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10 Best Curtain Making Books

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If you have the drive to make your own soft furnishings then curtains are a great place to start. They’re easy to make and offer a lot of creative freedom with decorating your home.

In this post I’ll share the 10 best books for anyone looking into custom window treatments. These books range from complete beginners to semi-skilled sewers who want to learn more about curtain fabrics and sewing techniques.

Sewing Custom Curtains, Shades, and Top Treatments

Sewing Custom Curtains, Shades, and Top Treatments is a very detailed book covering the basics of sewing for home. While these guides may be detailed, the actual process of making curtains can be surprisingly simple.

Over 230 pages you’ll learn about window treatments, drapery, roman shades, valances, window cornice designs and pelmet boxes. If this all sounds like gibberish don’t worry. Early chapters cover the absolute basics of curtains so that even beginners can learn the terminology.

It helps if you already have some experience sewing curtains but this can always be adapted in time. While going through this book you’ll learn pretty much everything about curtain making and how to pick the right fabrics for your needs.

Plus this book goes far beyond simple curtains looking into full window treatments, decorations, patterns, and how to match colors with a room. It’s a complete guide for any homemaker who wants to dress up their home by hand.


Creative Curtain Making Made Easy

This book is geared more towards professionals who may already have experience sewing custom home designs. Creative Curtain Making Made Easy covers 160 pages of detailed information on poles, fabrics, measurements, and planning your room just right.

You won’t be left to fend for yourself when it comes to sewing treatments. The author Heather Luke pushes all the right information for beginners first so that you know the exact process before sewing.

You never want to dive into a project cold and this holds true for curtain making too. It’s crucial to learn how to match and conceive of fabrics before you head to the crafts store. All the early chapters cover this material so that you’ll have a well-rounded understanding of curtain making before getting into the mess.

I absolutely recommend working through this book if you’re looking for a complete overview of curtain making. This covers absolutely every topic you could possibly need to know including photos with examples along the way.


How To Make Curtains

A much newer book you may enjoy is How To Make Curtains by Rebecca Yaker. It’s a pretty cheap choice and it’s only 128 pages but covers a lot of the basic tenets of good curtain making.

In the first few chapters you’ll learn about material selection, measuring space, picking out yardage for fabrics, and selecting the best hardware for hanging above your windows. This process is very intuitive and it takes a decorator’s eye to work through the material.

Each section has a little “how-to” series teaching how to make five specific features for your curtains, all from scratch:

  • Pleats
  • Eyelets
  • Tab tops
  • Tie tops
  • Rod pockets

There is no single best way to get into curtain making. A lot of it is trial & error while learning along the way.

But Rebecca’s book is one of the best intros you’ll find at a great price with practical tips that’ll carry you all the way through.


The Ultimate Curtain Book

Even though this book is almost two decades old it still has some of the best information on curtain making. The Ultimate Curtain Book is practically the go-to guide for learning to create professional curtains, drapes, and blinds from scratch.

Cutting, fitting, styling, sewing, it’s all covered in great detail with a specific focus on crafting designs from a single project perspective. This book covers 35 projects that you can follow and learn along the way teaching the whole process of soft furnishings.

In the early chapters you’ll learn about fitting and all the different fabrics to choose from. This book also has a chapter dedicated to inspiration for finding ideas that might work in your home.

Later chapters get into the technical details of measuring, cutting, sewing, and hanging these soft fabrics with the intention of livening up your space. Since this is out of print you may not find a brand new copy, but used copies are cheap and the tips here are still applicable just as well.


Curtains, Draperies & Shades

Curtains, Draperies & Shades offers a gorgeous look into the world of custom window treatments. This goes far beyond simple curtains by pushing techniques for creating full window designs out of many fabrics.

Over 144 pages this book can teach you how to understand and follow through with basic soft furnishing designs. You’ll find over 100 unique projects in total each with its own flair and style. These projects are super easy to follow along with regardless of your background.

Admittedly I would’ve liked to see more pictures in this book. But what you get is fantastic and this is by far one of the more detailed curtain/drapery books out there. You’ll learn how to measure, plan, and sew custom drapery designs that fit perfectly for any room in the house.

I would absolutely recommend this book for any loving homemaker or as a holiday gift for someone you know.


Making Curtains and Hangings

This reprint of the classic Making Curtains and Hangings is an incredible resource for home decorators. This book has been out of print for a long time and this new edition gives people a chance to read everything involved with sewing soft furnishings from scratch.

Note this book is pretty small with only 86 pages and not many photos. But the content is phenomenal with guidelines for selecting textures and fabrics to go with your personal taste.

