DIY Custom Curtains on the CHEAP!

I am very excited to share with you one of my go-to decorating sources for tricky window dressings!  I must say if you live near an Ikea and have already discovered these magical curtains then feel free to skip this life-changing news.

If not, have you ever needed extended length curtains? By this I mean longer than the standard 98″?  If so, you will know or come to know soon, what a giant pain this is to keep from spending a small mint on a ton of decorator fabric and/or ordering extended length curtains from high-end retailers.  This has been SO annoying to me, so much so in fact, I hemmed a pole pocket and hung heavy weight canvas drop cloths from the home improvement store for years. This worked well until they were just too heavy (they look and feel like heavy linen curtains!) and they started to pull the hardware out of the drywall.  I needed something else, but I didn’t want to spend a fortune.

Meet the Ritva Curtain: You can find it HERE. These are the 98″ curtains embellished with Greek Key trim hung with the tab in the back of the curtain, which is my favorite way since it adds the most height and I like a nice header at the top with soft pleats.

Ikea Ritva Curtains

STYLE TIP:  Have arched or bay windows and don’t know how to treat them?  You can treat the whole shape as one big window, hanging the curtains well above and out from the moulding to still show off their unique shape.  No need for those out-dated fan blinds in the arch!

Back to the lovefest:  Notice the price of these at $24.99 a PAIR!  That’s $12.50 a panel folks, $12.50!!!! Not to mention they are actually long enough to graze the floor. Good-bye capri length curtains (not cute!). Buy the iron hemming tape and you have perfectly customized curtains without sewing (unless you decide to put a lovely trim on them, of course). But wait it gets better….they also come in 118″ as well for $34.99 a PAIR!  That, my friends, is cheaper than drop cloths. They come in different colors and they have the perfect amount of weight, structure, texture and light filtering. I know, I sound like a commercial, but I promise this is not a paid post and I truly do love these.  Here is a photo showing the light filtering and the linen-like texture:

Ritva curtain Texture light filtering

Now, let’s get down to business.


This is pretty simple and, like I said, it’s my favorite because it draws your eye up and lengthens the look of your windows, not to mention it gives you a very nice, soft pleat.  There are these stringy tabs (why they are stringy, I have NO idea), but slip your curtain rod through the tabs and your are done!

I will say this about this style, if you need your curtains to function everyday like opening and closing, I would suggest Style Way #’s 3, 4, and 5.  These first two are great for framing a window but not so great for sliding back and forth particularly over the seam in a telescoping rod.  Using the rings or track system is much better for this capability.

Ikea Curtains



This is basic but it’s nice that this option is still built into these curtains if this way is your jam.  This gives you the most “gathered” look and I think it’s a bonus that its not just a fold-over hemmed pocket, it still gives you a cute header at the top for a more tailored look.

Ikea Curtains




This is really fabulous.  There is this pleating tape on the back of a lot of Ikea curtains which allows for all these options OR you can just buy the KRONILL pleating tape sold separately and sew it onto any fabric! It is THIS.  I discovered this by accident when I saw it sitting there in the fabrics dept at Ikea, it was a serious lightbulb moment.

Basically to make the pleats, you put the first part of the hook in, count over eight notches, pinch and insert the other side of the hook on the eighth tab.  Fold both ends in half, find the middle of the panel and do the same thing, counting four over to the left from the middle and four over to the right.  Fold it again from the middle to the end and do the same thing until they are all in.  If this doesn’t make sense I will link a tutorial for the triple French pleat under Way #4 and once you read her tutorial, it will make a lot more sense.  Which brings me to the hooks and the rings.  You will need the SYRLIG rings and the RIKTIG hooks. I wasn’t sure how many rings I would do, but I ended up needing nine per panel for the single pleat.

This is how it looks when you pull them across, check out the pretty pleat and I didn’t even get out a machine!


Sorry for the bad lighting, but I wanted to show what it looks like with the tall header next to the single pleat with rings. Which way do you like it best? I am still going back and forth between these two for this room!


This way is extra fancy and is such a cool option without sewing!  For this you will only need five clips and rings per panel.  The one caveat with this way is that this photo you see is the entire panel pulled out, so unless you buy more panels to extend across the width of your window, these will only be used to frame a window for added softness.  I think this way is super cute and designer looking…very tailored.  I found THIS awesome tutorial with amazing pics from Visual Vocabularie. Her tutorial will also make any of these pleating options make a lot more sense.  Also, check out those yummy velvet drapes, I am using these in my bedroom next! Velvet triple pleat drapes

Ikea velvet drapes


I am currently remodeling a room in our basement to be my new office!  Exciting, yes, but unfortunately this room doesn’t have a built in closet and I REALLY need one.  With five kids’ clothes rotating seasons and sizes I am constantly making piles for a consignment sale twice a year.  I really needed a place to just hang and store all my consignment stuff to get ready for tagging for the next sale…but I didn’t want to have to look at it all year round either.  Introducing VIDGA.  Take what you have learned here about different pleating options and hook it onto a track as a solution to many design problems like this one I had for the closet.  I opted for a single pleat, not using the metal hooks but I just gathered the material and used the plastic rollers used in the rail HERE, called glides. (Note:  This comes standard as a wall mount but can be mounted to a ceiling by using their ceiling brackets sold separately for $2.49).

Notice how you don’t really see the rail when the curtain is closed?!

This is not hemmed yet…I mean, iron taped, since I am allergic to sewing 😉

Plunk around on Ikea’s website with the track systems and you will see all the options with this system.  I would have much preferred to use their panel curtains but I have to go around a corner, so fabric it is!  I will post a few pics below of the panel curtains. But first, this can also solve another design dilemma I am currently having…how to dress a corner window!  I have this going on in my bedroom:

Imagine this instead: But I am planning on doing single-pleated velvet blackout drapes wall mounted and I will be able to glide my curtains seamlessly! I can’t wait and of course when I get around to it, I will be posting all about it. In the meantime, check out these ideas below using the track systems with panel curtains and/or combined with fabric curtains backed with pleating tape, the tracks come in single, double or triple for all kinds of layering options:

And there you have it folks! Really if you think about it, there are SO many ways you can use these curtains but I hope with outlining these five it can help you solve some of the window, closet and divider problems you might face without spending a fortune and without sewing a stitch!  Still too overwhelmed?  I am here to help! Just contact me and we will figure out the best solution for your space!

Love Life…STYLED!

Melissa xox