Looking for the best Ikea curtain hack to upgrade your home? Check out this DIY project that you’ll want to copy and share on TikTok!
Window treatments can cost you a pretty penny especially when you have high ceilings. Custom curtains may even break the bank if you know what I mean.
That said, let’s talk about my favorite way to save on window treatments. You will need a bit of creativity and basic sewing skills.
If you have a seamstress in the family that works too. The trick to getting a designer look on a budget is to buy inexpensive drapery panels and alter them.
My favorite curtain hack to date is from our Airbnb. We needed to get it up and running on a budget so it was Ikea to the rescue.
The space has 9′ foot ceilings and anything over the standard 84″ curtain tends to be EXPENSIVE. A designer trick to accentuate the height of a room, and carry the eye up, is to hang your drapery panels about 4″ down from the ceiling.
To solve the dilemma I bought two sets of Ikea Lenda curtains and got to work! Check out the step-by-step tutorial below and can copy them for your home. Sharing is caring, my friends!
This post is all about the best Ikea curtain hack.
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TikTok Ikea Curtain Hack
@inspireddesigntalk IKEA Curtain Hack to update your Airbnb, Living Room, Bedroom and more! Full tutorial on the blog. #ikeacurtainhack #ikeahack #ikeahacks2023 #airbnbdecor @IKEA ♬ Jazz Bossa Nova – TOKYO Lonesome Blue
How do you make Ikea curtains look high end?
To make IKEA curtains look high end you’ll want to alter them to fit your windows. Curtain styles to choose from include rod pocket, hidden tab, pinch pleat, box pleat, ripple fold, and grommet to name a few.
The type of window treatment you choose will depend on the design style of your room. Some designer tricks to make your Ikea curtains look high-end are:
- Hang the panels as close to the ceiling as possible (min 4″ down)
- Hem them to sweep the floor
- Use a thick rod
- Add statement hardware
- Use novelty fabrics
- Steam out wrinkles
- Weigh down the ends
The Lenda curtains from Ikea went from tab curtains to hidden. We used a thick gold rod for an elevated look and hung them as close to the ceiling as possible.
A contrasting gros grain ribbon trim was added and the length was hemmed. The end result was an elevated look that was worth the effort.
Which fabrics make beautiful curtains?
The best fabrics for beautiful curtains include linen, velvet, faux silk, and satin. For an elevated look, you can use a combination of fabrics.
A border of faux shantung on linen curtain panels will add an elevated high-end look. Novelty trims and treatments will take your windows to the next level.
Other popular fabrics include cotton, polyester, and canvas. It’s also important to note that most fabrics will need to be dry-cleaned.
The Lenda Ikea panels are made from 100% cotton with the look of linen curtains. This fabric will “grow” over time so you may have to alter the hem.
They should be dry cleaned because if you throw them in the wash they will shrink up to 4% (even if you line dry). Speaking from personal experience!
DIY Ikea Curtain Hack
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We are going to be making two sets of high-end drapes for this project. The base panels are the LENDA curtains shown below which have exposed tabs.
The walls in this room are 9’ so I needed the longer panel length. They’re sold as a pair and two unlined 55×118” panels only cost $44.99!
Here’s everything we needed for this project!
- Ikea Lenda Curtains (2 sets)
- Solid Grosgrain Ribbon
- Gold Curtain Rods (2)
- Thread to match the fabric
- Wonder Under heat and bond material
- Straight pins
- Seam Ripper
- Sewing Machine
- Rotary Cutter
- OLFA 24″ x 36″ Double-Sided, Self-Healing Rotary Mat
- Olfa Frosted Advantage 6″ x 24″ Quilting Ruler
- Ironing Board
Ikea Lenda Curtains Hack Instructions:
Mission: Change Lenda tab curtains to have hidden tabs and bordered edges. Let’s get right to it!
1. Turn back and stitch down the tabs
The Lenda Ikea drapes have exposed tabs for the drapery rod to go through. To elevate the look they were turned back and stitched down creating a hidden tab top.
The first step in the process is to turn the tabs back and iron them at the fold. Push them slightly towards the back so the seam does not come to the front at the top edge.
Pro Tip: Measure the distance from the top edge of the panel to where the tab will be stitched down. Use a piece of tape to make a guideline on your sewing machine with that measurement.
This will help you stitch a line evenly across the top of the panel. As you sew across you’ll catch the tab in the stitch.
