Tip Tuesday: How Wide Should My Curtains Be For 36″ Window

Welcome to the first edition of tip Tuesday, where I give helpful tips you can use when you are decorating your home or apartment. Today’s topic is curtains and drapes, specifically how wide should they be?

When you are in the market for curtains, the first thing to determine is what size you need. There’s a standard rule of thumb that your curtains should be 1.5 to 2x as wide as the window.

This formula applies to the total width of fabric, whether you use it in one curtain pulled to one side or one curtain on each side.

width of curtain

But curtains don’t come in all sizes unless you are getting them custom-made. Use this table to get an idea of the right width curtains to suit your window. The standard width for one drapery panel is 50 inches.

Width of WindowMinimum Curtain WidthStandard off the shelf curtain sizes
24-Inch Windowat least (1) 36-inch panel or (2) 18-inch panels (1) 50-inch panel, you can cut in
half if you want two curtains
30-Inch Windowat least (1) 45-inch panel or (2) 24-inch panels(1) 50-inch panel, you can cut in
half if you want two curtains
36-Inch Window(1) 54-inch panel or (2) 27-inch panels(1) 52-inch panel, not as widely available
42-inch window(1) 63 inch panel or (2) 32-inch panels(2) 50-inch panels
(2) 30-inch windows
side by side, total width is 60 inches
(2) 45-inch curtain panels (2) 50-inch panels
(2) 36-inch windows
side by side, total width 72 inches
(2) 54-inch curtain panelsThis is the breaking point where you should consider using two panels on each side or a 100 inch panel**

When you have windows (or pairs of windows) that are wider than 72 inches you have to broaden your search beyond the standard sizes available. Search for “extra wide curtain panels” you can find panels that are 100 inches wide. Here’s an example.

When you find 100-inch drapery panels, the manufacturer has sewn two panels of fabric together for you.

If you are looking for reasonably priced custom drapes the best place to find them is on ETSY. When you put in the search term custom drapery or custom curtains look for sellers with LOTS of reviews. Pay attention to the shipping time. Some of them are outside the US and delivery can take quite a while.

Here are a few sellers that I’ve used and like:

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.