The dilemma of window treatments that are too short is more common than you may think. Errors in measurement occur. Curtains shrink in the wash. Moving curtains to another window sometimes leads to length issues. Whatever the situation, resist the urge to permanently retire your favorite pair of curtains. Window treatments are an investment. Instead of packing them off to the basement or local thrift store, creatively extend the length---and life---of your curtains.
Adjust the Hem
Lowering the hem of your curtains is the most cost-effective solution to short curtains. Check the hem allowance of your curtains. Most pre-made curtains have hemlines deep enough to provide an additional 2 to 3 inches of length. Before releasing the hem, examine the fabric to ensure there is no fading or worn hem edges. Any fabric color variations will be obvious when the hemline is lowered.
Add Banded Edging
Adding banded edging provides a custom detail while providing extra length to a short curtain. Attach a lined, contrasting fabric band to the leading edges (the sides and bottom) of your existing curtains. Sewing a 3- or 4-inch band along the leading edge will give your curtains a trendy update without appearing to have been added just for the sake of length. To ensure the banding lays properly, select a fabric that has a similar weight and feel to your existing curtain fabric.
Attach Ribbon Tabs or Ties
Another easy solution to lengthen short curtains is by sewing on ribbon tabs or ties as a practical and decorative touch. Tab-top and tie curtains feature loops of fabric or ties that are threaded onto the curtain rod. Fashion tailored tabs from wide coordinating grosgrain ribbon sections. Add buttons to the base of each tab as an attractive accent. Narrow satin ribbons make delicate ties that look good on sheers in a romantic bedroom. Machine or hand-sew tabs and ties at 3-inch intervals along the top of rod pocket curtain panels.
Use Clip-on Rings
Adding clip-on rings is an easy way to add instant length to rod pocket curtain panels. Purchase metallic or wood clip-on rings that match the finish of your existing curtain hardware. Calculate the drop (overall length) of the clip-on rings by taking the outside diameter of the ring and adding the length of the clip. Most clip-on rings will give your curtains 2 to 3 inches of extra length.
Reposition the Curtain Rod
If your curtain rods are mounted high above your windows, simply move the curtain rods down to compensate for the length of the curtains. This project requires the use of tools, but eliminates sewing and the purchase of fabric, ribbon or rings. Remove the existing hardware from the wall. Determine the lower height for the hardware, check for level, mark the wall and re-install your brackets and rod. Fill the holes in the drywall with filler or spackle, sand and touch up with matching paint. Then re-hang your "longer" curtains.