Customize Store Bought Flat Panel Draperies

Customize Store Bought Draperies -

When it comes to window treatments, the sky is the limit. However, sometimes our time is limited!  So, embellishing store bought flat panels is a great way to add a personal touch to your window treatments without starting from scratch!  Read along…this is one window treatment you’ll definitely want to try.

Materials List:

  • Store bought flat panels (If needed)
  • Main fabric used for customization
  • Contrasting fabric
  • Store bought piping
  • Sewing thread to match fabrics
  • Sewing machine
  • Measuring tape
  • Fabric measuring tape
  • Cutting board
  • Straight edge
  • Rotary cutters or scissors
  • Pins


1. Hang store bought flat panels at desired height.  Consider where you would like to place an embellishment, and what size you would like.  A contrasting strip could have just as easily been added to the top of the drape as to the bottom.

2. Our bottom addition measured 21” high, approximately 1/5 the total height of the drapery, and it was the same width as the panel.

3. Start by cutting the main customization fabric to the width of the drapery panel plus the same amount of side seam as is on the drapery.  Ours was 40” wide plus 1 ½” side seams for a total of 6 additional inches, or 46” wide.  For the length of the customized embellishment fabric, 3” of the 21” was a contrasting fabric and piping, so 18” plus a 5/8” seam allowance and a 4” hem folded twice is 26-5/8” in length.

4. Cut the contrasting fabric for the embellishment at the same width as above and 4 1/4” in length including 5/8” seam allowances.

5. Cut piping to 46” as well.

6. Pin piping on right side of main fabric along the top edge.  Place contrasting fabric, right side down onto piping and pin.  Stitch all three layers of fabric together using a zipper foot on your machine.

7. Fold over side hems 1 ½” twice, and use same stitch as side seams on flat drapery panels.  Make sure when this is done that the new embellishment is the same width as the flat drapery panel.

Customize Store Bought Draperies 2 - MattandShari.com8. Fold up 4” hem twice on embellishment and blind stitch or straight stitch in place.

9. Cut the drapery panel across the width at the location of the embellishment making sure to leave a 5/8” seam allowance. Pin the embellishment to the cut edge of the drapery panel with right sides facing and stitch together.

10. Make a flat felled seam where the two panels join to neaten up the ends of the seams where the two fabrics meet. This is done by cutting one of the selvage edges down to 1/8” and folding the remaining selvage edge in half and then pinning it over the raw cut selvage and stitch down so even the wrong side of the drapery panel is neat.

11. Press draperies and re-hang.

This panel design can be easily adapted for any style of decorating. For a warm country look, use two coordinating fabric prints and sew a scallop in the bottom of the panel. For a traditional room, try combining a subtle stripe with a matching floral print. For a contemporary style, large blocks of solid color look great.

One last thought, if you don’t want to cut your original flat panel draperies, you can cheat the way I did.  For the contrasting stripe on the customized embellishment, I folded the strip over in half and then added it to the main fabric and piping.  This made it a bit sturdier.  Then, I attached the embellished piece to the flat panel using straight pins.  I just wove them in and out of the drapery and the contrasting stripe as if I was sewing with straight pins.  You could even simply baste the embellishements to the drapery panel as well. I don’t think you can tell they aren’t permanent, and it does preserve the original draperies in case I decide to add something different for the holidays or a special occasion!



  1. Nancy says

    WONDERFUL idea! Just the sort of thing I always loved on “Room By Room”- achievable looks for REAL PEOPLE!

  2. Ave Maria says

    Nice, I have really high ceilings, this is a wonderful solution. I will have figure out some coordinating fabric. Question: Do I steam or Iron the seams where the fabric meets? I think ironing would lay better? Thoughts???

  3. Sue Reiderman says

    Just wanted to say, I loved the show Room By Room. Will check PBS channels to see if you are on in my area. Love all your ideas.

  4. brenda says

    great detailed info: always great to hear from you twol
    no longer watching the channel that has turned into a real estate infomercial. waiting for them to get their senses because so many are saying the same. it would be so great to see you back

  5. Janet D says

    your show was like none other….I cannot even begin to tell you how much I loved your show, how much I learnt from it (which I find helpful to this date), and finally, how much I’d like to see you back on TV!!!

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