Need extra long curtains? Here's my IKEA hack

I'm not kidding when I say that I've been looking for living room curtains for 4 MONTHS. 

Our living room window is a curved bay. A large one too, at about 3.5m wide. We can't have a regular curtain pole as it's not a straight wall, we can't have shutters because they'd have to drill into the plastic frames of the windows to install them and no we can't get an "angled bay window pole" either because it's rounded wall not angled. 

I got SO frustrated with it. When we moved in luckily there was a track put in place for these unsightly pink curtains which we had to live with for ages, so really, pencil pleat curtains on a track was my only option. 

Here's what the whole room looked like before...



The curve was the least of my window problems. Almost all ready-made and off the shelf curtains (i.e the most affordable route) only came down to a standard 229cm in length. If I wanted full length curtains – which I did, as I felt like they would lengthen the shortness of the window – I needed at least 240cm length. 

So after a painstaking 5 hours looking online for ready-made extra long curtains I came up with nothing. 

I thought my only options were to get a bespoke made to measure curtain company to do it all for me but when I revisited the quotes I got for that, I was like "hell NO". It was upwards of £700 for that, with the most basic fabric. 

IKEA to the rescue

I did a little bit of research online and was reminded that IKEA curtains are all (some might say ridiculously) long at 300cm. The problem however is that they're often narrow. 

So I set to work! I visited the Southampton IKEA (I'm regularly in the city when I meet up with the team where I work at Do What You Love) picked out a lined set of curtains that were as inoffensive as possible and hatched a plan. 

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I paid £30 per pair for these Merete curtains. I had to buy two sets, so our window actually has 4 curtains, 2 each side.

I really liked the material and price of these but obviously they were eyelet headers and I needed pencil pleat for our track. 

So I hacked off the right length I needed for the living room windows with seam allowance, bought some of IKEA's classic curtain header tape (which I rave about as they allow both a curtain pole and track to go through them) and whizzed it all through the sewing machine. 

Hey presto. A fine looking set of curtains for £64 in total. 

If you're stressing about your windows like I was, remember how cheap it will be just to settle for a simple IKEA style that can be tweaked with a sewing machine (or call a local dressmaker and she'll probably do it for you for pennies). 

Long live IKEA curtains!

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