How to Make a Curtain Ripple

Curtains hung flat across a window don’t add much flare to a room, but creating a rippled effect will make them eye-popping. Ripples in a curtain are known as pleats. They are created by folding the fabric in such a way that, when the fabric hangs, it has the appearance of waves. Curtains with a pre-sewn pleat can be purchased, but if you have straight hanging curtains, create the rippled effect yourself with pleat tape.

Pleat tape is also used to create pinch pleats in sheers.

Step 1

Measure the width of the window with a measuring tape. The curtain you use must be twice the width of the window. If the window is 10 feet wide, the curtain must be 20 feet wide.

Step 2

Lay the curtain on a flat surface, like the floor or a large table, so the back of the curtain faces you.

Step 3

Fold the top of the curtain down. The fold should be the same size as the width of the pleat tape you use.

Step 4

Cut a piece of pleat tape to a length that’s an inch longer than the width of the curtain. If the curtain is 60 inches wide, cut the pleat tape to a length of 61 inches.

Step 5

Lay the pleat tape across the fold, aligned with the very top of the curtain. Center the pleat tape on the curtain so ½-inch protrudes from each side of the curtain. Fold the protruding edges of the pleat tape around the curtain to secure the fold in place.

Step 6

Iron the pleat tape to adhere it to the curtain.

Step 7

Stitch along the edge of the pleat tape with a sewing machine. Sew along the entire border of the pleat tape on all four sides. Use thread that is the same color as the curtain.

Step 8

Fold pleats into the curtain that are the size of your choice. A width of 3 to 6 inches is normal for a pleat. The pleat tape will hold the folds in place.

Step 9

Attach a pleat hook to the top of the curtain between each pleat. Depending on where the hook holes are on the curtain, you may need to adjust the folds so the pleats are even.

Step 10

Hang the curtain on the curtain rod.

Step 11

Attach drapery weights to the bottom of the curtain. Drapery hooks are either magnetized clips or weighted buttons that are temporarily sewn on.

Step 12

Adjust the folds so the pleats look uniform when hanging.

Step 13

Remove the drapery weights.