How to Make Ikea Ritva Curtains Look Like Expensive Custom Made Drapes

4 Materials
2 Hours

You don’t have to spend a fortune on custom drapes…I’ll show you how to make ready-made Ikea Ritva curtains look like expensive custom drapes.

I think beautifully designed and created drapes(window treatments) are second only to good lighting in a well designed space. 

Step 1. Cut the Ritva to the proper length for your window.

Hang your curtain rod, including the rings. Measure from the bottom of the rings to the floor…this is the finished length of your drapes. Then add 8″ to this measurement and now you have the length at which you will cut your drape(cut length). 

Step 2. Open the side seams with a seam ripper. Easy, but be careful not to rip into the face fabric.

Step 3. Press and sew in the double 4″ bottom hem.

Step 4. Cut lining to the proper size. The lining should be cut to the exact finished length and width of the drape.

Since these curtains are for my own house I used white sheets from the thrift store for my lining. It’s cheaper than buying lining fabric and it’s already hemmed. 

When you position your lining to sew it under the side seams you’ll place the lining fabric 1.5″ to 2″ above the bottom of the curtain(pictured above). The bottom is NOT sewn together…the lining and the face fabric hang independently.

You only sew the lining to the face fabric on each side and at the top header.

Step 6. Create pleats. 

I generally make my leading edge 3″ and my return 3″. Then figure out whats left to divide between my pleats and spaces. Your spaces should be between 4″-6″ and pleats should be between 4″ and 8″ typically. I actually made my pleats 3″ on this panel because it’s only double pinch pleat and I wanted more pleats. If you’re making a triple pinch pleat you’ll have go with a 6″ -8″ pleat, because you’ll obviously need more fabric to create a triple pinch pleat. There’s tons of tutorials on pleat spacing.

Step 7.  Sew pleats. I move the binder clips closer to the edge of the pleat and sew the pleat behind the folds(only sew through two layers of fabric on all the folds).

Then sew the “pinch” at the bottom edge of the buckram.

Step 8. Insert drapery hooks

Your finished! You can now hang and style your drapes. You may need to train your drapes for a while by tying the drapery panels so they’ll stay pleated properly(like the pros do). I’ll make another tutorial on styling drapes so stay tuned.

This is a step by step tutorial on how to make Ikea Ritva curtains look like expensive custom made drapes.

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Mimzy lombardo

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 5 questions
  • Melissa Soldati
    on Apr 17, 2020

    don't mean to sound silly here but what to i attach the curtain hooks to, to then have them hang from the rod?

    • Mimzy lombardo
      on Apr 18, 2020

      You slide the pointed end of the hooks into the buckram on the back of the curtain. The Ikea curtain comes with buckram already sewn on.

  • Lyn D
    on Jun 5, 2020

    Hello Mimzy ... do you actually sew the bottom of the pleat through the four layers or just underneath it? You say you sewed the bottom of the buckram but never really said it included all four layers. I am assuming not. ???

  • Shanzo
    on Jun 24, 2020

    Love your tutorial!! What is the total width of your curtain panel after the pleats? Looking to try this out but want to make sure they will cover the width of my window when closed.

Join the conversation

4 of 31 comments
  • Sarge
    on Jun 21, 2019

    Ok...I didn't understand any of that - but I can't sew on a button straight (i ran out of the house when my Mom was teaching "her girls" how to cook and sew) - but your curtains look fantastic.

    • Mimzy lombardo
      on Apr 18, 2020

      Thank you....I ran out of the house too. I didn’t start sewing again until I moved out and needed window coverings for privacy in my first place.

  • Beth
    on Apr 10, 2020

    Really worth doing, ladies! The last time I had pinch-pleated panels made for me, they were $125.00 per panel, per width! So a pair of lined draperies made of two widths of fabric in each panel (wide enough to actually close across a 48" window) cost me $500, not including the fabric. And I sew! I just didn't have anywhere with enough space to lay the length out, and I didn't want to fool with them. Expensive bit of laziness on my part!

    • Mimzy lombardo
      on Apr 10, 2020

      I know...custom workrooms are very expensive. But the results are usually worth it. So this Ikea hack is way cheaper.

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