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no sew box pleat curtains from a tablecloth

Yes, you read all that right. I’ve have this project in my head for a while. I love no sew options for window treatments, like these and these. Are you ready for the supply list? I used one piece of wood for each panel, one tablecloth (cut in half), a staple gun and a AAA card! 

We created a guest room by putting up walls in what used to be our family room. The room was divided up into a guest room, a large walk in closet and a hallway. We were then able to open the doorway leading to the basement and create a better flow to the downstairs.  The one window in this room needed some drama to say the least. 
There were a couple of obstacles to take into account first.  The window is right up against the ceiling so putting a rod across the window would have looked strange in my opinion. It also would have made the ceiling seem very short. I didn’t want to call attention to that. The other obstacle was the shelf that runs around half of the room. I actually like this feature in that it has become a display area. Curtains that ran to the floor were out of the question though, but they could hit the top of the shelf. I knew I wanted panels, I wanted pleats and my dad had just given me a new staple gun. I had a plan.
I wanted to make sure there was no sewing involved so I purchased a $14 tablecloth which goes quite nicely with my new “rug”. Did you know that tablecloths are 60 inches by 84 inches. Curtain panels are 54 inches by 84 inches and one panel costs more than $14. Do the math. 
If I had a normal window situation I would have purchased two tablecloths. I was able to use one and cut it in half. I now had three finished edges and one unfinished edge. The unfinished edge is the one I would be stapling over the wood.

I began by wrapping the cut portion of the fabric around my pre-cut piece of wood. The size of the wood is up to you. Mine pieces are 10 inches long. That means I will have 10 inches of fabric on each side of the window, pleats and all. I made sure my fabric wrapped around the piece of wood and hit the back. This is where the staples would be hidden. I put in one staple to keep it in place and then laid it all out on the floor with the wood under the fabric. Once all the stapling is done the fabric will be wrapped up and over the top of the wood.

I began stapling by creating a fold and securing that to the wood. This way the curtains start with a pleat and not just the edge of the tablecloth. I used the AAA card to get consistent pleats without a ruler. I wrapped the fabric around the card and stapled. Remember, none of this will be seen!

I used the card again to create a fold for the underside of the box pleat. I stapled that down and began the next pleat.

I repeated the process till I reached the edge, which I also turned over to finish the last pleat.

The top looks messy but the area where all the staples are is the area that will be attached to the wall. I then ironed the pleats, concentrating more on the top of the panel than on the bottom.

Once both panels were stapled and ironed I pulled out my favorite 3M strips. I placed four on each wood panel and stapled one side of them into the wood. I then placed the other side of the strip on top and pressed down to secure them. I placed the panels at the very top of the wall, just under the molding and pushed them down a few times.

 In less than 45 minutes and for less than $20 my window went from this…

 to this…

So, like I said…no sew box pleat curtains made with a piece of wood, a tablecloth, a staple gun and a AAA card. Do you believe me now?
TDC Before and After
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