How to Hem Curtains without Sewing (Two Ways!)

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I have found the holy grail of online curtains. They’re great quality, come in a ton of colors and different materials, good price and quick shipping! (That’s a given since they’re on Amazon!)

THE BEST CURTAINS ON THE INTERNET

There’s only one problem: it’s made me a huge curtain snob.

First, I shamelessly try to hawk these Amazon curtains every chance I get. Including when I see some mediocre* curtains in your house and just know that you’d benefit from hearing about the internet’s best kept curtain secret.

*I’m sure they’re actually pretty nice, and expensive, probably.

I’m also a snob in the fact that I need them to be exactly as tall as I can physically get them in my space. No, not as tall as they come, as tall as I can fit in my space– this almost always requires a custom length. It’s snobby, I admit it but it’s a character flaw that I’ll own.

This is exactly what happened when I went to purchase curtains for my dining room. The space could afford 101″ curtains but the only lengths that were available were 96″ and 108″. 96″ would be unacceptable (I’m being dramatic) and 108″ is obviously too long.

Luckily I know two ways to hem curtains so you don’t have to ruin the savings you earned on the curtains by having to get them hemmed at a tailor. And fortunately, it requires no sewing!! Because I’m handy but I’m not that handy.

(You can read more about my dining room makeover in these posts: Dining Room Mood Board, How to Install Picture Frame Molding)

Hem Curtains without Sewing with Iron-on Adhesive

This is the way that I hemmed my dining room curtains without sewing. The whole process can be done while the curtains are hanging on the rod which is really helpful!

MATERIALS & TOOLS:

Seamstress Pins or Safety Pins

HeatnBond Iron-on Adhesive

Scissors

Iron & Ironing Board

STEP 1: Steam or Iron your Curtains

Curtains are often wrinkled and creased when you first hang them out of the package. Make sure to iron or steam them completely before starting the hemming process, otherwise, the lengths will change after they’ve been steamed and then will end up longer than you intended and likely crooked as well.

I steamed my curtains with a handheld steamer while they were already hanging on the curtain rod.

STEP 2: Pin your Curtain to the Desired Length

While the curtains are still hanging on the rod, fold the bottom of the curtains under to your desired length and pin them at that length. Don’t worry about them being perfect, you can finetune the exact length in the next step.

If you’re not sure what length you want your curtains, browse through pinterest to get some ideas! I recommend all standard window curtains at least go down to floor length, but you may like another style! I even have some curtains that are slightly puddled, like below:

Source: Blinds.com via Pinterest

STEP 3: Crease and Iron the New Length

Bring your ironing board over to the curtain and iron a crease on the new fold. Drop the curtain down to confirm the crease is making the hem hit the length you were intending. If it’s off or crooked, just re-iron the crease to fix it. This step is simple but usually involves a decent amount of adjustments.

This is when things start to get exciting . When the entire curtain is pinned and ironed to the right length, you can start to see what the curtains going to look like once it’s hemmed.

STEP 4: Add the Iron-on Adhesive

With your ironing board still under the curtain, remove the pins, unfold the curtain and apply a short strip of the iron-on hemming tape about an inch above your ironed crease. Place the iron-on adhesive paper side up and with your iron set to medium (no steam), iron over the tape slowly. The directions say to hold it for 2 seconds, but I went over it a few times since my curtains are thick.

I worked in 2 feet sections because that’s what fit on my small ironing board.

STEP 5: Fold the Crease and Iron Again

Once the adhesive strip is cool to the touch, remove the paper backing. Fold your fabric over at the crease and smooth out any wrinkles. Iron the material together by holding the iron on each section for 10 seconds. Continue across the width of the curtain and repeat as necessary until completely bonded.

STEP 6: Cut off the Excess Material

Cut off excess curtain above the hemming tape. If I was thinking ahead of time, I would have left a little bit of extra material above the tape to see if I could fold and iron a neater edge. No one will ever see the inside of my curtains anyways!

(Optional) STEP 7: Replace Bottom Weight

If your curtains came with weights (like mine did) you can cut the weight out of the hemmed material and place it in your new hem. To keep the weight from floating around, cut a slit in the edge hem and slip it inside like a pocket.

I’m actually really impressed with how easy this was and how these curtains turned out! I thought it would be pretty obvious that they were a DIY but even up close, these turned out looking so good! I would totally do this again!

Hem Curtains without Sewing using Curtain Rings

I love curtain rings. I almost exclusively use curtain rings to hang the curtains in my house. They are easy to install and they slide so effortlessly on a curtain rod.

Curtain rods are also handy in another way- they can help you if your curtains are too long or too short! That’s right, you can use curtain rings to shorten your curtains, but they can also add up to an inch to your curtains if they are just slightly too short. Here’s the second method to hem curtains without sewing:

MATERIALS & TOOLS:

Curtain Rings (I used these IKEA ones)

Scissors (optional)

Iron & Ironing Board (optional)

STEP 1: Measure for your Curtain Length

Measure the length you want for your curtains from the bottom of the curtain rod to the floor. Make sure to account for the size of the clip that attaches to the curtain ring, because this will add some length.

STEP 2: Fold Curtains to the Desired Length

Spread your curtains out on the floor and fold over the top of the curtain until they’re at the desired length. Don’t worry about getting this perfect, they can be adjusted later. You can iron this crease if you want.

STEP 3: Attach Curtain Rings

Clip your curtain rings onto your curtain, over the crease. I spaced my rings about 5.5″ apart but that’s something you can play around with to see what you prefer.

(Optional) STEP 4: Cut off the Excess Material

You can totally leave the curtains intact and just hang them with the extra material folded over. However, my curtains are really thin so I can see the material (and the grommets) from the front.

Also, since I was cutting off the excess material that was holding the crease flat by weighing it down, I decided to iron the new crease at this point. To do this, remove the rings and iron down the fold to make a good solid crease. Make sure each end lines up with itself to make sure it’s a straight line. Reattach the curtain rings after this step.

STEP 5: Hang your Curtains

This also turned out really well, but a slightly less elevated look than the first method (imo).

I’m really pleased with both sets of curtains and will continue to use both methods to hem curtains without sewing throughout my house.

You could also potentially create a hybrid method by using the iron-on hemming tape on the top edge of the curtain and using the clips. This would make that top edge look just a little bit more finished, since you’re more likely to be able to see that top cut edge than if you were to cut and hem the bottom.

Biggest takeaway from this experience is that by focusing on curtain details and making sure they looked high-end in every room, you will elevate the entire look of your home. It won’t be something people explicitly notice, it will just be something they feel.

Want to keep up with my newest projects? Come hang out on Instagram!

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