Converting rod pocket drapes to pinch pleated drapes

The fact that my ridiculously expensive silk drapes from Horchow are rod pockets has always bothered me a little bit (they did not include hooks, as the description still says they do). For some reason, I didn't even know formal drapes came that way and I assumed that they'd come with hooks sewn into them so I could hang them on rings. Well, they didn't. So, they've looked like this for the last two years:

I started googling and found that rod pocket drapes can be converted into pinch pleated drapes by novices (me) by sewing a special tape to the back. Slide drapery pins into pockets that are sewn along the tape and you have pinch pleats!

Off I went to JoAnn's fabrics (my second time in there) to gather the appropriate materials. There was only one type of drapery tape and one style of pins. My track record with craft projects isn't good and I bought everything fully expecting to find that nothing would work.

I laid out the tape and realized that I had ordered the perfect amount. Quelle surprise!

It took the entire afternoon to sew the tape to one of my drapery panels. As I massaged my fingers for the tenth time, Marc reminded me that some people do this sort of work with even more detail all day long. Incredible. I was ready to toss everything in a pile a few times, but I finally finished.

The pack of drapery pins I bought contained 10 pinch pleat pins and four end pins. As I slid them into the pockets, I started to get excited. I might have done this whole thing correctly!

I couldn't believe it. It worked! Two days later, my pinkie and fore fingers are still sore (though only one was really involved in pushing the needle around). I also haven't managed to iron the single drapery panel I finished, but I'm so proud that I'm posting a picture anyway.

Be kind...they aren't ironed yet


  1. They look great!! Sewing isn't scary; just need patience. You did an excellent job.

  2. I didn't know you could do that!

  3. They looks so good!!!!!!!!!! You just inspired me to order some fabric I've been thinking about to make some pinch pleat curtains for my kitchen! I am so impressed!

  4. What a great idea! I've wanted to get pinch pleat curtains for some time now, but I knew how friggin expensive they were. Now I can make my own- thanks a million!!

    PS- love your blog, I'm going to start from the beginning now :)

  5. They look really great! I'm impressed that you stuck it out through the project; it must have been frustrating.

  6. oh thank goodness for you!! This is exactly the information I needed. Thank you

  7. I wanted to buy a certain color and all the ones I looked at were rod pockets drapes and I have looked at hundreds. Now I can buy my color and turn them into pinch pleated drapes.  Thanks a lot.  Just what I was looking for! 

  8. Be proud of yourself!!! Thanks for sharing.

  9. I am going to do this this week.  Great idea because I still like the draw drape idea.  Hand sliding curtains over everytime you want to close a curtain makes no sense.


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