Wednesday, June 3, 2015

DIY No-Sew Curtain Extensions

I recently hopped aboard the curtain train after having valances my entire life.  Seriously, I have never owned a curtain until just a few months ago.  I fell in love with the (somewhat new) trend of horizontal striped curtains and I was dying to have some in our living room.  However, after hours and hours of searching online and in local stores, I couldn’t find any in the colors I wanted (white and aqua-grey – similar to the swatch below) and I didn’t feel like taking the time to paint some like I did for my office.  (You can see that tutorial here.)  

Bummer.  Then, one day at TJ Maxx I stumbled across two pairs of solid curtain panels in the exact aqua-grey color that I wanted, so I snatched them up, bought some white fabric from Walmart, and I had my seamstress sew the stripes on for me.  I do consider myself to be a pretty crafty lady, but one thing I cannot do is sew.  The curtains turned out perfectly, and they were everything I had ever wanted.  I got them home and hung them up, but then for several weeks I kept thinking that something looked “off.”   

After a few weeks it finally hit me… the panels I had purchased were the standard 84 inch length, so the highest I could hang them was flush with the tops of the windows.  Well, this did nothing to accentuate our high ceilings and it left the room looking very unimpressive, so I decided to raise the rods about ten inches.  Let me tell you, that really opened up the windows – it made them look much bigger... just look at the difference below... I originally had them hanging like the ones on the left, and the ones on the right are after I raised the curtain rod.  May not seem like a huge difference in the picture, but in person it's everything!  (Oh, and don't mind the half dressed kids and the huge mess... this was what was going on as we raised the rods... told ya my house is usually messy!  #RealLife)

However, raising the rods also made my curtains about ten inches too short.  What to do, what to do… 

Option one – take them back to the seamstress, pay her more money, and wait for her to have the time to do them – or option two – lengthen them myself for free and not have to wait!  Well, as you all know, I’m a very impatient person, so I’m sure you’ve already guessed that I chose option two.  Duh.  Otherwise I wouldn’t be doing this tutorial. 

Being as how I can barely sew a button on a shirt, I knew that sewing was not an option, so I opted for liquid stitching glue that I already had on hand, and I also already happened to have plenty of extra fabric.  How convenient!  Now for the tutorial… 


Existing curtain panels
Fabric for the addition
Liquid Stitch – you can find it here
Tape measure

Step One – Measure for the Fabric Addition 

First, hang one of the curtain panels on the curtain rod and measure the distance from the bottom of the panel to the floor to find out the length for your addition.  My panel was hanging 10 inches above the floor, so the length for my addition was 10 inches. 

Next, lay one of the curtain panels flat on the floor.  Measure the width of the panel with your measuring tape.  My panel was 39 inches wide, so the width for my addition was 39 inches.

These two measurements dictate how big your addition needs to be to line up properly with your curtain panel.  My addition needed to be 10 inches long x 39 inches wide PLUS you have to add a couple of extra inches (give or take) on all four sides since this technique requires folding over the edges to make clean seams.   

After adding the additional 2 inches to each side, the final measurements for my fabric addition were 14 inches long x 43 inches wide.  Please note that this is just for one curtain panel.  You will need to do this for each of your panels.  I had a total of four, so I repeated this entire process four times. 

Step Two – Cut the Fabric Addition 

Cut your fabric to the measurements you calculated above.  Mine was 14 inches long x 43 inches wide. 

Step Three – Create the Bottom Seam of the Fabric Addition

Flip over the piece of fabric that you just cut for the addition so it is laying face-down on the floor.  Add a line of Liquid Stitch across the entire width of the fabric approximately 0.5 inches from the bottom, and then fold approximately 1 inch of the fabric up from the bottom.  Press down along the glue line to seal.  I also pressed pretty hard along the crease that was created to make it look nice and crisp. 

Step Four – Create the Left Seam of the Fabric Addition 

With the fabric still laying face-down, add a line of Liquid Stitch across the entire right length of the fabric approximately 0.5 inches from the right side, and then fold approximately 1 inch of the fabric over from the right side and press down to seal the glue.  Again, I pressed pretty hard along the crease to make it look crisp. 

You will now have a nice seam on the bottom, and a nice seam on the left side. 

Step Five – Create the Right Seam of the Fabric Addition 

This seam will be a little different because at this point you need to make sure to line up the width of your fabric addition with the width of your curtain panel.  With the fabric addition still face-down on the floor, lay the curtain panel face-down on the floor just above it, lining up your clean edges on the side that you already glued.   

Using your pencil, mark a line on the fabric addition to indicate where the fold will need to be in order for your right seam to line up properly with the curtain panel.  Add a line of Liquid Stitch across the entire length approximately 0.5 inches from the pencil line you drew and then fold the fabric directly on the line that you drew.  Press down to seal the glue, and press hard along the crease to make it look crisp.

Note, this picture shows the curtain panel and the fabric addition face-up while the instructions say to leave face-down
Your fabric addition now has nice seams on the bottom, and on the left and right sides.

Step Six – Attach the Fabric Addition to the Curtain Panel 

Turn your fabric addition over so it’s face-up, and lay the curtain panel face-up just above it.  Overlap the fabric addition with the curtain panel, and leave the appropriate amount of fabric addition hanging down for your length.  If you remember, my curtains were hanging 10 inches above the floor, so I lined my fabric addition up with my curtain panel to leave 10 inches of the fabric addition hanging down.  Make sure both edges line up appropriately.   

Without moving the fabric addition or curtain panel too much, lift the curtain flap up just enough to add a line of Liquid Stitch across the entire width of the bottom of the curtain panel, and then lay it back down on the fabric panel making sure that both sides match up and the correct length is still hanging from the bottom.  Press down to seal the glue and you’re done with this panel! 

You will need to repeat all steps for each additional curtain panel and then you're free to hang!  Here is our living room after the curtains were extended... much, much better and so easy!

The instructions make this project sound more complicated than it is, but I assure you, once you complete the first one, the subsequent ones will fly by!

Let me know how yours turn out!

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