Life Hacks: DIY no-sew curtains

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Updating the look of your home can be as simple as changing the curtains. But, doing so can be a costly endeavor. However, if you’re partial to casual, farmhouse decor, you can make your own new-sew curtain panels for a fraction of the cost.

Sewing pro Shannon Ater, who teaches crafting classes at The Hen House Gathering Place in Carrollwood, loves the versatility of drop cloth. The affordable fabric, sold at any hardware or paint store, comes in a number of sizes and weights and can be used for a number of home decor projects.

One of the most popular uses for drop cloth is curtains. Here are the basic steps to follow to create perfect “no sew” panels in no time.

Pay attention to the weight of the cloth. Drop cloth is measured by poundage. Ater recommends the lightest poundage you can find, which will ensure a good flow and drape to the curtains.

Measure all of the space you’d like to cover, not just the width and height of the window. Take in to account the position of your curtain rods, and how much fabric you’d like at the bottom of your windows. Some people prefer their curtains to puddle, others prefer the curtain to just reach the floor.

Buy all of your drop cloth at once, to ensure consistency in color and texture. Each batch of drop cloth looks slightly different, and, says Ater, the subtle differences will be noticeable once your curtains are hung.

Ater recommends washing the drop cloth first. The product tends to shrink, and that’s not something you want to happen after you’ve made your curtains.

Depending on the look you prefer, you may or may not want to iron the drop cloth. Not ironing the cloth provides a more “shabby chic” design.

Lay out your drop cloth to take advantage of pre-hemmed edges, and to reduce the number of cuts you’ll need to make.

For the edges that need to be hemmed, use iron-on sewing tape. The product is available at any craft or sewing store, most big box retailers, and online retailers. The widths of the products vary, so choose what’s best for you. Most iron-on tape comes in larger spools, so you’ll have plenty left over for future projects.

Place the iron-on tape along the edge you’re hemming, and fold the fabric over so that it completely covers the tape.

Heat your iron to the recommended temperature per the packaging for your hem tape.

Ater recommends placing a clean cloth in between the drop cloth and iron, to eliminate accidentally getting glue residue from the tape on your iron.

Once you’ve secured the hem, you’re done! You can choose to create a rod pocket for your curtain by folding over the top and securing with iron-on tape, however for this project we’re using curtain clips.

Curtain clips can be purchased online or at most retailers. They come in a variety of sizes and colors.

Avoid hanging headaches by first putting your curtain rings on your rod, then clipping completed curtains to the rings. Space out clips evenly.

For a more polished look, fold the top of the curtain over, then clip at the fold.