HARDWARE. The first step to make bedroom curtains is shopping. You need two items: a drapery rod and drapery clips. Find a decorative drapery rod for each window that you want to cover. When you choose a rod, be sure that you can use the rod with drapery clips, clips that will hang on the rod and hold the drapery fabric. The number of clips you'll need to buy depends on how much swag you want to see on your curtains. (Do you want the curtains to hand straight and tight underneath the rod or would you prefer to let the fabric sag a bit for a softer effect? It's up to you and your style.)
INSTALL. Next, go home and install your new curtain rods. It is important to hang the rods before you buy fabric for the drapes because the height of the rod will determine the length of your drapery panel. Just follow the directions included with your rods.
MEASURE. After you've installed your drapery rods, hang the empty clips on the rods. Using measuring tape, measure from the bottom of the hanging drapery clips to the floor. Write this measurement down since you will use it to determine the length of your fabric.
FABRIC. You need fabric to make bedroom curtains, so now's the time to go shopping for it. You will want to choose Home Decor fabric as it will be the appropriate weight for drapery. Home Dec fabric is usually 60 inches wide, and this width will make for a more luxurious and professional-looking window panel. To determine how much fabric you need to buy, take your measurement from step 3 and add 2 inches. This will be the final length of the panel you cut at home. But don't get just the amount of fabric you need; get an extra eighth or quarter of a yard just so you have some room to make a mistake later. (See tip below on how to choose fabric.)
MEASURE TWICE, CUT ONCE. When you get your fabric home, you'll need to make precise cuts. Remember that the length of each panel will be your measurement from step 3 plus 2 inches. If you don't have a cutting table, you can use your measuring tape to determine the appropriate length. Next use your yardstick to draw a straight cutting line (using sharpie marker or disappearing fabric pen if you have it) across the fabric. Cut the fabric carefully along your line. (See tip on cutting fabric below.)
HEM. Next you will hem the fabric to make bedroom curtains. Get out your iron to preheat it. Turn the top of the panel down by 1 inch. Iron the fabric so the turned-down hem stays down. Repeat the process on the bottom and sides of the panel, turning all sides in by 1 inch and ironing.
SEW (OR DON'T). You can choose either to sew the fabric or to use a no-sew alternative called Stitch Witchery to hold down your hems. (Skip to Step 8 if you will not be sewing.) If you're going to sew, place pins at regular intervals along the hem so that the fabric stays down as you move it through the machine. Follow the 5/8 inch mark on the plate below your presser foot and straight-stitch along all four edges of the drapery panel. (Skip to Step 9)
FUSE. If you're using Stitch Witchery, you'll be using this fabric tape to fuse both sides of your hem together instead of holding down the hem with regular stitches. First you'll need to cut strips of Stitch Witchery that are the same lengths as the tops and sides of your panels. Next, open up your top and bottom ironed hems, and lay the Stitch Witchery tape inside them. Fold the fabric back over the tape, and iron according to Stitch Witchery package instructions. Repeat the process with your side panels. Now you have professional-looking hems. You never have to sew a single stitch to make bedroom curtains!
CLIP. Apply your drapery clips to the top of your curtain panels. Space the clips as closely or tightly as you like. The amount of space will determine how the fabric droops off of the rod. A lot of droopy fabric looks softer while less droop (or none at all) looks clean and modern.
HANG. Finally you are ready to hang your drapery clips from the decorative rod and enjoy your new custom-made bedroom curtains.
Things You Will Need
- drapery rod and hardware
- tools to install curtain rod
- drapery clips
- sewing machine or stitch witchery
- Measuring tape
- yard stick
- Drapery rods can be pricey, especially designer rods. However, if you visit a local home goods store, discount retailer, or fabric store, you will find many reasonably-priced options.
- Fabric can also be pricey if you need a lot of yardage. But you can find great deals on fabric by checking out local fabric outlets and fabric discount stores. You can also find good deals at large chain fabric stores like Jo Ann Fabrics and Hancock Fabric. These stores have mailing lists, and once you start receiving their flyers, you'll get valuable coupons in the mail that you can use to offset the cost of purchasing fabric
- If you're going to redecorate an entire room, look for inspiration in a favorite object. When my mother wanted to choose wall colors and fabrics for her new home, she first went shopping for objects that inspired her. She ended up finding a set of decorative plates that she loved, and she pulled colors from the plates to use on her walls and in her decor. If the object you choose has a color palate that pleases you, you can't go wrong picking any color from the object. You're safe using all the colors within that object because they coordinate.
- Do yourself a favor and take the old adage "measure twice, cut once" to heart. Make sure you check your measurements before you cut into your beautiful fabric. You'll be sorry if you make a mistake and have to go back and buy new fabric.
- You can dress up your plain panels with extra hardware and trim. Just install a hook on the wall next to your curtain, and tie trim around the panel. Tie the trim and rest the excess in the wall hook. The new hook holds back your panels and add a decorator's touch.