Monday, September 7, 2009

How I drape fabric and make mini curtains

I've had a few enquiries about how I get fabric to drape and stay that way, so I'll show you how I do it. I'm about to make some curtains but you can use this method for pretty much anything made from fabric that you want to drape nicely and stay that way.
My dollhouse windows are the standard size. I have used about 9cm of fabric for each curtain because I want them to end up quite narrow and not take up too much space.

I use HeatnBond to make all the hems. This way there is no stitching showing and the edges won't fray. You can also use fusible webbing or hemming tape.

These are the strips of HeatnBond. I've cut them about half a centimetre wide.

Apply the HeatnBond according to the instructions on the packaging, it's VERY simple!

Peel the paper off the HeatnBond.

Fold over all the hems and iron flat.

Now you have these.

You'll need a piece of softboard or something solid you can easily stick pins into.

Draw the size of your window on a sheet of paper and place it on the softboard. Cover this with a piece of waxed paper.

With a needle and thread run a gathering stitch through the top of each curtain.

Pin the curtains on the window you have drawn. Pins with heads are much easier on the fingers!

Pull the fabric from the bottom to make pleats and pin it.

Stick pins in wherever you need to, to get the fabric to stay exactly where you want it. I've done this in a bit of a rush, when you do it you'll make sure the fabric falls perfectly!

Now here's the secret weapon - a can of strong hold hairspray. Yes, that's right HAIRSPRAY. Whatever's cheapest at the supermarket will do!

Spray the pinned fabric until it is quite wet.

Next, because we want results fast, use a hairdryer to dry the fabric. It'll only take a minute or two.
When the fabric is dry you can take all the pins out. Your curtains will be quite stiff and stay just as you have pinned them.

If you hold them up to the light you will see the pinholes. If you scratch a pin over each hole you will be able to move the fabric enough to cover the hole. (Hope you understand that, it was too hard to take a pic of!)

And here is a pic of my rather hastily made curtains hanging in the new lounge. Not completely sure I like that fabric but it will do for a week or two.

So now you know, hairspray is how I got the dresses to drape like that.

And how I got the curtain in the wardrobe door to stay like that.

I have to say I have always been particularly pleased with the way that wardrobe curtain turned out! It works really well for bedding too as you can see at Linda's blog.
According to the lady who showed me how to do this, these things will stay like this for years!
So take your time and have fun!


  1. Thank you Mercedes for taking the time to show us that, I was a little unsure about the 'heat bond', but know I understand that really is amazing how easily it, my bedding and quilt where done with your method!
    Linda x

  2. Thank you, Mercedes!
    Now it is very clear.

    love sylvia

  3. It has to be seen to be believed... with HAIRSPRAY...!!!
    Mercedes, you are a girl so clever... and also very generous.
    Many thanks for sharing!!!

  4. Han quedado preciosas las cortinas y tan reales.

  5. Oh this is very useful!
    Thank you a lot! I'll probably use it in some preparation boards as well!

    Very kind of you to share this!

    (and hi btw, I rarely post a comment but I often read your blog :D)

    Stephanie aka PetitPlat

  6. Thanks a lot! Now I might try to do some curtains to my house. :)

  7. Wow! I never would have guessed! Of course, now I just need to find fabric in as sweet and perfect a print as yours, because that's more than half the reason your curtains look so pretty ;-) Thanks for sharing, now get me to the fabric shop! LOL!

  8. Thanks Mercedes! I'm going to tuck this tutorial away for when I'm ready to dress the windows in my little house...

  9. Hairspray, huh! LOL...Thanks for showing us that!! I still need to do the ruffle around Cora's bed, and I think I may try this.....

  10. Thank you for showing this - the
    curtains look relly pretty! and
    of course the dresses too!

    /Eva J

  11. Lovely work as always and wonderful of you to show how it is done. I love the last picture the best. The sun light thru the windows is awesome. I want to be in that room. Hugs~ Kim

  12. Thank you so much for sharing the way you drape fabric :) I'm going out today to buy me some hairspray!

  13. A great tip!
    Thank you so much for sharing this!

  14. Hasty or not, the drapes fall so well, I wish I have giant pins and titanic hair spray so my real life ones fall the way I want them to. I always use unconventional fabric for my drapes, like polyester saris or cheesecloth. By the way, looking at the number of pins you use, that is NOT a hasty job! LOVE this tutorial :):)!

  15. Thank you very much for the tutorial. It's simple when you explain it and I really like as is put into place. The end result is fantastic and beautiful dresses. Thank you very much.Hugs.

  16. Oh, I really enjoy reading your blog :-) Thank You for sharing so much !
    I would like to make all kinds of cute and nice stuff too...

    Maybe someday...

    Best wishes from Anneli in Sweden

  17. This is genius, and I love your blog. Your miniatures are incredible. So nice to meet you.


  18. Fantastico!!!!. gracias por compartir este tuto es muy practico, lo pondré a la practica. Tene un blog maravilloso, Feicidades

  19. Just adore this litle house!
    the little cupboards are so cute!
    luv the mixed chairs! that is exactly how it is in magazines only a little bigger lol
    fantastic minis Mecedes!

  20. Lovely tutorial, thank you for sharing it with us, I will definietly try that!

  21. Hi, I was just advised to come see your blog as I was lucky enough to be given a three story farmhouse that was done back in 1980 or so All mauve and country blue...I just got donewith the "demo". I am so glad I found you, I have never done this before and I need all of the help Ic an get! LOL Please come by some time and say hello! Sandy @ 521 Lake Street

  22. Wow Mercedes,
    Thank you very much. You instructions are so easy to understand, I am very much a visual instruction person too.

    Linda was kind enough to direct me here, and I am very grateful.

    Fiona : )

  23. omg you are so awesome, I've been worrying about how to make my curtains stay down if/when I do my first roombox and your tutorial is a lifesaver

    thank you so much
    Marisa :)

  24. Great information here.
    Question: do you sell vintage mini dresses you make?

  25. Love your stuff! I have linked you on my Facebook and will put you on my website too if that's OK. I'm trying the hairspray technique on my sink curtains as we speak lol


Thank you for your comments!