Homemade Drapes: Easy And On A Budget
There are plenty of places to find beautifully designed draperies. You know, the kind that are perfectly matched to your exact color and style specifications. Some of these companies will even come to your home and go over color samples and take measurements. All this sounds great – until you get the bill for all this special treatment. Fortunately, it is possible to create equally beautiful homemade drapes that don’t look like homemade drapes.
The first step in easily making some beautiful homemade drapes on a budget is to make some basic style and preference decisions. Let’s start with color. Sheer drapes can made just as easily as colored drapes, but let’s assume you want something with some type of color in it. You can find a fabric swatches to get an idea of what you would like at many fabric stores. Don’t buy your fabric just yet though.
Once you have selected a color, start taking measurements. Measure the window straight across from where you want your drapes to extend to. Next, measure from the location where your curtain rod either currently attaches or where you plan to attach the rod down to your desired curtain length. As a general rule of thumb when purchasing fabric, add a foot to the length and width of your fabric. You’re ready to buy the fabric now.
Fabric usually comes in three basic widths: 36 inches, 45 inches and 60 inches. You still want to measure the width so that you’ll have that information for later. Your basic fabric types include:
• Silk or a linen mix – These fabrics are best for a formal style.
• Floral print or lightweight material – These fabrics work best for country or simplistic decor
• Cotton or cotton blends – These fabrics are best for rooms with a lot of traffic since they can be
If you just need a single curtain panel, you’re done with the fabric decisions. If you want two panels, you have one more decision to make. For an informal appearance, go with even panels of the same width. For a formal style, go with fabric about a three quarters of the width of each panel.
Note: Wash your fabric – if it’s washable – before you start sewing to avoid shrinkage later.
Sewing Your Drapes
Now it’s time to start sewing. Start with cutting and sewing the fabric you selected to match your desired width and length. If you need some ideas, you’ll find some patterns here. Press the seams and you’re ready to make some homemade drapes.
1. Fold about 1/4 inch of fabric along the long sides of your panels. For a formal look, fold about an inch before pressing. For an informal look, fold a half an inch and press.
2. Pin and stitch all panels along the fold lines.
3. Cut straight across your curtains in an even line.
Note: A t-square or rotary ruler can help you accomplish this task.
4. Press about 1/4 inch under the top of the panels.
Note: Change this to half an inch for a formal look.
5. Fold over the width of the curtain rod plus another half an inch if you have a header, which is just a fancy way of saying a ruffle at the top, plus 2-3 more inches based on your header preference.
6. Press and fold all panels.
7. Pin and stitch along your first fold.
8. Hang your first panel on the rod.
9. Fold under the bottom of the panel to your desired length and pin it in place.
10. Remove the curtains and measure the length that is pinned. You would allow almost 2 inches for an informal curtain and about 3 inches or so for a formal curtain.
11. Cut the panels straight like before. Don’t forget to allow for the hem.
12. Fold each panel under about a quarter of an inch and press. Add another 1-3 inches to preference and press again.
13. Pin and stitch along the first fold.
14. Press the curtains, if the fabric allows for this.
15. Place the curtains on the rod.
16. Informal curtains go through the lower opening to leave room for the ruffle.
17. Add a decorative cord or some tie-backs made from leftover fabric to complete the look, if you so desire.
George Dennis is president of King Shade and Window, http://www.kingshadeandwindow.com/, a home improvement company that helps customers compare replacement window and roller shade prices for all windows. Find the perfect windows to allow for pot gardening inside your home, apartment, or condo. Don’t let a lack
of yard space paraliyze the learning experience gained with growing your own produce.