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How to Make Drapery Panels Using Clip on Rings

by Joanne Thomas

When you want to make drapery panels quickly, easily and with minimal fuss, clip-on rings are ideal. They eliminate the need to create a heading and reduce the sewing process to one involving only basic hemming and seaming. Clip-on rings, which are available in a wide variety of plain and decorative styles and are suitable for both lined and unlined drapes, also make it easy to change your drapes as often as you desire. Make a few sets of simple panels and you can change your window treatments with the season or even your mood.

Unlined Drapes

Attach clip rings to the drapery rod. Measure the length from the clip-part of the rings down to the level at which you want the lower hems of the drapes to fall. This might be the windowsill, just below the windowsill or all the way to the floor. Add 8 inches to the length for lower and upper hem allowances. This gives you the cut length for the drapery panels

Measure the width of the drapery rod and divide it by two. Multiply the result by a factor of 2 to 3, depending on how full and gathered you want the drapes to be when they are drawn together. The wider the panels, the fuller and more gathered they will be. Add 4 inches to the result for side hem allowances. This gives you the cut width of the drapery panels

Iron the drapery fabric and cut two panels according to the dimensions you determined.

Fold and press the side edges of the panels to the wrong side of the fabric by 1 inch, then another 1 inch. Place straight pins along the folds. Sew the side hems by stitching along the inner edges of the folds.

Fold and press the upper and lower edges of the panels to the wrong side of the fabric by 2 inches, then another 2 inches. Place pins along the hems, then sew them, stitching close to the inner edges of the folds.

Press the hems well before hanging the drapes.

Lined Drapes

Measure your windows and calculate the cut length for the drapery panels in the same manner as the unlined drapes method. Calculate the cut width in the same manner, but add 2 inches to the width for side seam allowances instead of the 4-inch hem allowance.

Measure and cut two lining panels that are 6 inches narrower and 4 inches shorter than the main drapery panels.

Hem both the drapery panels and the lining panels with 2-inch, double-fold hems, in the same manner as the unlined drapes.

Lay the drapery panels out on a flat surface with the right sides facing upward. Lay the lining panels on top of the drapery panels with the edges on one side aligned, the lower hems of the lining panels two inches above the lower hems of the drapery panels and the upper edges of the lining two inches below the upper edges of the drapery panels.

Place pins along the aligned side edges of the panels. For each panel, sew a seam along the pinned edge, leaving a 1-inch seam allowance.

Reposition the lining panel so that its other side edge is aligned with the other side edge of the drapery panel. Place pins along the edge and hem it in the same manner as the other side edge.

Press the side seams open, then turn the lined panels right sides out. Press the backs of the lined panels so that the lining is centered with a 3-inch border of the drapery fabric on each side.

Fold and press the upper edge of the drapery panel over to the lining side by 1 inch, then by another 1 inch so that the upper edge of the lining panel is concealed within the fold. Sew along the lower edge of the fold.

Press all the seams and hems again, then hang the drapes.

Items you will need

  • Measuring tape
  • Drapery fabric
  • Lining fabric (optional)
  • Iron
  • Ironing board
  • Fabric scissors
  • Straight pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread


  • Attach the clip-on rings at equal distances apart along the upper edges of the panels so that the drapes gather neatly when hung.
  • Unless you are making sheer drapes, it's worth taking the extra time to line them. Lined drapes hang nicely and have a more professional finish than unlined drapes.
  • Wash, dry and iron your fabric before starting this project, if the fabric is machine washable. Fabrics sometimes shrink when you first wash them, so doing so in advance will prevent unintentionally shrinking your curtains when they need to be laundered.


  • The Complete Photo Guide to Sewing; Singer

About the Author

A writer of diverse interests, Joanne Thomas has penned pieces about road trips for Hyundai, children's craft projects for Disney and wine cocktails for Robert Mondavi. She has lived on three continents and currently resides in Los Angeles, where she is co-owner and editor of a weekly newspaper. Thomas holds a BSc in politics from the University of Bristol, England.

Photo Credits

  • Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images