How To Make Pinch Pleat Curtains Without Tape

Stitched pleats ensure a lushness to the upper portion of your window treatment. Also, it maintains a structured, organized fullness at the bottom. If you don’t want so much rippled and undulated fabric appearing in your room’s bottom half, pleat curtains are a great option.

You must never turn your back, assuming you’re not capable of doing professional quality pleated curtains. If you know the sewing basics and can sew a straight line, you can easily make pleats.

Nowadays, the most trending curtain decor is the pinch pleat curtain. This is because the curtains add aesthetic as well as elegant curb appeal to the room. Moreover, you won’t have to worry about fussing with them too much as the pleats look after that issue for you.

In this article, you will get valuable insight into the ways to make pinch pleat curtains without tape. You will get a DIY step-by-step guide for your easy and better understanding of making pinch pleat tape. So, let’s start.

How To Make Pinch Pleat Curtains Without Tape?

The first thing to do is measurement. Unlike other sewing projects, the measuring task is hassle-free for pinch pleat curtains. You will need a ruler as it’s very flexible and easy to use.

So, take the area that you will cover with the curtains and measure it. Also, make a fabric panel that is double the width. You have the option to make them thinner or thicker, but if you want a professional quality look, go double.

For hems, add an inch on all sides. If you use any home decor fabric, add more inches along the bottom edge for a thicker hem. Moreover, if you want to sew a thick hem on lightweight fabric, put curtain weights in it. For instance, you can choose any roof cotton fabric and use a french seam to attach the yardage.

how to make pinch pleat curtains without tape

Also, you can either choose to line up the curtains or not; it’s your call to make. But if you do, then do that first.

Equipment That You’ll Need

  • Premade set of curtains/fabric for curtains
  • Ruler
  • Four prong hooks
  • Sewing machine with thread
  • A sewing needle for hand stitch
  • Drapery rings for hanging
  • Drapery rod
  • Pins or clips
  • Iron
  • Fabric scissors

Before jumping into the steps, the first thing to do is wash and dry your fabric. It’s crucial as your curtain will mostly shrink and pull on your whole curtain game. Once you’re done washing and drying, iron the curtain. This is because later, your curtain will sew up nicely and neat while ensuring an easy cutting of the fabric. So, let’s dive into the steps.

Note – If you’re working on a pre-made curtain, consider yourself lucky and straightaway jump into step 3.

Step 1: Measuring And Cutting The Fabric

You can buy 4 yards of fabric for every window as it will keep things inexpensive and easy. So, you will allot 2 yards of fabric for every curtain. You can order more yards of fabric if you need wider curtains.

measuring and cutting the fabric

Again, you will be working on curtains that are decorative. These curtains are not functional, so you won’t have to slide them all across the window. Moreover, you may not feel the need to touch them after hanging again. But you can always wash or vacuum them occasionally.

  • You can choose to make shorter curtains for one room, which ends at the windowsill bottom. If your wall paint is pink, you can go for the pink floral fabric to make things more attractive. You can pick extremely lightweight cotton fabrics that are delicate and soft to make beautiful curtains.
  • However, you can also make full-length curtains. You can choose premier prints fabric as this windowpane fabric comes in ivory and grey color, great for any men’s room.
  • Now, you have to simply fold the fabric in a half horizontal way for shorter curtains. For full-length curtains, fold the fabric vertically. Then, for both cases, cut the fold while ensuring the cut to be as straight as possible.

Step 2: Sewing A Hem On The Curtains

It’s best not to get too mathematical or fancy here. So, simply sew a perfect little hem all-around your curtain fabric. Also, it’s best to iron the hem first before proceeding to sew.

Sew every part of the curtain except for its bottom. You can sew the bottom part at the end to know exactly where you want your curtains to end in the room.

Step 3: Sew-On The Hand-Stitch

Here, you can either choose pleat tape or pinch pleat tape or proceed with a simple hand stitch. Primarily, you will learn how to do it without tape, but I will discuss briefly using pleat tapes too.

sew-on the hand-stitch

Now, take your sewing needle and align it to the top of the curtain on the back. Then, hand stitches the portion to keep the alignment secure in place. Snip off the excess hand-stitched fabric from the end.

