The Family Home Blog

How to Make a Simple Exterior Door Screen Curtain

Jul 24, 2015
Cathe Holden

For many years, before purchasing an actual screen door for our home, I hung a removable screen curtain in the front exterior doorway during the warm summer months. This allowed for better air flow through our home, kept flying bugs out, and brought in much more daylight, all while giving my family and pets easy access in and out of the house.

Now that I’m all moved into my new barn studio, I knew a screen curtain would serve just as well. So, with a minimal amount of materials and a sewing machine, like me, you can whip up a screen curtain for your own home, studio, or office in very little time. This hanging screen can remain up with the primary door open or closed. A screen curtain can be an excellent feature when hosting an indoor/outdoor gathering allowing guests to come and go during the event with ease and without insect issues. Follow these instructions for a standard 36-inch by 80-inch exterior doorway. 

How to make a simple exterior door screen curtain 


From home improvement or hardware store:

•    36-inch x 84-inch Roll of Black Fiberglass Screening

From fabric/craft store:

•    1 Spool of Black Outdoor Polyester Thread
•    2 1/4 yards 2-inch Black Webbing
•    1 Black Spring-Tension Rod (1/2-inch diameter) to fit 36-inches
•    12-20 1/2-inch Marbles, or Glass Floral Beads
•    Scissors 



Fold over 1-inch of the end of a short edge of the screen. Using your sewing machine and outdoor thread, stitch 3/4-inches from fold, creating a pocket for the 1/2-inch rod. Backstitch at beginning and end of seam line to reinforce stitching. 

How to make a simple exterior door screen curtain 

Remove end from tension rod and feed through the rod channel of the screen. Replace end piece and hang curtain in doorway, away from the primary door and allowing it to still close. You may notice that the screen is slightly wider than your doorway and may gather a bit along the rod. This is good so that the curtain fills the door opening completely with no gaps allowing insects to go through.

Use scissors to trim carefully and as straight as possible along the bottom of the hanging screen to 1/2-inch above the door’s threshold. Remove the curtain from the doorway and the rod from the channel.

Fold the webbing in half doubling it to 2-inch x 40 1/5-inches wide and stitch the folded length together at a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Insert the bottom section of the screen into the folded webbing channel and pin into place with the bottom of the screen sliding down and in to meet the stitch-line of the webbing. Sew along the lop length of the webbing at 1/4-inch seam allowance catching the screen panel within, reinforcing at the beginning and end of stitching with a backstitch. Keep one end of the webbing channel open for adding glass marble or bead weights. Utilizing weights at the bottom of the panel keep the hung curtain from blowing in the wind and will make it quickly fall back into place after walking through as well as keep bugs out. 

How to make a simple exterior door screen curtain 

Slide the glass marble or bead weights into the channel. Use the curtain rod to push and distribute the glass weights evenly. If the rod snags the webbing, simply cover the end with masking tape for this purpose.  

How to make a simple exterior door screen curtain 

Once enough glass weights have been loaded. Trim excess webbing and sew the end of the channel closed.

Replace the curtain rod into the top screen channel and hang your curtain. Remove and roll up your screen when not in use.


•    In a pinch you can use pennies for weights in place of glass beads.
•    Customize your curtain panel using stencils and light coats of spray paint.
•    Create an additional insect barrier by removing the screen to an outdoor area and spray the outer side of the curtain with OFF!® Outdoor Fogger.

What projects have you done to improve your home for summer?

Photos courtesy of Cathe Holden.

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1 Comment so far

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On Sunday, April 17, 2016, Peggy from Angels Camp, CA. wrote

All the day time I'm fighting the flies and then in the evening it's the mosquitoes! You saved the day with this simple idea! The part I like best is stenciling. Thanks so much for making my life easier.


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