Lengthen Your Curtains Without Sewing

Lengthen curtains without sewingMy family and I recently moved into a lovely new home. Okay, okay… so a lot of you already know that the old ABM studio house has now become the Skunkboy house. Guys, we are absolutely loving transforming this former workspace into a cozy home. It feels like such a good fit for our family. We’re in love. Anyway, our last home, which was a little bungalow built in the 1930s, had much smaller windows. This house, which was built in the late 1800s, has tall, gorgeous ceilings and windows. I get that at this point you might be thinking, “Great, Katie. But why are you telling us this?” Well, new spaces can pose new problems, and now all of my existing curtains are too short! I went from buying standard length, 84″ curtains, to needing curtains over 100″ in length in some of the rooms. I do not have the money to cover my home in all new panels (that would be SO expensive). So I got to planning my next DIY. Here is a little “before” photo for reference:

Curtains before lengtheningThis room is upstairs, so the length wasn’t TERRIBLE, but we can surely do better. After all, this is our bedroom, and I really want to make it something special. My last bedroom was also our music room AND my sewing space, and that became more than chaotic. This room is going to be a peaceful, relaxing space. No work allowed. Lesson learned.

Simple SuppliesSupplies:
-trim of any kind
stitch witchery
-seam ripper
-iron & ironing board
-damp cloth

Step 1- remove the seam from your curtainStep One: Carefully remove the bottom hem from your curtain panel with a seam ripper. As you can see, my curtains easily snag, so this was the most tedious part of the whole DIY for me.

Step 2- Press your seams openStep Two: Once you have ripped out the seam, take your curtains to the ironing board. With your steam setting on, press the former hem open.

Step 3- use a damp cloth and stitch witchery to fuse the trimStep Three: With my curtains re-hung and the hem removed, I measured how much longer I needed them to be to hit the floor. I bought my lace trim to fit that measurement, and it worked out perfectly!

So…now we’re getting to the fun part! Take your Stitch Witchery and lay it on top of the raw edge of the curtain. Lay your trim on top of that. Take a damp cloth and carefully place it on top of the lace. Press for 5-10 seconds with the steam setting on (make sure to only press, don’t slide the iron). Continue this process all the way across the panel.

First layer of lace appliedSecond row of lace appliedStep Four: Now that your first row of lace has been applied, repeat this exact process with the second row. I layered three different tiers of lace by the end, and I absolutely love the look. Also, you can see from the photo above that I left the edges of my lace raw. If you like a more finished look, just wrap the edges all the way around and press exactly the same way. Once the curtains are hung, you really don’t even notice the raw edge.

A lovely way to lengthen your curtains without sewingHere is a comparison photo for you. Like I said before, our curtains weren’t terrible, but I love how dramatic they feel now that they touch the floor, instead of hitting in a sorta awkward spot.

Lengthen your curtains without sewing!Lengthen your curtains without sewing (click through for tutorialLengthen your curtains without sewingA tutorial for lengthening curtains without sewingOur house is really starting to come together, and it feels so great to have little handmade touches here and there. The dining room windows are much taller than these. So for those I’ll actually be sewing panels together to get enough length!

Confused by all the “rules” about curtain placement and length? Check out Elsie’s guide to hanging curtains!

Anyway, thanks for letting me share this practical and pretty DIY with you! Now, I’m off to start another house project! xo. Katie

Author: Credits and Photography: Katie Shelton. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess Actions.

  • This is so cute! Where did you get your lace trim? It’s beautiful! I’ve seen trim like this in store, but I think it would run about $150 in trim to achieve this look. I’d love to know where you got yours! Affordable trims are always on my mind 🙂

    • Try Etsy or craft stores. The trims that come by the spool instead of by the yard are less expensive and you can use a coupon. XX

  • This is perfect! I’m in a similar situation now where we’ve moved and now the curtains don’t quite work! A few inches of lace trim at the bottom would fix everything!

  • Hello-

    I really want to do this. Where did you purchase the lace? The local craft stores are lacking such drama.

  • Gosh what a difference. Your windows look fabulous with the longer length curtains and I love the lace edging. A lovely classy finish. Well done Katie. I love how you look outside the box to meet your needs. Refreshing and inspiring 🙂

  • Love the way these look. They give such a delicate feel to the room.

    Erin | http://www.beingerin.com/

  • Hey Ashley!

    I’m not sure where Katie got hers, but we got some from Ikea that are semi sheer and look great. They’re more of a cotton material than these, but they’re very affordable and come long. Here’s a link to the one’s we have (not an affiliate link we just really like ours 🙂 http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/60297569/ I do love the material and texture of Katie’s, though <3 Hope this helps!

  • Hi, Ashley! They are Threshold brand– I found them at Target a few years back!

  • This is such a great idea and I love the gorgeous detail that it gives to the curtains!


  • That really does look great. I just never trust the fusible stuff enough… Maybe I need to start being more trusting of it.

  • OMGOSH …. I needed this like 20years ago .. Being military and moving all the time …this would have been sweet to know .. But I know it now … And it’s an absolutely brilliant idea !!! Wow so nice …Tfs …. Anne

  • Its avery good idea, I love them 🙂 Beautyful.

    My grandmother did something like this but at trousers 🙂

    Wish you a Happy New Year!

  • That’s a wonderful idea, and so easy! I need to keep that in mind for my new apartment!

  • That is truly an adorable idea! So innovative, it turned out lovely 🙂

  • What kind of curtains are those, what type of fabric or brand? I have been looking for some plain white semi sheer curtains and can only find heavy drapery style or the synthetic sheen sheer ones. 🙁

    This is a fabulous idea. I think it’d be nice in general! Adds a decorator touch to them.


  • Awesome idea, Katie! You guys are so inspiring…coming both here and to your blog are always a bright part of my day. The house we are currently renting has these same style of dramatic windows and I’m excited to try this project to add some “zing” to our curtains! Xoxo

  • The layers of lace are so pretty. I’m much more likely to do stitch witchery projects than sewing projects.

  • It looks beautiful!!! I have some curtains in my home that i *thought* were perfect – but now i think i need to add a bit of lace to them!!! 🙂

  • Katie,
    You’re a genius! I LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea (especially because I can’t sew)!
    Thank you for sharing!

  • Love the idea!!!

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