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  • IKEA Hack: Pinched Pleat Curtains

    IKEA HACK: Pinched Pleat Curtains

    You guys, I’m finally blogging today! My slowed blogging schedule is a result of my limited bandwidth. I may be crazy but I still believe someday I’ll get to a point I can blog more frequently AND do all the other things I like/want/have to do. Until I reach that point, my blog posts will be quality but not quantity – I hope you’re OK with that!

    I’m thrilled to share this easy IKEA hack with you today! This isn’t a novel idea by any means, but after posting a photo on Instagram the other day, a lot of you asked me to show you how I did this, so here’s my method of getting a pinched pleat effect on budget curtain panels.

    Before I get into it, here’s the backstory: we bought this house last October, and my daughter Mara’s room has a sliding glass door that leads to the side of our home with a nice (#opposite) view of our neighbor’s garage/work area. We have plans to remove the slider altogether and replace with a window (I don’t want my daughter escaping the house through this slider when she’s older!), but no timeline for this yet so it was crucial that I cover the glass doors for privacy sake. I toyed with hanging jewel toned velvet curtains, and blackout makes sense in a toddler’s room, but Mara is a good napper and hasn’t ever needed blackout, and I didn’t want to eliminate all that natural light! Plus we are early risers so I don’t mind if my kids wake up when the sun is up.  So, given that these treatments are temporary and that I didn’t want to invest too much dough, I turned to IKEA.

    IKEA HACK: Pinched Pleat Curtains


    IKEA curtain panels are amazing, they come SUPER long so you can hem them yourself to achieve the perfect length. They sell a variety of colors and fabric styles, and they’re extremely budget friendly.

    Here are the materials you need for this project:


    IKEA HACK: Pinched Pleat Curtains

    The whole “anatomy of a finished curtain” thing is something I can’t wrap my head around, so I hemmed my curtain panels while they were already hung. If you can do the math to hem your curtains prior to hanging, please do! For those who are curtain challenged like I am, here’s what I did:

    First, I threaded the curtain rings on the rod, then began hanging each panel. The trick to create a pinched pleat effect with IKEA curtains is to fold the fabric over itself twice to create a ‘pleat’ then clip the two folded sections together. I placed the clip at the bottom of the hem, in the same spot each time so the curtains would be uniform height across the span of the window. Pinched pleat curtains take up a lot more fabric than other curtain styles, which is why you need to double up your curtain panels. Each folded pleat is about 3/4″ -1″ in depth, and I spaced them about 4″ apart from the next pleat. No problem if you end with extra curtain rings, just try to keep the distance between each pleat uniform.

    IKEA HACK: Pinched Pleat Curtains

    IKEA HACK: Pinched Pleat Curtains

    You can really see the pinched pleat look when you take a step back. I love the texture it adds! It certainly looks more tailored imo.

    IKEA HACK: Pinched Pleat Curtains

    Once the curtains were hung, I pinned the curtains at the bottom so that the hem kisses the floor. I then brought in a TV tray (don’t judge!) and ironed the hem to get it nice and crisp. Then, while the curtains were still hung, I brought in my sewing machine, plopped it on top of the TV tray, and hemmed the curtains! So easy! Once I was done sewing the hem, I trimmed the excess fabric on the backside.

    I did about a 4″ hem, I did not do any fancy double-turned hem or anything like that, so if you look at the reverse side of my curtains, you will see a raw edge above the sew line. You can opt for a more polished hem by trimming the excess length first, then double-turning the fold to avoid a raw edge on the backside of the curtain.

    IKEA HACK: Pinched Pleat Curtains

    What do you think? Is this project good enough to be considered a HACK?

    IKEA HACK: Pinched Pleat Curtains

    bedroom sources: rocking chair | cat + bear stuffed animal friends | Franco Albini ottoman (similar) | rug (vintage)| disco ball (similar) | French return matte black curtain rod | white curtain panels

    1. No offense, but this hack has been around for 10 years if not more. It was all around the blogosphere, including on Young House Love many years ago.

      1. It doesn’t mean that we can’t appreciate this application of the hack. Do you feel better now that you’ve minimized the work that this woman has put into her project and blog post? Smh.

      2. I Love your Tips! I have been shopping at Ikea now for over 10 years. This helped me a lot . Now that Ikea ships – Game changer! I like to re do my rooms often. This is a great economical idea. Do not let someones comment about this being an old Post discourage you. I needed this post! 2019! Lol

      3. 10 years ago I was in my *very* early 20’s and not at all interested in pinch-pleated curtains because I was living in a dorm. So unless these things are re-shared every few years with a fresh take, younger generations are going to be completely clueless as to how to do these types of things. I grew up with working mothers and grandmothers who didn’t have time to “pass down” knowledge like this… so I know I certainly appreciate sharing of knowledge like this! Especially on Pinterest because that’s where we all go for home inspo. Thank you for sharing.

