Sunday, March 18, 2012

How To Customize and Add Length to Ready-made Curtains

Ready-made curtain panels can easily be purchased at most stores. They are an inexpensive way to help complete a room’s look. However, many ready-made curtains come in standard lengths, which don’t always work in your home. Adding a fabric to any curtain panel will not only add length to the panel, but will also add your own personal touch to them. Select a contrasting or coordinating fabric, solid or patterned, to go with the curtain panels you already have and help achieve the look you want and create your own custom curtains!

Materials Needed: Store bought curtain panels, fabric of your choice, fusible fabric iron on, scissors, yardstick, iron, and curtain hardware
1. Before you get started, measure where your current curtain panels hang and then measure how much additional fabric you will need to add in order for them to just skim the floor. Typically, curtains should be mounted about halfway between the top of the window frame and the ceiling. However, with higher ceilings measure the distance above the window frame to the ceiling and then mount the curtains about 1/3 of that distance.
2. Shop for your fabric! The fabric can be added to either the top or the bottom of your existing panels. The directions given are for adding fabric to the bottom of the panels. As a rule of thumb, the darker fabric should be at the bottom to keep the curtains visually balanced.
3. Lay out your ready-made panels flat and then lay your selected fabric over these panels so that you can copy the width. Add a couple of inches at each edge so that you can fold over for a nice seam. Measure and cut the desired length as well, also leaving a few inches to fold over.
4. Place a strip of the fusible iron about an inch from the edge of the selected fabric, fold over about a half-inch of fabric, and iron the fabric together to create a hem. Do this all the way down each side of the fabric length-wise only.
5. Once the length of both sides of the fabric has been hemmed, position the panel onto the ready-made panel with about an inch of overlap. Once positioned, place your strip of iron-on between the fabrics and iron for about 10 seconds on each strip until you’ve adhered all of the fabric to the panel.
6. Once the fabric has been ironed onto the panel you should have a couple inches of fabric left over on each side. Cut off additional fabric on the ends so that about one inch remains
7. Again, lay down a strip of iron on fusible tape about an inch from the edge of the fabric, fold the edge over, and then iron to fuse fabric together. Do this on both ends and this will finalize all hemming.
8. Attach your new longer curtain panels to the curtain hardware and enjoy your custom curtains!

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