How to Hem Curtains? Guide on How to Hem Curtains Without Sewing, a tutorial by The Sewing Korner

If you’ve got curtains in your home that need to be hemmed but you are either without a sewing machine or you just don’t like to sew, don’t panic because there are still ways to hem your curtains that don’t involve a needle and thread. In fact, learning how to hem curtains even if you have no sewing equipment isn’t as difficult as you think. You can learn how to hem curtains without sewing in record time, even if you aren’t the most crafty person on the planet.

To hem curtains without sewing, you can use a variety of adhesive tapes that replace stitches and will produce a nice even-looking hem. In fact, there are numerous sewing accessories that you can essentially use as a type of tape and which will tape the hem together instead of sewing it.

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    Why Hem Your Curtains?

    There are numerous reasons why you might feel the need to hem or shorten your curtains. Curtains and drapes can add a lot to the look and design of the room, but some people just don’t like curtains that “puddle” on the floor or are otherwise too long.

    But if you have no sewing supplies, how are you supposed to remedy this situation? Well, it’s easier than you think because all you have to do is learn a few simple rules, and you’ll be able to make those curtains the right length in no time.

    One of the many advantages of having curtains in your home is that they can be hung in such a way as to make the room look taller, which adds to its elegance. Some people, in fact, hang their drapes just inches away from their ceiling. If you also show all of your windows when the curtains are pulled back, the room will look wider as well.

    There are numerous ways you can learn how to hem curtains to create the ambiance you desire, but regardless of the method you choose, it’s important that the curtains be cleaned and ironed first.

    How to Hem Curtains: A Basic and Easy Method

    After you decide to hem your curtains and you know they’ve been cleaned and ironed, the first thing you’ll want to do is decide exactly how long the curtains will be when you’re done. Remember, there is no right or wrong way to hang curtains; the length of the curtains is purely a matter of preference.

    Sewing Pins for Fabric
    500 Piece Fabric Sewing Pins. Straight Pins with Colored Glass Heads. 1.5 inch length, Great for  Quilting, for Dressmaker, Craft and Sewing Projects.

    First, you’ll need to mark where the bottom of the hem will be, and you can use sewing  pins to do this. In fact, you should use several pins because the curtains should be marked in several different areas along the fabric.

    Next, measure the curtains from the bottom of the current hem to where the pins are located. After that, go ahead and subtract 2 inches so that you can determine where the new hem will be. Make sure you make some type of mark in that location.

    Clover White Marking Fine Pen
    White marking pen, suitable for dark colored fabrics, markings are easily erased. Product Length is 8.13″.

    Use fabric maker and make numerous marks on the bottom part of the drapes. Then, take a ruler and connect all of your marks so you can get a straight line. Take some sewing shears and cut along that line.

    Flip the curtains over to the back side and place them on your ironing board. Turn your bottom edge so that it’s turned over about one inch. Iron all along that fold but make sure the fold continues to measure one inch.

    Iron on Hem Tape
    This fusing tape/hem tape comes in width of 1 inch and length of 27 yards. Great for hemming clothing, no sew craft projects, double backing ribbons, curtains and more.

    Do this once more so that the edge is folded over another one inch. Once this is done, take some fusing hemming tape that is fairly wide and place it in the middle of your hem (in between the folds), which has been double-folded. Use the iron to make sure the tape is stuck to the hem of the curtain.

    When you’re completing this step, always be careful with the setting on your iron. You’ll want to make sure the setting is appropriate for the type of fabric used in the curtains. For example, if you are working with polyester curtains, you can’t use a high heat or the curtains may melt!

    So, using wide fusible tape to hem your curtains is a very basic method, but it’s a method that works every time. In fact, it’s the perfect hemming method for people who can’t or who hate to sew. It’s also both simple and fast!

    How to Hem Curtains without Sewing: A Few Other Methods

    One more thing before we get off the subject of these hem tapes. They are super-easy to use because there is adhesive paper on one of the sides, and you simply stick that to the curtain. After you fold up the portion of the curtain needed to shorten it, you’ll just take the paper off of the front of the tape and stick the fabric in the right place to make the fold secure.

    Fabric Double-Sided Adhesive Tape
    Roll of double-sided fabric tape. Use as repair tape for clothes, made of oily-based glue which has stronger stickiness than water-based glue; Suitable for temporary pasting of clothes.

    When you buy your hem tape, always read the instructions thoroughly so you know exactly what to do. Some tapes, for instance, require that you iron them after you apply them, while others do not.

    In addition, you’ll want to use the tape carefully and maybe even test it on a hidden area in the fabric first. Why? Because some of the tapes leave a residue behind, and this residue could stain your fabric.

