DIY: Hem Tape for Curtains

Confession: The curtains in my living room have been pinned up to length for over 6 months. Hemming them was that was project hanging over my head, perpetually on the bottom of my to do list. One day, my baby was sick and I found myself home with cancelled plans. It took less than 1 hour to hem 4 drapery panels and now they look perfect! I only wish I had done it sooner. Here is how to hem curtains easily yourself, without using a sewing machine!

Photo of cream colored drapes hanging and touching the floor.  Drapes are newly hemmed using hem tape


Set up your iron and ironing board as close as possible to the drape. You may need to use an extension cord. It is easier to bring the iron to the curtain than take the panels off.

Once the curtains are hanging the way you’d like, mark the panel to the appropriate length using a paperclip at the fold. I made mine long enough to “kiss the floor” from my hanging curtain rod, although there are many acceptable lengths. I recommend marking on each side of the panel, and once or twice in the middle. Then, iron the crease or make sure it is marked so you can find it again.

Drapes measured and held in place with paperclips awaiting hem tape.
Curtain panel placed on ironing board and hem held in place with paper clips

Here’s a tip: When removing your paper clips, slide them off horizontally so you don’t snag the panel pulling it down.

Hand holding the bottom edge of a curtain panel demonstrating how to remove a paperclip from the bottom of the panel

Cut … Be Brave!

Now, measure about 4 inches down from your marked length line, and cut your curtain! It took me some guts to make the cut but it is worth it!

Time to “Hem”

First, fold your fabric inward by about 2 inches. Then fold over 2 inches again so your raw hem is hiding. Now your curtain should be to the appropriate length and you can give it a good press all the way across.

Now it is time to place and iron your hem tape. Note: test on a small section to ensure fabric will not be ruined by heat! Ripping the hem tape into 10-12 inches increments allows more control with big panels. Sandwich the hem tape between layers. Press for about 10-20 seconds until it is adhered to both sides of the fabric. Continue this process all the way across each panel. Using a no-sew method for this makes the curtain look like it was never hemmed, and was intended to be this length from the start.

Hem tape and scissors laying on top of a curtain panel ready for hemming
Newly hemmed curtain panel using hem tape

Lastly, I like to add hem tape to the side seams of the curtain hem. It all holds together and looks finished.

I hope you enjoy checking this off your to do list as much as I did!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *




Get 25+ FREE

Sewing Patterns


The Coupon Code for the 25+ Free Patterns is in your E-mail.



Keep enjoying our Blog or check out our Website

for great deals on sewing patterns and fabric!