Dressmaking, Featured, How To
Make A Pleating Board

Make A Pleating Board

How To : Make Perfect Pleats with a Pleating Board

After working on a few pleating projects (including the pleated Kate dress) I started to wonder how I could make the pleating process easier. Measuring those pleats, pinning them down and ironing them just to find they weren’t quite right was getting to be really frustrating. So it was around that time the light bulb above my head switched on and I had my Dragons Den moment (or not quite because this isn’t an original idea – boo) – I needed a template to run the pleats through! Bingo.

After a couple of attempts, I got quite a good at churning these things out and heres how you can do it too -



Strong spray adhesive = £4.99 Long ruler
Lining paper = £1.19 Pen
Scrap material = free Scissors
Iron and ironing board
Big table

materials needed

  • Cut a length of lining paper to your desired length.

I cut mine at 1 metre but you could go longer or shorter depending on what you’re making.

  • Mark the pleat folds along the sides of your lining paper.

Now you’ll need to make a decision on what size you want your pleats to be when finished. In these pictures I’ve used 35mm:20mm as my measurements. This means the pleat will look like a nice medium sized pleat – think gym skirt.

Allow for approx 2mm difference as your pleats won’t be the exact same lengths as your board.

marking the pleats

  • Lightly score a line along every fold.

This means, join up your marks and run a pair of scissors across just to make life that little bit easier when you come to fold the pleats. Scissors are perfect as they are not too sharp – just watch your pinkies!

scoring the pleats

scored pleats

  • Fold the scored lines in opposite directions to make the zig zag pleat formation.

Now this is the tricky bit. I used the edge of a table to find the score line and make sure the fold was completely in line. It’s easy to fold the paper in the wrong place or fold it in the wrong direction so be patience – it’s anti inflammatories worth spending extra time on this part.

pleated paper

  • Gather your paper pleats and iron the folds down.

Sounds easy enough right? No! Those pleats will not want to be gathered! Take your time, then when you’ve got them all in your hand get ‘em ironed in to place on the hottest steamiest setting you have.

pleated paper

  • Glue one side of your gathered pleats to a sheet of material.

I’d advise using a strong carpet glue for this bit. You could use PVA but this would wet the paper and take a long to dry – with you pressing down…far too time consuming. I used a heavy duty spray adhesive (cost £4.99 from haberdashery shop) that’s made for upholstery – does the job perfectly! It’s not wet, really easy to spray on both the paper and the material, no chance of the two surface becoming unstuck and it does not react to heat.

I’ve used some material that I’ve had folded up for years and will never find a project for, but it’s nice to use something interesting to give your pleating board some personality. When it’s glued, cut away the excess material. Then iron the life out of it until you are happy the the pleats are nice and sharp.

Apologies for lack of photography on this section (was far to involved to remember to take pictures!). You can view this section in the video below at 4:10 s.

strong adhesive spray

  • Tuck the material you wish to pleat into the paper folds and iron once in place.

Use a ruler or credit card to make sure the fabric is tightly tucked into the pleating board.

creating pleats

ironing pleats

  • Bend the pleating board to release the pleats and enjoy!
Voila! How easy was that? Give it a go and let me know how you get on.

pleated fabric

end of the pleating board

reverse of the pleating board

While your at it, why not make a few more pleating boards with varying sizes of pleats – it’ll be worth it the next time you want to make tiny tiny pleats for that urgent dress! Good luck!

multiple boards for different sizes of pleats

Nicole @ beaufrog

Related Posts


  1. Carmen Majail

    September 16, 2011 at 6:33 am

    Thank you!


  2. Steph

    October 5, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    In the last picture what are the measurements for the other two pleat boards you created?


  3. Alexis

    October 23, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    This is awesome! I can’t wait to try it one of these days. I love your tuts. I hope to see more. Have a great day.


  4. Winnie

    April 1, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    Amazing just what I was looking for, thanks.


  5. BeauFrog

    April 14, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    Thanks for all your comments, glad to have helped :)


  6. Brenda Field

    April 15, 2012 at 10:48 am

    this is brillant have to make a kilt takes all the hard work out of trying to do each pleat by hnd and eye.


    • Annamarie

      May 21, 2012 at 6:44 pm

      I love this post… I know a LOT of love goes into making these.. Sebastian and I (he’s Japanese) made Gyoza, and I think diplmungs, etc, can be so versatile, but I love mine with insane amounts of shitake…Sebastian can fold them well, as for me… um.. I can’t sew a button so that should tell you something.. but piping cakes, etc… I can do… Looks super!


  7. Farnoush Irani

    May 3, 2012 at 6:46 am



  8. Rose Anderson

    August 24, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    I am impressed. This takes all the hassle out of pinning pulling pleats, Thank you.


  9. Anne-Laure Goujon-Ramolet

    September 7, 2012 at 8:36 am

    amazing tutorial, it's going to be great the day I go for a XIXth century bustle dress with aaaaall those tiny pleated ruffles going down the edges of skirt… (kilometers of fabric pleating…)
    there seems to be an additionnal tip, the pleats can be stuck for everlasting, using vinegar (I saw it mentionned once, still looking for the "recipe", lol).


  10. Payal Saxena

    September 10, 2012 at 9:34 am



  11. Ann Eales

    October 10, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    What a geat idea, thank you for sharing,


  12. Stacy

    October 19, 2012 at 4:48 am

    Hi. I think your tutorial is fabulous but can you help me? I need to make sunray pleats that ate 1 inch at the top and 2 inches at the bottom for a circle skirt. Will this work for that? And if so what should my measurements be? Thank you!


