DYI Lined Curtain Short Cut

Okay, I don't usually do DIY posts, but finding reasonably-priced nice looking lined drapes that are not custom is a bear (and if anyone has any sources please share!) so I thought I would share the results of my latest weekend project.  

I have a bedroom that always seems to be a work in progress.  I have 9 windows and I have been so lazy about getting them properly dressed (aside from the shades).  I can sew, but I keep putting off making window treatments (lined drapes)  -- such a huge hassle and time is always at a premium, so I have been trying to think of ways to short cut it (besides having someone else do the work).    

Well, I had mixed results in my curtain quest.  Good in that they look ok, bad in that they were more of a PIA than I thought they would be because of a few mistakes that I made (but how many projects end up that way!).

So here it is:  I purchased ready made lined, linen pocket curtains from Overstock and turned them into pleated drapes with greek trim tape and they don't look half bad.  So if you are looking for a budget curtain makeover and are a tad handy, this might be a good way to go.

Aside from your sewing machine, here are some items you will need.  Pleat tape, long pleat hooks, ready made curtains, trim and liquid stitch.
 What you need:

1.  Ready made Curtain Panels Linen Curtains from Overstock
2. Needle and thread
3. Sewing Machine (I have an oldie from sears)
4. Self Pleating Drape Tape (you can get it here)
5. Long Pinch Pleat Drapery Hooks (you can get them here)
6. Liquid Stitch (you can get it here)
7. Greek Fret Tape (you can get it here)
8. Razor blade or seam ripper or tiny sewing scissors & regular scissors

1.  I purchased 88" Linen Curtains from Overstock 88" L x 54" W at $69.99 per lined panel --- a pretty amazing deal (you can't buy linen fabric that cheap!). I used two panels on each side and hand stitched them together (my window is very wide).  First pin them together, then sew them together by hand.  Easy peasy?  Well it would have been better if they lined up (a 1/2 inch difference in the lengths of the two panels -- thankfully not noticeable, like the seam, as it hangs  in the folds of your drape).  

2. The second issue I had was the curtains came with pockets  (for a rod); so I had to remove the them with a razor blade (you can use a seam ripper or tiny sewing scissors instead).  Not difficult -- just be careful and only cut the threads that join the fabric.

3.  Once I had the pockets off, I sewed the self pleating tape to the back (just make sure you don't put it on upside down or inside out!). 

4.  Once I had the tape in place, I inserted the extra long 4 prong hooks to create pinch pleats (click here to see a "how to" video on how to insert the hooks). And don't forget that your ends take a single  hook.

If you want to make the whole shebang yourself, Design Sponge has a great tutorial, which you can see at this link.

 5.  Last step was adding the trim.  I purchased my trim at M & J Trimming ($9 per yard) and attached the trim by using Liquid Stitch (yes it works awesome and looks great!).  I applied the liquid stitch to the tape at 12" increments and smoothed it onto the curtain.
 Hang that baby up and Voila!  Instant window treatments.

Despite the extra step of removing the pockets,  it was a lot easier than starting from scratch and I saved a bundle approximately $320 per window (excluding hardware) verses what it would have cost for custom drapes (pair of lined, pleated drapes approximately $650 for custom here in NY, and that number is with my discount).



  1. A girl after my own heart. I applaud you for getting lined drapes. That is the extra expense that most people skip. ALWAYS have a lined drape. Love M&J trimmings. I recently purchased some from Bed, Bath & Beyond when they were discontinuing their dupioni silk line...and added trim, too.

  2. Hi there, Yes! Thanks for pointing out the lined aspect of the window treatments (I amended my heading accordingly ; ) ). I totally agree: I wouldn't even consider hanging unlined drapes unless the aesthetic you are going for is a sheer look. Thanks for the comment and have a great day. xo A