Easy Hack! How to Hem Curtains Without Sewing

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I love curtains and drapes because they can make your room feel complete and cozy. A curtain panel is also a great way to add in some interesting texture, colour and pattern to the look of any room. For today’s simple decorating tips post, let me share my curtain hanging tips and how to hem long curtains using a really easy no-sew method!

How do you shorten curtains without hemming them? 

That’s right, you heard me correctly. It IS possible to shorten curtains without getting out the sewing machine! This is an incredibly handy hack for anyone who wants to change the length of their curtains. You can do it without having to pay for alterations or beg help from a friend who sews. (It will work for any straight hem, including the maxi dress you bought that is just too long for you!)  Even if you CAN sew, sometimes there is just no time! So, the answer to the question, how do you shorten curtains without hemming them, is hem tape. I will tell you exactly how to get the desired length you want for your curtains without the hassle of sewing them, using this great little product.

Does hemming tape work on curtains?

If you’ve never heard of this hack before, you might be a bit skeptical, and that’s ok! Maybe you’ve only used hem tape for smaller jobs like hemming pants. Maybe you’re worried that such a long hemline isn’t possible. Or maybe you’re doubting that hemming without sewing is this easy! I’m here to tell you that hemming tape makes curtains the perfect length for your home, and I will prove it to you!

Summer kitchen decor ideas

Does hem tape hold up?

It probably won’t surprise you that my answer to whether or not hem tape holds up over the long-term is a resounding YES! This really is an easy way to get rid of excess fabric and take your raw edge and turn it into a beautiful finished curtain hemline. I have used this method in my own home more than once. All the curtains are still going strong with no sign of the hem coming apart! Let me show you how to get a professional-looking hem that will stand the test of time with no sewing!

How to Determine your Curtain Length

Although you might be anxious to get right to the hemming part of this tutorial, just hang on for a moment! It’s very important that you hem your curtains to the right length. To do that, you need to make sure you are hanging them correctly. People are often tempted to hang curtains so they barely cover the outside edge and only take up the same space as the window in terms of their window height and width. I’m here to tell you that’s just not the right way to go about it!

When hanging drapes or curtains, you want to hang them really high and wide to create the illusion of height and space in your room. I like to hang my curtains only a few inches from the ceiling! And, make sure that you hang them wide enough so that when you draw your curtains to the side and your window is exposed, you can completely clear the window and the curtains won’t be hanging in front of it at all.  When the drapes are pulled all the way back, this creates a sense of airiness and space.  Combined with the height of your curtains, this technique will make your room look so much bigger! Trust me on this. 

Once you’ve figured out the height and width for hanging your drapes, you need to decide how close to the floor you want your finished curtains to be. This is personal preference. Some people like them pooled a little on the floor for a more romantic look, others like them skimming the floor, and others like them slightly off the floor. I usually prefer to have my drapes just touch or skim the floor.

Now that you’ve finally determined the proper length of your curtain panels, you can move on to the actual hemming and hanging!

How to hang and hem curtains like a pro

How to Hem Curtains with Hem Tape

For this hemming method, I may shock you with this first step: I’m hanging my drapes on the installed curtain rod before I even hem them! Does it get any easier than this? This is a great way to hem drapes if: 

  • You are short on time
  • You’ve already hung your curtains and decided you aren’t happy with their length after all, or 
  • You just don’t want to sew at all

If you decide to follow my lead and hem your curtains right on the rod like this, make sure they are clean and pressed before hanging them. We will create a two-inch hem, so keep that in mind as you go through this process and make sure you adjust to your desired hem length. Then, follow the steps that will get you there!

How to hang and hem curtains like a pro

Measure and Cut

Once your curtains are up and hanging on their rod and curtain rings, use a stick pin to mark where you want the bottom edge of the curtain hem to be. Pin in a few spots to ensure you hem it at the same height along the width of the panel.  

