Tutorial Tuesday: Desk Curtains

Knowing that I wanted to make curtains for underneath my desk, my search began for a tutorial on how to do so.  But unfortunately I really wasn’t able to find one :(  So I just had to make it up as I went along.  Hoping that I can make what I did make sense to you and that I took enough pictures of the process.

Finished Curtains

To begin, measurements of the desks were taken.

My desks measure:

“office” desk – 48″ x 27″ {upper right of picture}

L-shaped (work space) – 64″ (really TWO 32″ small desks put together) x27″

L-shaped (sewing table) – 48″ x 27″


First, I cut the main fabric for the curtain in half along the fold line (where it was folded on the bolt).  That gave me two 5 yard pieces that were 22″ wide. Now I had to figure out where to cut the five yards of fabric so I knew how much would go around the entire desk. This is where the measurements of the desks come in handy.  Instead of just hanging the fabric, a bit more drama was needed to I added in 10″ for box pleats (in the appropriate places, see the breakdown of my measurements below)

My measurements looked like this (using the “office” desk curtain measurements):

27″ (depth of the desk) + 5″ (to allow for half the pleat at the corner) + 1″ for the hem on the side =

32″ length of the fabric for the side of the desk

then for the front

total length measured 48″, but since I wanted it to open in the middle I divided that in half

24″ (half the length of the desk) + 10″ for the pleat in the center of this section + 5″ (to allow for the other half of the pleat at the corner) + 1″ for the side hem =

40″ length for the front half of the desk

Altogether that piece of fabric measured 72″ (Are you confused yet?  I would be!)

NOTE: Before I did any cutting, I measured the fabric, pinned the pleats, and secured the curtains to the desk using large binder clips so I could make sure that they looked right. 

Ok, so now that your fabric is measured and cut it is time to mark your pleats.  I marked each pleat at the center (where I wanted the pleat to be on the curtain once hung) and then from that center point I measured 5 inches on each side.  I then folded both pins into the center pin, secured the fabric, and sewed the pleats in place.

Notice my pins are placed at the 0″, 5″ and 10″ lines.

marking the pleats

Bring the pin at the 0″ mark to the pin at the 5″ mark and secure in place with another pin.  Now do the same with the 10″ mark and bring it to the center 5″ pin.

forming the pleat

Your pleat should now look like this

pinned pleat

Just to hold the fabric in place more securely than pins, I sewed along the pleat.

secured pleat


I then cut the stripes for the accent panel along the bottoms of the curtains.  This required a bit more work since the stripes had to line up.  Each of those pieces measured around 10 inches to allow for hemming.  I sewed the accent fabric all along the panels of main fabric after each one had been sized according to which desk it was going on.
attaching accent fabric

Once that was attached, I went back and pressed the edges up toward the top of the curtain and topstitched to secure them in place.

top stitching accent fabric

panel ready to hem

Now it’s time to hem up the bottoms and sides of the curtains. For the bottom I measured the length and hemmed each curtain up about 2 1/2″.  Then the sides were each turned in 1/2″, pressed, and turned in another 1/2″.

pinned hem

To secure the curtains to the desks, I used Velcro Decor since it allowed me to sew the looped side to the curtains and then adhere the hook side directly to the underside of the desks.  I cut pieces that were about 6 inches each and spaced them evenly under the desks making sure to sew on the ends and the pleats.  Unfortunately, all my curtains are not yet hung since I ran out of Velcro.  Since JoAnn’s is having a BIG sale this week I plan on going and buying more with my 40% off coupon!

Hope you found this tutorial helpful!  Please let me know if you have any questions or if anything isn’t clear.  I tried to take pictures of each step but I know that didn’t always happen.  If you make your own curtains please link back so I can visit your blog!

Completed curtain panel


  1. Great Job on the tutorial.

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