Curtain Making Price List: How Much do Custom Curtains Cost?

Everyone has them or has had them. Those friends and neighbors who want to use your sewing or other talents for nothing. While you do not want to ruin relationships, these requests take their toll on your time and your pocket book.

How much do custom curtains cost? This will depend on what type of curtains you are making. Some energy efficient curtains can cost you between $7 and $150 per panel. That is just one price you have to consider. More elegant drapery can cost you upwards of $1,000 to $1,500 per window.

To get the low down on what custom drapes will cost you just continue to read our article. It explores the world of custom costs so you do not have to. Learning the cost of custom drapes is one way to motivate yourself to make your own.

What to Charge for Sewing Curtains?

One of the factors involved in making curtains is the type of fabric being used. Light, airy curtain fabric is a lot easier to handle than say energy efficient ones. Before you set a price, you need to assess the amount of work involved and then add in your minimum wage for your labor and time.

According to the government, tailors and seamstresses receive on average about $15,46 per hour. Some may get a little lower than that and end up being paid $12.57. Sewing machine operators is even lower as their average pay is about $11,67 per hour.

The key to figuring out how much to charge for sewing curtains is to decide if you want to charge per hour or per panel. Again the type of fabric is an influence here and for tougher fabrics you should charge more, regardless.

For hourly wages you should charge about $10-15 per hour. If you want to go per panel, then your starting base figure should be $20 per panel. (read how much does a seamstress cost)

How Much Does it Cost to Make Curtains?


The most influential aspect of making curtains is going to be the type of fabric being used. The second most influential aspect will be the labor and skill level of the person sewing the curtains together. The better their skill, the higher their prices

If you are using low end fabrics, then expect to pay about $15 to 40 per window. If you want to use silk, brocade or other fine fabrics, then expect to pay about $20 to $150 per panel or $250 for a complete window.

The third most influential aspect in your price will be who does the work. We are not talking about seamstresses here but retail outlets, and luxury outlets. If you want custom sizes and you use these dealers to create the curtains or drapery for you, you are looking at paying between $250 and $1,500 per panel. Yes, we said per panel. If you do it yourself, you are only looking at the cost of the fabric, thread and your time. Which won’t add up to a lot of money in comparison.

Handmade Curtain Making Price List

A lot of the cost for handmade curtains is going to come in the accessories you want added to those curtains. The labor costs is going to range between roughly $15 dollars an hour to $20 per panel and up.

The cost of labor will go up depending on the type of fabric you want to use. That difference will depend on who is doing the actual sewing and how much extra work they have to do to complete the job. Fabrics can range between $7 and $1,500 per panel.

Those prices do not usually include the accessories that you or your customers may want to include in your custom order. The following list should help guide you in determining your total costs:

  • Curtain rod- $5 to $200.
  • Curtain rings, etc.,- $5 to $25 for common rings, 10 in a set. Custom rings, up to $600 for ten.
  • ​Valances - For common fabrics between $5 and $50; for more exquisite ones up to $600.
  • Cornice- between 4150 and $600.
  • Holdbacks or tie backs- between $7 and $70 per pair.
  • Finials- depending on their construction material, etc., between $8 and $80 and up per pair.

Labor Cost to Make Curtains


If you are using someone who is self employed doing sewing to make extra money, or as a hobby, this price can be negotiable at times. Also, if you ask friends who know how to sew, you can negotiate a good price but don’t go cheap and ruin a friendship.

The government has said that the average price for tailors and seamstresses is around $15 an hour and that is a good figure to start with when negotiating a good labor fee. Keep in mind that is the average and not the price for all fabrics.

Lesser fabrics could be negotiated down because the work involved is not that much. Heavier hard to sew fabrics, the labor cost should go up because of the extra work involved.

There is a lot of flexibility in this cost because of all the variables involved. One of those variables is the size of window these curtains are to cover. The larger the window the higher the cost because more effort and fabric will be used.

Material Cost

Material costs are the same as labor costs. It will depend a lot on what kind of fabric you use, if you are using sheers underneath the curtains and so on. Silk is not going to be as cheap as the lesser curtain materials you can pick up at any store.

If you are using fine fabrics, then expect to pay through the nose per panel. The cost can range between $20 and $150 per panel with a little discount if you want 2 panels per window.

