Make Your Own Curtain Patterns

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You can make your own curtain patterns with little more than an idea of what you want and a tape measure. Most styles of curtains can be made from simple squares and rectangles of fabric. Take the time to look closely at curtains in stores, catalogs and online to decide what sort of pattern you would like to draft.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Ruler
  • Tracing paper, newsprint paper or kitchen parchment

Make Your Own Curtain Patterns

  • Measure your windows. Take both the height and width measurement. Depending on the size of the window frame, you may want to measure the outside of the frame as well as the actual windowpane size.

  • Decide where you will hang your curtain rod. Hanging a rod well above the window can visually trick the eye into believing the windows are larger. You should also decide what style of rod you will use at this point. Certain curtain styles demand a special kind of rod.

  • Make a basic curtain panel pattern for your windows. This pattern will work well if you are hanging two panels to cover one window. Draft a rectangle the width of the window by your desired length from rod to floor or rod to windowsill. Add 2 inches to the width for seam allowances. Add approximately 6 inches to the length for a hem. A 2-inch casing plus a 1/2-inch hem allowance will be adequate for most curtain rods. You can expect to need around 8 1/2 inches of additional length for a basic curtain pattern.

  • You could add a valance to a set of basic curtain panels. To make a curtain pattern for a valance, measure the desired length from the top of your curtain rod. Double this measurement. Draft a rectangle double your height measurement by twice to three times the width of the window for a simple valance. This curtain pattern will work well if it's hung on a second rod above the curtain panels.

  • Skip the rod casing and go for tab or tie tops for an easy variation. Either can be made by simply stitching or hemming narrow strips of fabric and stitching to a top hem on the curtain panel or valance. Line curtain panels for additional opacity or a fuller overall appearance.

Tips & Warnings

  • Play with hemlines and decorative stitches for visually interesting curtain patterns.
  • Take advantage of ribbons and available hardware when designing a curtain pattern.
  • Add extra length to be sure your curtains do not look skimpy. Adjust for length when you sew the casing.

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