Transform Readymade Curtains Into Custom Drapery

3 Materials
3 Hours

Check out how we transformed basic curtains from Ikea in to elegant custom drapery.

Check out how we transformed Ikea's Ingert curtains into custom drapery for the master bedroom. Initially we had burlap drapery for the master, there are pictures of them all over Pinterest and though it added a great texture element to the bedroom, and the look was fantastic, however burlap sheds and the velvet chairs in the bay window were constantly covered in fibers from the burlap, ugh! The look we were going for was a natural linen. The natural Ingert curtain panels have that great texture and color, but plain beige is just too boring, therefore we wanted to customize them.

For this project we used Ikea’s Ingert curtain panels ($39.99 for 2 panels). We purchased 2 packages, we would need a total of 4 panels for the bay window, black grosgrain ribbon and to glam it up a bit, we used 3 black bracelets we found at Michael’s.

The first step will be ironing the fabric, it needs to be nice and smooth for stitching.

Next, we applied the black grosgrain ribbon along the edge of each panel, we chose to sew it on, but it could be applied with a fabric glue or a fusible web as well.

The Ingert curtain panels have a backing on the upper portion that has a tab for threading the rod through, however we wanted a more classic look, therefore we chose to make pleats. Pleats may look intimidating, but they are rather simple to sew. Each pleat is 2 simple straight stitches. Using pins we marked where each pleat would be.

For our panels, each pleat is 4” and each pleat is spaced 5″ apart. This would make 6 evenly spaced pleats on each panel.

Fold the fabric, wrong side together, aligning the 2 pins marking the pleat placement. Stitch from the top of the fabric straight down to the bottom of the header section. (This is where there is a stitching line going across the width of the fabric.)

To form the pleat, push in the center of the area just stitched.

Usually drapery pleats have 3 folds, but my sewing machine will not stitch through that much fabric, so I just do 2 folds as pictured.

Stitch, beginning at the folded areas to the first stitch line.

Here is the completed pleat with 2 folds. Repeat the process for each pleat.

The Ingert panels are not hemmed, we have found it easier to hang up each panel on the drapery rod and fold it up to the desired length and pin in place. Then remove them from the drapery rod and press them with the iron.

We double fold the hem, usually a 3 to 4 inch hem, (this depends on how much fabric is remaining on the panel.) This adds a little extra weight at the bottom of each panel and helps them to hang better. Stitch along the hem line. There is also the option of hemming the drapes with a fusible heat tape, then you just need to press them with the iron, no sewing needed.

The final step to embellish these panels with a little glam is with the black bracelets we found at Michael’s. Using needle nose pliers we separated each jewel piece, then broke off the ring from one side. We then stitch each jewel piece to the pleat at the lower stitching line. This was done by hand with just a needle and thread, just like sewing on a button.

Please go to our website to see more photos and how we steamed in the pleats.

Resources for this project:

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

Frequently asked questions

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  2 questions
  • Kim Kim on Jun 07, 2019

    Did you run the black ribbon along both ends of the curtain or just the one side?

  • Dana Dana on Jun 14, 2019

    Could you please show more finished product photos in the room? Thank you.


Join the conversation

4 of 22 comments
  • Jo Rogers Elkins Jo Rogers Elkins on Jun 14, 2019

    Yes, this does make me want to do this...I love to transform things from time to time!!!!

  • Lisa West Lisa West on Jun 14, 2019

    Dont you just love making your own curtains? I know I do. All of mine are hand made, exctepr for my kitchen. I have not dine pleats yet. They look very easy to do. Thank you for sharing. Love the glam part of your drapes to. Very cool indeed.

    • Sunny Side Design Sunny Side Design on Jun 17, 2019

      Yes it’s so fun to create unique curtains perfect for you’re own space! Pleats can look intimidating but they really are simple. You can do it!