Pleated curtains offer an elegance to your home that plain curtain panels cannot. Adding a valance to those pleated curtains gives an additional dimension to your drapes. You can make your own pleated curtains, including an attached valance, with less work than you would think possible. Adding pleats to your curtains is not too difficult if you use a few tricks that professionals use, and for a fraction of the cost.
Measure the length of the window or however far down you want your curtains to hang, adding 6 inches. Measure the width of the window and double it to give you plenty of fabric for pleating. Measure the width of the window and double it for the valance. Measure the length you want the valance to hang down to.
Cut out the fabric according to the measurements. Make sure to cut two lengths of fabric to give you two curtain panels, plus your valance.
Lay one of your curtain panels out wrong side up. Fold over the side edges and pin in place. Sew along the fold to form a hem. Repeat for the other curtain panel.
Hem the sides and the bottom edge of the valance in the same manner as for the curtain panels.
Place your curtains wrong side up on a clean floor, side by side. Lay the valance across the top, with the wrong side up, and use pins to temporarily attach the valance to the curtains. Sew across the top edge and then flip the valance over to the right side so that both of the right sides are showing.
Lay out your curtains and valance again. Measure to mark off for your pleats. Use the tailor's chalk to measure off 3-inch sections for each pleat, leaving 6 inches in between. For example, measure from the side 6 inches, then 9 inches and 12 inches for one pleat, at 18 inches for a spacer, 21 inches and 24 inches for another pleat, and continue across the curtains.
Fold the curtains at every 3-inch section by pinching the two chalk marks together. Flatten out the pleats and use pins to hold in place. Sew across the top once you make all of your pleats.
Hang the curtains in your window to make adjustments for the bottom hem. Fold the fabric up so that your curtains are the length you desire using pins to hold the fabric. Sew the hem in place.
- "Simply the Best Home Decorating"; Anne Marie Soto, editor; 1993
- If you are unsure of how far you want your valance to hang down, one third of the length of the window is a standard measurement.
- You can buy pleat tape at the fabric store if you are unsure of making the pleats. Pleat tape comes in many different varieties, offering you different sizes and styles of pleats.