    2. I love your style and I appreciate you taking the time to share how you did this. It’s new to me and you rock!!! I’m redoing our whole house and getting new windows. These curtains look great!!

    3. Thank you! I have been looking for something like this and haven’t wanted to spend $$$$ at fancy places to get the French pleat curtains! These look wonderful.

    4. Thank you! I have been looking for a tutorial like this & did not want to spend crazy amount of money at fancy places for a French pleat. Can you fix the link for the similar curtain rings you got?

    5. I need new curtains for my living room. And this little project would be perfect. But my concern is the color of the drapery panels. My couch has a bright white slipcover. And some of my wooden pieces are painted bright white. I’m afraid that since these panels aren’t bright white (more of a warm white) that they won’t work. What do you think??

      1. Definitely a concern without seeing the panels! I would say they’re very crisp white, but they allow light to come through which may be what you’re seeing in my photos, that it was a warm-lit afternoon? But matching whites is definitely something to consider when getting window treatments, but at IKEAs prices, it’s not too expensive to test out.

    6. In regards to the previous comment (insert eye roll), yes, I too have seen this before and done it in my own home however I LOVE seeing the peeks into your daughters room. Your version of this idea was a pleasant reminder for me of how easy it is to take something simple as IKEA curtains and make them more high end. So thank you Brittany for posting and keep up the quality content (quality over quantity = YES!!) even if it isn’t original. ;) I would so much rather read blog posts like this one over post about “look at this $7,000 dresser I received for free” < those post aren't obtainable for most of us to draw inspiration from.

      1. Thank you Janine! I greatly appreciate your comment, and glad I’m not disappointing anyone with my sporadic posting! xoxo

    7. I’m so glad you posted this! I have been discouraged about our curtains and not being able to splurge on any…this hack was SO timely. THANK YOU!

    8. I love your hack and I think it’s great that old ideas can be refreshed and presented in new settings. I check your blog every day for new posts. Love your style! I can’t wait to see what you do with your new house. I still check out your old house pictures for inspiration. Keep up the good work! Have you shown photos of all of Mara’s new room or has it yet to be revealed?

      1. That’s kinda how I feel too! Any take on an idea can be different, refreshing or motivating. I hope to post more! It’s my goal! And Mara’s room has yet to be revealed, I am just posting snippits as I get little projects completed. I have plans for a wall treatment, just waiting to nail down a timeline for it!

    9. I’m was so happy to see a new blog post in my in box from you – especially this one! I have the exact same situation at home and this is the perfect solution! Thank you so much for sharing!

    10. Love how these turned out! They look so fancy! We had a slider in our bedroom but finally got around to taking it out last summer. You know it’s no good when you can feel the draft coming through it :) We ended up replacing it with a long, horizontal window so that light could come in but we could still use the wall completely. My question is, what kind of covering works with thinner windows?! I have been trying to figure it out for almost a year…

      The window is about 6 feet long (wide?) and only about 18 inches tall.

    11. If your girl wants to sneak out of the house when she’s older, sorry, but she’ll just climb out the window. (As a teen, who HASN’T climbed in/out of a window?) Unless you make it too small to get out of (which you probably can’t, for fire safety), save your money and leave the sliding door :-)

      I love those Rivka curtains, and just FINALLY figured out the best way to hang mine. Was thinking of writing up a blog post about why I’ve moved my curtain rod more times than I can count, so I don’t think there’s anything wrong with blogging about Ikea curtains, ha!

    12. I agree with the other commenter who rolled their eyes. This is so much more relatable than wishing I too were showcasing a [sponsored] home renovation (but there ain’t nothing wrong with something free!).

    13. I’m with Amy, who commented that this hack is new to me! Thank you so much for taking the time to share it. The curtains look great!

    14. New to me, as well! You’ve convinced me to grab 4x Ritva Ikea panels. We have a sliding glass door in our Living Room and I love how it looks; so thank you!

    15. How did you get the panels to look so seamless when hung? I can’t tell where one panel ends and another begins. Did you just use a clip and put a pleat that connected two panels? I have a slider in my dining room. I want to do this.

      1. I positioned the pleats so that the seams fold into eachother! These curtains will stay closed, otherwise I’d sew them together

    16. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this! I attempted to use pinch hooks on my IKEA curtains but it just looked funny! I think I’ll try the double fold. :)

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