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How to Make Curtains DIY

June 29, 2022 5 min read

If you happen to be on the lookout for a brand-new DIY project to take on, then you may want to think about having a go at making your own curtains; they might be easier to create than you first imagined.

Curtains are a popular choice for DIY projects, as they’re not too time-consuming to put together and don’t require you to invest too much money into the process or the materials. In fact, a DIY curtain project can be a superb way of reusing your old materials, allowing you to save money and indulge in a sustainable endeavor simultaneously.

However, it’s worth noting that store bought curtains will likely be more durable and aesthetically impressive – unless you’ve got some pretty elite sewing skills or the time to learn some.

Ultimately, whether you’re skilled or not, it can be difficult to know how to sew curtain drapes and even harder to fathom where to begin – so you might want to check out the following quick guide for a panel curtain that’ll help you get started.


What Do You Need?

First, it’s important to get hold of the right tools and materials. The essentials include:

  • A sewing machine (but not necessarily, as there are no-sew options you could explore)
  • Curtain rods
  • Fabric for the curtains
  • Fabric for the curtain lining
  • Scissors
  • Curtain hooks
  • Measuring tape
  • Pins
  • Thread
  • An iron

The drapery fabric you use is up to you, but in order to find the perfect option, you might want to start thinking about the overall effect you want to achieve with the curtains. For example, how much light do you want to block out? Where do you want them to hang (dining room, kitchen, etc.), and at what height?


Get Measuring

Pretty much every single DIY project has its own fair share of measuring involved – unless you just wing it, of course, but that won’t usually yield the best results. Therefore, you’ll need to think about where on the wall you want your curtain rod to be, as its position will affect the finished look of the curtains, and it’ll inform your cutting requirements.

After marking out the points on the wall where you want to hang and secure the curtain rod (you can always cut curtain rods if you need to), you can start to install the brackets. Make sure they’re sturdy, as curtains can be heavy! After doing this, measure the distance between the curtain rod and the floor.

You should now have an idea of the amount of vertical space you have to work with and where it is you want the curtains to hang. It’s worth giving yourself a bit of breathing space on your measurements here, as you can always reduce the length of the curtain, but it’s much harder to extend it once you’ve set them up.

It’s also worth thinking about what style you want for your home decor in this regard – many people like to have their window treatments reach right down to the floor (this works especially well in bedrooms).

After this, you’ll need to measure the width of the window. Generally, it’s best to ensure that your curtain width is either 2 or 2.5 times that of your window because this will enable your curtains to shut properly and look good at the same time.


Cut Your Fabric

Once you’ve got the measurements all sorted out, it’s time to start cutting your fabric! Make sure you’ve measured twice just to be on the super-safe side. You’ll also need to account for the hem when you start cutting the fabric, so you may want to leave up to 8 inches of excess material – both vertically and horizontally.

Cut your curtain fabric to your width and height measurements (plus the added extra for the hems) and do the same with your curtain lining, but take off some of the height (around 3 inches) because you’ll need some space for the main fabric to wrap back around the lining and form what’s known as a ‘return.’

Additionally, you don’t necessarily need to include a curtain lining, but they do tend to help your curtains last longer.

  • Tip – Remember to cut your fabric on a clean surface!


Pinning and Sewing the Curtains

Next, you’ll need to pin the fabrics together, with your main fabric facing front-first into the lining. Join them along one of the sides using your pins, and then sew a straight line across them, creating your hem.

Now it’s time to create the lining hem, and you do this by folding the lining fabric about 1.5 inches up at the bottom, then folding the curtain fabric around 3 inches up to create an overlap. Pin and sew them together at this overlap.

You’ll then need to do the same on the other side, leaving you with one side unsewn, which is where you’ll pull the curtain inside out to flip it so that it’s got the pattern side facing outwards.

Using an iron, you can flatten any uneven threads that might still be hanging around. This is also the time to cut away any loose or frayed pieces of fabric.

Make the Rod Pocket

This part requires you to fold the curtain about 3 inches over on the unsewn side. Pin the fold to hold it in place, and then sew along the edge of the fold in order to create a pocket for the rod.

Now, it’s nearly time to hang your curtain! Before you finish your DIY masterpiece, run the iron over it one more time and take care to remove any frayed threads. Then, voila! You have it, a completed DIY curtain ready to hang up! All you need to do now is step back and admire the fruits of your hard work.


How to Make Curtains DIY – Success!

Overall, this is just one example, but there are plenty of other DIY curtain ideas worth exploring once you get the hang of it.

If you’re after less work and still want to recycle some of your old materials, you could always get a beautiful t-shirt blanket made for you. This is a superb way of breathing new life into your once loved t-shirts, and it doesn’t require any sewing or pinning on your end.

Finally, one last thing, remember is this: DIY takes time to master, so don’t worry if you get it wrong the first time; it’s all about practice.


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