2. Hang the panels on the drapery rod to mark the hem
After the tabs are stitched down hang the curtains on the rod to determine the length. I placed the rod high!
It’s about an inch down from the ceiling to carry the eye up and show off the 9’ height. If you only have curtains the standard would be about 4″ down from your ceiling or crown molding.
The lower it is the easier it’ll be to open and close the curtain panels. We have blackout roller shades on our windows so the curtains are decorative and stay open.
Once they’re on the rod you’ll need to pin across the bottom to mark your hem. I hem curtains the same way I would hem a dress.
I’m sure professional workrooms have a different method but I go by my FIT fashion degree training. Simply fold back the hem where you want it to be and pin through the two layers of fabric.
I prefer it when curtains graze across the floor so I pinned it accordingly. Take the panels down and add a second set of pins through the fold line. Remove the original set of pins from the two hem layers.
Mark up 3 1/2″ from the second set of pins at the fold line (where the drapes met the floor. Lay the panel on the cutting board and use a ruler and rotary cutter to cut away the excess material.
*** Your panel length will be where you marked the hem plus a 3 1/2″ seam allowance at the back of the curtains***
Turn back the 3 1/2″ hem and iron (press down) the edge. Turn back 1/2″ from the cut edge and iron (press down) for a clean finished hem that’ll be 3″ wide. Pin hem.
3. Hem the drapes
Head back to the sewing machine and stitch across the 3″ hem. Sew with the front facing up about 1/8″ lower than the 3″ pin mark.
This will help you stitch on the hem folded behind and not past it. Remove the pins as you go.
Be aware that cotton drapes can grow after being hung. This means you may hem the length perfectly and then a few months later they’re puddling the floor.
For me, it worked out because we had construction done and needed to wash the drapes. Since the website said they can be washed with warm water on a normal cycle I gave it a try.
There was about a 4% shrinkage which it also says on the website so in the end it worked out. If yours grow you can also break out the seam ripper and rehem the drapes.
After washing if they shrink the only option to fit it is to move the rod down, which would be a b@tch. This should only be an issue if you machine wash the curtains.
The above image is the finished 3″ hem after being cut, sewn, and pressed.
4. Cut strips of heat and bond
To elevate the look of the panels a gross grain ribbon trim was added at the edges. The size of the ribbon is 1 1/4″.
Heat and bond does NOT come in wide widths so strips had to be cut and ironed to the back of the ribbon. This was a process but made the job go smoothly.
Cut the width of the heat and bond to about 30” and then cut strips just under 1 1/4” wide which is the width of the ribbon. The cutting mat, wide rule, and rotary cutter will make your life easy.
5. Add heat and bond to trim
Heat and bond is a webbed material that has a paper backing. It’s perfect for sealing fabrics together when activated with an iron.
The strips are first applied to the ribbon by pressing across lightly with the iron. Once attached to the ribbon peel off the paper backing.
*** Do NOT use the steam setting when attaching the heat and bond to the ribbon. ***
6. Iron trim to the curtain panel
Next lay the ribbon on the panels using the side edge as a guide. The ribbon should be placed just over the edge of the stitch line.
Do NOT use the steam setting when attaching the ribbon to the curtains.
7. Cut and seal the ribbon ends
Cut the ribbon and burn the ends with a lighter to seal the polyester edge. Press down at the backside of the panels as shown.
The beauty of using the heat and bond material is you don’t need to sew the ribbon to the curtains. The seal from the heated material will be strong and durable.
I did add an edge stitch at the sides of the ribbon to secure it to the curtains. If you do too then make sure to use grey thread and cream in your bobbin.
If you use grey for both you’ll see the grey stitching on the wrong side. We want a clean finish so little details matter.
Visual Of The Steps
The last step is to hang the panels on the rod and enjoy your hard work! Below are images of the finished IKEA curtain hack.
This is an affordable and easy project that’ll elevate the look of your interior design. The purpose of these panels is decorative and they get the job done.
If you’re looking for privacy or efficiency lined and interlined curtains are what you’ll need. For Airbnb, these add a finished touch and sophistication. They draw the eye up and accentuate the ceiling height which I was after.
Here’s one last look at the completed room!
I hope this Ikea curtain hack inspires you to make your home pretty!
Let me know if you tackle this project and how it turns out in the blog comments. I would LOVE to hear about your experience!!
Have an amazing day full of Unicorns & Rainbows!
This post is all about the best Ikea curtain hack.
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Last Updated on November 25, 2023 by Nicole DelaCruz