Simple Tieback

  • Traditional tie backs stiffened with buckram create the most tailored style.
  • They can be embellished with cord, tassels, covered buttons, braid and fringing (as in the image below right) in matching, contrasting or coordinating colours.

Image refers to colour code key for diagrams


  • Image of a simple traditional tieback2 buckram templates.
  • Fabric large enough for the tie back plus 1" (2.5 cms) seam allowance all round.
  • Lining for the back of the tie back the same size as the buckram.
  • 4 curtain rings or D rings, approximately 1” (2.5 cms) in diameter.
  • Fringing or braid (if required) enough for the lower edge of both tiebacks.
  • 2 tie back hooks.

Suggested Tieback Sizes:

To work out the length of tie back required you must know how many widths are in each curtain for the tie back to be big enough to hold it back without bunching it up too much. The width of the tie back is also important, very short curtains look wrong with very wide tie backs and conversely very long curtains look wrong with narrow tie backs. Usually the widths vary between 4 and 6 inches (10-15cms).

Image of suggested tieback sizes

Making a Tie Back Template

  1. Using the table above cut a piece of graph paper to the required length and 10" (25 cms) wide.
  2. Fold it in half lengthways.
  3. Measure the finished width (W) of the tie back up from the bottom of the fold and mark.

    Image showing making a tieback template
  4. Measure half the length of the tie back along the bottom and mark (L).
  5. Measure the width minus 1" (2.5 cms) at right angles to (L) and mark (A).
  6. Measure the width plus 1" (2.5 cms) from (L) and mark (B).
  7. Draw a gentle curve from the bottom of (W) to (A).
  8. Draw a gentle curve from the top of (W) to (B).
  9. Cut out the shape through both layers and open out.
  10. Cut the buckram or interfacing to the same size as the paper template.

Making Plain Traditional Tie Backs:

  1. Cut 2 pieces of lining the same size as the buckram template.
  2. Cut 2 pieces of front fabric, using the template, with a 1" (2.5 cms) seam allowance all the way round.
  3. Image refers to steps 3 to 5 of making a simple tiebackPlace the buckram between the fabric and the lining with the right sides out. The seam allowance must be the same all the way round.
  4. Using a hot iron (not steam) press all the pieces together.
  5. Snip the seam allowance, not too deeply, all the way round.
  6. Fold the seam allowance to the back of the tie back.
  7. Image refers to steps 6 and 7 of making a simple tiebackTurn under the raw edge and slipstitch by hand or machine stitch. The latter will produce a line of stitching on the right side.
  8. Oversew a curtain ring onto each end of the tie back 0.5" (12mm) in from the end.
  9. To enhance the shape of the tie back either braid or fringing can be backstitched to the lower edge.
  10. Repeat for the other tie back.
  11. Position the tie back hooks at the required height at each side of the window and hang the tie backs.

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