DIY Draperies

June 2, 2009 Inspiration & Ideas

A couple of weeks ago I embarked on a little DIY drapery project. The windows in my apartment only had solar shades covering them for the longest time and I’d been wanting to soften them up with some fabulous draperies. If I could have things my way I would have had custom draperies made using Suzanne Rheinstein for Lee Jofa’s Ikat De Lin, but given how many yards I would have needed that would have far exceeded my budget so I decided to make my own!

My friend Robert gave me this sewing machine as a gift a while back and I had been dying to use it. I hadn’t sewed since I was little so I wanted a small project to help me get back into the swing of things and these DIY draperies were perfect!

I bought a couple packs of inexpensive AINA linen drapery panels from Ikea and a gazillion yards of reasonably priced greek key trim from Calico Corners in a bluish color called Mist.

I also bought two inexpensive aged brass curtain rods from Home Depot along with matching rings and these pin-on drapery hooks. The rings and the hooks have such a big impact on the finished product and are the secret to achieving a high-end look.

Next I sewed the trim down the entire length of the panels on each end. I was a little afraid I’d mess up at first, but it was like riding a bike! The panels were a bit long so I also had to hem the bottom so they fell at the perfect length…just at the floor.

I then attached my drapery hooks to the backs of each panel. I also removed the clips from the drapery rings. (I always think draperies look much more polished with the clips removed.) Next I looped the rings through the rods, hung the rods, then attached the panels to each ring with the drapery hooks.

And voila! Simple, custom made draperies with a high-end look for less! Hanging the panels on rings made all the difference in the world. Had I inserted the rod through the pockets on the draperies, they wouldn’t have looked the same.

Here’s a closer look.


Mimi Betancourt


Nice job! They look great. I recently took on making romans..So much fun sewing in all those little rings ;} but I was so proud of myself when it was done. I’m sure you feel the same..

Deborah Milne


You’ve inspired me! I love the Greek Key & actually purchased some trim last year that I have never used. It’s time…
Great, great job.

Katie Fine


Wow I am impressed. They look great!

Jen West Design


Gorgeous. Love the trim on the outside edge, too.

Leslie Rowlands


This looks great! I love the simple clean look with the greek key pattern, also the color combo! Righteous!



Wow – this is amazing Nicole! You did a great job. I have similar Greek key curtains in my own living room but I wasn’t clever enough to make them on my own.



These are so beautiful- I just love the greek key trim you picked, they look custom made,

Fabulous Finds Gal


Wow… those drapes pop off your matching wall color. Fabulous!!

So Haute


Thanks so much everyone for all of your kind words and feedback! I really appreciate it!! xoxo

My Notting Hill


Love the trim. The curtains look great!



Love that lamp, where is it from?



Such a great look. They look VERY expensive.

How did you attach the drapery pins?



I wish I had your talent! I need curtains for my closet, and these would be perfect.



A little off topic – where can I find some inexpensive bamboo window coverings (the kind you see in all the mags)? Some that would look cool behind your curtains. Thanks!

Joanna toro


Just bought everything I need to do exactly what you have! What color would you recommend for sewing? white? Also would you recommend also using a hemming kit and ironing on the trim instead of sewing? Thanks!!

    Nicole Post author


    Hi Joanna! Sewing will definitely last longer. If you do have a sewing machine, the extra work is definitely worth the end result which will have a more professionally finished look. If not, an iron/hem kit is a great quick solution to get the job done. Good luck!



Hi Nicole,

This is really helpful, however, I don’t completely understand what you mean about not using the clips. How do you attach the hooks to the back of the panels?


    Nicole Post author


    Hi Carrie! The hook actually have pins that you pierce right through the fabric and it holds them to the panels very securely. Then you just put attach the hooks to the rings and voila! It’s super easy to do and gives your draperies a completely professional look!



Absolutely love these draperies! Great idea!

Add a Comment