Then, measure from the bottom of your current hem (the original hem) to the pin. For the drapes here in my studio that I am using as an example for you to follow, this measurement was 10 inches. Next, subtract 2 inches from that measurement – this will be for your new hem – and make a pencil line mark. So for my curtains, this measurement was 8 inches. Make several marks with a pencil using this measurement along with what will be the new bottom of your drapes.

Iron your Fabric in Place

For the next step, bring your ironing board to your curtain fabric! Isn’t this fun? Flip your drape wrong side up so that the back of the curtains is on top of your ironing board. Then, turn the bottom edge over 1 inch. Press with your iron all along the single fold, making sure it measures 1 inch the whole way across. 

Repeat this step, folding your edge over again another inch before you iron again. Remember, we want a two-inch hem, so we have to iron it twice!

Add your Iron-On Hem Tape

Finally, take some wide iron-on hem tape (here’s the hem tape I’m using), insert it in between your double-folded hem, and use your hot iron again to make the iron-on adhesive stick to your hem. The heat setting on your iron should be appropriate for the fabric that your curtains are made of. Be especially cautious if your drapes have polyester in them, or if you have somewhat sheer curtains. If you turn your iron up too hot you’ll melt your fabric!

How to hang and hem curtains like a pro

And that’s it! Your no-sew hem is complete. This really is the easiest way I can think of to get perfectly hemmed curtains in a hurry!  I love that I was able to hang my curtains first and then get rid of the excess material and hem them in place with no sewing required. The resulting curtain hems are straight and even. You can’t tell even a little bit that I used this hack instead of my sewing machine. I hope you enjoyed this easy tutorial and that it makes you feel ready and able to tackle your own curtain hemming project. 

Watch this video for the full step-by-step tutorial on how to hem curtains without sewing:

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Other No-Sew Projects 

If you loved this no-sew curtain hemming hack so much that you are itching to find other DIY fabric projects that don’t require dragging out the sewing machine, I’ve got you covered! Let’s finish with a couple of ideas that do not require any sewing whatsoever.

DIY Pillow from Napkins

This DIY pillow is the perfect way to make a new throw pillow for your home decor this season without sewing a thing! All you need are hemmed cloth napkins (in a colour or pattern of your choice), fabric glue, and a pillow insert (which you might already have laying around waiting for a new fresh look!). And it only takes about 15 minutes to make one pillow. This craft is a really easy and affordable way to update your decor for spring or summer, and I love how easy it is to personalize it for your own taste and decor style!  Check out this simple DIY pillow tutorial for all the instructions. 

How to make a DIY no sew pillow from cloth napkins - so easy!

How to Hem a Maxi Skirt or Dress – No Sewing Required!

I LOVE wearing maxi dresses in the summer. They’re so comfy and breezy… they’re a summer wardrobe staple around here! My only problem is that I’m pretty short – 5’3 Β½” – so every maxi dress or skirt I buy is way too long. Hemming skirts has become a necessity for me, and I want to show you how to hem a dress or skirt with NO sewing required. It’s such a handy skill to have in your DIY arsenal – especially if you’re shorty pants like me!

Make a DIY Boho Throw Pillow from Dollar Tree Bath Mats

DIY boho throw pillow from Dollar Tree bath mats

There’s more than one way to make a DIY pillow without sewing! Textured, boho-style throw pillows are still all the rage, and you can make them for hardly any money at all with Dollar Tree bath mats and macrame cord! You’ll need to know how to use a glue gun and make a crochet chain with your fingers, and that’s it! I love that you can put everything together with these Gorilla Glue glue sticks. Achieve a gorgeous stitched-on look without the stitching!

Do you have any other sewing (or no-sewing!) hacks we should know about? Leave them in the comments!

12 Comments

    1. It’s called hemming tape πŸ˜€ you can find it on a amazon or your local craft store

  1. Oh my!!! I just had to comment that I LOVE your dining room! The colors just look so relaxing and elegant. Cheers!

  2. Blogs are very good way of exchanging the information how to hang hem drapes no sew method and I love to read post and sometime some blogs give me so much of knowledge and this is one kind of those blogs.Thank you so much for sharing this post.Keep posting and keep growing.

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