Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tutorial: Adding Trim to Drapes

When faced with buying drapes for our new condo, I realized I had few options.  First challenge - drapes that are long enough for 10' ceilings.  Most of the attractive options for windows that aren't custom made stop at lengths of 96" or 108".  Second challenge - finding something affordable that still has some character.  Luckily, I remembered this tutorial that Janell of Isabella & Max rooms posted a couple months ago and I had a great solution to my problem!  Janell features various ways to dress up your drapes.  So for mine, I purchased solid Ikea curtains and added trim.  It is a really easy, excellent DIY project, so I wanted to give my readers a tutorial on how it works.

As I mentioned in this post last week, I saw a feature in Lonny on the J.K. Place that jump-started this project.  I knew I could easily accomplish this look, especially with Janell's post in mind.

I think those drapes are so beautiful and very subtle.

I started with these tie backs and some basic grosgrain ribbon...

I bought one set of white and one set of light beige, for the living room and for the bedroom respectively.  For the ribbon, I used black on the white and brown on the beige curtains.

You need very few materials for the project, just:
1. Ribbon/Trim long enough for your curtains and tie backs (if you have them)
2. Stitch witchery for the length of the trim
3. An iron and full size ironing board
4. And of course the curtains that you are working with

 First, lay out one curtain panel on the ironing board. 

Second, determine whether you want one row of trim or two. This will influence how far from the edge you want to place the trim.  I used two rows of trim and placed the ribbon 2" from the edge and the two rows 1.5" apart.  I used a 3/4" width for the ribbon on the curtains and a 5/8" ribbon on the tie backs.

Third, place stitch witchery in a line where you want the first ribbon to go and place the ribbon on top of it.  Be sure that the stitch witchery is completely covered by the ribbon and in a straight line.

Fourth, trim the ribbon so you aren't dragging the spool with you while ironing.  The ribbon should be 1.5" to 2" longer than the curtain on each edge.

Fifth, iron on the ribbon.  The stitch witchery will adhere the ribbon to the fabric.  Do not drag the iron, just place it on the ribbon and hold for 10 seconds.  I ironed on the two lines of trim simultaneously, which I figured out saved me a lot of time.  I also did a 45" section of the curtain at a time.

Lastly, when you get to the edge, turn back the curtain and iron the remaining couple inches onto the back to secure the ends.  You can repeat these steps across the bottom and for the tie backs.

Each curtain takes about 30 to 45 minutes once you get the hang of it.  I did 4 in one night and it wasn't too challenging.

Here is my finished product.  Oh and pardon the horrific photo quality, but there is no ideal time for me to shoot this gigantic window!

I love how the curtains pool on the ground and the two stripes are so apparent.

What do you think?


P.S. Did you notice the new wall color!?!


  1. Love it! Looks so good.

    Do you have any suggestions for HUGE floor to ceiling curtains (for say, a loft with ginormous ceilings)? I'm thinking that's the kind of thing where I'd need to just buy fabric and hem them myself...thoughts?

  2. V, I would say the best way to do that would be to buy a solid fabric that you would hem yourself. It would be difficult with a pattern to do something SUPER long without the help of a professional. I think that you could easily use my non sewing process to do those. And then just dress them up a little!

  3. These look fabulous, great job!! Don't you love when something ordinary can become special with a simple change? Thanks for the shout out!! Janell

  4. Gorgeous! I love it! What color paint is it? ~ Sarah

  5. Thanks Sarah! The paint color is Behr's Silver Tradition...

  6. these drapes really add some classy flare to our living space. i love 'em!

  7. They look great!!! My place has been without window treatments since January because I can't seem to find the right ones/ right size... when can you do mine?!?