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What to Do When Your Curtains Aren't Wide Enough

11 Mar 2024 0 Comments
Curtains Aren't Wide Enough

Hey there, friends! James here from Dolcewe - your go-to experts for custom curtains and window treatments.

Let me start by saying we've all been there - you get brand new curtains, hang them up, and...they just look a little off. Too narrow or skimpy for the window. Ugh, what a bummer! 

You see, having curtains that are wide enough for your windows is super important. Why? Because understanding how to hang curtains can transform your room from bland to striking. Well, a few reasons:

  1. Lighting: Narrow curtains can't cover the whole window properly, letting in light from the sides. Not ideal if you want better light control or privacy.

  2. Looks: Let's be real - skinny curtains tend to look pretty awkward and messy. They bunch up, fail to drape nicely, and make a room feel cramped. Not the luxe vibe we're going for!

  3. Insulation: Wider curtains actually insulate better by trapping air between the fabric and window. This can help you stay cozier and reduce energy costs.

So in short, having curtains that are wide enough makes your space look better, function better, and even saves you money. Triple win!

Now, have your current too-narrow curtains got you down? Don't worry - I've got plenty of tips and solutions to fix that issue...

Key Takeaway Details
Why Width Matters Curtains that are too narrow lead to light leaks, reduced privacy, and an awkward sparse look. Proper curtain width is crucial for functionality and aesthetics.
Measuring Right Measure the full window frame width, not just the glass opening. Account for stackback on sides and desired fullness (2-3x width). Double check measurements!
DIY Solutions Sew or clip fabric extensions onto panel edges to increase width. Use hemming tape for no-sew method. Layer multiple narrow panels per side.
Wider is Better Invest in curtain panels 1.5-2x the window width for optimal coverage, draping, and insulation. No more skimpy look!
Custom Curtains At, order custom-sized curtains in various styles, fabrics, and colors from $26.99. Free shipping over $199 and 10% off for new customers.


Why Are My Existing Curtain Panels Not Wide Enough for My Windows?

curtain width

Okay, let's talk about why your current curtains might look a little...skimpy for your windows.

Understanding Window and Curtain Widths

The main problem is that curtain widths and window widths don't always match up.

You can't just grab any old curtains off the shelf and expect them to fit your windows perfectly. Window sizes can be really different, even in the same house!

So you need curtains that are the right width for your specific windows.

Standard vs. Extra Wide Curtains

Most ready-made curtain panels you'll find are around 50 inches wide.

These are called "standard" sized curtains.

But for bigger windows, you'll need extra wide curtain panels that can stretch up to 100 inches or more across.

Curtains that are too narrow for the window? They'll look dinky and awkward. But curtains that are too wide? They'll overwhelm the window. You want that nice, balanced look.

Measuring Windows the Right Way

This part is super important - you have to accurately measure your window's width before picking curtains.

Don't just eyeball it when you hang curtains – precise measurements can drastically improve their appearance. And don't only measure the window opening itself.

For full coverage, measure the full width of the window frame. This accounts for the curtain rod extending past the window edges, so the panels can overlap the window when closed.

What is Curtain Fullness?

Even if the width is right, your curtains might still look "off" if you don't have the right fullness. Fullness is how much gather and drape you'll get in the fabric once the curtains are hung.

Too little fullness = skinny, sparse look. Yuck!

Too much fullness = bunchy and overdone. No thanks!

The general guideline is that your curtain panels should have a fullness of around 2-3 times the window's width. This gives you that luxurious, elegant draping effect we all want.

With the correct panel width and ideal fullness, your curtains will hang perfectly! No more skinny, awkward curtain problems.

If you have barriw curtains, consider buying two more panels for added fullness.

Measuring for the Perfect Fit

light leakage

To avoid those narrow curtain problems, you need to get the right curtain measurements  from the start. Here's a step-by-step guide:

1) Measure the full width of your window frame, not just the glass opening.

You want the curtain rod to extend a bit past the frame so the panels can overlap.

2) Decide how much "stackback" you want when the curtains are open.

