How to Temporarily Hem Curtains

Curtains can be expensive. If you move a lot or change your curtains frequently to update your decor, you may desire a way to temporarily change the length of the curtains. Water-soluble fabric glue is designed to be used to create temporary seams on fabric. To remove the solution, wash the curtains and the glue will wash out, returning curtains to their original length. This technique allows you to change the hem length easily so the curtains fit different window sizes.

Place curtains face down on the work table and examine them. If the curtains already have a hem, you may simply need to shorten them.

Determine the correct length and how much fabric you need to take up. Measure from the bottom of the hem upward, and mark the amount using tailors chalk. Make marks every two feet across the entire width of the back of the curtain.

Place a yardstick along the marks and draw a line with chalk connecting them.

Apply a bead of glue one-half inch from the bottom back side of the curtain. Glue along 2- to 3-foot sections, fold the edge up to the chalk line, and press the glue and fabric together with your fingers.

Continue gluing along the bottom of the curtain. Make sure the fabric is well-attached, and allow it to dry for six to eight hours. The new hem should hold until you launder the curtains.


Dust hemmed curtains frequently with a soft brush but do not wash them. Once you wash them you must replace the glue seam.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Tailors chalk
  • Yardstick
  • Water-soluble basting glue
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

F.R.R. Mallory has been published since 1996, writing books, short stories, articles and essays. She has worked as an architect, restored cars, designed clothing, renovated homes and makes crafts. She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley with bachelor's degrees in psychology and English. Her fiction short story "Black Ice" recently won a National Space Society contest.