Then if you want energy efficient materials, you should expect to pay up to $150 per panel as well.

Curtain Alterations Cost


The cost of altering curtains will depend on how much of a change you want made. You will have to figure that cost out with the person you are contracting to do the job. If the alteration is not that big, or it is fixing a frayed hem etc., you may be able to start at about $5 and go up from there depending on the work and material involved.

Take the average labor costs mentioned above and factor that in as well. If the alteration is going to take an hour or more, expect to pay a lot more money than you had thought.

To get a ballpark figure, take the cost of making a curtain, usually around $10 to 15 an hour or $20+ per panel and go from there. Alterations can be a lot of work.

Cost of Shortening Curtains

A lot of this cost depend son who you are asking to do the job. Professional shops are asking about $15 to $35 on average. Some shops may be lower and others higher. Cutting the fabric to size is the easy part of this task.

What takes the time and adds to the expense is the hemming involved. Also, the price may be influenced by the style of curtain. If unlined the cost may go down to about $12 and if lined, it may start at $20.

Also, you have to remember that many curtains depend on how much the hem weighs in order for it to drape correctly. Sheers need to have a double hem or a 5 inch one in order for them to drape properly. That extra work may cost you a bit more than using a heavy hem.

Curtain Hemming Cost


The cost here will be similar to the section immediately above. Shortening a curtain involves hemming so you are looking at basically the same price for both tasks. On average, expect to pay between $15 and $35 for unlined hems and abut $20 to $70 for curtains with lined hems.

Oh, and those prices are per panel not per pair. Independent seamstresses may be able to quote you a lower price for both tasks. Their overhead will not be as much as the professional stores.

Your final costs will be determined by whom you use and what kind of fabric your curtains are made from. It should also depend on the design of your curtains and if they fabric is pleated and so on.

Hire Someone to Make Curtains

This is not a bad idea. Some experienced sewing people do this as they do not like certain aspects of curtain making. They would rather contract that work out so they can concentrate on doing sewing for themselves or their families.

But there are drawbacks to hiring someone to do the sewing for you. Finding the right person you can trust, count on and who has the skills may take some trial-and-error effort.

Also, you need to do some research and compare their prices. You do not want to just ask anyone and then find out you could have got the same quality at a cheaper price later on.

One thing you should not do is mix money and friendship. If you are looking for a cheap deal, don’t take advantage of your friends. But if you can’t find anyone else or can’t trust anyone else, make sure to pay your friends correctly and do not undercut their work.

How to Find Local Seamstress for Curtains


This is really not that hard to do. The first place you can look would be at your local sewing supply stores. They may have a bulletin board where people looking for sewing work can place their names and numbers.

If that fails you can always check at the smaller fabric and fashion shops that are in many cities. These shops should know some women who are very good at sewing curtains and charge a reasonable price.

Also, you can get on the internet and check with the many sewing forums. The people on those sites should have an idea of talented curtain makers. If certain towns still have them, there are those special classified papers, sometimes called Nickel Ads, that may have lots of advertisements from those who do sewing professionally.

Finding a good seamstress to make your curtains should probably be the least of your curtain making problems.

How to Price Curtains for a Yard Sale

One of the first lessons about selling items at a yard sale- you will not get near new prices even if the items you are selling are near new. The customers you will get are looking for a deal and if they do not find it at your yard sale, they will move on to the next one.

Your customers have a lot of options as there are a lot of yard, garage and estate sales for them to visit each weekend. For normal every day curtains you can expect to charge between $2 and $5 and also, you can expect to be haggled with.

Garage sales are not the option you want to take when you do not want to lose money. Nor are they a good option when you are not desperate to sell. All items are marked at below rock bottom with the idea that your customers will try to get that low price even lower.

Some Final Words

After seeing the high cost that is involved in having curtains made, you may be inspired to make your own. If you are not experienced at sewing curtains, you may not appreciate the cost and the labor involved in making curtains.

There can be a lot of work involved depending on the style, the fabric and the look you want. The best that can be said about having curtains made is to be prepared to pay more than you figured on. This includes when you hire your friends to help you.

When you are read to make or have curtains made, just make sure you measure twice and cut once.

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