If you’re a person who loves the high-end look of pinch pleat curtains, but doesn’t want to spend a fortune on the actual COST of a high-end pinch pleat curtain, I’m. Your. Girl! Today I’m walking you through how I took the IKEA Lenda curtains and turned them into beautiful pinch pleat curtains for all of my front windows. Believe me, this one was worth it!
IKEA is actually an awesome place to buy your curtains. Their quality is high, the cost is low, and most of them are consistently in stock at your local store. They’ve got everything from ties to grommets to pinch pleat in a whole variety of fabrics and levels of sheerness. The LENDA curtains that I used are a beautiful soft cotton with a subtle vertical stitching in them that accents really well. They come 96″ long and come in three colors: white, gray, and turquoise-gray. Although they aren’t completely blackout, you cannot see inside my home through these curtains, which is a great benefit for the location they are in!
For this project, I worked on my 4 front windows of my house. Each window measures 36″ wide and 70″ high. I shared a post called “Easy Rules to Hang Curtains Like a Designer” yesterday and I really explained how to best hang curtains so that your ceilings appear taller and your windows larger. To achieve this look in each of my four windows, I hung my curtain rod (see below) 6 1/2″ higher than the top window casing and 6 1/2″ wider on each side. Because of this, I actually needed to double up curtain panels on each side, using 4 total panels for each window. This allows me to close my curtains fully, when needed.
- IKEA Lenda Curtains – come with 2 panels in each pack
- Pleating Tape and Pleating Hooks (purchased together on Amazon)
- Heavy Duty Heat ‘n Bond tape
- Curtain Rod – I used this great brass rod to compliment the white curtains
- Curtain Rings
Additional Tools I Used
The IKEA Lenda curtains are designed to be tab top curtains, so to begin, I had to take scissors to cut off each of the tabs.
It’s time to attach the pleating tape! I sewed the pleating tape onto my curtains, but I’ve seen and heard from others who have used just the Heat ‘n Bond strip to attach the tape and had no issues with it. I sewed the pleating tape on to the curtain about 1/4″ below the very top edge. I sewed directly across the top and bottom of the tape.
The pleating tape has “channels” on it that are spaced about 1″ apart. This is where the pleating hooks will fit into to pull the fabric together.
There are so many different methods and pleat looks that you can achieve with these hooks. My advice is to play around with the hooks to see which look you like the best.
To attach the pleating hooks, I started at the first “channel” in the plating tape and skipped every other channel and slid a tong into until all four of the tongs were used. This created a triple pleat at each of the hook locations. Skip a channel and do the same for the next hook until you run out of channels.
Clip your hooks onto the curved hook on each of your pleating hooks and hang on your rod.
My ceilings are only 8′ tall so I did need to hem each of these curtains. I didn’t trust my ability to hem my curtains in a perfectly straight line (been there, done that, make some crooked ones in the process!!) so I decided to use Heavy Duty Heat ‘n Bond strips after reading so many positive reviews on them.
I steamed my curtains (my go-to INCREDIBLE steamer is from Amazon and has made life so much easier!) to ensure that they hung just how I needed them. I don’t want to hem with any major wrinkles to ensure that they are laying at their full length.
Then I take a pencil and I marked exactly where the curtain meets the hardwood floors. I do this on each side to be sure to account for any tilt in the rod or in my floors.
Crease the curtain over and iron to get your hemline. Then I placed the Heat ‘n Bond along the hemline, followed the box directions (ironing a total of 10 seconds along the tape) and cut off the excess from the curtain.
Ta-da! Hemmed curtains with no fuss. I’ll never hem the real way again.
The biggest hang-up when it comes to DIY is how much it costs and just how much time it would take, so let’s get to the brass tax and dive into just how much you need to invest in this!
This is the total cost for ALL FOUR windows and then broken down per window.
- IKEA Lenda Curtains – $199.92 for 8 packs
- Pleating Tape and Pleating Hooks (purchased together in a pack on Amazon) – $74.07 for 3
- Heavy Duty Heat ‘n Bond tape – $9.96 for 4
- Curtain Rod – I used this great brass rod to compliment the white curtains – $100.80 for 4
- Curtain Rings – $27.98 for 2 packs
TOTAL COST:: $412.73
PER WINDOW COST:: $103.18
Based on the options on the market today, this price is drastically lower for the quality and the look I achieved. I’d do this over and over again! If you’re looking to save yourself the time (see below), check out some of my favorites on the market and some awesome Save Vs. Splurge options!
As I mentioned before, I didn’t account for having to double up on the curtain panels for each side of the window, so the time did double with adapting 16 curtains over just 8. However, when I timed myself from the beginning (opening the packages and installing curtain rods) to the very end (final hem with Heat ‘n Bond), I completed each curtain panel in 30 minutes! Total time, including ALL STEPS, was 8 hours to complete four full front windows.
If I Had to Do It Again
- I didn’t think about how the curtains would separate when they were pulled closed, so I should have sewed the two panels on each side of the window together at their vertical seams. I had already hung them all before I realized my mistake. To fix it after the fact, I used a heavy duty fabric double sided tape down the vertical seam to keep the two curtains affixed to one another. It works great, but I would definitely just sew them together or use a Heat ‘n Bond line the next time.
This is one of those projects that made a MASSIVE impact to the whole look and feel of my house. I have such beautiful structure to the backdrop of my rooms and I’m thrilled with how these turned out. For the time they took and the money I saved, I would recommend this to EVERYONE to do! You’ve got this!
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