How to Make Pleated Curtains

By Mandi Rogier ; Updated September 15, 2017

Things Needed

  • Curtains or fabric
  • Seam ripper
  • Matching thread
  • Straight pins
  • Sewing machine

Adding pleats to your curtains is a quick way to give them a more finished look. Pleated curtains are a popular look with modern designs and can look much sleeker than other curtains. Making pleated curtains is more challenging than simple gathered curtains, but can be completed with just a few extra steps.

Select curtains that are approximately two times the width of your window. If you are buying fabric, it should be twice the width of the window, plus an allowance for hemming. Additional width allows you to create larger and more frequent pleats.

Hem the edges of the plain fabric. If you are working with an existing curtain, use a seam ripper to rip out the rod pocket at the top of the curtain.

Working along the top, pinch the fabric together into a gathering that comprises of two or three layers of fabric. The most common way to do this is to take 3 inches of the curtain and pinch it on each inch to create three folds. Use a straight pin to hold the pinched fabric. This is your pleat. Pin all of your pleats and hold up the curtains to determine if the pleats need adjusting. The pleats should be of even size and uniformly spaced.

Fold the top 2 to 3 inches of fabric over to create your rod pocket. Make sure that the pleats stay securely pinned as you sew the fabric to create the pocket. This will create your pleats.

Remove the pins from the fabric and hang your curtains.

About the Author

Mandi Rogier is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about a wide range of topics. As a previous employee of Walt Disney World, she enjoys writing travel articles that make use of her extensive knowledge of Orlando theme parks.