Drop Cloth Curtain DIY – Pinch Pleat

2 Materials
5 Hours

There are many drop cloth curtain DIY projects out there but this one is a little different. I decided to upgrade them to pinch pleat beauty.

Hey there! Today I am so happy to share with you a neat little budget boosting project – this drop cloth curtain DIY tutorial. We are upgrading the ol’ painter’s drop cloth by adding pinch pleats with my secret weapon.

What is my secret to making pinch pleat drop cloth curtains?

A little thing called pleater tape!

I love to sew and create but I will be the first to tell you that I am not a seamstress and I am mostly self-taught. I also have a little thing I battle in my hands called arthritis. Very frustrating but I refuse to give in. The pleater tape makes it easier for me to get the uniform pleats that make curtains look oh so grand.


Where to purchase the best drop cloths to make curtains?

I have found that Harbor Freight has the best price “no seams” painter’s drop cloths. I have used their products for many many dropcloth projects and they have been (up to now) consistently a good source.

You will want to wash the drop cloths before using them. I have seen where others have bleached out their drop cloths and the idea intrigues me – you may see that soon!

How do you add the pleater tape to your curtains?

Super simple straight sewing. If you can sew a straight line- you can do this!

Begin with the side seams, measure, and sew.

Measure & sew a top hem on your drop cloth slightly wider than your trim tape. *Tip – Iron your hem flat it will make such a difference.

Next, pin the pleater tape to the dropcloth. Be careful to start pleater tape with a little pocket. To make the style of pleat you see in my finished curtain – flip the tape upside down so the pocket is up at the top and the pleat gathered is at the top and not at the bottom of the tape.

Sew the pleater tape to the curtain.

Use pleater hooks to make the pleats –

Flip over and even up the pleats.

Secure the pleat with thread and needle. I used upholstery thread.

To add a little more pizazz to the drapery, I added this gorgeous trim tape to the curtains. Since I was adding tape to the curtains, I started my pleats to account for it.

I added the little rings by sewing with upholstery thread. If you were to attach the pleater tape in the other direction, the pleater hooks can be used to attach to rings.

There you go, another drop cloth curtain DIY with a twist!

Follow me on Instagram - @theaspiringhome_ for more inspiration!

Til Later Friends,

Suggested materials:

  • Drop cloth   (Harbor Freight)
  • Pleater tape   (Hobby Lobby)

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

Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

  1 question
  • Sandy Gardner Sandy Gardner on Sep 14, 2021

    Do You leave the pleater hooks in the pockets after you stitched the tops of the pleats?


Join the conversation

2 of 4 comments
  • Penny Penny on Sep 14, 2021


  • Dee Dee on Sep 14, 2021

    Beautiful, I have made drop cloth curtains, with only the hem on the top. You are right about Harbor Freight being the best drop cloths. HD's are really bad. You did a great job and love the pleats.