Monday, November 21, 2011

DIY Euro Pleat Drapery

Pleated drapery has been around forever but will never go away. It's a small detail but makes a room look sophisticated and tailored.

[ Lonny Mag ]

urban grace
[ Urban Grace Interiors ]

Recently, a client of mine purchased white linen pole pocket curtain panels from West Elm. The fabric is really beautiful and they work well for this project.

We decided to euro pinch pleat her store bought drapery because custom pleated drapery was out of our budget. Here are the DIY steps for how I did this.. it's SO easy!!

I wanted the pleats to be more casual than a traditional Persian pleat, so I just did two folds instead of three:

First measure three inches down from the end of the panel and start your pleating. As you can see, my pleats are three inches apart:

To create the pleats, pull up two folds of fabric of equal heights just like this:

Here are some other views so you can see what your folds should look like:



Then pin your pleats to get ready to sew:


I added the red line so you can see where you'll be sewing your stitch. Make sure your pin parallel to your pleat.

Make sure you pin all your pleats before you start sewing. Make sure everything looks nice and neat and the lengths in between each pleat is the same (3 inches).

Then all you have to do is sew your stitch!

The red line shows where you will be stitching. You don't want to start the stitch at the front of the pleat; start a little bit below.

Look at the green line - you want to make sure you sew each stitch in the same location to create uniform pleats. For my pleats, I lined up the top of the panel with the end of the ruler on my sewing machine. I used this guide for each pleat.. make sure you use a similar guide.

This is what I do when I sew the actual stitch: Sew forward, sew in reverse and then sew forward again. This assures a strong stitch.

And repeat until all your panels are pleated!

Here is the finished product:


These panels above are actually double width. I simple sewed two panels together to create the double width! (The windows are foggy because we steam ironed the panels).

And that's it! If you have a sewing machine, this is a very easy way to create a designer look for so much less than if you were to have custom drapery made. Of course, nothing is as great as the real thing but this is a good improvement to store-bought pole pocket drapes.

Let me know if you have any questions!


  1. This looks great. How did you hang them? Did you use hooks inserted into the stitches on the pleat, and rings on the pole?

  2. Good question! I used plain hooks (like pictured) and just stuck them into the back of each pleat (no stitches). The rings are loop rings.

  3. They look beautiful!

  4. Leah Anderson-WimberlyNovember 21, 2011 at 11:07 AM

    These look fantastic! Thanks for the tutorial.

  5. I was wondering the same thing.  Thanks!  Great tutorial!!

  6. Just finished this same project, with same linen blend drapes from West Elm, in my bedroom.  (I added some vintage greek key trim, though).  I used Jenny Komenda's tutorial from a while back.  Fun to see this in someone else's house.  It looks great.  (You and your client must have good taste...ha!)

  7. They look very nice! And unless you have eagle eyes you'd never know they are not the "real thing."

  8. This was my question as well.  Thanks, Bryn!

  9. Can you tell me where you got that rod? And also, is the top of the drapery hook even with the top of the pleat? 

  10. Those look great - and like I could actually sew them!  Thanks for the tutorial!

  11. hey! looks great! questions- did you buy a drapery steamer? Or what do you use? I'm in the market. But I borrowed an expensive on in New York a couple of weeks ago and was not impressed. The cord was short and the ceilings where 10', didn't really work that well. 

  12. The rod is from Restoration Hardware and doesn't have finials (just the way I like them!) It wraps all the way around. The rings are also from Restoration Hardware. I hung the hooks about an inch or so down (whatever the amount was to allow the top of the drapes were even with the rod). 

  13. Hey Stephanie! Actually no, my client and her husband steamed the drapes on an ironing board with their iron while I hung them :) I do have a steamer from JoAnns but it's not that great. I have used a commercial one but you're right - the hose wasn't long enough!!

  14. wow - that's quite a skilled diy!! i love your blog :)

    Oh - Fancy That.

  15. Thanks for the info! The rod is great and the drapes really look custom!

  16. My question too- thanks for the heads up, and for the awesome tutorial!

  17. SO good to know! Thank you for the tips! I have some curtains that are pleated, and a few that are not.. this will definitely help. And I can't help but mention the leather chair in the first picture... perfect.


THANK YOU for taking the time to share your thoughts. I appreciate each and every comment.

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