How to Customize Curtains

Updated November 22, 2016

Looking at a drab pair of curtains can make your room appear bland or unexciting. While new curtains can be expensive, it only takes a few steps to customise curtains to look any way you want with added accessories or fabric. Plan how you want your curtains to look, and purchase the supplies you need ahead of time to start and finish your curtain customisation project in one day.

Use a hot glue gun to apply lengths of ribbon along the sides and/or top and bottom edges of the curtains to add just a strip of colour. The width of the ribbon will depend on how much colour you want to show. Tie pieces of ribbon into bows and glue the bows to the curtain along the top for a three-dimensional effect.

Lengthen your curtains to the floor while making a bold statement by sewing a wide strip of fabric in a contrasting colour to the bottom edge of the curtain. For example, a beige curtain that drops to the bottom of the windowsill can have a 1- to 2-foot-long section of red sewn to it to make the curtain stand out.

Spread the curtain out on a large piece of clean cardboard and use foam stamps and fabric paint to add design to plain curtains. The stamps can be applied randomly throughout the curtain, set in a diagonal or grid pattern or placed only along the top or bottom of the curtain to create a border. This works especially well for nursery or casual kitchen curtains.

Sew or glue on sections of decorative lace edging, fringe or a beaded trim to the sides and bottom of the curtains to give an added element of detailing. Be sure to select an edging that works with the style of the room but is safe for children or pets as some trims have small beads or sequins that may come off if pulled.

Sew on tabs to the top of the curtain to change the way it hangs on the rod by adding loops of fabric or wide ribbon to the top. For added accent, consider sewing the tabs on across the centre of the strip leaving the ends loose and tying the fabric or ribbon around the rod to hold it in place.

Cut out shapes in fabric and appliqué on designs if you don't mind hand- or machine-sewing intricate patterns. Through appliqué you can use a variety of colours and add in designs like vines, flowers, animals, stars or other items as desired to suit the room where the curtains belong.


Keep in mind the look of the room you are customising the curtains for and follow the existing patterns and colours when working with your curtains so you'll be adding to the existing decor. Attach grommets to the top of the curtains to create a more modern industrial look to the room. If you like the pattern and colours of the curtain but not the shaping, then consider using the curtain as your base for a more intricate curtain project. Virtually any plain fabric curtain can be transformed into roman shades, stagecoach curtains, or a balloon valance with a little sewing and a set of directions.

Things You'll Need

  • Ribbon
  • Hot glue gun
  • Fabric
  • Sewing machine
  • Cardboard
  • Foam stamps
  • Fabric paint
  • Lace, fringe or other trims
  • Fabric strips or wide ribbon
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