How to Get a Drape Swag Curtain to Stay

Updated April 17, 2017

Draped swag curtains are a fun and easy way to add colour to your room and set off your windows without covering beautiful woodwork. Swags are appropriate for many types of fabrics and can be lined or unlined. However, because of their draped nature, it can be a challenge to keep them in place. The fluid quality of the draped folds is part of their charm, but if you're having difficulty keeping your swags in place, there are some simple solutions that should help. The surest way is to create fan-shaped rosettes wtih tulip swag holders.

Choose fabrics that have some body, such as cotton chintz or cotton/polyester blends in medium weights. Fabrics that are very flimsy, such as chiffon, will be difficult to keep in place as a swag.

Measure the width of your window, pulling a tape measure down in the middle of the window to mimic a swag. Measure down the side of window as far as you would like the fabric to hang and double this number so that you include both sides of the window.

Add the window width measurement to the total for the sides. Next, add about 37 inches, which will allow for the creation of two rosettes and a narrow hem for your swag. This is the length of fabric you will need to purchase.

Sew 1/2-inch hems on the ends of your material with a straight stitch. If you don't have a sewing machine, iron the hem using Dritz's Stitch Witchery so the fabric won't unravel.

Mark the middle of the fabric with a safety pin and note the middle of the valance pole with a piece of tape. Drape your swag on the pole, creating the smile-shaped curve in the middle by pulling the fabric. Check to see that the swag ends at the same point on both sides of the window.

Pull the tulip swag holder grips open. Work about 18 inches of fabric through each holder. Close the swag holder grips and fluff the fabric up and out into soft rosettes or fans.


Check fabric stores for other hardware options to hold a swag in place. If your window is wider than about 50 inches, plan to use a third tulip swag holder. Have a friend help you check to see that the swag is even so you don't have as many trips up and down the ladder.


Be careful when climbing on ladders to install your swag.

Things You'll Need

  • Tulip swag holders
  • Poles
  • Pole holders
  • Soft measuring tape
  • Fabric
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine or Dritz's Stitch Witchery
  • Iron
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About the Author

Clare Bills is a writer, speaker and artist living in Ames, Iowa. She holds three Bachelor of Arts degrees, as well as a Master of Science in journalism/public relations. Bills worked in public relations for more than 15 years and now writes for several magazines and online sites. She is also the author of a foodblog: Nana Clare's Kitchen.