DIY Pleated Curtains

Pleated curtains look so put together and designer.

But there are not many affordable options that come already pleated.

I found the most perfect curtains for my bedroom, but they were rod pocket. I quickly realized I could make them pleated myself.

The best part is you don’t need a sewing machine, anyone can do this. This post will go over:

  1. Supplies
  2. Adding the tape
  3. Installing the hooks
  4. Hanging them up


Besides your curtains you will need a few things

Pleating Tape

First you need pleating tape. Here is a great option from Amazon. You can also find this at craft stores like Joanns. I got mine from Online Fabric Store.

You will need this for the width of your curtains. For example if you have two 45″ wide curtains, you need at least 90″ (about 2.5 yards). I suggest getting extra just in case.

Iron-on Adhesive

Also sometimes called stitch witchery, this always you to attach the tape to the back of the curtain seamlessly and without a sewing machine.

I suggest getting a thick width for extra durability. Here is a great option from Amazon.

For this I suggest getting triple the length of what you got for the pleating tape. We are going to triple up on our layers for extra hold.

Pleating Hooks

You need hooks to insert into the tape to give them the pleated look. I used these from Amazon. I used 7 per curtain, but this could be more or less depending on how you decide to space your pleats.

Iron and Ironing Board

You’ll need an iron and ironing board to iron the adhesive tape to the curtains.

Curtain Rod and Rings

I have this Umbra Cappa rod in brass and bought these curtain rings. This is just for reference of what I used, do what works best for your space.

Adding the Tape

Once you have all your supplies, it is time to add the tape.

I put the tap across the width of my curtain and cut to match the width. Then on the back of the curtain you will lay down your adhesive tape.

An important note for this step, look at the tape and see which side has the holes for the hooks and make sure that that side is facing up. If you don’t, the holes will be inaccessible when it comes time to put the hooks in.

I did this for one curtain and had to rip it off and start over. If you are not sure what holes I am talking about, see this video for how to install the hooks.

I did three strips of adhesive under the tape, one layer for the bottom, middle, and top (see the photo below). This should ensure a pretty secure hold.

From there just follow the instructions for your iron on adhesive tape.

I used a damp press cloth between my iron and tape and use a lot of steam.

You can also use this iron on adhesive tape to hem your curtains if they are too long, like I did.

Inserting the Pleating Hooks

Now you’re ready to pleat and hang!

Putting the hooks in is pretty easy. It just takes figuring out how spaced you want your pleats to be. For me, I choose to do a pattern of hook, one empty spot, then another hook. You can increase the number of empty spaces between hooks to space out the pleats.

Below is a great video that shows you how to insert the hooks:

Hanging Them Up

Once you have the hooks in, you can slide the hooks onto your curtain rings and you’re all done!

It really is this easy to have designer looking curtains on a budget.

I really love the way these turned out, they are just what I wanted and so cheap.

Would you consider pleating your own curtains?

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