Step by step guide to making curtains

Updated February 21, 2017

Making your own curtains is a great way to tie a room together. There are many ways to make curtains depending on your preferred style, size and attachment method. If you want a curtain to block out the light, consider using a dark thick fabric, or for a happy touch on a room, a light tulle could be your best option. Curtains can get expensive when buying them, and few people know how easy it can be to make your own.

Measure your window with a tape measure. Start from the edge of the moulding on one side and end at the far edge of the moulding on the other side to get your width. For the height, measure from the upper edge of the top moulding to the bottom of the windowsill. Write down your measurements. You will need enough fabric to cover a space two times the width measurement and at least 30 cm (inches longer than your height measurement.

Cut your fabric. Measure a piece that is twice the width of your window and add a 2.5 cm (1 inch) seam allowance to both sides. Add 30 cm (12 inches) to your height measurement, so the curtains will be long enough. For an example, if you have a window that measures 90 cm (3 feet) high and 60 cm (2 feet) wide, you would end up with a piece of fabric that is 1.2 m (4 feet) high and 1.25 m (4 feet 2 inches) wide. Buy a fabric that is already the height you need; you can save time this way.

Cut your piece of fabric vertically right down the centre. Cut it along the height of the fabric, so when you are done you have two curtains that will meet in the centre. Fold the piece in half and make a notch at the fold with your scissors on both ends before drawing your line with a sewing pen or pencil.

Hem the four vertical edges. Turn the fabric under 1.2 cm (1/2 inch) and sew from top to bottom; do this before you hem the horizontal edges. Hem your horizontal edges. Since your vertical edges are already finished, as you fold in the horizontal edges you should end up with nicely finished corners. Use a colour of thread that matches your fabric to diminish noticeable flaws in your stitching. You should have two nicely finished rectangles.

Create the loop for the curtain rod. Lay your curtains face down on the floor, so the "wrong side" of the fabric is facing you. The "wrong side" is the side that will face the window. Fold the top edge down 7.5 cm (3 inches) and sew. In doing this, you should create a loop or tube of fabric at the top of the curtain through which to thread your curtain rod.

Thread your curtain rod through the loop at the top of the curtain. The curtains should billow because of the extra width of the fabric. You don't have to compete the loop; instead you can buy clip-on curtain rings that you clip onto your finished square of fabric and then thread them through your curtain rod, and it may be easier to open and close them.


Use an iron to press your edges before hemming them; this will help with puckering. Also, instead of cutting the fabric you can tear many types of fabric, and you end up with a straight edge since it will tear with the grain of the fabric.

Things You'll Need

  • Fabric
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Tape measure
  • Sewing pen or pencil
  • Iron (optional)
  • Curtain rod
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About the Author

Michaelyn Erickson has been writing since 2005 and has been published regularly in a variety of northwest publications. She has written a science fiction novel and is now working on a children's book series. Michaelyn attends Evergreen State College where she is pursuing a degree in sustainable living.