Shopping for curtain panels can be a pain... you need to find the correct length, material, and sometimes you get stuck between options like tap-top or grommets... which can be right for certain rooms and situations, but wasn't what I was looking for. I decided that I wanted either back-tab curtains or French pleat (pinch pleat). Panels like these vary widely in cost, but a lot of times you will spend a lot of extra money just to get the pleat look. Well, here's a great and surprisingly cheap option for you to make your own French Pleat curtains using Ikea Ritva curtain panels.
A pair of Ikea Ritva panels comes in either 98" or 117" lengths, so you get a lot of fabric for the low cost (you can always hem them to be shorter, if needed). I bought the 98" length and I'm really happy with how they look. Here's how I created the French Pleats.like these) from somewhere like JoAnn Fabric or on Amazon. IKEA does sell some pleat hooks, but they are double pleat hooks and won't give you the same effect. If you want the triple pleat, you will need to buy the 4-pronged pins.
The nice thing about using the Ritva curtain panels, is that they have built in pleater tape into the header of the curtain. (If you are doing this with another kind of panel, you will need to sew this pleater tape into the top section of the curtain yourself) This means that you can create almost any design of pleats that you want... you just need to figure out where to put your hooks.
To start, put one of the prongs into a slot in the header. Then, depending on how deep you want the pleats, place the second prong into another slot. Continue this until you have your finished single pleat. Before you start your panel, you will want to decide how big you want each pleat to be and how much space you want to leave in between pleats. For my curtains, I had 5 pleats (each created out of 8" of panel width) leaving about 3" between each. On the ends, you can put a single pin in a slot to keep the panel ends neatly attached to the rod.
Then, you just need to either attach the hooks to rings and hang them, or use the rings directly on your rod.
There you go! I'm pretty excited about the way they turned out. I still need to do a lot more in this room, but having curtains up already makes it feel so much nicer!