How to Make Fan Pleated Drapes

Fan pleated drapes add a contemporary air to any room and are enhanced by a decorative curtain rod. Pleating the drapes is not difficult with pleating header tape, which is found at fabric stores. These drapes are similar to pinch pleated drapes, but the gathering is done at the top of the pleat instead of the bottom. Fan pleats are also known as Euro or Parisian pleats and deliver a soft, rolling fold and less-tailored appearance than a traditional pinch pleat.

Install the decorative curtain rod over the window at the desired height. Measure the distance between the rod and the length of the desired curtain. Add 4 inches for hems.

Multiply the window width two and a half times, and add 4 inches for side hems. Divide the width in half for two centre-opening fan pleated curtain panels. Use the measurements to determine the fabric yardage, and cut the panels from the fabric.

Fold the top edge of the panels 2 inches to the wrong side, and pin in place. Attach the pleating header tape to the panels with a line of straight stitching at the top and bottom edges of the tape, 1/4 inch from the edges, using the sewing machine.

Fold the bottom and side edges of the panels 1 inch to the wrong side of the fabric twice, and pin them in place. Hand-stitch the hems 1/4 inch from the top hem edges, using the needle and thread.

Pull the fan pleated header tape blind cord to create the pleats. Hand-sew the curtain rings to the tops of the pleats, using the needle and thread. Thread the curtain rod through the rings.

Things You'll Need

  • Decorative curtain rod
  • Metal tape measure
  • Medium-weight curtain fabric
  • Scissors
  • Straight pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Iron
  • Fan pleating header tape
  • Needle
  • Curtain rings
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About the Author

Linda Shepard has been staff writer for "C & G Newspapers" for over 10 years, covering local government and crime and serving as the newspaper's food writer. She has written for "Michigan Meetings Magazine" and is also the owner of, an online business of self-guided walking tours.