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How to Drape a Swag on a Rod

Updated February 21, 2017

A swag curtain adds a look of elegance to your decor, and it is an easy way to quickly update your window treatments. Draping your swag curtain involves only one long length of fabric, some basic household supplies and a bit of creativity. A drape swag is an affordable no-sew or low-sew alternative to expensive window treatments. This is a project that can be completed in less than an hour.

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  1. Install your curtain rod according to the manufacturer's directions. Because small portions of the curtain rod will show, it is best to get a decorative curtain rod rather than a plain metal rod. Decorative finial ends on the curtain rod will also work well with this project but aren't necessary. Install the rod so it is no higher than 4 inches above the top edge of the window casing.

  2. Measure the length of your window from the top edge of the window casing to the bottom edge of the lower window casing. Cut your fabric so it is twice the length of this measurement.

  3. Hem the raw edges on each short edge of your swag fabric. If you are sewing your hem, fold each raw edge up 1/2 inch and iron into place. Fold up another 1/2 inch and iron, then pin into place. Sew along the lower folded edge with a 1/4-inch seam allowance and a straight stitch. If you aren't sewing your hem, fold each raw edge up 1/2 inch and secure with hem tape.

  4. Fold your fabric in half along its vertical centre. Wrap the vertical centre of the fabric completely around the centre of the curtain rod, starting and ending at the front of the rod. You will have both long ends of the fabric streaming down from the centre of the rod.

  5. Pull the right-side stream of fabric over to the right-most edge of the curtain rod. Arrange the swag so the side piece of the swag hangs 3/4 of the way down the side of the window. There will be a large portion hanging down from the centre of the curtain rod over to the upper right side of the curtain rod. Secure the fabric to the upper right corner of the rod by wrapping a garbage tie or pipe cleaner around both the fabric and the rod. Repeat with the left-hand stream of fabric.

  6. Hide the pipe cleaner or garbage tie by pulling the streaming side pieces up and around the top sides of the curtain rods. These side pieces will now stream from the back of the curtain rod.

  7. Arrange the large pieces hanging down from the top centre to the top sides of the curtain rod. If they hang too low, attach the swag at even intervals -- no smaller than 10 inches apart -- to the curtain rod with a garbage tie or pipe cleaner.

  8. Stuff the drape swag portions that hang down from the upper rod with enough plastic bags that they retain their shape. Adjust the drapes so the garbage ties or pipe cleaners are hidden.

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Things You'll Need

  • Fabric for swag
  • Coordinating thread
  • Hem tape
  • Sewing machine
  • Curtain rod
  • Plastic bags
  • Garbage bag ties or pipe cleaners
  • Measuring tape

About the Author

Arin Bodden

Based in the Pacific Northwest, Arin Bodden started writing professionally in 2003. Her writing has been featured in "Northwest Boulevard" and "Mermaids." She received the Huston Medal in English in 2005. Bodden has a Master of Arts in English from Eastern Washington University. She currently teaches English composition and technical writing at the university level.

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