Instructions for Making Balloon Drapes

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    Choosing Your Material

    • Designing your own balloon drape gives you the opportunity to select fabric that coordinates perfectly with your room. It is best to choose a lightweight material for the balloon drape because when they are raised, the shades can be heavy. Over time, this can cause stress on the cord used to pull the drapes up. Choosing the type of lightweight material is also important, as a heavy material may hang and not puff up to the right degree to create the balloon effect.

    Cut the Fabric to Size

    • Measure the width and length of your window and cut the fabric to size, adding an inch on each side to the numbers in order to have room to create a seam. You will need two equal pieces (one for the front and one for the back) that you will sew together. Create a half-inch French seam. If your fabric is not long enough, join the fabric pieces together to reach the appropriate size of the width of the window. Join these fabric pieces by creating a half-inch double hem. Once the fabric is large enough, mark the center of the fabric.

    Making the Folds

    • Place your two pieces of fabric (the front and back piece) on top of each other. Working from the center out, crease the fabric at equal widths apart to make your "balloons" (the part of the fabric that will drape). At each of the edges where you create a crease, sew a half-inch double hem, creating a permanent crease but not sealing the creases off entirely--you'll want to leave space so you can stuff the "balloons" to create a full effect.

    Making the Valance

    • The next step is to make the balloon valance itself. Create two (double) one-inch hems at the bottom and top edges and pin the two of them together in place. Fit your curtain rods into the hems on the top edges. Stitch the hems and thread the drape through the bottom and top rods. Finally, fluff out the flounces and stuff them with toilet paper or newspaper stuffing. They can also be wadded together to achieve the look you desire.

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