Create Your Own Custom Curtains

There are small changes that you can make to a room that end up making a big difference, and one of those things is changing the curtains. I was on the hunt for new curtains for our bedroom for quite a while, but I either couldn’t find a style I liked or the correct size. As a disclaimer, I was looking for something very specific in my new curtains; some shade or pattern of gray, grommets, and ones that were blackout. Because of these details and the fact that our charming old house has funky window heights, I wasn’t able to find what I was looking for.

Then it dawned on me – why don’t I just make my own curtains? I’ve already made several10369715_10208205014466719_5103042940529098566_n valences, so how much harder could this be? So I headed to Joann Fabrics, AKA my home away from home, and searched for some gray fabric. There were a handful of fabrics that I liked, but after overthinking and debating for longer than I’d like to admit, I decided on a gray and white patterned fabric that I found on the wide rolls in the back of the store.

What you’ll need:

  • Curtain fabric – length will vary based on your window height. (For our taller window where 84″ curtains were slightly too long, I got 2 yards of fabric and ended up cutting a bit off before hemming)
    • Helpful hint: If you already have curtains and you will be replacing them, take your existing curtain(s) with you to your local fabric store so you know exactly how much fabric you’ll need. Just be sure to add on a couple of inches to allow for hemming!
  •  Backing fabric, if you choose (same length as curtain fabric)
  • Scissors/rotary cutter
  • Thread to match curtains
  • Iron
  • Pins
  • Tape measure
  • Sewing machine
  • Lots of space!

Instructions:

  1. Iron the creases and wrinkles out of your fabric so your curtains will look flawless when you’re done.

    Folding your edges over twice helps create a nice, finished look.
    Folding your edges over twice helps create a nice, finished look.
  2. Lay the curtain fabric out, then lay the backing fabric over it (if you have backing fabric). Trim any additional fabric so the two are exactly the same size.
  3. Fold over the outer edges 1/2-1 inch and iron, then fold the same edge over 1/2-1 inch and iron again so the hem has a finished look. Pin and sew these edges.
  4. Fold the top over 1/2-1 inch and iron, then fold over again 5-6 inches (this will be wherethe curtain rod goes. Sew where the fabric is folded over to create the rod pocket. Optional: sew an extra line about 1-2 inches from the top to create a decorative edge. The curtain rod will be placed in the opening between the bottom line that was sewed and below the decorative top line.
  5. After the pocket for the curtain rod has been created, go and hang your curtain up. Depending on how long you’d like your curtain and how much extra fabric is at the bottom, trim the bottom of the fabric as needed.

    This is what the decorative top of my curtain looks like after just sewing another line across the top.
    This is what the decorative top of my curtain looks like after just sewing another line across the top.
  6. Next, fold the bottom over 1/2-1 inch and iron, then fold the bottom edge over again 1/2-1 inch and iron again so the hem has a finished look. Pin the edges, hang your curtain again to be sure it’s the correct length, then sew.
  7. If you have a standard size double-hung window and you got wide enough fabric, you can create two curtains out of the one you just created by cutting it in half the long way. Once you cut it, simply fold each edge over 1/2-1 inch and iron, then fold each edge over again 1/2-1 inch and iron again so the hem has a finished look. Be sure to leave an opening for the curtain rod!

Luckily, the fabric and backing was on sale (50% off!) when I decided to do this project, so I was able to save a lot of money. The gray fabric was on sale for $10/yard and the backing was $3.50/yard, so in the end this project cost much less than if I would have bought four $20-$30 curtain panels. Plus, I got to choose my own fabric and this was a fun weekend project!

Then, as a finishing touch we installed curtain hold backs that we picked up at Lowes. Going from black to gray curtains, and adding the curtain hold backs really helped brighten up our room and I think it looks more homey, too. My curtains didn’t end up having grommets, but they really aren’t needed since I have the hold backs.

Do you like to make your own curtains, or do you prefer to head to the store instead?

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