How to make pinch pleat drapes with pleat tape

Pinch-pleat drapes are a standard in window coverings. They are versatile enough to fit any decor and attractive on a variety of window styles. These drapes are easy to find ready-made, but if you have a specific decor that necessitates specific fabric, you may want to make your own pinch-pleat draperies. Anyone who possesses basic sewing skills can make pinch-pleat drapes using pinch-pleat tape. Once the standard drapery panels are constructed, you only need to sew the panel of pinch-pleat tape to the top of the drapery panel and gather the panels to form the pleats.

Sew lined drapery panels in normal fashion. The basic rule of thumb is that the pleating will use twice as much curtain, so the curtain panels need to be twice as wide as the windows to cover them adequately.

Turn the drapery panels right side out. The top of the curtain panels should be left with raw edges. Drop one or two pennies into the inside of the panel through the top open edge. They will weight the hem and improve the hang of the draperies.

Iron the hem area and the body of the curtain panels.

With the back side of the curtain panel facing up, fold the raw top edge over approximately 1/2 inch.

Spread the pinch-pleat panel along the top edge near the fold you just made. The pinch-pleat panel should be on top of the folded fabric. Cut the pinch-pleat panel to match the width of the curtain panel, adding approximately 1/2 inch to each side. Fold under the side edges of the pinch-pleat panel to conceal the raw edges. Press well.

Stitch the pinch-pleat panel to the drapery panel. Be very careful not to sew the ends of the hook pockets closed. Repeat this process for every drapery panel.

Create the pinch pleats. Gather the top of the panel where the pinch-pleat panel has been sewn in. Make groups of three pleats to be used with triple hooks, or groups of two pleats to be used with double hooks.

Slide the drapery hooks into the pockets and hang the drapes on any kind of drapery rod.


Don't skimp on fabric, fuller drapes have a more professional, finished look.


The ends of some drapery hooks can be sharp and spiky.

Things You'll Need

  • Drapery-weight fabric
  • Lining fabric
  • Pennies
  • Pinch-pleat tape
  • Double or triple pleat hooks
  • Sewing machine
  • Sewing notions
  • Iron
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About the Author

Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.