How to make your own rope curtain tiebacks

Written by anne baley
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How to make your own rope curtain tiebacks
Make your own rope curtain tieback. (cyclamen image by hazel proudlove from

Curtains with fabric rope tiebacks are an attractive design element, but getting custom tieback ropes made can be expensive and you may not find anything that you like in the ready-made versions. Fabric-covered rope tiebacks can be made by anyone with a minimum of sewing experience. Making these custom curtain accessories takes about an hour. Make them in any fabric that you like, to match or accent your curtain colours.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Clothesline or other cording
  • Measuring tape
  • Fabric
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Large safety pin
  • Cup hooks

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  1. 1

    Measure the length of your finished rope tieback. Place the measuring tape around the curtain in the same place as the rope will be. Measure from the wall around the curtain and back to the wall, draping the measuring tape at the same angle that the rope will drape. This measurement will be the length of your cord.

  2. 2

    Measure the width of your cord, if the package does not indicate it. Double this amount and add 3 cm (1 1/4 inch). If your cord is 1.3 cm (1/2 inch), double plus 3 cm (1 1/4 inch) makes a total of 5.6 cm (2 1/4 inches). This will be the width of your fabric strips.

  3. 3

    Cut two strips of fabric the width that you calculated in Step 2. Each strip will be your cord length plus one inch.

  4. 4

    Fold one strip in half lengthwise, with the right sides together. Pin the strip to keep the sides in place and even. Sew along the long edge, using a 1.3 cm (1/2 inch) seam allowance. Fold and sew the other strip in the same way. This will create two fabric tubes.

  5. 5

    Cut two pieces of cording in the cord length that you calculated. These will be the insides of the curtain ropes.

  6. 6

    Pin the safety pin to one end of one of the sewn strips. Push the pin into the inside of the sewn strip tube. Push the pin further and further along the tube. It will bring the fabric to which it is pinned along with it. Moving by feel, keep sliding the pin through the tube all the way to the other end. This will cause the entire tube to turn inside out. Turn the other tube inside out in the same manner.

  7. 7

    Pin the safety pin to the end of one of the cords. Slide the pin into one of the fabric tubes. Use the pin to help pull the cord through the tube, so that the cord will be encased in fabric. Pull until the pin just emerges from the tube, but leave the cord inside and covered by fabric. Slide the other piece of cording into the other fabric tube in the same manner.

  8. 8

    Sew together the open ends of the fabric tubes to make circular fabric-covered ropes. Screw in cup hooks at the sides of the window frames where you want the ropes to hang. Slip the rope loops over the bottom of the curtains and hand on the cup hooks. Arrange the edge of the curtain to cover the cup hooks.

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