Should you Make your own Curtains and Window Treatments?
At a period in time when everything can be bought - at a price, why should you consider making your own curtains?
In today's modern world you can pretty much buy anything you need, ready-made and good to go. Ready-Made curtains, Roman blinds to fit a specific window size - all can be bought at a home decor store. The only problem with ready-made curtains and blinds is that you can only choose from what is available. If you want a specific colour that is not offered as part of the range - that's too bad. If you would like a particular type of blind to finish off your living room window, but can't find what you are looking for - tough luck.
Have the Freedom to Choose
The problem with only being able to choose from a sometimes small selection is that you don't have much choice. That's one of the main reasons why so many amateur home decorators prefer to make their own curtains and blinds. And when you consider that you only need a basic sewing machine to complete a set of curtains or custom blinds, you can save yourself a lot of money in the process.
The advantage to making your curtains and blinds is that you can choose your fabric, be picky about the colours you want, and even add a bit of detailing if you want curtains that are not ordinary or plain. So let's take a look at what is involved in the process of making and hanging your made curtains and you can decide for yourself if it is something you want to do.
Finishing off a Home
It makes no difference is you rent or own your home, you want to be comfortable in your living spaces. With all the styles and all the possibilities you can do with four walls and some windows, adding your personal touches here and there is what makes a house a home.
How we design our living space is a reflection of how much we care. It’s a reflection of our taste, sensibilities, and lifestyle. One aspect of interior design that tends to get put to the wayside for some reason, is window treatments. With the right curtains or blinds, you can bring depth and texture to any room. Being in control of the fabric and style of curtains adds a hint of elegance and sophistication. Plus, a custom window treatment with curtains and blinds is far more aesthetically pleasing than most generic curtains or plastic blinds you buy that are ready-made. They also give you the flexibility of privacy that is so sought after today.
If you are considering the option to make your own curtains, here are some of the essentials to consider. We’re going to be talking about fabrics, as well as the hardware necessary to hang them up.
Choose the Right Fabric
When making your curtains the first thing you need to consider, to create a good idea on how to make curtains, is some knowledge as to the best fabrics to use. When you walk into a fabric store, there are so many spools of fabric it can be overwhelming. Here are some of the top fabrics used in curtain making today.
• Voile or Sheer Fabric
Voile is classic for curtains; it's the type of curtains you see in movies. It’s a light, semi-sheer fabric that most often comes in white but is also available in colours. Voice is available in both 100% cotton and polyester. Depending on the kind of style that you’re looking for, you may or may not add voile to add a touch of elegance while providing privacy and some control over the amount of sunlight that enters a room, particularly if you are worried about sun damage to upholstered furniture. The best part about a voile curtain is the fact that it’s easy to use, and provides an instant effect.
• Muslin Cloth Fabric
Muslin Cloth is one of the most inexpensive options in terms of the curtains. Muslin gets its name due to its origin. The Europeans that first started selling it believed that it came from Mosul, Iraq. Whether or not this is true is up to debate. It could very well have been a great marketing pitch from 1000 years ago. Muslin curtains give a more rustic look. Because of the way they’re constructed, It gives a beautiful old-world feel. It’s not as thin as satin or voile and it has an incredibly durable feel to it. As a drape, because it’s a little bit thicker, while still maintaining light allowance, it’s an extremely popular cloth for both commercial operations and homemade crafts.
Lace curtains can be seen often in our grandparent’s homes, or another house belonging to an elderly individual. Unlike Muslin or voile, lace has a high degree of sheerness. Because of the nature of the lace, you are able to see through the fabric and yet it does not completely block out light and provides a high-level of privacy. They also provide a little in terms of controlling light in that there’s a filter effect of less sunlight coming in through the window.
• Synthetic Fabrics
Synthetic fabrics for curtains are often reserved for light blocking, opaque drapes. A polyester sheet, no matter how thin, is it going to be able to block out virtually all light. It is plastic, after all. Using polyester is perfect for having a total blackout when you want it. The great thing about synthetic fabrics is that they’re incredibly easy to wash and care for. A little bit of steam will get all the wrinkles out faster than it would cotton. Also, because they’re so inexpensive, one doesn’t have to worry about little imperfections when starting out. Using synthetic polyester is good practice for when you decide to try your hand at other fabrics.
• Medium- or Heavy-Weight Cotton
Your go-to fabric for curtains is most likely going to be cotton. Because of the various designs and patterns that are available in cotton fabrics, it’s going to be the most versatile. This is where you can mix-and-match to create your own patterns depending on your style, or taste. Although some decide not to use lining on thicker cotton, it can give it more mass. Without it, heavier cotton fabric can still hold its own.
Mounting your Curtains
Now that we’ve looked at the kinds of fabrics necessary to make curtains, let’s take a little look at the hardware. Hardware often gets tossed to the wayside as something trivial when it comes to curtains. Of course, the hardware tends to take up less space and is, therefore, seemingly less important. This is most definitely not the case. The way that you hang your curtains is as indicative of your style as the fabric that you choose. Here are some essential hardware pieces and tips to keep you on the right track of expressing your unique personality.
• Curtain Rod or Rails
The curtain rod or a set of rails are probably the most popular way anybody hangs a curtain. Of course, the general mechanics of hanging a curtain involves a rod of some kind, a support mount on a wall, and rings for the curtains. The curtain rod can be as simple as just a spring-loaded, retractable rod made of thin metal. It can also be much thicker, solid, giving character relative to the kind of curtain that you have. This is where common sense tends to come in handy. If you have a thick, multi-layered cotton curtain, it might be a good idea to use a thicker rod. A thin rail may apply uneven and unnecessary pressure on the walls, damaging and widening the bore where the screws lay. Now, if you have a thinner curtain like a voile or a muslin, you’re not going to have to worry much about the weight.
• Wall Plugs
How you anchor your curtain matters. Again, a thin, store-bought rail may not be enough to pull down a curtain rail or rod. When you start adding fabric with a bit more weight, chances are the flimsy plastic wall plugs won't do the job. Toss these out and rather invest in nylon wall plugs that will hold everything safety in place - forever without damaging the walls of your home.
• Choice of Finish
Before you do anything, choose a finish for your rods, rails, tiebacks and hanging accessories. Consider items that would match, and avoid strange combinations unless you want to. It doesn’t make sense to have stainless steel rings to hang the curtain and paired with a brass curtain rod. So if you decide to combine materials, give it a once over and draw conclusions based on general design principles. After all, once you figure out how to put up your curtains and hardware, you can substitute and swap out virtually anything later on.