DIY Tailored Pleat Curtains

A stack of curtains have been sitting in the corner of my dining room for about 6 weeks. I was so excited to find these perfect linen panels. I suppose I should say almost perfect panels- because I have big plans for them! This was one of those projects I had to build the nerve up to do. But I finally did it and here it is: DIY tailored pleat curtains.

So to clarify, these are a tailored pleat. That means the pleat happens at the very top of the panel. A more commonly known type of panel is a pinch pleat. That pleat comes together a few inches down on that type of panel. The names are similar but your final product is very different.

I have been loving this style of panel for a long time now. Nearly every curtain panel my favorite designers hang is a tailored pleat. However custom tailored pleat curtains can easily run you into the hundreds, per panel! So I had to figure out a way to do it myself.

I suppose one of the things that scared me the most with this project was that I have never really seen or been able to closely examine how a tailored pleat curtain is made. I have read tutorials, but for me the best way to learn is take a close look, or if I have the luxury, take apart the panel and see how they did it.

So I knew the look I wanted, but wasn’t sure how to get there. So if you are a master tailored pleat curtain maker, please stop now as you may be horrified by how this tutorial proceeds! Ha!!

It was time to take a chance and get started.

Here are my supplies:

  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Push pins
  • Thread
  • Needle
  • 10x Riktig (Ikea) drapery hooks- $3.99
  • 10 Syrlig (Ikea) Curtain ring and clip pack- $4.99

Here is my curtain panel:

I had to cut the hidden tabs as they were creating to much bulk as I tried to gather.

Here is one drapery hook:

I found where my center hook would go and marked three over each way for the side arms to attach.

Then I inserted each arm of the hook in the marked look and then pulled it back through so that is was tight. That kept the hook from sliding.

This creates a gather in the front as you can see here:

Then I did a simple stitch to hold this fold together. I would have used my sewing machine but the fabric when put together was very thick and my machine was not strong enough to puncture it. If you have a heavy duty machine you shouldn’t have this problem.

This was repeated 10 times for my 50 inch wide curtain panel.

I hung it up at this point and I wasn’t happy. It didn’t have that crisp look tailored pleats usually have. So I still had clips from the curtain ring pack I bought at Ikea. I decided to try and clip in between each pleat I had sewn. It worked!

Then I added a curtain ring to each hook:

And this is what I got:

The linen gives it a very causal vibe. If you wanted a very structured look without all the “curves” the linen creates, I would recommend using a velvet or heavyweight fabric.

Overall I really like the way these look. I am glad I didn’t just give in and hang them with the hidden tabs, like I usually do! 🙂

So if you feel like customizing some panels you may already have at home, give this DIY tailored pleat curtain tutorial a try! The cost for my supplies was only $7. Another reason why I love Ikea forever and ever!

Now only 4 more to make. Gaaa!


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