How to Make Simple Lined Curtains

A messy bed in front of dark green curtains.

Zen Rial / Getty Images

Project Overview
  • Working Time: 1 - 3 hrs
  • Total Time: 1 - 3 hrs
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $20

Curtains have a major impact on your home’s overall look and feel. Drab curtains can make even the most beautifully decorated space look dingy, but high-quality curtains can be expensive. Instead of purchasing them, learn how to sew them yourself. If you have basic sewing skills, you’ll be able to make your very own custom curtains with a lining in just a few hours. Pick out whatever fabric speaks to you and matches your space—playing with different patterns and colors is encouraged.

Before You Begin

Measure your window to determine the length and width to cut your curtains. Use a tape measure to measure the length and width of your window. Traditional curtains are about 1.5 times the width of the window itself and as long as (or slightly longer than) the window. 

To make two curtain panels, measure the width of your window, multiply it by 1.5, and divide that number by two. The resulting number will be the width of each of your panels. Each panel’s length will be the same.

Once you have the desired length of your curtains, add about 10 inches. The extra length accounts for the hem you’ll create in the process of making lined curtains.

Tip

To make your space look larger, extend the length of the curtains so they’re longer than the length of your window, but don’t let them pool on the floor or your space will look messy. Aim for them to barely skim the floor.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Iron
  • Ironing board
  • Tape measure
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine or needle and thread
  • Sewing pins
  • Yardstick or ruler

Materials

  • 5 to 6 yards curtain fabric
  • 5 to 6 yards lining fabric
  • Chalk
  • Curtain rod
  • Curtain rings

Instructions

  1. Cut Your Curtain Fabric

    Once you’ve measured the desired length and width of your curtain panels, mark it on your curtain fabric with chalk. To draw a straight line across the fabric, use a yardstick or ruler. Grab your scissors and cut along the marked line, then repeat with the second curtain panel.

  2. Cut Lining Fabric

    Use the same method in step one to mark and cut your lining fabric, but subtract 10 inches from the total length, because you won’t need to hem the lining fabric.

  3. Fold and Press Hems

    Set your fabric on your ironing board and arrange it so that the inside of the curtain is facing up. Then, fold the bottom of the fabric panel up about four inches and fold it. Use your iron to make a neat crease. Fold the fabric up another four inches and make another crease to create a four-inch double hem.

    This crease is where you will hem the fabric. Ironing this section can sometimes get around the need to pin it in place, but it ultimately depends on the type of fabric you use. If needed, pin the fabric in place.

  4. Hem the Curtain Fabric

    With your sewing machine or needle and thread, run a quick stitch about a quarter of an inch in from the top of your fold along the entire length of your curtain fabric.

  5. Hem the Lining Fabric

    Place your lining fabric on your ironing board so that the inside is facing up. Fold the bottom edge up two inches, fold it, and iron it to create a crease. Fold it up two more inches and iron another crease to create a two-inch double hem. Pin this in place before sewing the hem if needed. Then, repeat the previous step by running a stitch a quarter of an inch in from the top of your fold along the entire length of the lining fabric.

  6. Attach the Lining Fabric

    Once your curtain fabric and lining fabric are hemmed properly, it’s time to attach them. Lay your curtain fabric on the floor right side up and lay your lining fabric right side down on top of it. Line up the bottom of the lining one inch higher than the bottom of the curtain fabric and smooth both fabrics out to remove any wrinkles or folds. Pin the fabrics and sew them together.

  7. Sew Tops, Bottoms, and Sides

    Turn your soon-to-be curtain right side out—you’re almost finished! Fold each side edge in one inch, then fold over one more inch to create a double-folded edge to hide raw edges. Iron these folds and pin the sides into place. Then, sew the seam shut and remove pins. Repeat this process on each top, bottom, and side for both curtain panels.

  8. Hang Curtains

    To hang your curtains, clip them onto curtain rings. On the top of your curtain panels, fold two pleats between each four-inch length and make sure each pleats is pointing outward. Push a needle and thread through each pleat to tack them together. Then, clip curtain rings in each pleat and folded edge. Slide the curtains onto a curtain rod, hang it over your window, and admire your hard work.