Drapery swags are a type of window treatment that adds elegance to formal and informal living spaces alike. Often drapery swags are combined with sheer or lace curtains as an accent across the top of the curtain rod and down the sides. Traditional drapery swags are expensive to purchase, but you can create your own for a fraction of the cost while you maintain total control over the style, design, fabric choice and arrangement.
The easiest drapery swags to make do not require you to be a master seamstress. A simple swag is basically just a long piece of fabric that you loop around a curtain rod or bar or hang it from the bar using hooks. If you have a bar already in place, use a long rope to experiment with different ways of hanging fabric over the bar. Decide for yourself how many loops you want to make around the bar and how far down you want the swag to hang at each loop.
The loops of your drapery swag can hang symmetrically or at differing lengths in a pattern all the way across. If you choose a pattern with differing lengths, an odd number of loops will look best. Also, keep in mind how far down you want the tails of the drapery swag to hang at the sides of your window, and add that to your fabric measurement. The wonderful thing about simple drapery swags is that you can hang them over and over in different ways. Instead of moving furniture around when you need a little change in your environment, just rearrange your drapery swags!
Choose the Fabric
A drapery swag is a window accent. This means that if you are matching it to a set of sheer curtains, you should choose fabric that contrasts with the curtains. If the curtains are a plain color, then you may want to choose patterned fabric for the swag that complements the furniture and décor in the rest of the room.
If the room is very formal, use a heavier fabric for your drapery swag. You may also consider sewing a more formal and complex swag with pleats and a backing board. Unlike the simplest looping swags, complex swags with pleats will need to be lined with another fabric.
If the room is informal and you are merely looking for a drapery swag to accent your sheer curtains, then use a lightweight fabric for looping and draping. Whether heavy or lightweight, choose soft fabrics that flow easily when draped across the window. Some fabrics to consider are silk, rayon, lightweight polyester blends or very light cotton. Choose a fabric that will wash well, and require little to no ironing.