Last year, when I first shared the living room at Magnolia Cottage, I had several readers ask for more details about how I added the pinch pleats at the top of the IKEA curtains to make them look more luxurious and custom.
The answer is that it’s a super-easy project (my absolute favorite kind) so I thought it would be helpful to share the products I used and how I did it. Also, you don’t have to use IKEA curtains; I’ll tell you what to look for so that you can do this with almost any curtain panel.
As you can see in the below photos, I try to use the same white curtain panels throughout the house (they’re white IKEA Tibast panels that are 98″ long). Because we move so often thanks to the military, it’s SO much easier than having different colors and sizes for every room. I also try to use only two colors of curtain rods–oil-rubbed bronze that reads as black, plus gold.
In this particular house, the downstairs curtain rods are all mine, and the upstairs ones are wood and will stay with the house when we move. The rods above are in my daughter’s room and they were white when we moved in; I just spray-painted them gold (this is the best gold spray paint) to update them a bit and hung them a little higher and straighter than they were.
I began with my usual IKEA Tibast curtains with RIKTIG curtain hooks. I linked to them above on Amazon but the lowest price is currently at IKEA, even though you’ll have to pay for shipping.
The Ivilon 2″ curtain rings are from Amazon (linked above in my source list) and I use them throughout the house since my rods are all 1″ thick.
The RIKTIG hooks are two-pronged and I honestly prefer those to the 4-prong hooks that seem to be the industry standard. If you’d like to see a different and more detailed tutorial using 4-prong hooks, visit the Grit and Polish here. I use ten hooks per curtain panel, so twenty hooks per window.
I follow the instructions on the Riktig package; they’re super simple. Begin by threading the left side of the curtain hook all the way through the pockets that are three spaces to the left of the loop that’s there for those who prefer to run their curtain rod through the loops.
Then run the right side of the hook through the pockets that are just one space to the right of the loop:
Repeat that times ten.
They’ll look like this on the back when they’re done:
It’s usually easiest for me to hang the panels up on the rings and then “fluff” them from there. I usually put at least one ring, and sometimes more, outside of the rod bracket; it just depends on that particular installation and what looks right to me.
Once the panel is hanging, I smooth the pleat into place and arrange the panel so it covers the right amount of window.
This is how it looks once it’s been smoothed a bit, but the last step is to use my steamer to get the wrinkles out. I find this works so much better than ironing and is much faster.
Here are a few more pictures from different rooms around the house:
If you’re buying curtains that aren’t the exact ones I used, you’ll want to read the item description to make sure they have a “hook belt” or “pleating tape” on the back side for you to use with the pleat hooks. The ones I’ve linked to below all have that so you can use any of them to recreate this look.
Alternatively, if you’re decent at sewing, you can buy pleating tape and sew it at the top of virtually any curtain panel, but panels with it already in place are so inexpensive that I’m not sure it’s worth your time–I mean, I linked to velvet ones like the ones Amy has in her bedroom and they are dirt cheap!
Don’t forget that you can also trim curtains like this with inexpensive ribbon to customize them for every room. Amy used Greek key ribbon in her library (the how to’s are HERE) :
Please let me know if you have any questions, and thanks for stopping by!
Are the curtains from IKEA true white? I just returned the Ritva IKEA curtains because they had a yellowish hue to them and I’m looking for true white. Thanks!
The Ritva curtains are more off-white than the Tibast ones, but these still aren’t pure white. I recommend you order one set before you take the plunge and order a whole bunch–that’s what I did and that’s how I know that the Ritva ones were too creamy for me.Hope that helps!Christy
Love these curtains and I really like the look of the pleats too. Great tutorial
Thank you, Marty!
Dori Johns says
Thank you SO much for this very helpful and useful tutorial! I’ll be shopping at Ikea soon. 😉
You’re so very welcome! Happy shopping!
Carolyn Anderson says
I was wondering what steamer you use. Thanks!
I have one from HomeRight (it’s HERE on Amazon) and love it because it does so many things! Christy
This is a really helpful tutorial – the best I’ve found after combing through YouTube videos and having to undo the pins a few times. The specificity of where to put the pins, and the pictures, really helped. Thank you!
You are so welcome, Kate! Glad you found it helpful—thanks for letting me know.
Thank you! This made a very inexpensive pair of curtains look so pretty and polished!
You’re very welcome. I’m happy to have inspired you!