The Window Covering Lady
The Window Covering Lady
talks window coverings and
various window treatments

Making Curtains

Making curtains can be time consuming and tedious. but the results are worthwhile to get the curtain you want for your home. When making curtains you can select the fabric you want for color, pattern, and texture so you can create a special window covering. Add a valance or window scarf and you have a complete window treatment.

Window curtains add a special touch to any room, especially when you make them yourself! Making curtains is not difficult, and the results can be a unique expression of your creativity and fashion sense.

Deciding how wide the curtains will be is the first step in making curtains. Curtains that fit inside of the window frame are out of the way and create a sleek, neat feeling. Curtains that cover the window frame create a cozy, warm feeling. Measure the width of the opening that the curtains have to cover. Then multiply that width by the fullness ratio, a number typically between 2 and 2.5 that allows for folds in the cloth to create a full look. Allow two inches for side hems.

Patterned fabric is often used when making curtains. A pattern will repeat itself every few inches across the width of the fabric. It's best to round off the width that will be used to the next highest pattern width, so you don't end up with an awkward-looking fraction of a pattern.

Length is equally important when making curtains. Floor-length curtains can make a window or door the focal point of a room. To the desired finished length of the curtain, one must add allowances for top and bottom hems, typically four inches for each hem.

While you are making curtains, be sure to add a lining. A lining extends the life of your curtains by shielding the outward-facing side from sunlight that can fade colors and turn fabric brittle and yellow. The lining should be as wide and long as the finished curtain, less the allowances for hems.

Attaching a valance to the top of split-opening curtains provides a handsome extra layer of fullness without requiring a second curtain rod. However, adding a valance may mean the curtains can't be drawn back -- depending on what style of valance you choose to make -- so they will have to be tied back in the open position. Valances are typically unlined to cut down on the bulk of curtain material at the top. Making curtains with valances can get creative. The valance material can match, contrast, or complement the material of the curtains. Fringed valances make an interesting touch. Instead of cutting material for a separate valance, you can add a foot or so of material to the curtain's finished length and fold the extra material over at the top to form a valance.

An hourglass curtain is often used on a glass door to filter sunlight and provide privacy. Making curtains in an hourglass shape is easy. Use sheer, flowing material and cut it 2 to 2.5 times the width of the curtain rod used. The length should be the length of the door, with 4 to 6 inches folded over to make top and bottom hems. A colored ribbon is used to tie the center of the curtain into a bunch or hourglass shape.

Making curtains is a fun, creative pastime that can add touches of elegance throughout your home. Let your spirit run free when making curtains.

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