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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Tried It Tuesday (No Sew Curtains!)

My Tried It Tuesday today is an update on the no sew curtains I tried making last summer.
I know everyone is thinking about next school year (or, if you are not done yet like me, you will be thinking about next year soon) and working on projects over the summer.
Did my NO SEW curtains I tried making last summer actually last?!?

If you are new to Tried It Tuesday, read more about it here.

My Tried It:
Classroom No Sew Curtains
 So, I REALLY wanted (I mean, REALLY WANTED!) curtain valances for my classroom windows.  However, I knew that I would have to make them and I have virtually NO skills with the sewing machine.  If you know how to sew, you can stop reading now and go make your cute curtains:)  Haha!  I'm seriously jealous of people who don't cringe when the needle and thread get jammed in the machine.

I tried making curtains using only:
1. fabric
2. scissors
3. hot glue gun
4.  ruler
5. pen

Yep, that's right!!  I did a little researching and read about people making curtains with a
See this site that gave me inspiration!  YES!

I honestly didn't know if the curtains would hold up or just start falling apart.  Well, they have been hanging in the windows now for TEN MONTHS and they are not falling apart at the seems!  Wahoo!!!
I am a little surprised that my attempt at using hot glue and fabric has actually worked.  Now, that I have tried it, these are the directions I posted last summer (when I didn't know many of you and I had like 20 followers:).

Here is the back view of the four colors I made for the valances.

Here is a preview of the finished product hanging in my dining room.  
I cannot wait to get them up at school!

Here is a short tutorial of what I did to make the curtains (it may not be the right way, but it worked for me:)  
I used only one yard of each color so I kept the side edges just as they were and did not touch them.  My windows are each 37" wide and the fabric is only 44" wide but it will work and it cost half of what 2 yds. would!  So, all I had to do was finish the bottom and top edges.  I started with the bottom edge.  I cut the fabric and then measured 17" from the top and made dashes with my pen on the back of the fabric every couple inches.  This was my attempt at "leveling the fabric" since it didn't have a pattern to follow.

Next, I folded the fabric up to my marks and ironed along that seam to make the fabric the same length all the way across.

Next, I hot glued the bottom seam in place.  I only glued a few inches at a time to keep the glue from cooling too fast.  This is important to keep the bond strong!  It was difficult to take a picture quickly:

 Next, I worked on the top seam.  I wanted a little ruffle above the place where the rod goes.  I folded the fabric over about 4" and ironed the seam making sure it was level by checking to make sure the  measurement was equal from the top of the curtain to the bottom hem along the entire length of the fabric. 

 Then, I marked one inch from the seam along the length of the fabric for my first hot glue line.

I drew a nice line along my one inch marks and then marked 1.5" from the 1" line.  This will be the place for my skinny tension rod.  The spot above is for the ruffle at the top.  I drew another line along the 1.5" line mark.  Finally, I hot glued along each line (the top line first and only a couple inches at a time).
Voila!  I have a place for my curtain rod! 
I bought these skinny tension rods at WalMart for about $2 a piece.
Here they are hanging in my room at the beginning of the year.  I have the fourth valance on a tall glass block window to the right of these three windows. 

Don't forget to check out the amazing flash giveaway where EVERYONE WINS (TODAY only) by Melissa at Don't Let the Teacher Stay Up Late!!!  
Reminder of the schedule for Summer Tried It Tuesday:
Continue hosting WEEKLY FOR JUNE.
Host JULY ONLY ONCE on the 2nd Tuesday of the Month (July 9th)...
"TWOSDAY"...get it? :)
Go back to hosting WEEKLY IN AUGUST.


  1. OK. Those are SUPER-impressive! I actually took some pictures and wanted to post about making my classroom curtains one day this summer for Tried it Tuesday but all of a sudden I'm ashamed to say that I used a sewing machine. I mean seriously. Those curtains are SUPER impressive! :)
    I'm Lovin Lit

  2. These are my kind of curtains. The thought of sewing makes me panic. Thanks for sharing how you made these. The curtains I have now are still great, but I am pinning this for later!

    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

  3. Wonderful idea for the non-sewer! I spent many years making valances for anyone who needed them when I was in college--back in the day we stuffed them with tissue too, remember those days?? Love how you gave such a great step-by-step tutorial. Have a wonderful week!

    Sarah @ Hoots N' Hollers

  4. Those came out great. A couple of years ago I used that iron on double sticky stuff to to the top of the curtain but I didn't even bother to hem them. Yours look so good, you would never know it was only glue. There is hope for those of us that don't sew.

    Thanks for hosting and sharing. I am putting a post together so I'll come back later and link up.

    room 4 imagination

  5. I want to try some curtains (for Keagan's room since I don't have windows in my room at school). Thanks for mentioning my giveaway!

    Don't Let the Teacher Stay Up Late

  6. Brilliant! And so easy! Thanks for sharing and for hosting.
    Creating Lifelong Learnersm

  7. Thanks for sharing! I love reading Tried it Tuesdays! :)

    Mind Sparks

  8. Your curtains are great. I like when people add "homey" decor to their classroom. It really brightens up the space. This project is in my comfort zone - I do not use a sewing machine and I use a needle and thread only in dire situations. My 12 year old daughter however is a sewing whiz. I just signed her up for her 2nd year of sewing camp. She can follow a pattern and sew a zipper in! Thanks for hosting.

  9. I'm certain your students loved the variety of colors. And not only that, the shades of the curtains would also add to a perfectly stimulating learning environment for the kids. Good job, ma'am! ;P Roxie@Window Treatments Philadelphia