Quick And Easy Curtains

If you're in a hurry for window treatments and don't have hundreds of dollars to spare, look to the linen closet for solutions.

Curtains for the home or office are made out of all types of materials - lace, cotton, even velour. Factory made curtains are nice but if you're in a hurry for curtains and don't have money to drape every window in the house, you can make your own in a hurry with few materials. One of the best things you can use to make curtains in a hurry is bed sheets. They come in a variety of colors or prints and they also come in different sizes to accommodate most windows. Usually the top and the bottom of the sheet have already been hemmed, and if the sides aren't hemmed, they have the finished selvages that don't need a hem. This cuts down on the time needed to make curtains. You don't have to have a sewing machine to make curtains, you can use fabric glue if desired. Choose the size of sheets you need by measuring the window, then checking the sheet measurements, or just decide by the size of window. If it isn't a very wide window, a twin sheet, cut in half, might be sufficient. If it's a little wider than that, 2 twin sheets should be fine. A very large window, like a bay window, might need 2 queen or king sized sheets to allow some for gathering.

There are a couple of different ways to decide on the size of your curtains, once you've decided on how full you want them to be. One way is to throw the sheet over the curtain rod, stand on a step ladder, and pin the rod pocket in place. Pin the hem for the bottom, if needed. If the curtains are the perfect length for your window, just pin the rod pocket in place then remove from the rod. Now sew across the rod pocket or glue into place. Another way to measure the curtains is to lay the sheet out flat, measure the window, then mark the measurements on to the sheet back.

After you've gotten your sheets cut or pinned to the appropriate size, hem any raw edges and sew in all rod pockets. When making the rod pockets, some people want there to be a slight gathering of fabric above the curtain rod. For this look, fold the top of the sheet down about seven inches. Stitch across the bottom of the folded piece, then stitch again, two inches from the top. This will give you a pocket to slide in the rod, then additional fabric for gathering at the top. You can now add lace to the bottom of the curtains, or a piece on each inside seam of the curtain, where the two curtain panels meet. You can also add a gathered lace piece across the top, which hangs down below the rod pocket.

For more of a drape look, place two sheets with right sides together under the foot of the machine and sew from the top corner, down. Sew across the bottom, then back up the other side, leaving the top open for turning. Turn the fabric right sides out and press. Sew across the top, tucking the raw edges inward. Now use a piece of sheet or lace which will attach to the front top portion of the curtain, go over the rod, and attach to the top back section of the curtain. Stitch under all raw seams. For this design it's best to have another strip which attaches at the very top front of the curtain and hangs down over the rod pocket to cover the rod pocket itself.

You can separate two sheet panels by placing one or two panels of lace in between. You can just throw the lace over the rod, align the front and back bottoms the same length, and then gather it all on the rod, or you can take the time to hem the lace pieces. For small, short windows, like in a kitchen or bathroom, just cut the sheet in two pieces, trim to desired length, sew in rod pockets and hem. Now you can add lace or ruffles, even tie backs made from sheet material or lace.

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