How to Use Pleater Tape to Make Draperies

Written by kathryn hatter
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How to Use Pleater Tape to Make Draperies
(Drapery © Joseph Gareri -

If you are making your own draperies to hang from traverse drapery rods, you may think that the most difficult step will be creating the pleats in the draperies. If you use pleater tape to create your pleats, all of the measuring, figuring, and fussing is eliminated from this project. All that is necessary to create perfectly lovely pleats in your draperies is pleater tape sewn to the top of the drapery panels.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Pleater tape
  • Pleater hooks
  • Decorator fabric
  • Traverse drapery rod
  • Mounting hardware
  • Drill
  • Screwdriver
  • Sewing machine
  • Sewing notions
  • Tape measure
  • Iron

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  1. 1

    Measure window width and height with tape measure.

  2. 2

    Pleat the pleater tape so that it is the width measured in step 1. Leave two inches of tape unpleated at each end of the tape. Cut the pleater tape to this length.

  3. 3

    Create fabric drapery panels with widths that are four inches longer than the length of pleater tape made in step 2 and heights that are six inches longer than the height measured in step 1.

  4. 4

    Install the traverse drapery rod above the window following manufacturer instructions.

  5. 5

    Hem the bottom edge of the drapery panels by marking three inches along the bottom edge and turning the raw edge up along this marking. Press the fold. Turn the folded edge under again three inches and press again. Stitch this hem in place.

  6. 6

    Hem the side edges of the drapery panels by marking one inch along the side edges and turning the raw edges in along this marking. Press this fold. Turn the folded edge in again one inch and press again. Stitch this hem in place along both edges.

  7. 7

    Lay out the drapery panels with the right sides facing up. Measure and mark 1/2-inch from the top edges.

  8. 8

    Lay the upper edge of the pleater tape with the pocket side up along the line marked in step 7. The drapery panel and the pleater tape should overlap 1/2-inch. See image for details. Pin the pleater tape in place in this position. Sew the pleater tape to the drapery panel 1/4-inch away from the edge of the pleater tape.

    How to Use Pleater Tape to Make Draperies
  9. 9

    Fold the pleater tape to the inside of the drapery panel so it is even with the finished edge of the drapery panel. Press this fold well with the iron. Sew both side edges of the pleater tape and the entire lower edge.

  10. 10

    Adjust the drapery panels under the pleater tape to make the pleats neat.

  11. 11

    Insert the pleater hooks into each pleat by pushing the prongs into each pleat. Even out and adjust the fabric between each pleater hook.

  12. 12

    Insert the pleater hooks into the traverse drapery rod to hang the draperies.

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