    Now let’s take a look at a few of the ways you can make your curtains shorter.

    Make the Top Shorter

    If you have a curtain rod that slips into a pocket, there is a super-easy way to make the curtain a little shorter. Simply fold the top over in the back of the curtain, then take some safety pins and make the fold secure to create a brand-new pocket. This automatically makes the curtain shorter, and then all you have to do next is insert the rod into the newly made pocket.

    You can also pin just the curtain lining and not the curtain itself if you like. This way, the pins you use will not show when you look at the front part of the curtain.

    Make the Bottom Shorter

    To make the bottom part of the curtain shorter, simply take safety pins and place them into the liner of the curtain and through any excess fabric found. This method is similar to the one you used when you shortened the top of the curtains, and it works just as well.

    Use Tiebacks

    When you’re trying to determine how to hem curtains without sewing, using tiebacks is one of the simplest ways. Many people place their tiebacks right next to the curtain panels, but if you place each tieback behind the panels and affix them to the wall, you can then pull up on the fabric that surrounds them.

    This creates a “blousy” look and not only shortens the length of the curtain but also creates a very elegant look as well.

    Turn Curtains Into Pleats

    If you have tab-style or ring-hung curtains, you can shorten them and make them into pleats at the same time. Use pleating tape or bring up any excess material by using buttons or clips along your header. You can also lift the hems and drape them over your rod, which works especially well if your curtains are lightweight and long.

    Can You Just Raise the Rod?

    Learning how to hem curtains sometimes involves very simple and fast methods. For example, if you have enough wall space you can simply raise your curtain rod to make the curtains or drapes a little shorter.

    You might also want to extend your rod and make it wider if you do this. This way, the fabric stacked in the back will expose all of the window glass, which gives you a more attractive look and makes the most out of the natural light that shines through the windows.

    How Long Do Your Curtains Need to Be?

    Before you decide how to hem curtains without sewing, it’s a good idea to know exactly how long your curtains should be. Keep in mind that there are dozens of types of curtains, and the size, the fabric that is used, and even the style of the curtains all vary and have different “rules” when it comes to their length.

    The first thing you’ll want to ask yourself is, are my curtains working curtains or stationary? In other words, do they open and close or stay the same all the time?

    If you’re using stationary panels, the curtains need to be long enough so that they brush the floor lightly but do not bunch up and make a big pile. Try to aim for curtains that are 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch from your floor.

    If you have curtains that move back and forth, stick to hanging them roughly 1/2 inch above your floor. This way, there will be no friction to cause problems when you open and close the curtains.

    Of course, just like anything else in life, these rules have exceptions. For instance, if you want a more formal look in the room, choose a break of more than one inch instead of a shorter break. Choosing to hang curtains less than one inch from the floor gives them a more casual look.

    Some Helpful Tips to Keep in Mind

    To help your curtains perfectly complement the rest of the room, here are some tips to keep in mind:

    • Always consider both the length and the width of the window. A window that is longer than it is wide will look great with longer curtains. Windows that are wider than they are long look best with curtains that are shorter.
    • If your room is very small, you might be better off using shades or valances rather than standard curtains, which can overwhelm the space you have there.
    • If you have a room with very narrow windows, you can use rods that are 6 inches wider than your window and 4-6 inches higher. If the window is too small, you might be better off with Roman shades that use the same type of fabric.
    • Always measure your window before buying curtain panels. If you intend to buy a pleated curtain, it should start with fabric 2.5 times the window’s width. If you want flowing or sheer curtains, increase that number to 3 times the window’s width.
    • Before you decide on the right curtains, take into consideration the color theme of the room, the shape of your windows, whether or not you need blackout curtains, the overall decor (modern vs. contemporary, for example), and whether you should make all of the curtains in your home the same or switch them up from room to room.
    • Keep in mind that there are numerous fabrics you can choose from when it comes to your curtains, including linen, polyester, cotton, velvet, and even silk.

    While all of these details sound complicated, they really aren’t. In fact, many decorating stores have experts that can help you decide on the perfect curtains for your home, and you can also get a lot of the information you need online with just a little bit of research.

    In Summary

    Once you’ve learned a little bit about how to hem curtains, it won’t feel so complicated to you. While there are many different ways to do this, the techniques are really very simple and easy to learn.

    If you want to learn how to hem curtains without sewing, the most common way is through the use of specialized hemming tape that is usually fusible and can be found at any sewing or craft store. This is also a very inexpensive way to change the length of your curtains.

    The tips mentioned in this article are essentially tricks because they are super-easy and they work! The more you experiment with these tricks, the more likely you are to eventually come up with a few of your own that are just as effective as these are.

    Video: How to Shorten Curtains with a Sewing Machine

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