Saturday, October 6, 2012

Raising Your Curtain Rods...Unhemming Too

Hello everyone...

Thought I would share a little project that I have wanted to do for years and finally made it happen. We moved into this house over 19 years ago. When you're moving in, your goal is to just get your life organized and functional..."where" I hung my curtain rods was not high on my "to do" list, so they just went up.

Well, for years I thought the rods were hung too low. We had valances at first then these drapes. There never seemed to be a good time, money wise, to change all of them or even afford the fabric (I really wanted, $40.00 per yard) to make them, because they would need to be longer, the windows are wide and they needed to be lined!! Our 2 daughters are in college now and there still isn't extra money to go out and change the drapes. I desperately wanted to move the rods higher, so here's my solution.

I forgot to take a before picture of the curtain rods, but this is a picture of one room on the left not done and the finished room on the right, where the curtain rods is raised up where I wanted it.

Here is the after, where both rods are higher.

See the drapes in the room on the right...perfect length right?

Here's how I did it.

First measure the existing hem on your drapes. Mine is 4 inches...that's how I knew I could raise my curtain rod 4 inches higher.

Up go the rods 4 inches and a little paint job to patch that spot.

Now this is what I was left...drapes that are 4 inches too short.

Ahh, but not for long!

This is what normal store bought drapes look like.

The lining isn't attached at the bottom, so just lift it up and start picking the hem apart.

You can use a seam ripper ...

or the point of your scissors to snip the threads.

Open up the hem and you will see a narrow fold of about a half inch. This is your new hem. Not ideal, but it will do to hold me over until I can buy or make new drapes.

You also have to pick out the corner folds.

This will release the whole hem.

Done. New hem four inches lower.

I used Stitch Witchery to iron down the new hem and side seams. It is a fusible web to iron things together.

Just open seam and place a piece of the Stitch Witchery, fold fabric over and iron.


Perfect length and no one will ever know I have a very tiny hem behind there. Lol

Having the rods higher might not look like much in the pictures, but it made a huge difference in person.

Don't be afraid of change in your home. If you don't like something, think of a way to make it happen...for me, not using money was a kick in the pants to get my brain working for a solution!

Now to paint that tv stand black and repair the holes in the walls!

Have a great day,

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  1. The room does look taller! Nicely done! In our house we went from drapes across the top to cafe rods and sheer half curtains - shows off the woodwork and lets in so much more light - again, small change and HUGE difference that is hard to show in pictures. Glad you found a solution!

  2. Good thinking, Karen! A seam ripper is just about the most important tool one can have in the sewing box, right? You could also have added a contrast fabric in a band at the bottom, if you had some on hand, that is, since not spending money was your goal :)

  3. I'm an Army wife. No Milspouse of any sort EVER discards a curtain or a curtain rod (believe me, I have quite a collection...) But it always seem like the next house always requires something. We moved this summer and our new house has tall windows. I got out my stash of curtains and rods. I, too, like my rods as high as possible because it make the ceilings seem higher and all just airy-er. I can really tell the difference in your photos, by the way. What I really don't like is "high water pants like drapes, where they are 4-6" too short. I like them to just skim the floor. Anyway, I had a set for the guest room where the height exceeded the hem (I've tried this trick before--it is a good one!) So I found a contrasting fabric and let down the hems and added bands to the bottom. I'm really pleased with how they turned out. I cut them about 18" wide so they became a 8" band at the bottom.

  4. Oh I think I can see the difference in the pictures!! We have lived in our house for 15 years and I still have all the woodwork to scrape so that the gorgeous cherry under the paint is liberated. But I would rather sew or play with sewing machines. Alas. Wood scraping must wait...

  5. Having your drapes does make a difference! I have had the same drapes in the front guest room for almost 12 years.. They are sheers... Some of them had dry rotted and fell apart the last time I washed them and when I went back to Sears in hopes of finding more, they were clearanced out. I could not find the number I needed so I made do and now I pull them back differently so I could keep the same ones and not have to buy all new. Where there is a will, there is a way. :)

    By the way... Did you receive my email with the ad button code?

  6. It does make a huge difference. Thanks for the hemming hints!

  7. I like the look! Ever since your post on how to make drapes like the ones you made for that office I can't quit looking at my "drapes" in the living room. I use the term loosely because they are really just shears and only one per window, not one set...just one, lol. I really hate them but I am moving soon and I am going to be brave and make the new ones. Hang'em high is my new motto (Clint Eastwood anyone?).

  8. Love this idea! Thanks for sharing.

  9. You can use the guidelines given here to raise your curtain rod.s useful post

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  11. Good solution, Karen! I think the difference is quite evident for me. It does make your wall look a little taller and nicer. If I’m the one doing that, I’d probably do more damage with the scissor and seam reaper in my hand. =)

    Roxie Tenner

  12. Love the difference the placement of the curtain rods make. And what a clever solution to let the hems down.

  13. I also have raised some of my drapes, thank goodness the stores are getting smart and making drapes off the shelves longer. My only issue is I think it takes away from the crown moulding, so I make sure that their is at least two inches down from the crown moulding so it does not take away from the beauty of the moulding. Everyone has their own taste but I like meeting in the middle. It still looks better just another thought.

  14. Hello, I've done this but can someone please help! 😢
    I have un picked the sewing but now I have little light holes along the bottom of my curtains during the day and it's so tacky, how do I cover this or fix.


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