Simple Method for Making Curtains

Mar 9, 2020 | Handmade

Learn how to make a variety of curtains with this one simple sewing method.

It can be hard to find beautiful curtains that perfectly fit your windows, style and budget, which is why making your own can be so great!  

I know that sewing projects can be intimidating, especially if you are just starting out but if you are still new to sewing these curtains are a great beginner project for you.  All you need to know to make custom curtains for your home is how to sew a basic straight stitch, that’s it!

I am currently making all of the curtains for my sister’s home and am using one simple method to create a variety of curtain styles. 

I found a style of curtains I liked from Anthropology that cost over $100, which was way over budget so I decided to make my own.  I loosely based my floor length living room curtains on these and used the same sewing technique for making top valance curtains, cafe style curtains and one panel side swept curtains. 

In this tutorial I walk you through all the simple steps you need for making beautiful, unique, and low cost curtains to spruce up your home decor.


  • Fabric of your choice

  • Thread to match

  • Fabric scissors

  • Pins

  • Iron 

  • Sewing machine 

  • Measuring tape


Farbic Tips

There are many types of fabrics that can be used for making curtains. 

The main thing you want to look for in a fabric is how well it drapes, which you can see by unraveling some fabric at the store and holding it up.  

I recommend using linen, it is easy to sew and is also really beautiful. 

Making your own curtains can be a great way to save money, but only if you find a good deal on fabric. If you are looking for a low priced fabric check the discount section of your fabric store, which is usually at the back. Also, thrift stores can be a great place to find cheap fabric. 

Before you go shopping for fabric it is a good idea to measure your window so you know how much fabric you need to buy. 

The amount of fabric will depend on the size of window and style of curtain.

Steps To Make Custom Curtains:

Wash & Dry

If you plan to ever wash and dry your curtains in the future be sure to do this before starting your sewing project. The fabric may shrink when washed and/or dried therefore it is important to do this before your curtains are made so the size of them doesn’t change when you do your spring cleaning.


Measure Window & Cut Fabric

Curtain panel size = (desired height + 5 inches) by (desired width + 2 inches) 

Floor Length Curtains:


1. Measure from a few inches above the window to the floor.

2. To this measurement add 5 inches (3 for the rod pocket and 2 for the seam allowances). 

3. Cut out the fabric at this total length and keep the width that the fabric came in. 

4. If you are making two panels for each side of the window, cut 2 fabric pieces at your total length. 

For example, if from 2 inches above my window to the floor was 6 feet 6 inches, I would add 5 inches to make the total length to be 6 feet 11 inches. Therefore, I would cut out two 6 feet 11 inch pieces of my fabric and keep the width as is. 


Top Valance Curtain:


1. Measure the width of your window. 

2. If you want the curtain to have some bunching multiply the width by 1.5

3. If you do not want to have bunching add 2 inches to the measured width for the seam allowance (If you are having bunching the seam allowance is considered in the 1.5).

4. Cut out your fabric at this total length.

5. Choose the height of your curtain and add 5 inches to it (3 for the rod pocket and 2 for the seam allowances).

6. Cut your piece of fabric (from step 3) to this total height.

Iron & Pin

  1. For the sides and bottom: fold the edge over ½ inch, iron it down, fold another ½ inch and iron it down again.  This gives the curtain a clean edge and a straight edge to sew along. 

  1. For the top: fold the edge over ½ inch, iron it down, fold another 3 inches and iron it down again. This hides the raw edge and creates a pocket for the curtain rod to go through. 

  1. Pin each corner to hold things in place while sewing. If you want to be sure nothing moves around add more pins along the edges.


1. Set your sewing machine to a straight stitch. I set my machine stitch width to 0 and length to 3.

2. Sew a straight stitch around the inside edge of the hem you ironed down. I sewed with the folded side up to see if I was catching the edge. Be sure to sew along the bottom edge of the top 3 inch fold, so that the curtain rod can fit through.

3. Cut off the threads and you are done! Now it is time to hang them up and enjoy your beautiful handmade curtains.

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  1. Jackie Roberts

    Going to try. Wish me luck. My husband came home with the material. All of it is very heavy. Can it still be used for curtains?

    • Taylor

      I think a lot of curtains are made of heavy material. Yours should be fine!


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Hey, I’m Maggie. I hope you will join me and my family in getting back to the land.  Here you will learn about making things yourself, cooking homegrown food, and beginning a homesteading journey.  

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