How to Make Drape Curtains


Drapes can be the crowning glory in any room. They may be the finishing touch to an extensive redecorating project or a simple trick that turns a so-so room into a showplace that you can be proud of. They can be light and airy in a casual room or rich and lush for a more formal atmosphere. Unfortunately, purchasing drapes can be an expensive proposition, but if you have basic sewing skills, you can easily create your own drapes for a fraction of the cost.

Things You'll Need

  • Sewing machine
  • Fabric
  • Matching thread
  • Measuring tape
  • Measure the area of the window that you want to cover, width first. Make sure to measure the width of the curtain rod, not just the width of the window. Once you have determined the width, decide if you want the drapes to reach the windowsill, the floor or somewhere in between, and measure the length accordingly.

  • Think about how you want your finished drapes to look. Do you want formal, heavy drapes that will provide privacy and keep the room warm in winter? Would you prefer lighter, sheer drapes that will allow plenty of light to enter the room? Choose the fabric carefully. You'll need at least twice the width of the area to be covered, and three times if you want your drapes to be very full. Add at least 10 inches to the vertical measurement to allow for generous top and bottom hems.

  • Wash and dry the fabric and press out any winkles. Lay the fabric on a large surface and cut it in half so you have two panels exactly the same size. Fold the raw edge of each of the four sides over 1 inch and press. Fold the edge again to create a double fold, press again and stitch.

  • Fold the raw edge of the top of the draperies down 1 inch, press, and then fold the pressed edge down 3 inches. Press and sew, leaving each end open to accommodate the drapery rod.

  • Insert the drapery rod in the top hem and hang the drapes. Working carefully, fold the bottom of each drape and pin the hem securely. Once you're sure the drapes are even, remove them, press the hem into a double fold and stitch the bottom seam.

Tips & Warnings

  • When it comes to selecting fabric for drapes, don't limit yourself to traditional drapery fabric. You might want a lighter, cotton print or a rich silk fabric. If your budget is limited, even tablecloths and sheets can be turned into attractive drapes.

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