The Easiest Way To Hem Curtains Without Any Sewing

It almost feels like a conspiracy. Interior designers say the ideal length for curtains is just brushing the floor, while standard curtain lengths are either several inches too short or much, much too long. It's like hot dogs and their buns being sold in packages of unequal quantities. Sure, you could spend thousands of dollars on custom curtains or have your curtains hemmed by an alterations specialist, but if you just want your budget-friendly off-the-rack curtain panels to hang nicely, there's a way to hem them yourself without doing any sewing. All you need is standard hem tape, available in any sewing or craft store, and a flat iron (sometimes called a straightener) that you use on your hair.

The standard windowed wall is 8 feet high (96 inches), with the top of the windows sitting 1 foot below the ceiling (7 feet high or 84 inches). If you buy curtain panels in a standard 84-inch length, you'd have to basically hang them from the top of the window frame for them to reach the floor. If you buy the next longest length of (a standard) 95 inches, you would have to practically hang them from the ceiling. However, if you hang them from a curtain rod about halfway between the ceiling and your window frames, you create height and drama, and then all you need to do is hem the extra length using this convenient TikTok hack.

How to use hem tape on curtains

Hem tape is a heat-bonded double-sided tape that adheres to two pieces of fabric when heat is applied. If the hem pulls out of your favorite fashionable work slacks, for example, you can place the hem tape over the spot that came undone, fold the original hem back into place, and run a hot iron over the area to secure the hem back in place. Using hem tape on curtains is essentially the same process. However, since hanging and taking down curtains can be such a hassle — especially with long, ungainly, heavy panels — you can secure the hem by clamping it in a heated flat iron.

Just as it does when you straighten your hair, the flat iron creates a smooth, flat surface when applied. When you attach the hem tape to the bottom of the curtain and fold it up the necessary number of inches, you can apply the hair straightener where they meet to activate the tape. Best of all, this isn't a permanent alteration of your curtains. If you ever want to change them back, simply remove the tape as recommended. If you don't have a flat iron, there is a peel-and-stick variety of hem tape available at craft stores that can be used in place of traditional heat-bonded hem tape. It's basically a standard double-sided tape specially designed for fabrics. It might not be as effective as the heat-bonded type, but it's an easy, inexpensive, workable solution.