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How to Add Trim to Curtains for a Stunning Look

Find out how easy it is to add trim to curtains and other simple tips for making store-bought curtains look high-end and custom!

This post is sponsored by SmithHonig and contains affiliate links for your shopping convenience. I only share brands that I personally know and love. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

There I was. Wobbling on a step stool as I stood under a dark tent of curtains, trimming the top grommet tabs off while the curtains hung on the curtain rod and over my head.

I felt like a legit designer rushing to pull a room makeover together with the final details on the last day. Of course, there is a better (and safer) way to trim curtains! 😉

Adding trim to curtains for a designer look hero image with a beautiful maximalist office featuring bird wallpaper, grey sofa, and blue curtains with orange tassel trim.
Trim for Curtains

Add trim to curtains and impress your guests!

When I designed my office makeover I knew I needed curtains for privacy. But I also wanted them to be a show stopper and look high-end!!

The problem with a lot of store-bought curtains is that they are often too short and have a rod pocket or grommet-style top for hanging which indicates they came from a big box store.

That doesn’t mean we can’t transform them into something glorious even without a sewing machine and I’ll show you how the right way. *Standing on a stool is not required.

What you need for adding tassel trim to curtains:

  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Scissors
  • *Optional – curtain rod rings

Do this DIY curtain hack in minutes:

  • Find a great trim or ribbon to add to each curtain panel. You can attach it to the inside, outside, or both edges. Measure your curtain length to know how much trim to use.
A close up of the first step on how to embellish plain curtains by adding tassel trim to curtains with a blue curtain on a wood floor and orange and jute tassel trim placed on the side.
Adding Tassel Trim to Curtains

I fell in love with the orange tassel trim from SmithHonig the minute I laid eyes on it. It made me think of the Paddington bear and his love for marmalade instantly.

  • Layout your curtain panel on a table or the floor. Place your trim next to the edge of your panel. Make sure tassels, pom poms, or fringe are facing away from the curtain panel.
A blue drapery is spread out on a floor with orange tasel trim layed out on the side.
How to Trim Curtains
  • Use hot glue to secure the trim in place. Work in small sections by applying a thin line of hot glue at the edge of the panel and placing the trim on top.
  • Smooth down with your finger. Rubber finger protective covers are great for preventing burned fingers.
Orange trimming for curtains is being hot glued onto a blue curtain/drapery.
Trimming for Curtains
  • The top and bottom of your fringe may need to be folded under 1/4 inch and secured with more glue to keep it from unraveling. You can also singe the tip carefully with a lighter or a coat of clear nail polish to prevent unraveling.
Adding tassel trim to curtains with glue on a wood floor.
Designer Trim for Curtains
  • Flip over the top of the curtain if you want to hide grommets and clip curtain rings for hanging. Optional – First trim off the grommet top completely before hanging. 😉
  • Tip – Use curtain rings on too-short curtains to give you a few extra inches of length.

Make sure to only dry clean to protect the fringe!

More easy tips for making others think your inexpensive curtains are designer:

  • Buy longer curtains to make your room feel taller. Big box stores usually carry 84″ inch curtains but often longer sizes are available online with free delivery to the store. It is worth the wait! I promise.
  • Want something simple and elegant over your blinds? Hang inexpensive long white sheers on a thin gold curtain rod.
  • Turn store-bought curtains into a faux “pinch and pleat” for a custom look by folding the fabric into a pleat and hanging it with a decorative ring. (See picture below).
Green Velvet Curtains Gold Frame Pink Wall and curtain clips
Use curtain clips to create a faux pinch and pleat.

Curtains take up a lot of wall real estate so refresh your window treatments with these tips to make a big impact on the overall feel of your room.

No need for new furniture and trendy decor here. Find more ideas for adding bold colors and patterns to your home in this story!

Curtains with Tassels hang in front of French doors with a zebra rug on the floor. - Adding trim to curtains
Curtains with Tassels

Frequently asked questions about adding trim to curtains:

How do you glue curtain trim?

Use hot, fabric, or craft glue to attach the trim to the curtains. Second, attach the trim by working in small sections and following the tutorial in this article.

Hold the trim in place with straight pins before gluing to check placement. Lastly, read the bottle to see if fabric glue is washable otherwise you’ll want to dry clean the curtains.

At-home dry cleaning kits work great for this if you don’t want to take them to the cleaners. You can also keep dust off with a vacuum wand and spot clean so that curtains remain in perfect condition.

How do you embellish plain curtains?

Take your plain curtains up a notch by adding trim to the inside and/or outside edges with tassel, fringe, or ribbon trim. Similarly, add ribbon trim 2-3 inches to the inside of the edges as I did for my bedroom makeover. Or, add trim at the bottom of your curtains.

How do you update old curtains?

Fold-over top tabs or grommets and use curtain clips for a fresh look and embellish with fringe for curtains.

How do you add lining to existing curtains?

Use a pair of inexpensive sheers in the same size as your curtain panels. Attach with iron-on fusing tape or fabric glue below the top hem or clip to curtain rings.

You can see how I did this with my bedroom curtains. Learn how to make no-sew black-out curtains from The DIY Playbook.

Find out how to add a band of fabric to the bottom of curtains in this article and other creative ideas for working with too-short curtains.

Join me on Instagram for behind-the-scenes, DIYs, decorating tips, room tours, and home inspiration. I’ll see you over there!

Are you bored with your drapes? Save time and money with this easy DIY!



  1. I love your ideas. I was wondering if you could help me with s small issue. I just bought a pair of tie-up valances. The width is not wide enough to cover the sides of the rods. They have spa blue groisgrain ribbon for ties. Can I add a wider ribbon to the sides to fill the gap on both sides and how?

    Ann T

    1. Hi Ann! If you add the wider ribbon so the sides via sewing or gluing, just make sure you leave extra at the top to fold to the back to create the loop for the rod. If you don’t mind a more boho look, you could also just add the ribbon to the exposed rods to create “streamers” and let them dangle probably the same length as the valance when it’s tied up. Make to cut the ends at a slant or v shape for a clean finish. 🙂 I hope I understood your question properly. Feel free to send pictures if you need more help. Good luck!

  2. I am so happy you answered my question. I think I like the BOHO idea best! I will send you picks when done.
    Thank you so much
    Ann T.

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