Curtains are traditional decorations for windows that also provide privacy from the outside world as well as insulate the inside of a home from exterior temperatures. Making your own curtains is easy with these simple Frugal Friday instructions on how to make curtains. Unlike complicated curtains that require fancy pulls, these curtains are basically just two double-sided rectangles with pockets for curtain rods on the back. The only materials needed to make these curtains are:
- Straight pins
- Sewing machine
- Ironing board
- Curtain rod
These curtains could also be sewn by hand if you are so inclined with these easy-to-follow instructions on how to make curtains for the sewing-challenged.
Measure the height and width of your window. Add in the additional space around the window into which the curtain will extend. For example, if your curtain rod reaches three inches past the sides of the window, add six inches to your width. Also take into consideration how far past the bottom of the window that you want to curtain to fall. For example, if you want a floor length curtain, add the distance between the floor and the window to your height. You will need these window measurements when selecting fabric.
Select your curtain fabric. Regular cotton fabric or a cotton/polyester fabric works best for making curtains. You will need two different patterns: one for the side that is visible from the interior of the house and the other for the lining that is visible from the exterior of the house. For example, for my curtains, I selected a striped fabric for the interior side and a gold that matched the gold in the stripes for the lining.
Measure and buy the fabric. The width of the bolt of fabric must be at least as wide as your window width plus two inches. For example, if your window measures thirty-six inches across, then the width of the fabric must also be thirty-eight inches or wider. Depending on the pattern of the fabric, you may be able to sew two pieces together if you have an extra wide window as I did with my striped fabric for my wide window. You will also need at least twice the height of your window plus two inches of each fabric. For example, if you window measures sixty inches tall, then the fabric must be at least 122 inches in height. Using more fabric makes curtains fuller. You will also need extra lining fabric to make the curtain rod pouch. Make sure also to buy matching thread.
Wash the fabric. Washing the fabric before sewing the curtains preshrinks the fabric so that your curtains do not shrink when you wash them later. Iron the washed and dried fabric to remove wrinkles.
Cut the fabric into panels. You will need two panels of the interior cloth and two panels of the exterior lining. Each panel should measure at least the width of your window plus two in width and at least the height of your window plus two in height. All four panels must be the same size.
Line up one interior panel and one lining panel with the right sides of the cloth facing each other. The right side of the cloth is the side on which the pattern is printed. (The wrong side will be duller.) Starting on one side, use your iron to press one half inch of the long side over. Then press the same long side over another half inch so that you have turned and pressed a total of one inch. Use straight pins to hold the folded fabric in place. Repeat on the other long edge so that both sides are turned and pressed one inch. Repeat on second interior and lining panels.
Sew the long edges of the panels three-eighths of an inch from the edge of the turned and pressed fabric. After sewing, turn the panels outside in so that the right sides of the cloth face out. Press the sewn edges of the panels flat with your iron. Set aside one sewn panel.
Use your iron to press one half inch of one short side over. Then press the same short side over another half inch so that you have turned and pressed a total of one inch. Use straight pines to hold the folded cloth in place. Repeat on the other short edge so that both sides and turned and pressed one inch. Repeat on the second sewn panel.
Sew the short edges of the sewn panels three-eighths of an inch from the edge of the turned and pressed fabric. Iron both of the sewn panels to remove wrinkles and creases.
To make a curtain rod pouch for each panel, cut two pieces of the lining fabric that measure the width of the sewn panel plus two and half the circumference of your curtain rod plus two. Turn and press all four long sides down one-half inch twice for a total of one inch. Sew the long edges three-eight of an inch from the edge of the cloth. Then turn and press all four short sides down one-half inch twice for a total of one inch. Sew the short edges three-eight of an inch from the edge of the cloth.
Pin the sewn curtain rod pouches onto the lining side of the two curtain panels with the folds of the pouch facing the curtain. Sew the pouches onto the curtain through both the lining and the interior cloth one-eight of an inch from the long edge of the pouch. Slip the curtain rod through the pouches and hang your new curtains on your window.
Making curtains is a tradition method of decorating windows. Curtains also provide privacy from the outside world as well as insulate the inside of your home from drafts. Learning how to make your own curtains is simple with these easy instructions on how to make curtains.
Window Curtains © 2010 Heather Johnson
Window Measurement © 2010 Heather Johnson
Curtain Fabric © 2010 Heather Johnson
Sewn Short Edge © 2010 Heather Johnson
Curtain Rod Pocket © 2010 Heather Johnson