How To Add Pinch Pleats to Store Bought Curtains

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

I recently acquired new curtains for the bedroom.  They were going to be the perfect curtains to bring in warmth and add a little bit of glamour to the room.  They are much prissier than my usual taste, but if there is a room that calls for glamour, it just might be the bedroom.  Below is a picture I shared on instagram during the process.  And by the way, I moved the blue velvet pillows from the living room into the bedroom and love the texture they add!  I bought them from Radiance From Ruins.

When my curtains arrived, I immediately hung them and this is what they looked like.

How many of you are disappointed when you hang store bought curtains?  I know a larger rod would have made a difference, but I really wanted something a bit more custom looking in this room.  So I decided to add pinch pleats.  There are lots of tutorials on the blogs and I found this one to be most helpful.

Most pinch pleat curtains require using a double width (two panels) so that they still have the fullness after being "pinched".  My challenge was to use four panels for two windows adding the most pleats possible without loosing the fullness of the curtains.

Here is what I did...

After pinning and re-pinning several times, I decided that  I could get 7 pinch pleats on each panel and that they could be 4" apart.  Starting at the top left side with the right side of the fabric facing up, I measured 4" over.

I then drew the two folds upward to form the creases.

Here is what it looks like from the side.  I pinned the fold in place vertically - perpendicular to the edge, parallel to the fold.

I continued measuring and pinning every 4".

Once I reached the end, I made sure the pleats were evenly spaced before stitching into place.

The stitch is only about 1/2" long as you can see above.

Using drapery hooks like these, I hung the curtains onto clips.

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  1. Great tip! I just hung some "plain" curtains in my bedroom....I may try this to give them so glam!...Love your ring!

  2. That DOES make them so much more custom….love the effect of the pinch pleats!

  3. The pleats add so much Rene. I wonder when the stores will start offering pinch pleat drapes since they will see us all making our own via blog tutorials?

    I did a version of this on my Pottery Barn drapes in two rooms. I just added the drapery pin and hung the drapes on rings. I just got so tired of the clipped on look. It's not perfect but so much better.

    Love how your bedroom is love with those navy velvet pillows!

  4. Rene what a super change this made; and by the way I love the colors in your bedroom, really rich and luxurious!

    I am having an amazing Giveaway of Plush Pumpkins from Love Feast!
    Art by Karena

  5. what a difference!! they look so much more custom and elegant!

  6. What a gorgeous way to do this -- they definitely look more custom now! Thanks for sharing this with us!

  7. What an improvement--and such an easy way to customize off-the-rack curtains. Way to go, Rene! I've done the same thing to store-bought panels and can attest to the major difference pinch pleating makes.

  8. I do agree that adding that little pinch makes them look so much better....cause I hate when you hang them like you did at first and they keep sliding over .

  9. I really like what you did with your drapes. Do you mind telling me where you got your drapes they are beautiful. Great job.

  10. Thank ya ladies! Kathy, the panels came from Joss & Main. I hope this helps.

  11. Never would have thought to do this... they look so much better. Thanks for the tip!

  12. These look great Rene! I did something similar in my bedroom. Only I used those clip on rings to hold the pleats together from the back instead of stitching.

  13. Great tutorial, Rene. I'm sending it to my girlfriend as she is experiencing the same problem with her Ikea drapes.

  14. I'm not sure I could do this and have it turn out as good as yours!


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