Curtains are expensive and usually end up being way too long for your windows. I recently bought some silk curtains from a thrift store for $2. They were too long so I decided to hem them. Also, my home office only had standard blinds and I wanted some valances to add a little style. I saw a few at the store, but they were pretty ugly and pricey. So, I decided to hem my curtains and use the excess material to make valances. If you don't need valances, you could also use that excess material to make some pillow covers to match. I will probably do that next time! If you can't find any decent curtains at a local thrift store, you can always buy them from a regular store. The price for the longest curtains is oftentimes the same price you'd pay for shorter ones - so buy the longest ones possible as you'll use that excess material to create some valances!
Note: You may notice in the images that the material is not the same in some of the images. This is just because I purchased some curtains on two separate occasions and altered them - and I wanted to show a variety of photos - so I've done this project twice so far!
Step 1: Measure & Cut the Curtains
The first thing you need to do is hang one of the curtains up on the curtain rod. This way you can see exactly how long it will be once it is on the curtain rod, so you can decide where to hem it. Mark the spot you want to hem it at - with a piece of tape or a marker.
Lay the curtains on the floor. I recommend ironing the curtain at this point if you haven't already - it makes it easier to sew and work with. (in my image you can see how wrinkled it is - as I did not yet iron it)
Fold material in half or lay it out flat - then cut a straight line across where you want to hem it. In the first image, you can see that I also cut a strip in the middle. I did this to create a tie for the curtain. *Note: Like I said in the first step, I did this project on two separate occasions. So here you can see there is not a lot of material left for a valance, although I could make a small one. My second time doing this, I had two feet of material left over - you'll see it in the other images. It was plenty of material to make a valance.