How I made no-sew curtains for my daughter’s room

February 26, 2012 | By | Comments (13)

Our 6-year old daughter has been begging me to redecorate her room. After a year of asking me if I could change her wall color from bright green to pink, a request I continue to deny because I hate painting and I love the color of her walls, she finally realized that she might have more success with a request that didn’t require I pick up a paint brush.

So she asked for new curtains.

Before she was born I made window valances which looked good at first glance, but the shoddy workmanship came to light as soon as the sun hit them, revealing the crooked seems and fraying edges. Because, you see, I don’t know how to sew and in my 8th month of pregnancy with our second child, I didn’t really have the patience to give the project the attention it deserved.

This time, I decided I would skip making curtains in favor of premade drapes. Unfortunately, Sophie did not like any of the options I presented. So, I was faced, once again, with making new drapes despite the fact that I still don’t know how to sew.

Using Fredrika fabric Sophie found during a visit to Ikea, I was determined to make curtains that would last several years, and look good even when the sun shone through them.

To create 3 pairs of curtains I needed:

  • 15 yards of fabric
  • A sample curtain – to determine measurements (I used the curtain from our son’s room).
  • Poster board – to create templates of each seam for use when ironing.
  • Fabric Scissors from Ikea
  • Steam-a-Seal – for the side seams.
  • Thermoweb Heat’n Bond Ultra Hold Iron-On Adhesive – for the top and bottom seams.
  • Curtain grommets – So I didn’t have to measure for a pocket.
  • Iron and old tablecloths – to protect the work surface.
  • Wine – but not too much.
  • Downton Abbey – A marathon helps pass the time.

While I won’t go through the process step-by-step, I will give you a few of the “tricks” I used to create the final curtains:

To help simplify things, I decided to make the curtains as wide as the fabric, rather than worrying about trimming it to something slightly smaller.

Rather than measuring the seams every time, I created templates out of poster board for the top, bottom and side seams (below).

I folded each seam twice to give the finished look my original curtains lacked (below).

All of the curtains in our house use grommets, which inspired me to do the same for Sophie’s room. To ensure I put the grommet holes in the right place every time, I pre-cut holes into the top template to use as my guide (below). I hated this part the most as it involved math and measurements.

Using my heavy-duty fabric scissors, I was able to easily cut the holes and install the grommets (which don’t require a tool).

The first set took me the most amount of time as I worked out the kinks in my system, while the final four took me most of this past President’s Day to complete – thankfully I had my laptop handy and could catch up on Downton Abbey as I ironed, and ironed, and ironed, and ironed.

If there was any question about whether the time involved to make the curtains was worth it, Sophie made it clear that my time was well spent when, laying in bed admiring the curtains hanging from new rods of her own selecting she said, “thank you mommy for my curtains. I love them.”

What project are you thinking about tackling?

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