Stackback is how much the fabric bunches up on the sides. A common stackback is around 12 inches on each side, which is particularly important if you're using blackout curtains for maximum light control.

3) Add the stackback amount to your window frame measurement. This is the ideal width for your actual curtain panels.

4) For fullness, multiply the desired panel width by 2-3 times. So for panels 100 inches wide, you'd want curtains 200-300 inches wide for beautiful draping.

5) Always double check your numbers! Proper measuring prevents ordering curtains that are too skimpy or over-sized.

With the right measurements accounting for frame, stackback, and fullness, you'll get curtains that hang absolutely perfectly for your windows. No more awkward narrow panels!

At Dolcewe, all the curtains comes with a default 1.5 times of fullness. And you can get a 2 times of fullness at very good prices. Sounds great, right?

Hanging Techniques For Narrow Curtains

Use a Wider Curtain Rod

One easy fix is to hang your narrow curtain panels on a rod that extends 6-10 inches past the window frame on each side.

This allows the panels to overlap the window more for better coverage.

Double Up on Curtain Rods

You can also hang two smaller curtain rods, one inside the other. Use the inner rod for sheer curtains and the outer rod for heavier blackout panels.

Layering like this makes the window look fuller.

Creative Styling Tricks When Curtains Are Not Wide Enough

wider curtains

Layer Multiple Panels

If your curtains are just a bit too narrow, try layering multiple panels of the same fabric and color.

Use two or three narrow panels per side instead of just one. This doubles or triples the overall panel width. Pair sheer curtains over blackout curtains, blinds or shutters for better light control. 

Tie Them Back

Using curtain tiebacks is an awesome way to camouflage narrow panels, making them appear more substantial and fitting for a bay window.

When the curtains are tied back, the fabric gets that cascading, draped look on the sides for built-in fullness, enhancing the elegance of your interior.

Sew or Clip Extensions

For a more permanent solution, you can sew or clip fabric extensions directly onto the edges of your panels to increase the width. This does require some crafty skills though!

So don't toss those too-skinny curtains just yet. With some creative hanging and styling, you can fake it till you make it with wider curtains down the line. Your windows will look luxe in no time!

DIY Solutions For Narrow Curtains

If you're feeling crafty, you can try some DIY methods to add width to too-narrow curtain panels:

Sew Extensions

One option is to sew additional fabric directly onto the sides of your existing curtain panels. Choose a coordinating fabric and stitch it right onto the panel edges. This extends the overall width.

No-Sew Extensions

Don't want to break out the sewing machine? No problem! You can use iron-on hemming tape or no-sew curtain clips to attach fabric extensions. It's an easy, temporary way to make panels wider.

Just be sure to carefully measure and cut your extension fabrics. And avoid bunchy, uneven edges for a polished look.

The Best Option: Wider Curtains

At the end of the day, the easiest solution is to simply invest in curtain panels that are wide enough from the start.

Curtains with a width of 1.5-2 times the window size provide optimal coverage and draping for a polished, interior design look.

With properly widened curtains, you'll get:

  • Better light control and insulation

  • Enhanced privacy

  • Elegant draping and stylish looks

  • A polished, pulled-together space

No more skimpy panels or dealing with dodgy extensions! Wider is definitely better when it comes to curtains.

Shop Custom Width Curtains Online at Doclewe

That's where we come in! At, we specialize in custom-sized curtains so you always get the perfect fit. After 10+ years making curtains for homes across America, we've got this down to a science.

Our curtains are available in tons of stylish options:

  • Various header styles like rod pocket, grommet, pleat

  • Fabrics from sheer to blackout

  • Tons of colors, patterns, textures

  • Custom panel widths, lengths, and fullness can be adjusted to suit any interior design, including tricky bay windows. No matter you need extra wide curtains or extra long curtains, we got you covered. 

With pro-made curtains from $26.99 and free shipping on orders $199+, it's affordable to get brand new, widened curtain panels custom-made for your windows.

Even better, new customers get 10% off their first order just for signing up!

No more curtain struggles or settling for skimpy panels. Get the luxurious, perfectly fitted look you deserve with custom curtains from your friends at

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