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In the current economic situation, it’s a good idea to be frugal whenever and wherever you can be. DIY is a natural frugal stepping point for the home improvement enthusiast, but there are several pitfalls for a newbie or novice to fall into. Measurement is one of the main ones, as if the initial measurement is wrong then it doesn’t matter how good a job you do at the end of the day, the job is doomed from the beginning.

Frugal options for curtains is to either make them yourself or to buy ready made curtains online, and with both these options, the measurement is vital towards the success of the project. So, here is a useful guide on how to measure for curtains:

Measure The Width

A common mistake when measuring the width for curtains is to measure the window instead of the curtain track or pole. Unlike blinds, curtains need to be measured so that the hang over the width of the window, meaning an exact measurement of the window width will result in too short curtains that won’t cover the entire window.

If you already have a curtain pole in place, then measure the length of the pole between the finials, which are the decorative ends of the pole.

If you have curtain rails, simply measure the length of the rail. If your rail has an overlap, then add the length of the overlap to the length of the rail.

When fitting a new track or pole, be sure to extend the width of the window by 15 to 20 cm on either side of the window, thereby preventing the dilemma of having curtains that won’t cover the window.

Measure The Drop

The drop of your curtains is the length which you’d like them to be. This is fully dependent on your preference, and it is currently fashionable to have long and cascading curtains meaning that the drop rolls over onto the floor. Trends aside though, you can follow these three typical measurement guide:

A: Full length – Approximately 1.5 to 3cm above floor level.

B: Above radiator-  The curtains end 1 to 3cm above the radiator.

C: Below window sill- Usually 15cm are added to the measurement of rail to window sill.

If you’re measuring from a curtain pole, remember to measure from the top track or bottom of the curtain rings to the desired drop length of your curtains.

For eyelet curtains also known as Tap Top, you’ll need to take the measurement from the very top of the curtain pole.

The measurement of the width of the curtain needs to be very precise and is the measurement which can make a break the success of the project, whereas the measurement of the drop has more flexibility and gives you the chance to try out different length ideas. If you’re not sure how long you want your curtains to be, try visualising the end result, using a spare bed sheet to guide you. Simply highlight the measurement options on the bed sheet using a non-washable fabric marker, and ask someone to hold up the sheet in front of the window, then stand back and observe. You can also fold up the sheet to give a better look at how the curtains will look in that particular length.

This article was written by Sarah Oxley on behalf of Custom Curtains, providers of quality ready made curtains you can buy online. Sarah is a home improvement and DIY enthusiast, who believes that DIY needn’t be complicated and wishes to encourage everyone to give DIY a go.


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