Mount pleated curtains for consistent fullness across a wall.

How to Create the Illusion of a Window With Curtains

by D Ann Kross

Curtains go beyond providing privacy and light control to create the illusion of a window where one does not exist. They add texture and romantic appeal to most any room in your house. As an active mom with a full plate, you can save time and enhance your room's decor by utilizing a no-sew, no-rod technique to conceal cosmetic wall damage or to add visual appeal to wall space, such as the area directly behind your bed. Hook-and-loop tape and ready-made curtain panels combine to enhance any wall space by creating the illusion of a window beneath. Opt for floor-to-ceiling curtain panels for maximum impact.

Place the curtain panel facedown on a large table and measure across the top heading edge to determine the flat finished width. Confirm the curtain's height by extending the tape measure from the top of the heading to the bottom edge. Measure the curtain's length at several points to confirm accuracy.

Measure the wall section you plan to install your mock window curtain. Mark the outside width measurements. Measure the finished curtain height and add 1/2 inch for floor clearance before marking the wall. Use a level to draw a faint pencil line across the wall space at the finished curtain height.

Separate the hook-and-loop sections, and then attach the male side evenly across the reverse top edge of the pleated drapery panel. Apply even pressure with a towel beneath a warm iron to ensure good adhesion of the tape to the material. Install the female side of the hook-and-loop tape to the wall while pressing down firmly with your hand across the bottom edge of the horizontal line drawn on the wall.

Use a staple gun to apply staples at both ends and approximately every 8-to-10 inches for extra reinforcement of the hook-and-loop tape on the wall.

Attach the curtain panel to the wall by working from the center of the panel and stretching the curtain tightly across the wall-mounted hook-and-loop tape. The pleated curtain, when finished, has the appearance of a fully drawn curtain panel.

Items you will need

  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Ladder
  • Level
  • Pinch-pleated curtain panel
  • 3/4 to 1 inch wide hook-and-loop tape with adhesive backing
  • Iron
  • Staple gun


  • To create the illusion of space, opt for full-length and extra-wide curtain panels that suggest an extra-large window beneath.
  • Choose lined or thermal-backed curtain panels for extra sound absorption and insulating benefits, and opt for using one solid curtain panel to achieve an uninterrupted backdrop, such as behind a sofa or bed.
  • Avoid using a sheer or semisheer panel that may reveal the absence of a window beneath your curtain. Include a decorative valance over the stationary curtain to add dimensional emphasis to your fabric-enhanced wall, such as a board-mounted pagoda valance.


  • Exercise caution when working on a ladder; ensure that the legs fully extend. Avoid prop-against-the-wall ladders unless you have someone to hold it while you work.

About the Author

As an allied ASID member, D'Ann Kross co-owned and managed an Interior design business serving the greater New Orleans area for 20 years, and has been the lead designer for a major home furnishings franchise. She has published several articles as a contributing editor for "Gulf Coast Woman Magazine."

Photo Credits

  • George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images