Control light, noise and decorate your windows with new curtains

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Make your own curtains

curtains make your own curtains. Nice decorative curtains. Beautiful curtain material.



Curtains are more than just a means of shutting the outside world out, they are often an expression of style and flair and a wonderful accentuation to any home decor.

Your curtains should fit in with the colour scheme and style of your home, either by matching some element of it, or providing a contrast, whether dramatic or subtle. For instance, you may have pale tonings with rich textures, and decide to carry this through with the curtains, or you may prefer to add a dash of colour and richness with deep coloured, textured velvet curtains.

Curtains are available in many fabrics, with a huge range of colours, textures and weight. From opulent velvets and satins, to bright and breezy cottons and sheer nettings. Your choice should be based on what you wish your curtains to do- as well as considering what is within your budget. There is a great variance in price! If at all possible, be prepared to spend as much as you can afford on your curtains. Buying cheap curtains isn't always wise, especially for an important element of your decor.

Better quality fabrics will outlast cheap ones and will look better too. There are some good mid priced fabrics- and don't forget to keep your eyes open for sales... you can get some huge discounts and save many dollars on an excellent curtain material, often paying only what you might have for a much poorer quality fabric.

For some rooms- especially those visible from the street or those used for sleeping- your priority may be to keep prying eyes and light out of a room.

This is especially important for shift workers. The darker and heavier a fabric, the darker the room will be. This use of curtains also applies to sound reduction and in keeping heat or cool in or out and therefore reducing your energy costs. Don't underestimate how effective the right curtaining can be in this application. Light coloured curtains will absorb less heat, while dark will absorb more... so you will need to consider which is more relevant to your situation. Some curtain fabrics also have a separate lining or a melded lining, which adds to these properties, and also helps the fabric withstand the effects of sun and last longer.
Heavy curtain keep out the light.

Other rooms may be more suited to a light curtain, which gives some privacy but allows more light to enter the room. In many rooms it is also a good idea to have a separate netting or sheer curtain, which is enough to give some privacy during the day, but lets the light in, and in the case of many of these fabrics also allows the residents to see outside. These curtains are available in quite a large range of lacy designs, usually in white, though colours are available if you look for them.

Decorative curtains on show. Some curtains may mainly be present for decorative effect and have frills, flounces, loops and other decorations to enhance the decor of the room.

Curtains can be on tracks or on curtain rods, and can be hand opened, cord opened, or even fitted with an electric opening system, which can be particularly handy for large window expanses... though not cheap!

When pulled back, curtains can either hang in place, or be draped and held with decorative ties or loops.

Curtain pelmets are an excellent addition. They are not only decorative and help hide the *workings* (such as tracks and rods) of the curtain, but they aid in lowering your energy usage in heating and cooling the room.

You have several choices when buying your curtains:

make your own curtains. Buy the fabric of your choice and try your hand at making your own curtains. this gives you great versatility and choices, as you can make basically whatever you want... if you have the ability.

Curtains aren't immensely difficult to make- especially the rod pocket type- if you have a little skill at using a sewing machine, though with heavier fabrics you may need special needles and threads, and some fabrics are difficult and slippery or have other difficulties, so practise on a small bit first top see if you feel you have the ability and confidence to sew them.

This is probably your cheapest option... though mistakes could be costly if you have to purchase new material and start over!

Buy the fabric of your choice and have them made for you, either by a clever friend or relative, or a professional seamstress/curtain maker. Once again, great choice availability, plus takes the effort and worry out of the process. Unless you have a friend/relative who is happy to donate services for free, or on a barter system for your help elsewhere, this will naturally cost considerably more than doing it yourself.

Have a professional curtain company make your curtains. These companies usually handle the whole process, so you choose a fabric from their selection.

Many will offer quite a large range of choices, but it will probably be more limited than what is available for your choice in fabric stores, unless you live in a more remote area... in which case this may be an excellent option for you, and give you more choices than you may have otherwise had.

Costs can be quite high, but all the hassles are theoretically removed.
Professionally made curtains in Australia.

Buy pre-made off the shelf curtains. This is a much more limited option, though if you look around you may find something you are happy with. A lot of these curtains are cheaper fabric, quite often kids designs or cheery kitchen curtains. At some more upper class stores you can find higher quality pre-made curtains. They will probably not be a cheap option, especially the higher quality ones, but they take away the worry of making them yourself. With some of the cheaper types you can often get them on sale at some of the big department stores (Kmart, Big W, Target). They often come just in pairs, so you may need more than one pack for your window size.

When measuring up for curtain fabric, don't just measure the actual window size. You must allow for drape/gathering. The amount of gathering you want your curtains to have will determine how much fabric you will need. Don't forget to allow for them to extend well past the window edge, plus hems.

Try an estimation using a flat sheet first, or contact a curtain specialist to see what they recommend for windows your size. You will probably need to allow 2 or 3 times your window length. Also, consider the length you want your curtains... do you want floor length, or window sill length, or somewhere in between? Make sure you allow for hems and rod pockets/track hooks. It is always better to allow a little extra and take up a slightly bigger hem than to end up with curtains which are not the right length.

Take a good look around at what is available and what effects you might like to create before making a final decision on your curtains. Looking online on home decorating sites and in home decor magazines are a good place to start.

Curtains are a fairly big investment for many people, and they are something you will live with- and hopefully enjoy- for some years to come, so it is best to choose what you will really delight in seeing in your room each day.