Use this no-sew method for how to hem curtains to make the drapes in your home look beautiful! This easy tutorial shows how you can use hem tape to shorten curtains without sewing.
I'm sure we all have those projects on the old to-do list that seem to stay there forever. I try to keep a running list of projects I need to get done around my home – and hemming our living and bedroom curtains has been on there for years.
I don't mind long curtains – as a matter of fact, I love the look of curtains just barely pooling on a floor. But these were out of control.
It was almost comical. The white liner constantly showed because the extra on the floor was so extreme. They were so long that our robot vacuum constantly caught them! So, a few weeks ago, I had a Saturday at home alone to kind of catch up on random projects – this was at the top of the list.
Here's how to hem curtains – no sewing required!
How to Hem Curtains
Supplies Needed (contains affiliate links – more info here):
First, measure the amount of curtain you need to cut off of your curtains before hemming. Like I said above, I prefer my curtains to just drape the teeniest bit on the floor – so I tried to leave about 3 extra inches past where the curtain first hits the floor. You can see above that there are 8 total inches from that “hit spot” to the end of the curtains – meaning I needed to cut 5 inches off.
You can do this part without a cutting mat/quilting ruler/rotary cutter, but the two make this process ten times easier. (Plus, I use this combo all the time for non-quilting crafting – I recommend having them!) Simply line the quilting ruler straight to cut off the amount of excess curtain you measured before, making sure all of the curtain is still on the quilting ruler (you might have to do this in steps).
…and slice off the excess. Remember, you need to have about 3 excess inches from where the curtain first hits the floor to make your curtains look like mine.
Next, break out the hem tape and iron. My curtains are pretty heavy, so I used 5/8″ iron-on tape with great success.
Use the medium setting (with no steam) on your iron to apply the tape (sticky side down) onto the raw edge of the back of the curtain. You'll need to really press in with the iron and go slowly with this step.
Next, simply take the paper backing off of the top of the tape. You should have a clear residue that remains stuck to the curtain.
Now, measure 1″ of the raw edge and fold up.
Turn the heat on the iron almost all the way up (for polyester curtains – might vary with other materials) and begin to iron that seam down. Slowly go over the entire edge – with this, you're melting the hem tape to hold that folded-up hem in place.
Again, you'll want to press down with your iron and go slowly. It takes a few seconds for that hem tape to melt enough to stick. And remember, no steam!
Every foot or so I like to measure and make sure my seam stays at about 1″. If it gets a little off, it shouldn't be super noticeable, but try to stay as close to that 1″ seam as possible.
One last step! Once you get to the end of your curtain seam, there will probably be a little bit of an edge poking out. Use your fabric shears to cut it down at an angle, just so it doesn't hang out from the back of the curtain.
You'll never see the back of the curtain, but this will make sure there isn't any overhang on the ends.
As you can see above, this length gives you the perfect little pool of curtain at the bottom. If you want curtains to just brush the floor, I'd go with closer to a 1.5-2″ excess in that first step. Remember, it's better to go longer and take off extra if needed – you can always re-hem, but you can't add back once it's gone.
If you've been putting this project off, trust me, it's not complicated! You don't have to know how to sew a thing for this one.
See more of my DIY projects here.
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