DIY Drapery Details

Sometimes you just can't find the right curtain. Or maybe your budget will not allow for custom-made curtains. Well, I'm sure you've seen curtains with trim details on them recently. This is a great solution for customizing your look and achieving it on a budget.

Here are some curtains I just helped a client with in her home. We new we wanted something simple and clean lined. However, we just couldn't seem to find the right thing in a store or online. So, I suggested we create the look ourselves. It was really simple and I can show you just how we did it.

We started with a simple store bought drapery panel. We purchased the Emery Linen/Cotten Drape in Oatmeal from Pottery Barn. This drape is lined and has both hidden back tabs and drapery hooks that can be used with rings. We chose to use just the back tabs for a simpler look.

We began the project by selecting some trim. Our choice was a simple chocolate brown grosgrain pleated ribbon. We found this at a local craft store. It was very inexpensive, only $2.49 per yard. You could use any type of ribbon or trim found at a fabric store. There are endless choices to match any style or color scheme. Just note that the thicker choices will need to be sewn on. Thinner versions can be applied with an iron-on / no sew adhesive if you choose.

I suggest that you lay out your curtain panel and play with your options first. Many people run the trim vertically down the edge. This is a great look and very simple to add. Our trim was only 3/4" inch wide and we wanted our trim at the top for more visibility. So we decided to do two rows of the trim horizontally. So I measured the curtains and calculated the amount of trim I would need. (50" wide curtains + 4" extra for wrapping around and finishing the edges = 54" x 2 rows = 108". Divide this by 12" and you get 9. So you need 9 feet of ribbon per panel, which is 3 yards x 4 panels = 12 yards of trim.) 

The next step was deciding the placement and space between my rows. I chose simple measurements for ease and began pinning my trim in place. Make sure to measure all along and pin often. It will be noticeable if your trim is not straight. So take the extra time to pin it accurately. If you are not sewing, now is the time to add your no sew tape between the trim and the curtain. Just pin it along with your trim so that you can iron it in the correct place.

You will also need to wrap the trim around onto the back of the curtain and finish the edges nicely. I simply folded the trim to the correct length stopping it on the curtain fabric edge, not on the lining.  Fold your trim under so that the raw edge is hidden. 

Now it is time to sew.  This trim had a seam down the middle. So we were able to follow that line and sew right on it. Most other trim will need to be sewn down the outer edges. Don't be afraid....its just a straight line! One detail that makes this look more professional is to have your thread match the trim color and your bobbin match the lining. So we used brown thread on the front and white thread for the bobbin so that the seam on the back wasn't as noticeable. 

If your trim is folded like ours, be sure you are running it through the machine in the direction that does not push against your trim. It will make it much easier to sew. That is all there is to it. This simple project will give you detailed curtains that are uniquely yours!!