Shannon Berrey

How to pimp out your store bought curtains

Monday, January 09, 2012

I have been talking about redoing my dining room for a while. {Ok, let's be honest, 5 years probably doesn't qualify as 'a while', more like half a freaking decade} If you are a returning reader, you might recall that I bought a dining table and chairs a few months ago. {They are waxed and painted, just not reupholstered--I will show them to you soon}.

The dining room also needed new curtains. I purchased the Concorde Medallion panels from Ballard's, in blue, for a client last year and I really liked them.

For my dining room, I wanted them in green. I looked for similar fabrics, but honestly I kept coming back to this one. What I didn't love about them, however, was the fact that they were rod-pockets {the curtain rod slides in a channel and is shirred on} and I prefer pinch-pleated {the top is pleated and attached with hooks onto rings}. But, I also knew that this was something I could do myself. I also like a much fuller panel than the typical 50-54" width that ready-mades usually provides. So, I ordered 4 panels--2 for each side.      

First, you must sew the 2 panels together. This involves removing the interior side seams and about 6" of the interior top seam.



Once the side seams are removed, iron the side seams flat.


With right sides together, sew a 5/8' seam from top to bottom.

If you have a serger, serge the edges, if not, then zig-zag the raw edges. Re-fold the middle top tab seam--the 6" of seam that you removed to open up the side seams, and re-sew. Iron the seam flat.


{FYI-the new middle seam gets hidden when it is pleated and hung}

On the wrong side, start at the top left edge and measure 4" across and mark with chalk, then measure 5" across and mark, repeat all the way across. The 4" areas are the spaces that will be between the pleats. The 5" areas will make the pleats.

Starting with one edge, Bring the 2 chalk lines together {these are the 'edges' of the 5" space} and pin them together. Sew a seam, on the right side, from the top edge down 5".

When all of the seams are sewn, it will look like this {on the back side} 

And the front side:

From the right side, starting with the first pleat, push it down and crease it so that is equal on both sides.

Fold the outer edges up

While holding the pleat in place, use a strong needle and thread, sew through all layers with several stitches at the base of the seam. Knot and cut off the thread.

Move to the base of the pleat {4" down}, and tack through the bottom of each pleat several times. Knot and cut off threads. 

Repeat on all pleats.

Stop and congratulate yourself because you just made pinch-pleats!!

Now you have to add the hooks. I bought mine at Lowe's for less than a few dollars a bag. You will need 1 bag for each {double} panel. The pins will slip into the rings.  

On the back side, measure down 1 5/8" from the top on each pleat seam and make a small mark. 

With the sharp, straight side of the pin, insert the pin into the seam at your mark. Only catch a small amount of fabric. 

It can be hard to push the pin all the way through, so I use my ruler to give it some leverage and force it through. It stops about 1/4" from the top.

This is the back view when all of the pins have been inserted. 

You will need 26 wood rings. I also got these at Lowe's--they come in several colors. I bought 4 bags at $8/per bag {it left me with 2 extra}.

Unfortunately, they come with clips which you don't need for this application.

They are simple to remove--force the larger thin ring open and take off the clip.

Place the rings onto the rod. Place each pin into a corresponding eyehook on each ring. 



Consider yourself pimped.  

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Shannon Berrey Bio
I'm an artist, interior designer, wife and mom. Join me here as I share projects, ramblings, and inspirations.
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