make great dress-up items for young girls i.e. fairy wings, veils, tutu, etc.
    Small mesh is great at stopping mosqitoes.
    Good parts could be reused as food throw-over to stop flies etc at bbq/party situations.
    Many, many ways to use these -much less time to type ;)

  6. Su says:

    They are excellent as frost protection for tender plants (think horticultural fleece), though probably not in weather this cold! They could also be used to protect seedlings from the sun (I think I can vaguely recollect the sun).
    They can also be used to make laundry bags for washing delicate items in the washing machine, I have 2 small ones that I use for washing my reusable ‘cotton pads’.
    I am also thinking that they may be good for straining stuff that needs straining, though depending on the pattern you may need to use several layers.

  7. Wendy says:

    I’m with cathy. In fact, I’ve got a tutorial up on my site that shows how to turn them into produce bags. They’re light and see-through, just what you need.

  8. Olia says:

    Make scarfs, decorative pillows, details on blouses and dresses, bathroom curtains, doll dresses, table clothes, table runners, neat bags and purses, book covers, hair bands, leggings, underwear, crafts, cover lamp shade, hang around private garden area, cover piano to prevent from getting dusty, etc.

  9. Medeea says:

    In Paris metro I saw a young lady wearing a dress made of the same thing as my mother’s kitchen curtains!
    So I guess you can come up with some lacy blouses, combined with a vest top or why not a dress.

    I like the idea of produce bags.
    What I had in mind was the net bag used for the washing machine. Sew, attach a zipper and is ready.

    Also, if you need an insect screen, this would be perfect.

    Decorative pillows, duvet cover with a contrasting lining would be interesting.
    Even a purse.

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