How to (no-sew) hem curtains while they’re still on the rod!

So, it’s no secret here that sewing hates me is NOT a strong suit of mine. I’ve done it a few times, like when Mac helped me make shower curtains for our last house, or when I recovered my Target-inspired bench, but it’s always been an intimidating process for me. So, when it came to hanging curtains in our current home, I stalled. The ceilings in this house (in the bedrooms, anyways) are much lower than our last home, so I knew that I’d have to hem our curtains to achieve that crisp, tailored look that I love.

So, when I finally manned up and hung the curtains, they stayed long and “pooly” for a bit. And every time I walked into the bedroom they stared at me with that condescending look of victory.   You will not defeat us.  Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore.  I stared back, nodded in defiance, and muttered “Challenge accepted.”

Honestly, I wish I could say that I went into it all gung-ho with pistols blazing, racing towards my final goal.  But really, although I’d accepted the challenge, the process started as one small, innocent step towards my final goal.   I simply thought, “Hey, I may as well pin them to the correct length.  At least that’ll be a good start.”…


So, I did.

I folded up the material right at the floor and pinned them with straight pins. Then, I figured, “Well, I may as well trim the excess material while I’m at it so the bottoms don’t look quite as messy…”….


So, I did.

Once that was done, I thought, “Ya knooooow, if I set up the ironing board beneath the window, I could easily iron that hem nice and flat.  That should tide me over until I gather the energy to take down the curtains and officially hem them…”….


So, I did.

I simply ironed right over the straight pins.


Once that was done, I figured “Wellllllllll, since I already have the iron out, I may as well use some iron-on hem tape and finish off the hem…”…




So, I did.

Lastly, I trimmed up the excess material so that it looked much straighter than this….


And done.


It seriously took me about 10 minutes per panel and each panel ended up the perfect length. Needless to say, I’ll never hem a curtain any other way. It was painless, easy and fast. And to think…  I stalled and hemmed and hawed (punintended) for nothing.  All I needed was to simply get started and the rest of the process fell right into place.

Now, for some updated bedroom shots.  But first, let’s go back to where we started…


And here we are after replacing the carpet and windows, painting the walls a soothing gray, creating some DIY artwork, and adding our freshly hemmed curtains…

IMG_8167 IMG_8170

Isn’t it amazing how curtains instantly add a layer of comfort and softness to a room?  Plus, the window now makes a much grander statement in the space. Next up will be adding more artwork, and I’m still on the lookout for a new, more streamlined wood bed.

As for the “Atrium Area” as I’ve affectionately dubbed it, I’ve finally accessorized the space.  The mirror will be painted white soon and once I find some neat, geometric fabric, I’ll be applying it to the wall behind the dresser to brighten up the space.  Plus, we’ll add a cool chandelier.  It’s gonna be neat when it’s done.  That is, if it turns out like it is in my head (fingerscrossed)…..



So, that’s the current state of things in our bedroom.

Do any of y’all ever stall on projects that you dread, only to have that “why didn’t I do this sooner” moment once you finally get to it?


TDC Before and After

13 thoughts on “How to (no-sew) hem curtains while they’re still on the rod!

  1. That hemming tape looks awesome! I think I will be using that asap on my curtains. They are just barely too long and have been driving me completely nuts. Thank you for sharing your very trying story with the rest of us 😉

  2. Wow ! I didnt ever think of that, i just pinned and cut, and that was fine til i had to wash them, a freyed, stringy wrinkled mess. Just got new curtains last week, iron on hem it is. Thank you !

  3. Hi there. This is exactly the post I was looking for! I’ve never used hem iron on tape before. How exactly did you put the iron tape on? Over where the pins were and remove them? Thank you!

  4. Thank you SO much for sharing this how-to! I appreciate how clear your instructions are. Just finished “hemming” our kitchen curtains with an iron-on adhesive I picked up from Michael’s and it worked like a charm! So impressed with how it turned out! You rock.

  5. Thanks so much for your inspiring tutorial! I too am looking at over-long new drapes. I had just decided on the iron-on hem tape, but bringing the ironing board to the drapes–PERFECT! Such a great idea. Am going to start on them today. Thanks again!

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