Curtains are a great finishing touch for any room, but I often have a difficult time settling on the perfect pair for the windows in our home. I’m in the midst of decorating my daughter, Lucy’s “big girl room,” and wanted something fun and fresh for her windows, but nothing too bold or overwhelming. I had been eyeing pom pom trimmed curtains, but thought I’d try my own spin on the project with stripes of pom poms across the top of a pair of plain white curtain panels. When using existing curtains, it’s a really simple project that adds a subtle yet special touch to a window.
-pair of long curtains (mine are from Ikea, also available on Amazon)
-thread to match curtains
-pom pom trim (here is my exact trim)
-iron and ironing board
Cost of materials: $63
The key to this project being a money-saver was finding inexpensive pom pom yardage and a cheap pair of long curtains (that would be shortened during the pleating process). After thoroughly searching the entire world wide web and local stores, I found a really economical pom pom supplier on Etsy. I only needed 16 yards, but because the trim is sold in 5 yard increments, I purchased 20 yards for $22 plus $16 for shipping. I found long linen-like white curtains at Ikea for $25 (on Amazon here), which put the total for these two pom pom curtain panels at $63. Not too shabby, eh?
Note: It’s important to use curtains that are a few inches longer than your desired finish length. The extra amount you need will depend on the number of stripes you make as well as the size of your pleats.
Step Two: Pin the pom pom trim into the pleat so that only the balls and not the banding is showing below the pleat.
You can use a wider stitch for this—it’ll go faster. There won’t be strain on the pleats, so you don’t have to worry as much about strength.
Step Five: Iron another 3/4″ pleat along the row you just marked with straight pins. You can see above that I kept the pleat 3/4″ lower than the line of pins. You can do yours however you please, just make sure each pleat is parallel to the one above it.
Repeat Steps 2-5. After ironing the pleat, pin and stitch the pom pom trim inside of it the same way you did with the first row. Repeat this as many times as you want. I personally found 5 pleats on each panel to be just the right amount without going overboard.
Step Seven: After all of the pleats and pom poms are sewn in place, flip the curtain over and stitch along the loose top of the pleat on the reverse side of the curtain.
After the curtains are finished, hang them to see what the length is like. If you need to take some length off the bottom, and you’ve used the same simple-hemmed Ikea curtains as I did, all you need to do is pin them to the length you want, iron the hem flat, and stitch it in place.
Originally I had intended to make these curtains striped all the way to the bottom, but after thinking it through, I thought that would be a bit much. I just wanted a subtle touch of whimsy—nothing too crazy here! I think if you selected a lighter and more subtle color for the pom pom stripes on your white curtains, it could be a fun look to go all the way to the bottom. You’ll just have to buy curtains long enough to take up the length that much for pleating, and be prepared for lots of ironing! In the end, you may also decide that simpler is better.
I love how the curtains turned out—a little bit Moroccan meets 1970s vintage, though still modern enough for my taste. This would be a fun look for simple cafe curtains in a kitchen too. Do you think you’ll give it a try? –Mandi
Credits // Author and Photography: Mandi Johnson. Photos edited with Valentine and Stella from the Signature Collection.