Step by step guide to making curtains

Written by michaelyn erickson
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Step by step guide to making curtains
Make you own curtains that look shop-bought. (curved green window image by Jeffrey Sinnock from

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.

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Things you need

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

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  1. 1

    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.

  2. 2

    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.

  3. 3

    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.

  4. 4

    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.

  5. 5

    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.

  6. 6

    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.

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