How to Make Simple Swags & Tails

Written by amma marfo
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A classic addition to any window to dress up a room is by adding a simple swag and tails to the windows. By using one cut of fabric and preparing it for the size of your window, there are a variety of ways to deck out your room for a special occasion or just to make it feel more complete. Start by selecting a fabric that matches the existing colours and patterns of the room and you should be done making swags and tails in about an hour.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • Fabric, 44- to 45-inch width
  • Lining fabric
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Iron
  • Ribbon

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  1. 1

    Measure down from the top of your window to find how long you want the tails to hang down from the curtain rod. Multiply this number by two. Measure the window's width and add this number to your tails number.

  2. 2

    Decide how many swags or swoops of fabric you want to place along the curtain rod and multiply the number of swoops by 16. Add this amount to the measurement you determined in Step 1. Buy a piece of fabric and a piece of lining, such as muslin, cut to this measurement.

  3. 3

    Trim the width of the fabric so each piece is 30 inches wide by the length you need. Align your fabric with your lining so the right sides are facing in. Sew all the way around all four sides using a 1/2-inch seam, but leave a 4-inch wide opening along one side.

  4. 4

    Turn the material right side out through the opening and sew the opening shut with your machine or by hand. Iron the material to crease the seams and remove any wrinkles. Fold the material in half width-wise and tie a piece of ribbon around it to mark the centre of the fabric.

  5. 5

    Bring the centre of the fabric under and behind your curtain rod and drape it over the front of the rod. Pull the centre toward you until the amount of fabric hanging down in the back of the rod is the distance of fabric you wanted for the tails.

  6. 6

    Move each tail to opposite ends of the curtain rod and drape them over the portion of the rod that connects to the wall. Adjust the pulled forward fabric to create the number of swags you wanted at the size you desire and use ribbon to attach the peaks between swags to the curtain rod.

Tips and warnings

  • Buy all the fabric you need for matching windows at the same time, as well as any extra fabric you want for making matching throw pillows, quilts or for upholstering a chair. This way you'll have a matching set.
  • Change up the look of your tails and swags as desired to make the tails uneven in length, make some swags deeper or wider than others or spiral the material around the curtain rod to create an overlapping look to the swags.

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