How to Make Ribbon Curtains - dummies

By Mark Montano, Carly Sommerstein

Ribbon curtains look like something you encounter in the drive-through car wash. You get a flowing, festive look with this treatment, which is also terrific in doorways. When the curtain is stationary, you get plenty of sun protection, and when the wind blows through the window, you can enjoy plenty of movement. This window treatment is especially great for kids’ rooms, and they’re always fun to look at and fun to touch. (Be careful with very young children because they love to tug and pull up on the streamers; it may be a safety hazard.)

You can make these curtains in several different ways. You can use ribbon, Ultrasuede, or plastic shower curtain liners. None requires any sewing and they can all be easily made with just a pair of sharp scissors.

You can use strips of fabric to create this curtain, but lengths of ribbon are ideal. One-inch-wide ribbon is a great choice for this project. Don’t limit your ribbon color choice to only one shade; try red, white, and blue, all pastels, a variety of colors to create a rainbow-like effect using the full color spectrum, or gradient-toned blues, for a moiré effect, which can give your window a wavy, watery look.

If you choose to use ribbons and you’re treating an average-size window or larger, definitely look into buying from a ribbon wholesaler to save money

  1. Take the width of your window and multiply by 2.

    That’s the number of 1-inch wide ribbons you need.

  2. Take the length of your window, multiply by 2, and then add an inch (which represents the extra length needed to create the knotted loop that holds it in place).

    This measurement represents how long each ribbon needs to be.

    For example, for a standard 30-x-60-inch window, use sixty 1-x-121-inch-long strips of fabric, or try ribbon cut to the same dimensions, which you knot and hang along the rod of your choice.

  3. Measure your ribbons, allowing for the extra inch of fabric needed to make the loop and knot.

  4. Cut the ribbons to the appropriate length.

  5. Loop them around right on the rod of your choice.


    You can do it any way that’s pleasing to you. Here, the loop tucks under the downward hanging ends. Just be sure the two ends are of equal length before you pull the ribbon tight to secure your loop.