DIY Curtains Using Fusible Web Tape


When you want to update your window treatments, create a custom curtain without sewing a stitch. Iron-on fusible web tape will help you make smooth hemlines on your next set of curtains. Carefully pressing a strip of web tape inside a double hem will bond this adhesive to the fabric and prevent frayed edges. Your neatly finished panel quickly attaches with ring clips on a decorator rod.

Things You'll Need

  • Ring clips
  • Metal tape measure
  • Fabric
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and cutting mat
  • Iron-on fusible web tape, 1 inch wide or narrower
  • Press cloth
  • Straight pins

Measuring the Cut Panel

  • Slide ring clips on installed decorator rod.

  • Measure with a tape measure the drop or vertical distance from the ring clips to the preferred finished hem edge. For example, measure from a ring clip to the bottom of the window apron. Record this finished length in inches. Add 4 inches for the top and bottom hems to calculate the cutting length of the panel. Record this cutting length in inches.

  • Place the washed and pressed fabric on a large, flat surface. Use fabric chalk or marker to mark the cutting length on the fabric. Cut the panel with scissors or a rotary cutter and a cutting mat.

Bonding With Web Tape

  • Position the fabric wrong side up on your ironing board. Press a 1-inch fold on the left side edge, wrong side to wrong side.

  • Fold another 1 inch to encase this side edge and tuck in a strip of iron-on fusible web tape. Position a press cloth on top and set the iron to the temperature recommended by the manufacturer; for example, a damp cloth and a wool setting. If the web tape comes with a paper backing, remove this liner before pressing. Press to bond the web tape and the double side hem. Let cool before moving the panel.

  • Repeat for the right side edge. You will see two hemmed side edges.

  • Fold down the top edge 1 inch, wrong side to wrong side, and press. Fold down another 1 inch to encase the top edge, insert a strip of web tape, and press with a press cloth. Let cool. The top edge will be double-hemmed. The lower edge will still show the cut edge. Unplug your iron.

  • Hang the curtain by attaching the ring clips to the top hem at regular intervals. You will see how the unfinished curtain hangs. Make any adjustments by indicating the desired length with straight pins.

  • Detach the curtain panel from the ring clips. Position the curtain wrong side up on your ironing board.

  • Fold up 1 inch along the bottom of the panel, wrong side to wrong side, and then press with a preheated iron. Fold up another 1 inch and insert a strip of web tape. Press with a press cloth and a preheated iron. Remove any straight pins before ironing. Let the pressed hem cool before moving the panel. You now have four hemmed edges on your panel.

  • Attach the ring clips to the top of your curtain panel. Arrange the curtain evenly along the rod for the gathered effect you want.

Tips & Warnings

  • The upper and lower hems will have side openings formed from the first folds. If you prefer a rod pocket style, a slim rod or dowel will insert through the upper side opening. To improve the hang, a drapery chain can snake through the lower side opening to add weight; keep them in place with a few tiny stitches.
  • If you want a panel with full gathers, measure the length of the installed rod from left to right and then multiply this length by a fullness factor; for example, a fullness factor of 1.5 for gentle gathers, or 2.5 for fuller gathers. This calculation is for the approximate panel width. If the actual fabric width is narrower, you can join two widths to form a wider panel to create more gathers, if preferred.
  • Try testing the web tape on scrap material to find the right temperature setting.
  • Ask a friend to help you install the curtain brackets and lift the curtain to the ring clips.
  • Take care when climbing on a stepladder or sturdy chair. Never let children stand on a ladder or chair near a window.
  • Keep all supplies and the iron away from children and animals.
  • Always unplug your iron when you step away from the ironing board.

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