April 19, 2014 by Alicia
High five for no sewing! Double high five for affordable custom curtains!! When we moved into our home last June, the former owners left these AWFUL curtains hanging in the family room. They looked like a cut-up comforter. Not only were they ugly, they were covered in dog hair from their dog which hubs in highly allergic to. So out they went! However, the good thing is they left their curtain rod – score! Those things are stupid expensive.
Anyway, my window measures 88″ wide and 43″ tall (it’s in a room that is halfway underground). Most standard window treatments are 84″ tall and 44″ wide. So now you see why I needed custom curtains. I hopped online and searched and searched for the right fabric. I finally found it here. Then I hopped over to Walmart and got some hem tape (pictured below). Have you used hem tape before? It’s AMAZING! Perfect for someone like me who doesn’t sew. Next I gathered the rest of my supplies: fabric, hem tape, fabric scissors (regular will work fine but I suggest getting fabric ones if you plan to do a lot of fabric projects), tape measurer, and iron.
Next, decide on your measurements. I actually just measured the old curtains I took down and duplicated those in size since the rod was already hung. If you’re starting from scratch, you’ll want your curtains to be at least 6-10″ wider than the opening but make sure to account for pleating/grommets/however else you intend to hang them. Measure your desired length (remember to take into account the inch or two at the top between the rod and the top of the curtain, depending on how you attach them). Cut your first panel. I recommend cutting and finishing one entire panel before cutting the other panel. That way, you can measure your finished panel and make sure you measure your second panel the same way. If you are crazy OCD and have a patterned curtain, you might want to make sure the patterns match up. Since my curtains will be pulled back almost all the time, I didn’t bother with that step.
Next I ironed my fabric since it had a bunch of creases from shipping it. Then get ready for your hem tape! I have found that the best way to do this is to go ahead and fold your fabric (about 1-2″) and iron your crease for your hem, before you put your hem tape in it.
Then you just lay your hem tape inside that crease and iron again to bond it. Follow the iron instructions on the hem tape package. Some brands/types have different directions. Here is one finished edge after ironing the hem tape in.
The corners really weren’t very tricky for me, but it probably just depends on the fabric. Just try and fold it so it doesn’t hang over the finished side:
Hem all sides of one panel. Measure the finished panel. Then start your second one, trying to get as close on the measurements to the finished panel as you can. Don’t stress about it though! I promise you won’t even notice, let alone anyone else, if there is a slight difference. The previous owners had curtains rings with clips on their old curtains so I used the same ones.
Here is the finished product!
I didn’t think them hanging over the ledge in our family room would bother me but after living with it for a little while, it is starting to bother me. So I may take them down, cut off the bottom, and use some more hem tape across the bottom to make them shorter. I also have enough fabric left over to cover a throw pillow or two, yay!
Let’s break down the cost:
Fabric = $29.93 (have left overs for another project)
Hem tape = $2.97 (have left overs for another project)
Curtain rod = Free
Curtain rings/clips = Free
Total = $32.90 – Which I would generally think is pricey but is actually dirt cheap for custom size which is what I had to have for my weirdly shaped window.
How about you? Have you ever “crafted” your own curtains? How did it go? Have you figured out how to take good pictures of curtains (natural vs. artificial light)?