These Sheer Fabric Projects Will Keep You Cool All Summer Long
Breathable, light, and airy—it's perfect for a partition screen, a set of canopy bed curtains, a tote bag, and so much more.
At this time of year, only the breeziest DIYs will fly. These done-in-a-day projects put airy, translucent fabrics to inspired use. They'll make your place look and feel cooler, and keep the relaxed vibes flowing.
A Beachy Bed
This serene cabana can be all yours, all summer. Just cut panels of fluttery Indian cotton, hem the top and bottom edges, and stitch on twill tape for ties. Knot them onto the bars of a modern four-poster, and you're set for vacation-quality naps. If you have a regular bed, you can achieve the same oceanfront feeling with a set of inexpensive ceiling-mounted brackets and curtain rods.
Shop Now: B&J Fabrics Indian-Cotton Sheer Stripe #74564669, 44" wide, $16 per yd., bandjfabrics.com; Purl Soho Cotton Twill Tape, 3/4", $1.25 a yd., purlsoho.com; Room & Board Architecture Bed, in White, starting from $1,199, roomandboard.com; Hawkins NY Simple Linen Bedding Collection Pillowcases, starting from $78 for 2, hawkinsnewyork.com; Hawkins NY Simple Linen Bedding Sheet, starting from $198, hawkinsnewyork.com; Hawkins NY Simple Linen Bedding Quilt, starting from $395, all in White, hawkinsnewyork.com. Hedgehouse Toulouse Pillow, 14" by 26", in Charcoal Wide, $130, hedgehouseusa.com; Hedgehouse Toulouse Headboard Cushions, in Blue Narrow, $420 each, hedgehouseusa.com.
When a room gets beautiful natural light, the sparest of window treatments will suffice. These quick-sew curtains are hemmed on three sides, with a channel on top for the rod. The clever twist: Stitch the center of an 18-inch length of twill tape onto the inner bottom corner of each panel, and screw a wooden knob into the window frame. When you want a spill of sun, loop the twill tape around the knob, and let it stream in.
Midcentury-style lanterns usually have a paper shell. These feature soft linen and plug into a standard electrical outlet, so you can hang them anywhere to layer texture into a room by day and fill it with a warm glow at night. And their construction is as uncomplicated as their look: Just hem the long sides of three fabric strips, fold them over a lampshade ring, and let the selvage ends hang loose for an unfinished bottom edge.
A layer of open-weave linen gives a glass-front cabinet subdued style and solves a quandary. It quietly camouflages everything inside, so you don't have to keep the contents perfectly arranged. Measure and trim the fabric to at least an inch larger than the panes on all sides, taking care to follow the horizontal lines of its warp. To attach it, put double-sided tape dots at the corners and adjust it in the inside of the door frame until centered; then cover the edges with gaffer's tape.
The beauty of this partition is twofold: It diffuses light, so it's as flattering as a photo filter, and it moves around easily, so you can block the glare in all your reading spots. Buy the frame, then fill in the spaces with next-to-nothing fabric (we used cotton voile). The steps are a cinch: Simply hem the edges and add top and bottom channels for the rods.
This sheer little number is made for floating to the beach, pool, or park with just the essentials: keys, book, and SPF. It's stitched together from nearly weightless squares of see- through striped linen, with sturdier strips of linen ribbon for the handles and top trim. Slip it over a shoulder, and slide into your sandals.
Styling by Tanya Graff and Silke Stoddard.