Things To Note Before Sewing:

  • Your hand-stitch is aligned to the curtain’s back, where you find the ugly hems.
  • You have to keep a pinch pleat channel opening similar to the one in pleat tapes by making a small hole. You can use a scissor to make this small hole from where you will insert the pinch pleat clip hooks.
  • You must not sew over this pinch pleat hole as you won’t be able to insert the hooks later.

While ensuring that everything is lined or aligned correctly, sew directly to your curtain. You must sew at the top, bottom, and the two sides of the curtain, excluding the channel holes.

For Pleat Tape:

You will require evenly spaced vertical lines all the way down your pleat tapes. At the bottom of the vertical lines, you will need some little holes or channels. This is where you’ll be sewing the pleat tape. So, align the pinch pleat tape to the curtain’s top on the back for pinning it securely. Finally, snip off the excess tape and sew along the pleat tape. 

Step 4: Inserting Your Pinch Pleat Hooks

inserting your pinch pleat hooks

You’re halfway close to making pinch pleat curtains, and this is the step where the magic begins. You will find four prongs and a little hook on the four-prong pinch pleat hooks. So, keep the little hook aside for hanging on the curtain ring later.

Step 5: Getting The Beautiful Pinch Pleat Look And Appeal

If you want a beautiful three pleat look, insert the prongs to every pinch pleat. For them to work, you have to squeeze the fabric together. It may be a bit of a struggle at first, but trying two or three times will definitely work.

Moreover, pinch the curtains the way you prefer them to be while lining up the holes closer together in the back. Alternatively, you can firmly pull the prongs apart to enable more leverage. After you put them in, squeeze them back together.

Step 6: Spacing Your Pleats

Now that you have inserted one hook, determine where to start the next pleat. It depends on how much fabric you’re using and your personal preference. Most sewers suggest spacing the pleats about 3-6 inches apart.

You can look at your curtains and decide where you need the pleats. The more the number of pleats, the better you can squeeze in. The pinch pleats add plenty. For evenly spaced pinch pleats, measure the exact amount of pinch pleat channels between every pleat.

However, you can also choose to wing it simply. Insert one pinch pleat hook in the middle, one in the end, and the remaining as whatever makes them look good. After inserting the pinch pleat hooks, proceed with some finessing to make the pleats look exactly how you wanted them.

spacing your curtain pleats

Step 7: Hanging The Beautiful Pinch Pleat Curtains

So, you’re almost done. Just hang your curtains, and the work is done. You have to use drapery rings, but first, hang the rings on the drapery rod. So, take the pinch pleat curtains, and hang every hook on its curtain ring.

Hanging the rings up first is easy. If you try to do it all in one go, the rings will keep falling off the hooks, so do it one by one. Once you hang the curtain, trim off any excess fabric at the bottom and sew a neat and perfect little hem.

Are DIY Pinch Pleat Curtains Best For Home Decor?

One caution that comes with pinch pleat curtains is that they are pinched together. So, you won’t be able to un-gather or close your curtains to cover the window. The pinch pleat curtains are explicitly designed for their stylish and comfy looks rather than function. So, it’s best for your home decor, but not for privacy.

How Can I Calculate Pleats?

You can calculate pleats by tallying the number of pleats on the window curtain. For instance, you can have six pleats. Now, divide the length of the window by the number of pleats. So, calculate how big you want the pleats to be. Then, add a few inches when folding the pleat.



I'm Jessica Flores, a professional fashion designer and an expert seamstress. Crafting has always been a deep-seated passion of mine, one that has flourished and evolved over the years. I've dedicated considerable time to both studying and practicing in the realm of fashion and sewing, amassing a wealth of experience and skills. It brings me great joy to share these insights and experiences with you all, hoping to inspire and foster a similar passion for the art of sewing.

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