I will admit that I was pretty scared of tackling this project, mostly because I was afraid of messing up my expensive fabric. Fortunately, that did not happen, and I've learned that this is one of those projects that falls into the category of, "If I can do it, you can do it."
I started here with the Young House Love post about their DIY no-sew nursery curtains. Their measurements wound up being a little different from my own, though, because I wanted to make curtains 84" long for the nursery window which is 64" long and 33" wide. I did follow the advice of Sherry from YHL and added 3" to each length of fabric so that I could have a proper 1.5" hem on each end of each curtain. So, I laid out my long fabric on the floor and got to work cutting two 87" panels. I used a light gray oil pastel to mark off my fabric and easily cut a straight line.
You'll also notice I bought Heat N' Bond hem iron-on adhesive in super strength. (Way better price on Amazon! Good to know for the future...) I originally bought one roll at Jo-Ann Fabrics for $2.99, but it turns out one roll is almost exactly enough for one curtain panel, so I had to turn this one-day project into a two-day project once I was able to return to the store to buy a second roll.
I followed Sherry's tutorial on how to use the hem tape. Unfortunately, in doing so this is where I made my one significant mistake. Apparently the tape Sherry uses has a paper side and a fabric side. I thought mine did, too, but mine really has just the fabric. So, Sherry talks in her video tutorial about putting the iron directly on the hem tape to allow it to get warm and adhere. As soon as I did this, I got gluey goop all over my iron. Then I read the back of my Heat N' Bond package and saw where it expressly says, "DO NOT apply iron directly to adhesive tape." Lesson learned (after taking a wet sponge to my iron): always read the package, and don't just rely on another blogger's know-how.
Once I discovered the difference between Sherry's tape and my own, I went a little rogue (Ok, I disregarded the rest of Sherry's tutorial). I put my hem tape onto my curtain fabric. I placed it about half and inch from the top.
I measured out exactly enough hem tape to run the length of one side of curtain. Then I used books to hold down the curtains and the tape as I folded the fabric over itself so that the hem tape was secured inside a little curtain sandwich.
I simply repeated these steps for the three other sides of each curtain. Between figuring out what I was doing, cutting the fabric, messing up, fixing my mistake, and then hemming four sides, it took me about an hour to finish the first curtain panel. The next day, when I had purchased my second roll of hem tape, it only took me about 30 minutes to complete the second panel. So, if you do this right, this is an hour-long job for two curtain panels.
As for how we'll hang these curtains, we're using the type of curtain clips that simply attach to the top of each panel and require no addition sewing, holes, etc.
Now that I know how to do this, I plan to make curtains for our master bedroom using the same method. That's a project for another day, though. For now we're prepping the nursery for painting, which will get done this week. Once the walls are dry and we hang the curtains, I'll share how they look in their finished state. For now, though, I am also quite happy that they are the right length with no visible imperfections (and when Matt and I held them up against the window in a test run we were really happy to see that they achieved the black-out effect we were hoping for in the nursery). Remember, if you're wondering whether or not you can accomplish this project, the answer is yes!