Creative Ways to Shorten Long Curtains

Windows come in all shapes and sizes, but store-bought window treatments seem to be more standard in size. This means sometimes a window treatment can be too long for the window. Few people want to attempt hemming these curtains to the right length. This is where a little creativity comes in.

Pins and Beads

Although the thought of using safety pins to hem a curtain can be kind of tacky, you can actually make it glamorous with the addition of seed beads. The first thing you need to do is to use straight pins to hem the curtains to the right length. Next, use safety pins that you will put in a vertical line across the hem of the curtain. Stick the safety pin through the back of the curtain, then thread four or five seed beads onto the part sticking through the fabric. Stick the end back through the fabric and close the pin. This adds a designer treatment to the curtain.


You can using a rushing technique on the bottom to shorten a curtain, giving the bottom a balloon treatment effect. Decide how long you want the curtain to be, and mark it about 3 inches above that length. Use a strong thread to baste five or six evenly spaced vertical lines across the bottom of the curtain. Leave loose threads sticking out of the basted lines at the top and bottom. After you have made all of the basted lines, pull the threads and tie them off, making sure each section is the same height. This will shorten the curtain and leave a rushed effect.

Raise the Rod

You can avoid doing any kind of sewing and pinning by just raising the curtain rod. You curtain rod does not have to be installed at the top of the window. If your curtain is 6 inches to 1 foot too long, just raise the curtain that same amount of inches, provided there is room above the window. You can keep the curtain from puddling on the floor by raising it while at the same time making your windows seem much longer.

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About the Author

Andrea Hermitt is an artist and writer who loves to research and write about new things. She's been a content writer since 2000, contributing to, the blog Notes From A Homeschooling Mom and other online publications. Hermitt has a Bachelor of Arts in fine art and English from the State University of New York at Albany.