Easily hem long drapes without sewing

May 28, 2008

OK, on my list of easiest, "thriftiest" ways to decorate your home...window treatments are WAY up there. 

Problem is, most of the somewhat affordable treatments that you can buy at stores are too short for homes with nine foot ceilings (that a lot of us have now). Even the regular 84" draperies are too short for eight foot ceilings because your drapes should at least hit the floor, if not "puddle" at least a bit. 

If your drapes are going to be operational, meaning you are going to close them for privacy or light control, you should go with a length that just hits the floor, or just a little bit of a break at the bottom.

Here is an example of just hitting the floor:

Here they are with just a little puddle, which I tend to favor:

Even though some places, like Pottery Barn, have lengths that will work, they don't carry a great selection as far as color or prints are concerned. Their treatments are beautiful, but a bit "vanilla." Not to mention, holy CRAP, they are expensive. 

So what do you do if you can't find the right length or design at the store?


It really isn't hard! The best part about making your own window treatments is you can make them in just the right fabric that you LOVE.

All you need:
  1. Yardage of fabric that you need. For nine foot ceilings, you'll want about three yards of fabric for each side of the window. This gives you enough for hems.
  2. An iron. (See, I told you this was going to be easy!!)
  3. Hemming tape. You can find this stuff anywhere, even Target. I like the heavy duty type but even the regular will work for most fabrics. It looks like this:
Get out the ironing board, and use your hemming tape to hem the fabric. Easy. as. pie.

If you are using a rod to hang the drapes, just fold over the top enough for the rod, and hem. If you aren't using a rod, you don't even need a rod pocket. Just hem the top and use the clips on the drapery rings to hang them.

Here's an example of a set I did -- this was my first attempt at making my own (excuse the toys -- obviously the office is now the toy room!):
I even cut the width of the fabric in half, because I knew I wouldn't be closing them and didn't need enough to cover the whole window. 

So I made window treatments for two windows with only six yards of fabric. I had a coupon so I think I spent about $40 for the fabric. Hemming tape is about $3 for a package. Seriously...you can't get any better!!

Come on, you can do it!! :)

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  1. Okay, thrifty decor chick; I think I'm going to go ahead and try this. I can sew, but the hem tape sounds so much better, and we are in desperate need of some window treatments!

  2. ok I am so gonna start doing this, I have a ton of windows. Question: I have 9 foot cealings and the top of my window measures 23 1/2 inches from the bottom of the crown moulding which is at the top of the cealing, does that makes sense. My question, how far up past the window would you place a curtain rod? and my other problem in this room the whole backside of the house is one continuous wall with windows/door??
    hmm maybe I should post a picture on my blog to give you an idea..LOL I love your tutorials by the way

  3. I've been reading your window treatment posts! I love them! We moved in to our place recently and I was thinking that window treatments are definitely going to be the first projects I work on!

    Here is something I did in our last apartment:



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