How to Hang Pinch Pleated Drapes With Clip Rings

Linda Erlam

Once the purview of custom drapery houses, pinch-pleated drapes are now readily available, at prices for every budget. Typically, pinch-pleated drapes require a curtain rod equipped with a draw cord system, often bulky and usually expensive.

Rings with clips make pinch-pleat installation breeze.

Rings with clips have made it possible for any homeowner, equipped with a few handyman tools, to successfully hang fully functioning pinch-pleated drapes on rings with clips.


If the drape pulls out of the clip, sandwich the clipped section of the drape between two pieces of fabric, folded to several thicknesses, and reclip. Add more thicknesses of fabric if necessary. Purchase clip rings that have teeth at the end of the clip, rather than a flat end; they are typically much stronger. To hang the drapes lower and create a break along the floor, subtract the amount of break from the drape length in the calculations for rod installation. For example, if you want a 4-inch break on the hem of an 80-inch drape, use 76 inches as the drape length inside of 80. Buy a rod that is one piece or spliced in the center. Expandable rods have a joint that catches the rings and interferes with smooth opening and closing.

  1. Measure the length of the drapes from the bottom edge to the top of the drape.

  2. Measure the length of the ring and clip from the inside of the ring at the top to the bottom of the teeth of the clip.

  3. Count the number of pleats on the drapes and thread this number of rings, plus two for each panel, onto the rod. Ensure that the clips are all oriented in the same direction. Attach the finials to the rod.

  4. Add the length of the drapes, plus 1/4 inch, to the length of the ring and clip and hang the curtain rod is at this measurement, following the rod manufacturer’s instructions to install the hardware. For example, if the curtain length is 86 inches and the clip and ring length is 2 inches, install the top of the rod 88 1/4 inches from the floor.

  5. Open the top of each pleat slightly by pulling the two outer folds away from each other, exposing the inner seam.

  6. Clip the ring to the top edge of the drape at the inner seam, inserting 1/2 inch of drape between the teeth of the clip.

  7. Clip one ring at the top of the outer edge side hem to complete the project.