Thinking of giving your house a makeover? Searching for the perfect curtains to breathe life into your space? It can be hard to find the right curtains for your living space in stores, and that too at an affordable cost. Having the right curtains you can even dress a bay window and make it cosy and stylish!
The best choice is to make your own curtains from a fabric you love and that blends with the home decor. Don’t know how to make handmade curtains? Don’t worry because in this article, we have covered everything you need to know about them! Excited? Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
Choose the right fabric for your curtains
The first thing that you need to do is choose the right fabric for your curtains. Even if you have selected the pattern or the colour, the variety of fabrics available can be overwhelming, especially if you are a newbie.
There are several important features you need to look for when picking the fabric. From texture, weight, insulation properties to light filtering and durability, there are certain things to think of. Note down your requirements, and see which fabric fulfils those needs adequately.
Wool curtains are perfect for rooms that require insulation and sun-blocking. They are mostly used as blackout curtains. They give a heavy and thick feel to the room. The issue with wool is that the curtains are quite heavy so washing them is going to be a hassle. Plus, wool curtains absorb moisture so you should avoid using them in humid places such as kitchens.
2. Linen or cotton
Linen or cotton curtains are breathable and light. If you are not looking for insulation, and are going for a lighter, airier feel and look, then you should go with them. However, keep in mind that their colours and patterns would fade over time due to sunlight. Therefore, you will have to fit the pair of curtains with a curtain lining.
Want to create an elegant, luxurious feel? Silk curtains will help you do exactly that. Silk curtains are thin and will let light in, so they will need lining as well. Moreover, silk is pretty expensive so you will have to keep an eye on your budget as well.
If you are searching for affordable options, you should go with nylon. It is lightweight and you can machine wash it easily. It doesn’t completely block the sun but does keep some of the light out. Also, the nylon curtains come in all kinds of patterns so you will have more choices.
Polyester window treatments are also lightweight and are usually machine washable. They are resistant to fading and you can add lining to them if you want thicker curtains. The thing we like most about polyester is that this fabric doesn’t stain easily. You can clean polyester curtains but they tend to absorb odours so you shouldn’t use them in rooms or kitchens where there’s smoke or cooking happening. Keep in mind that polyester is flammable so make sure to not risk it depending on the room.
Choose your grommet type
After choosing the right fabric, you have to select your grommet type. The most common grommet types in the market are:
- Clip-on rings
- Oversize grommets
1. Clip-on rings
Clip-on rings make it very easy for you to hand curtains. You simply have to create two drapery panels and then attach them to the rod with the help of clip-on rings. However, you will have to add the height of the clips and the rings in the finished length of your curtains. These grommets are usually best for lightweight materials that tear easily. However, they are not very strong and can bend if there is too much weight on them.
Another grommet type that’s really common. Just make sure that you use enough loops so that they will support the weight of the drapes. Plus, you need to consider the loop height in the finished length of the drapes. Rubber grommets are also great for fabrics that tear or fray easily and they usually have no teeth.
3. Oversize grommets
Oversize grommets slide along the curtain rod which makes it easy for you to open and close the drapes. These grommets come in multiple shapes and finishes so that you won’t have to worry about the grommets not matching the rod. Oversize grommets are usually made of metal-reinforced plastic or plain plastic. They are the strongest available and if you are working with heavyweight fabric, they will be a perfect choice.
How to measure for your DIY curtains
The most important aspect of curtain making is measuring and sizing. You need to take accurate measurements if you don’t want your new curtains ending up too short or sloppy-looking. The final measurements depend on the look you want to create.
You will need the following things:
- Tape measure
If your curtains are going to run on a track or sit on a pole, you need to take the measurements on the wall around the window. Generally, on both the left and right side, the pole or the track is 10 cm longer than the window.
This space is there to accommodate the fabric when you pull open the curtains. Measure the width of your window and then add 10 cm on each side. If you want a gathered or full curtain, then you can multiply the window width measurement anywhere from 1.5 to 3.
If you want one width of fabric only, then you should simply add 2.5 cm, to each side to accommodate the hems. For the lining, the width will be 2 to 5 cm narrower than the fabric itself.
For the length, you will have to begin 10 cm above the window (for the pole position) and go down as far as you want – on the windowsill, just below it, or up to the floor. Once you have taken the length measurement, add 45 cm to it.
This will give you enough fabric to hem the curtain panels as well allowing for fabric shrinking when you pre-wash it. For the lining, add about 5 cm to the upper section and around 15 cm to the lower section.
Step-by-Step Guide: How to make your own curtains
Don’t know how to sew your own curtains? Here’s the step-by-step guide to doing so!
Things You Will Need
Then you have to follow these steps:
1. Preparing the fabric
If the curtain fabric is machine washable, you need to wash and dry it so that it will pre-shrink before you start sewing. Pre-shrinking the fabric is important and if you skip this, the seams of the fabric will pucker unattractively when you will wash the curtains for the first time. However, if the fabric is not machine-friendly, then you can skip this. The next thing to do is iron the fabric so that all the creases and wrinkles are removed.
2. Cutting the fabric
Before you cut the fabric, it is always a good idea to check your measurements twice or even thrice. Once you do that, you can cut the fabric according to the measurements you took, leaving room for the hems and rod positions, of course. Place the fabric on a flat surface and mark the fabric width and the length of the curtains.
3. Attaching the lining
If you are going to use a lining, you need to arrange the fabric and the lining. Pin the two together and start sewing in a straight line from one side. If the side edges are frayed, don’t worry since you are going to turn the curtain inside out later and that will hide the raw edges.
4. Hemming the lining
Fold almost 5 cm of the lining’s bottom edge and 10 cm of the curtain fabric. Pin and stitch them together to create the bottom hem of the lining. Make sure that the hem seam meets the side hem and there is no loose flap.
5. Sewing the second side
Now you have to sew the second side. Find the centre of the lining and the fabric, mark the point, and pin the lining and fabric together. Now work out from the centre to the curtain’s sides with the help of your sewing machine. Don’t worry if the lining is a bit short. Sew the second side similar to the way you stitched the first side.
6. Flipping the curtain
Now that three sides of the curtain are sewn, you need to flip the curtain out. Reach into the bottom of the curtain to the corner and flip the curtain. If there are any hanging threads, trim them. Don’t forget to iron the seams to make them crisp.
7. Creating the rod pocket
Now, fold the top of the curtain fabric about 8 cm, pin it and sew along the top edge of the fabric so a pocket will form between the curtain’s top and the stitch. If there are any loose threads, cut them. Leave space for eyelets in the hemmed curtains.
8. Ironing the curtains
Now you need to iron the finished curtains and make sure that the seams are all crisp. Depending on the type of grommets you chose, attach them to the curtain with the rod pocket you just created. If you want to create pencil pleats, you can sew curtains accordingly!
9. Hanging the curtains
It is now time to hang your curtains. Run the grommets through the curtain rod and Voila! You have successfully stitched and hung your DIY curtains in your living room and any other space! And remember, even if a long time passes you can always get the creases out of your curtains and make them look brand new again!
If you are thinking of sprucing up the look of your space, you can do so with the help of beautiful, elegant curtains. However, store-bought curtains are not flexible enough to blend in with the décor of your home so we suggest that you make your curtains DIY style. We have mentioned everything that you need to know before making your curtains, so what are you waiting for? Next project: Learn how to make curtains from fitted sheets here!