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Ribbon Stripes Curtain Embellishments

Source: Martha Stewart Living, September 2004


Once you hang up a pair of sheer curtains, it's easy to forget them. After all, their greatest virtue -- they're nearly transparent and allow plenty of light in -- renders them practically invisible. But dress them up a bit and they can enliven an entire room.

Inexpensive and ubiquitous, store-bought sheers will save you precious time and money by serving as the canvas for your creative additions. And what a relief: Starting with ready-made curtains means you don't have to be a whiz with a sewing machine. Making a simple flounce by folding over and ironing the top of the fabric will allow you to adjust the length of the curtain to fit your window.

Typically available in silk, linen, or cotton, sheer curtains come in a variety of colors and lengths at virtually any home-supply store. For these projects, you'll need sheers with hemmed channels instead of tab tops. Select ones you like without a pattern (to let your decorations stand out), then browse through the notions aisle of a crafts or sewing store for inspiration. Pom-pom fringe, rubber stamps, ribbon, and more can be used to quickly transform the sheers you've selected. Look for colors and textures that complement or offset the furniture and artwork in a room. Think about texture, too -- the straightforward weave of a sheer might fare well with flamboyant trim or an original allover design.

Also consider using sheers in unexpected ways: to divide a room, say, or add color behind a French door. Wherever you decide to give them a try, they will be beautiful -- and memorable.

Turn organza ribbon into soft stripes on cotton-voile sheers.


  • Cotton-voile sheers

  • Iron

  • Measuring tape

  • Organza ribbon

  • Scissors

  • Straight pins

  • Needle and thread


  1. Fold curtain lengthwise in accordion pleats of equal width (ours were about 8 inches); iron creases.

  2. Measure the length of the curtain, and cut ribbon to the same length plus 10 inches.

  3. Center ribbon over creases and pin, leaving 7 inches at top for curtain tabs and 3 inches at bottom for hem.

  4. Fold 3 inches of ribbon over at bottom of curtain; iron. Fold 4 inches of ribbon over at top to create tabs; iron.

  5. Stitch curtains along bottom and top to secure hem and tabs. Stitch along both sides of ribbons lengthwise.

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