Curtains are a great way to add some flair to your home decor. They can be made from a variety of fabrics, and they are an easy sewing project for beginners.
A quick search on Pinterest or an online fabric store can provide you with a plethora of ideas for curtains that will fit your home perfectly. But did you know that you can make your own DIY curtains for a fraction of the cost?
1. Choose Your Fabric
Curtains are an important touch to any room. They not only add privacy, but they can also add flair to your home decor with the right fabric. While it may be tempting to buy ready-made curtains, making your own can save you money and help you create a unique look for your space.
There are many different fabrics to choose from, including natural-looking linen, cotton, synthetics like polyester and acrylic, olefin, and a variety of blends of both. Each one comes with its own set of benefits, so it’s important to know what your specific needs are before you start shopping for the perfect fabric for your DIY curtains.
For example, if you want to black out the light, a good choice would be velvet fabric. This will block plenty of light and allow you to achieve a dramatic, luxurious look.
On the other hand, if you just want curtains that add a decorative element to your window, a plain fabric could work just fine. It’s important to choose a fabric that won’t be susceptible to fade or deterioration from exposure to sunlight.
Lastly, you need to consider the fabric’s fiber content. There are a number of natural and synthetic fibers to choose from, so it’s important to select a fabric that will meet your cleaning criteria as well as any other style preferences.
Once you’ve chosen your fabric, the next step is to measure your windows and cut it accordingly. To do this, measure the window and then add a seam allowance of about 8 inches on top of that measurement. This will ensure that the curtains will hang properly.
2. Measure Your Window
Measurements for a window are simple, but getting them right can have a huge impact on how your curtains will look. Mistakes can lead to a poor-fitting curtain or an overly-large window that won’t fit in your room.
Whether you’re replacing an old, drafty window or adding new windows to a home for the first time, it’s important to get the measurements right. Not only is this important for your window’s aesthetic, but it also helps ensure that your new windows fit properly in the frame and don’t sag when you install them.
To measure the width of your window, start by putting a tape measure between the inside jambs on the left and right sides of the window. Then, close the window and extend the measuring tape from jamb to jamb near the middle of the window (four measurements total).
For height, you’ll need to take three measurements from the windowsill, which is where the sash rests when closed and only accessible by opening the window. These aren’t the horizontal trim boards that run out from the wall, but the sill itself, which is often mistakenly called the “sill.”
If you have trouble taking accurate measurements for your window, call a general handyperson to help. They can use a stepladder to assist you, as well as a tape measure and pencil.
Once you’ve measured the width and height of your window, order custom draperies in a fabric that matches. You can choose curtains that hang decoratively at the side of the window or ones that cover it completely when closed.
3. Cut Your Fabric
You can make your home feel unique and personalized with DIY curtains. They are also a great way to save money. Luckily, there are several simple steps to follow in order to make the perfect set of curtains for your home.
The first step in creating your own DIY curtains is to choose the fabric that you want to use. This will depend on the size of your window, as well as the design that you want to create for your window treatment.
Once you have selected the fabric, it is time to cut it to the appropriate length. This will ensure that your curtain panels are exactly the right size for your window.
To do this, fold the fabric along the selvage edge and measure from one end to the other, allowing for a rod depth and hem. Mark that measurement onto the selvage edge with a ruler or straight edge.
Next, make a straight cut across the fabric at that point. Repeat this process until you have cut all of the curtain fabric that you need.
Now, you can start sewing your curtain panels together. This is an easy project that can be done by beginners as well as experts. If you are a beginner, it is best to practice sewing the side hems first so that you can learn how to get them perfectly straight before moving on to the bottom hems.
4. Sew the Side Hems
The side hems for curtains are an important part of the final look of your DIY curtains. They make the sides of your curtains a little more pretty and also hide any raw edges.
To sew the side hems, simply press both sides of your curtain fabric by 2 inches, and then fold over another two inches to create a double-fold hem. Once you’ve created the hems, use a straight stitch to sew them together.
After sewing, press the hems inward twice to make them firm. This will make it easier to attach the pleating or shirring tape later on.
You can choose from a variety of types of shirring or pleating tape to use with your DIY curtains. Some tapes are 3 inches wide and others are 4 inches wide, so it’s important to pick the right one before you cut your fabric.
If you’re going to use grommets instead of shirring or pleating tape, you can sew them on after you’ve finished the bottom and side hems. Just be sure to leave plenty of room between the grommets and the top hem, and also leave enough space for your rod to slide through.
Once you’ve completed the side and bottom hems, it’s time to stitch the top seam of your curtains. This can be difficult if your curtains have a self-top ruffle, but it’s easy to do once you know how to calculate it correctly.
To sew the top seam, start by pinning the shirring or pleating tape in place one inch from the top edge of your curtain fabric. Then, fold the top fabric over three or four inches to create a ‘pocket’ between the shirring or pleating tape and the curtain fabric, and pin it into place.
5. Sew the Bottom Hem
When you make DIY curtains for home, the bottom hem is one of the most important parts of the process. Not only does it keep the bottom of the curtain from bunching up and becoming a mess, but it also ensures that the fabric is smooth and stretches properly to fit your window frame.
The industry standard for a hem is 3 inches, but you can adjust the length of your hem to fit the needs of your window and your personal style. If you prefer, you can use a shorter hem for a more casual look, or go longer on the hem if you’re working with thicker fabrics.
Start by laying the curtain down on a clean surface with the hem allowance facing up. Place pins or a marker along the base of the curtain at intervals to indicate where the final hem length should be, and then cut accurately along the marks.
Next, place straight pins along the newly marked line to hold the hem in place while you iron across it slowly and firmly. When you’re ready, remove the pins and sew down the hem with either a sewing machine or by hand.
You can also use hemming tape instead of straight pins to hold the hem in place. According to Bristols6, hemming tape is an inexpensive and washable alternative that should help prevent the hem from unraveling.
Once the hem is complete, it’s time to hang your finished curtain panels. Be sure to test-fit them to your window before putting them on the rod.