Whether it’s the fabric, design, or color, there are some curtains that you just want to have hanging in your home. However, it can be a problem if the length isn’t right. Fortunately, there are some simple solutions you can consider to address this.

Some of the easy hacks for curtains that are too long include folding them at the top and securing them with curtain clips or folding them at the bottom and securing them with iron-on hemming tape. You could also raise the rod to a height that allows the curtains more space at the bottom.

This article will explore the different ways you can shorten your curtains and walk you through the steps to get it done.

1. Fold the Top and Hold It Together With Curtain Clips

Curtain clips are convenient tools. These are typically alligator clips for clamping onto the

curtains. The clips are attached to a hook or ring from which to hang the curtains on the curtain rod.

Usually, curtain clips are a hack for lengthening curtains as suspending them from the curtain rod allows the curtains to cover more at the bottom. However, they can also come in very handy for shortening curtains that are too long.

Using curtain clips is a simple process and involves folding the top of the curtains to the desired length and then securing them with clips. Here’s a more detailed step-by-step guide on how to do it:

Materials Needed

  • Tape measure or yardstick
  • Curtain clips


  1. Pre-shrink curtains – Check if your curtains are pre-shrunk. If they aren’t yet, put them in the washer, and wash them according to the instructions on the label.
  2. Allow them to air dry (using a dryer could shrink them even further) and press them so that they shrink to size and your measurements are more accurate. If you fold the curtains before pre-shrinking them, they will be shorter after you wash them and will not match your original measurements.
  3. Take measurements – Using a tape measure or yardstick, measure the length from the curtain rod down to the floor and measure the length of your curtains to determine how much of the fabric you will need to fold.
  4. Fold the top – Once you have determined the correct measurements, fold the top of the curtains accordingly.
  5. Clip the folds – Using your curtain clips, secure the folds at the top of the curtain. Nine clips are the recommended number for effective spacing. However, you can use as many clips as you wish and space them out at distances of your choosing.
  6. Hang the curtains – Once you have clamped all the clips in place, slide the curtain rod through each of the rings on the curtain clips and position the rod on the brackets. You can place the last ring outside the bracket so the bracket acts as a stopper to prevent an opening at the end when you draw the curtains.

2. Fold the Bottom and Secure It With Iron-On Hemming Tape

For many people, sewing is too big of a task to take on. Many people have never even tried putting thread through the eye of a needle. However, the good news is that you don’t have to! The invention of iron-on hemming tape has made it possible to secure fabrics together without a single stitch.

Iron-on hemming tape or fusible web tape is a heat-activated adhesive that fuses two pieces of fabric together. By folding the bottom of your curtain and securing it with this tape, you can create a new hem and effectively shorten the curtain.

Here’s how to shorten your curtains using iron-on hemming tape:

Materials Needed

  • Tape measure or yardstick
  • Hemming tape
  • Scissors
  • Iron
  • Ironing board


  1. Pre-shrink curtains – Check if your curtains are pre-shrunk. If they are not, run them through the washer and press them after drying. This will get them to the right dimensions on which to base your measurements.
  2. Take measurements – After you have washed and pressed the curtains, they will have shrunk, and you can proceed to take measurements. You can do this using a tape measure or yardstick. Measure the length of the curtains and the length from the curtain rod down to the floor. Bear in mind that curtains ideally hang half an inch to an inch off the floor. Mark on the curtains where you will need to make the fold at the bottom.
  3. Fold the bottom – Lay the curtain on an ironing board with the back facing upwards and make a fold where you marked it at the bottom. Make sure that the measurement is the same at one end and across to the other. Check this with your tape measure or yardstick.
  4. Make a crease – With your iron at medium heat, run it over the fold to make a visible crease.
  5. Put hemming tape – Unfold the curtain. If you did the previous step correctly, you would see the line going across it. Take the hemming tape and fix it an inch above the line. If your curtains are made of thick fabric, they will be heavier. You can put an additional strip of hemming tape to ensure it can hold the weight of the fabric.
  6. Secure the hemming tape – Fold the curtain once again. Take your iron and run it over where the hemming tape is on the back of the curtain and under the folded-over fabric. Let the iron linger for about 2 seconds over each area of hemming tape to allow it to adhere effectively.
  7. Trim the excess fabric – Once you have secured the fold with the hemming tape and created a new hem, trim the excess fabric with a pair of scissors.
  8. Let the curtain cool before hanging – Allow the curtain to cool down, and then hang it up on the curtain rod. Finally, admire your handiwork as the bottom hangs at the ideal distance from the floor.

3. Raise the Curtain Rod

If the bottom ends of your curtains are resting on the floor, raising the curtain rod may do the trick. It does require some work, but some people find this “manual labor” preferable to working directly on the curtain fabric.

If you count yourself among these people, this section is for you. Before you commit, read over these pros and cons so that you know what you’re getting yourself into:


  • You don’t need to cut or fold your curtains.
  • Your room and window will have a larger appearance.


  • You have to drill new holes for your rod.
  • You’ll have to fill in the old holes and paint over them.

If you’d still rather make adjustments to the curtain rod’s height than to the curtains themselves, gather the materials together and follow the steps to go about doing it:

Materials Needed

  • Step ladder
  • Measuring tape or yardstick
  • Screwdriver
  • Screw anchors
  • Wall filler


  1. Take measurements – Using either a measuring tape or yardstick, determine how many inches you will have to move the curtain rod brackets to have the curtains hanging half an inch or an inch from the floor. Mark the points where the brackets are to be put in. Be sure to use a step ladder for convenience and safety.
  2. Remove the curtain rod, curtains, and brackets – Once you have taken the measurements, remove the curtain rod and curtains from the brackets, then remove the brackets themselves. The brackets are normally screwed in, so you’ll probably need to use a screwdriver.
  3. Drill holes for the new bracket placements – Drill pilot holes in the spots you marked earlier and put in the screw anchors.
  4. Screw in the brackets – Hold the brackets onto their new placements on the wall and screw them in.
  5. Fill in the old holes – The original placement of the brackets will have holes from where the screws were fitted. Fill in these holes with wall filler and paint over them once dry.
  6. Put the curtain rod and curtains back – Once the brackets are in place and the filled-in holes are painted over and dry, you can put your curtain rod and curtains back up on the newly positioned brackets.

Final Words

How High Should Curtains Be off the Floor?

Generally speaking, curtains should hang half an inch or one inch from the floor. However, this is not a strict rule, and the distance from the bottom of the curtains to the floor can be influenced by factors such as the design of the curtains and the room in which the curtains are hanging.

For instance, you can puddle the curtains in a living room, bedroom, or den. These would give the overall look of the room a measure of elegance. But it just would not be practical to do the same for curtains in the bathroom or kitchen.

Should Curtains Go All the Way to the Ceiling?

The top of the window is usually 18 inches (1.5 feet) from the ceiling and is typically the same level at which the brackets for curtain rods are placed.

Curtains do not need to go all the way to the ceiling, and whether they do or not comes down to personal preference. Some people may opt to have the brackets of their curtain rods attached closer to the ceiling to achieve maximum visual height.

Curtains that are hung closer to the ceiling and flow down to the floor will give the impression of a larger room.

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