Tutorial: Made to measure curtain tiebacks in less than an hour

Hurrah! I finally crossed off the third task on my list of unfinished objects – the tiebacks for my kitchen curtains. Goodness knows why I put it off for so long. They were so quick and easy to make. For anyone who’s interested, here’s my quick and easy method to make tiebacks to fit any size curtains… They took me about 45 minutes per pair.

Laura Ashley Whitby Check Fabric Curtains with Tiebacks



  • Card or paper for making template
  • Fabric – approximately 0.5 – 0.75 yards/meters, depending on the size of your tiebacks. See how to calculate more accurately below.
  • Buckram – approximately 1.5 – 2 yards/meters, depending on the size of your tiebacks. See how to calculate more accurately below.
  • Thread to match or contrast as desired
  • 4 curtain rings approximately 1 inch (2.5cm) diameter.

 Create your template for your tieback

Gather one of your curtains with a tape measure at the point you wish your tieback to sit, so the curtain is drawn back in the way you want it to be. This measurement will give the finished width of each tieback.

Meauring Width of curtain tieback

Drawing Curtain Tieback templateDraw a horizontal line the same length as your measurement onto a piece of card or paper.

Add a  line at each end the length you wish the ends of your tiebacks to be. If you’re not sure, just guess, you can always adjust later.

Drawing curtain tieback template 2Mark a line below the centre of the horizontal line the length you wish the deepest part of your tieback to be.

Drawing Curtain tieback template 3Draw a curve joining this line to the lines at the edge in a smooth curve to complete the shape of your tieback. If you’re not happy with this shape redraw the lines until you are.

Once you are happy cut half the template as shown below then fold it over and use the cut half of the curve as a template to cut out the other half. This will create a perfectly symmetrical template.

Curtain Tieback template 1 Curtain Tieback template 3Pic

Curtain tieback template 2

Finally place your template around your curtain, as if it was your finished tieback, to check you will be happy with the finished product. If you’re not, re-measure and redraw until you are.

Curtain Tieback template

Calculate how much fabric you need for your tieback

Width: at least as wide as one tieback plus 1 inch or 3cm

Length in feet and inches = (4 x length at deepest part of tieback) + 2

Length in centimetres and meters = (4 x length at deepest part of tieback) + 6

Example, my tieback was 28 inches wide and 4 inches deep

Width of fabric required = 28 + 1 = 29 inches.

Length of fabric required = (4 x 4) + 2 = 18 inches

Or in centimetres:

My tieback was 70cm wide and 10cm deep

Width of fabric required = 70 + 3 = 73cms

Length of fabric required = (4 x 10) + 6 = 46 centimetres

You will also need two pieces of buckram the same size as your tieback  template. 

I used buckram from a roll 5inch/13cm wide, so for two 28inch/70cm tiebacks I needed a piece of buckram 56 inch/140cms long.

Buckram roll

Cutting out your tieback

Cutting Curtain Tieback 1Fold over the top of your fabric along the straight grain, wrong sides together,  about 3/4 inch (2cm) longer than the depth of your tieback. Place your template with the straight edge along the fold.

Cutting Curtain Tieback 2Draw a line on the fabric 1/2inch (1.5cm) from the edges of the template using pencil or chalk.

Pinned curtain tiebackPin inside the line ensuring you pin both layers of fabric together. 

Cut along the line you’ve drawn

Repeat to cut out second tieback.

Cutting out buckram

  • Place tieback template on a single layer of buckram and draw around it.
  • Cut out
  • Repeat for second tieback

Making up your tiebacks

Cut out curtain tiebackWith wrong sides together, press fabric along the centre fold.

Open out and place the long straight edge of buckram on wrong side against fold.

Pressing Curtain Tieback 1

Press edges onto wrong side 1/2inch (1.5cm) all around, overlapping buckram where necessary. You may need to clip into the curved edge a little if you have particularly thick fabric.

Pressing Curtain tieback 2

Pressing Curtain Tieback 3Fold the tieback together, so that the buckram is sandwiched in the middle, and press closed.

  • If the edges don’t meet exactly, repress until they do.

Topstitching Curtain TiebackTopstitch the edges together.

Curtain tieback with rings

Sew the curtain rings approximately 1 inch (2.5cm) from the edge of the tieback –on the inside.

Et Voila! You have a pair of made to measure curtain tiebacks.

Laura Ashley Whitby Check Fabric Curtains with Tiebacks Laura Ashley Whitby Check Curtain Tieback

38 thoughts on “Tutorial: Made to measure curtain tiebacks in less than an hour

    1. LOL! You’re making me look quite slick – I only started the curtains just over a year ago (and there are four pairs).
      But, yes, go for it!


    1. Thank you so much – by the time I’d got all the words to sit properly around the photos my brain was totally addled. Hopefully now I’ve written one tutorial the next will be easier.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know that word addled vey well. I sometimes think my brain’s in a permanent state of addlement (If there is such a word!). I’ll look forward to your next tutorial. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I’d never noticed tiebacks weren’t straight before 😮 And how wonderful that you took the time to create a tutorial. I’ll pin it on my Technicalities board on Pinterest 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw! Thank you. Hope you find it useful. I love them, because they really finish the curtains off, but don’t take to long to make. Also, after hauling round heaps of fabric making a curtain, they’re a nice small project too 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. When I have my own place I’ll definitely make some, if nothing, to pretend I’m a grown-up. Right now I use chairs to hold the curtains (this household is fancy like that) 😀 And -gasp! – I let them trail way down to the floor 😳

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Your tutorial was wonderfully clear and the pictures are great. I really like that fabric, thinking of using something similar for curtains, and how it will be to make the tiebacks! Oh, and lest I forget, your ironing board cover is awesome! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Jen, Thank you. Glad it was helpful. I still love that fabric. It was also a real bargain end of line Laura Ashley – I had to ring round several shops to get enough, but with five windows – four floor length – I needed a bargain 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This tutorial I was looking for was perfect! I didn’t make my curtains but I bought 96 inch curtains for an 84 inch length and cut them to fit. I used the extra fabric to make the tie backs…. It was a little bit more work with hemming the curtains but I bought them at the Christmas tree store for 1699 a pair!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am like Tracy, I bought curtains too long, hemmed them and used the extra material to make the tie backs. I am not a sewer and was able to follow your directions. Thank you. In Canada, I don’t think that we have buckram. (At least they had never heard of it at our fabric shop.) I explained what it was for and she told me to use interfacing. Also, you can buy interfacing that is iron on. Not sure if Buckram is iron-on? Next time I would try the iron on interfacing to make the job easier.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello. Thank you for your comment. Glad to directions were clear enough. You’re right, buckram isn’t iron on. It’s a bit stiffer than heavyweight interfacing, which I imagine wouldn’t be as easy to use. I definitely give iron on a go another time – I think that would be easier. I confess, I’d never heard of buckram before the lady in our fabric shop suggested using it instead of interfacing 🙂


  5. Thanks so much for the instructions on drawing the template. I love those types of tie backs but could not find a pattern that made sense. I’m not very creative and needed a visual so it helped a lot!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you so much for taking the time to explain and show how to draw out the shape, I can sew but I cannot figure out how to make shapes!


  7. Great tutorial, I’ve just finished making 4 sets of curtains (phew!!!) and will be using your pattern to make tiebacks. Also used Laura Ashley material, it’s just gorgeous.

    Liked by 1 person

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