Do It Yourself: How To Make Curtains

Handmade curtains are simpler to make than you may think. Here are easy to follow instructions that anyone can use.

So you have decided that you would like to try your hand at making some curtains, to match the new wallpaper you just put up in the bedroom. You may be thinking it is going to be difficult but it is actually easier than you think. With these easy to follow tips and instructions you will be hanging your hand made curtains in no time at all.

The first thing you need to do is think about and decide upon what type of curtain rods you would like to use. The curtain panels when they are finished will be hung by pin hooks, and then pinned into shirring tape. The finished curtains then get hung from rings on the curtain rods you have chosen. You may choose decorative rods with rings that would allow you to easily pull the curtains open and closed by hand or you could choose traverse rods with hidden rings and a draw cord. Remember that the thickness of the shirring tape can hinder the stacking at each side of the window when the curtains are drawn back. A nice look is extending the rods past the window; it accommodates the extra fabric and maximizes the view.

Now that you have decided on the type of rods you want to use, you must pick out your fabric and prepare it for sewing. Begin by cutting the individual panels according to the measurements you have taken of the windows. Decide if you want the curtains to hang past the seal.

Start sewing the curtain panels together along the side edges to make up the required width. Some window treatments open in the center and will need two curtain panels, this means dividing the available width in half. If you are starting off with an odd number of cut panels, you will need to cut one of them in half lengthwise and use one piece for each side. You want to plan to have these narrower panels hang along the outer edges of the windows rather than the center when the curtains are hung.

Now fold and press a four inch double-fold hem along the bottom edge of every panel. Top stitch or blind stitch in place. Fold and press a one and a half inch double-fold hem on both side edges of every panel. Use a sewing machine and machine-stitch in place, stopping three inches from bottom edge. Tape drapery weight(a flat metal weight covered in plastic or Pellon) to every bottom corner. Hand-sew the final three inches.

Once you have the base of your curtains finished you need to shirr the header. The header is the part of the curtain that will be hung off of the rods. Begin by folding and pressing the top edge of each curtain panel one inch to the wrong side (you'll want to avoid excess bulk, so do not double fold.) Place shirring tape right side up on the panel, about one fourth inch below the folded edge. Fold in the excess tape one fourth inch from each end, leaving the strips exposed and free. Pin the shirring tape in place. Use sewing machine and sew one row of machine stitching on each side of every string. Knot the strings at one end of header. Everything is ready for you to shirr the header. To shirr the header, pull all strings at the unknotted end at the same time to the desired fullness. Now insert pin hooks into the top of the tappet five inch intervals.

You are now ready to hang those beautiful curtains, just hang the hooks from the rod rings of the curtain rods you have chosen.

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