Every room has its own “mood” and you’ll want to factor that into your design choices. Silk may work best as drapery in your bedroom, but cotton may be a better choice for the kitchen.

This book also covers different styles of windows and the different sizes you need to consider for custom curtains.

Drapery hangs differently based on the window size and the curtain rod used to hang it. And this book offers a detailed look at every step of the process along with all the variations you could dream of.


Curtain Recipes

From contemporary designs to classic patterns you’ll find plenty of ideas in Curtain Recipes by Wendy Baker.

The book is pretty short with only 120 pages but it goes into detail for many different projects you can practice. Every project is relatively simple and overall you have 60+ projects to work from.

You’ll find curtain designs made for homes, offices, kitchens, or pretty much any space you can imagine. But the patterns and how-tos are only the entrées. As you dig deeper into this book you’ll find sewing tips & tricks you can apply to save time and effort during the process.

Curtain Recipes can be an excellent resource for anyone getting into soft furnishings. However it is a good idea to already have sewing experience because this is not beginner-friendly.


The Complete Photo Guide to Window Treatments

With a whopping 304 pages this book covers a lot of ground. As you flip through each chapter you’ll find dozens of photos with descriptions on colors, styles, fabrics, and drapery designs.

The Complete Photo Guide to Window Treatments covers a wide array of cornices, swags, draperies, and fabrics. This also includes many different window shades and how they hang over various windows from bay windows to fullscreen sliding deck doors.

Each chapter does have a section for DIY guides with photos of every step. This book is both an inspirational resource and a teaching guide for anyone just getting into window treatments from scratch.

The author does not get into much detail about sewing. But overall these lessons are solid. You will walk away with a newfound appreciation for curtain making and a greater understanding of home decor.


Improv Sewing

The concept of Improv Sewing is relatively simple and made for busy people with busy schedules. If you can learn to design quickly you’ll have a much easier time making curtains and your confidence will soar with each new project.

And in this book you’ll find 101 custom patterns you can follow for making your own window treatments. All of these projects are meant to be completed in less than a day so they’re uber-lightweight and minimalist.

You’ll learn about traditional sewing techniques along with more advanced methods like appliqué and doodle-stitching. By studying classic fashions and older interiors you’ll find a renewed sense of inspiration for sewing up drapery for your home.

This is the perfect book for beginners who don’t have much time to practice but really want to get into the art of window treatments.


Window Treatments Idea Book

Ideas may seem cheap but the best ones are always hard to find. If you’re looking for some inspiration for a home remodel, or if you just want a cute coffee table book, the Window Treatments Idea Book is a great investment.

This won’t teach you how to make woven shades or how to match the perfect fabric for your living room. Instead it offers high-quality glossy photos of interiors from other living rooms with gorgeous styles.

As you flip through this book you’ll find tons of repeatable ideas you can clone for your own living space. And with 185 pages worth of ideas this is guaranteed to keep you busy.

In total you’ll find more than 350 photos from every room in the house including the bathroom, living room, kitchen, bedroom, and even a personal study.


The New Ultimate Book of Soft Furnishings

Curtains are one thing but upholstery is a whole other beast. The idea of “soft furnishings” goes well beyond curtains and that’s exactly what you’ll find in this guide.

The New Ultimate Book of Soft Furnishings by Dorothy Wood is a true-blue reference guide for the passionate homemaker. It offers tips and how-tos for everything in your house from slipcovers to curtains and linens.

Ever wanted to sew your own towels or throw pillows? This book has you covered. It’s surprisingly long with 256 pages of detailed information for anyone looking to learn. But the how-tos are rather detailed so it helps if you already have some sewing experience with fabrics.

And while this book isn’t exactly “new” anymore, these lessons can stand the test of time proving that they’re well worth investing into.


Making Curtains & Blinds

If you liked the book above then you may consider Dorothy Wood’s related title Making Curtains & Blinds.

You can pick this up dirt cheap and work through the lessons in a breeze. It’s only about 95 pages long but the lessons are just as detailed as her prior book. Except this one focuses more on window treatments and the detailed process that comes with making them.

Inside you’ll find tons of illustrations and photos to help you understand each step.

Every chapter covers a different project and by the end you’ll be able to nail down the basic techniques for sewing & hemming your own beautiful curtains from scratch.

I think all the books in this post are well worth checking out. They each cover the topic from a different angle with slightly different projects.

And no matter what book you get I guarantee you’ll learn a lot. Sewing is just about practice and repetition so over time you’ll be able to master the craft with ease.

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