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How to Make Your Own Curtains

Redecorating your home can be a big and expensive project. While you want to get the perfect ambiance for your home, you want to get the most for your money. One thrifty way to change the whole character of a room and still not spend a lot of money is to make fresh new curtains yourself. It's not as hard as you might think. If you can use a sewing machine, you can make your own curtains. Even if you can't use a sewing machine (or just don't want to) you can make professional looking curtains in no time. There're lots of advantages to homemade curtains. You not only control the entire process, so you get exactly what you want. But you can make curtains for a fraction of the price of custom-made curtains.

First Things First

Before we get started sewing, we need to figure out how large our curtains should be. First lets determine how tall our curtains should be. Measure from your curtain rod down to where you want your curtains to hang. At the very least measure down to the window sill, but a longer curtain usually looks better. Be sure to figure in a hem allowance. You'll usually have a one inch hem on each end, so figure in an extra two inches. Now lets measure the with of our window. Take that figure and multiply it by at least two. You want your curtains to hang nicely when they're open or closed, that's why you need a much larger curtain than window. Don't worry about a hem allowance on your side measurements, because you'll have excess curtain anyway. Divide that number in half and you now have the dimensions of each curtain. So go ahead and cut out the fabric.

Now lets pull out the sewing machine

Well, we're not quite ready to pull out the machine yet! Lets get your hem ready first. Lay your fabric out on a big table or on the floor with the wrong side facing up. Making your hem is easy. We're going to start with either the right or left side of your curtain and go a little at a time. To make a hem, fold a half-inch of the fabric onto itself and press the fold with your iron. Then fold it again. Take your iron and press your hem down again and pin it in place. Then move down a little more (about 5 or 6 inches) and repeat down the entire length of the curtain. When you're finished, then pull out your sewing machine and sew down your hem. At the start and the end of each side, backstitch about an inch. Backstitching is easy, just reverse your sewing machine, and go back over your stitching a couple times. This will stop the thread from fraying. Once you have one side done, repeat the process on the other side, then the top and the bottom of your curtain.

As promised, there's a way to make your curtains without sewing. To do this, use a strip of fusible web when you hem. Fusible web is a bonding agent that will permanently fuse two pieces of material together. So you make your first fold, make your second, and place the fusible web under your second and press. Always follow the instructions on the particular brand of fusible web you use, but those are the basic steps.

Almost Done

Now you've got your curtains hemmed, and it's time to add the curtain tape. Start about an inch from the top of your curtains and slowly sew it in being careful to keep it straight. You'll want to sew both the top and bottom edge of the tape. After you're done, notice that you have two strings running through the tape. At on end, pull the string out a little bit and tie it off. On the other end, pull the string until the curtain material is evenly distributed and the width you want. Tie it off with a loose knot incase you want to readjust once your curtains are in place. Now all you have to do is put your curtain rings in the tape, and you're ready to hang your brand new homemade curtains.

Joann.com



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