How to Hem a Curtain without a Sewing Machine

This is the simple, quick, no sewing machine way to hem a curtain. You can use fabric tape to hem your curtains. These curtains where purchased from IKEA and include their SY fabric tape. These curtains are used to cover a bedroom closet instead of using closet doors. You can order hem tape off of Amazon . The curtains from IKEA normally include SY hem tape.

How to hem a curtain with iron-on hem tape.

  1. Measure the curtain and determine how long you want the curtain to be. There are two ways to measure the curtains, one is to use a measuring tape, the other is to mark their length as they hang. I prefer to mark the curtains in place since it can be tricky to get the measurement right. With the curtains hanging, fold over the curtain to the desired length, then take a binder clip, clothes pin or any other tool to hold it in place.
  2. Iron a crease into the curtain. Take the folded over curtain to your heated iron and ironing board. Pull the curtain tight and iron in a crease at your fold.
  3. Cut off the excess. If you have excess curtain on the flap side, it is a good idea to cut it off. Leave enough flap for one or two rows of iron-on hem tape. Using two rows of hemming tape will strengthen the hem.
  4. Iron the hem tape. Sandwich the iron-on hem tape inside the flap. Starting from one corner, thoroughly heat the hem tape about a foot at a time. Hold the curtain tight to make sure you get a strait clean hem. When you reach the end, the excess tape will simply pull away. there is no need to cut the tape.

The pros and cons of using iron-on hem tape.


The hem glue tape is simple to install, cheap and durable in most, residential, light use situations. There is no need for a sewing machine to hem the curtain.


You need an iron and ironing board. The hem tape may not last in high use applications. A proper hem with a sewing machine is undoubtedly the strongest most durable way to hem a curtain.


The curtains have been in use for over 3 years, and the glue hem tape has held up very well. We have not washed the curtains so we can’t speak to the durability of the hem tape in the washer.