    • Nicole

      October 19, 2012 at 2:44 pm

      I love a challenge! Let me have a think and I’ll work what measurements you would need on your board…


      • Stacy

        October 19, 2012 at 11:42 pm

        Thanks Nicole! Math is not my strong point and I am at a loss. This seems like it would make a hard project really simple if I can get the measurements right. Really appreciate it!


  13. jane

    February 7, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    I first saw your you tube video last fall when I was making my MOTB dress for my dd’s wedding – was trying to make micro-pleats in polyester chiffon – nearly impossible, but I triumphed in the end!
    At the time I wanted to make one of your pleaters, but couldn’t locate “liner paper”. Evidently, it’s carried in the UK, but NOT so readily available in the US. At least not at the big box stores (Home Depot, Lowes) There IS something available on Amazon, but i would like to be a little more sure I’m ordering the right stuff. Do you have a brand name of the liner paper you used? What are the dimensions of the roll i.e. width by length? Is it pre-pasted? Or could you tell me if this stuff from Amazon is similiar to what you used? http://www.amazon.com/Brewster-A200-Unpasted-Wallpaper-20-5-Inch/dp/B002YC04RQ/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1360264125&sr=8-5&keywords=wallpaper+liner or this one? http://www.amazon.com/Liner-Heavy-White-Prepasted-Wallpaper/dp/B000EMWO7G/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1360264125&sr=8-1&keywords=wallpaper+liner


    • Nicole

      February 7, 2013 at 9:59 pm

      Glad the dress went well in the end :)

      Yeah, I didn’t realise at the time that although lining paper is really common over here in the UK, it’s actually a not that common worldwide. Who’d have known?!

      I think the paper in the first link is a close match but the reason I chose it was because it was cheap, fairly sturdy and theres enough of it on a roll to control the length of the board and make some mistakes.

      At the beginning I started with printer paper just to get my head around it, then stepped it up to something thicker for the final board.

      So I suppose you could use anything – parcel paper, mounting card, or even a light weight wall paper with the pattern facing inwards.

      I hope you find something that works for you – good luck


  14. Margarita Martinez

    March 9, 2013 at 4:22 am

    Oh my gosh I was about to blow like 60 plus bucks on a Pleat maker, not anymore thanks for showing how to make your own pleat board. Plus I want one for small pleats, medium, and big ones!


  15. Yasmine

    June 14, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    Merciiiiii !


  16. edwige

    July 5, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    Géniale idée !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you !!!!!!!


  17. Elizabeth

    September 9, 2013 at 5:27 am

    Thank you so very much for showing how to do the board. I’ve been wanting to make my granddaughter something with pleats, but just don’t have the nerve to tackle it. This board will make it soooo easy. Thank you again.


  18. Lucinda Lai

    December 14, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    What a great idea? Where did you get your ruler with the handle? What a great idea and it makes measuring so much easier!


  19. Noir Walker

    December 27, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    It is in the video made by Anniescrafts. Learning How to Make Pleats Using the Perfect Pleater on YouTube. 1 part white vinegar to 9 parts water. They use a special Rajah brand cloth which is a chemically treated pressing cloth, then pleat using a fabric that is at least 50% polyester. Wet the Rajah cloth in the mixture, wring out, then press the pleats and pleater board using the Linen setting. Allow to cool. The pleats are supposed to be permanent.

    The Learning to Pleat tutorial is using an expensive Clothilde pleater, but Beaufrog's looks at least as good! Thank you, Nicole of Beau Frog!!!!!!!!

    However, IMHO, the Learning to Pleat tutorial is worth watching as the technique demonstration is more complete on the Learning to Pleat tutorial because of the tip to start the pleating the other way around, pleats away from you, showing how to tighten the insertion using a ruler mentioned in the BeauFrog tutorial, and also the different types of material used–ribbon and fabric, scalloping, AND the showing of how to position the cloth so that the pleats can be stitched before removal from the pleater, etc. Hope that helps! Bonne Chance!


  20. Harrietst

    February 16, 2014 at 11:10 pm

    Sorry for stupid question.

    I’m new and I want to ask you how to add an avatar?


    • nicole

      February 24, 2014 at 9:46 pm

      Not stupid – I had to go digging around to remember! It’s a bit daft but you have to register with http://en.gravatar.com and then most wordpress blogs will be able to show your custom avatar.


  21. Sara Rodríguez

    March 1, 2014 at 9:56 am

    Fantástico! Lo pondré en práctica! Me ha encantado. Gracias!


    • Tuesday

      March 10, 2017 at 7:09 am

      Thank you for the sensible criueqti. Me and my neighbor were just preparing to do a little research on this. We got a grab a book from our local library but I think I learned more from this post. I am very glad to see such excellent info being shared freely out there.


  22. Tamara Taylor

    April 27, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    Greetings! I was wondering if I might get permission to share this article (the link and a small description of the craft) with my Medieval Reenactment Group on our monthly newsletter. According to our policies, I must obtain permission with the author before distributing the link. If you would be so kind as to email me with your response, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you for your time.


    • nicole

      April 27, 2014 at 6:56 pm

      Dropping you an email now :)


      • Tamara Taylor

        April 28, 2014 at 7:56 pm

        I wasn’t sure if you were allowed to access my email or not, but it’s TTaylor6256 AT Gmail DOT com.


  23. Amy

    January 22, 2015 at 7:26 am

    how cool is that?? But I can’t stop laughing at the photo, I mean video bomber. Ha!


  24. blanca tapia

    July 11, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    muy buena el tutorial para hacer los pliegues , aunque esta en ingles me ayude con el traductor y fue de muchisima utilidad . muchas gracias


  25. donnie

    September 2, 2015 at 7:13 am

    Greetings from the USA. Thoroughly enjoyed your “Make A Pleating Board” video. Very well done. Very informative. Thank you so much.


  26. donnie

    September 2, 2015 at 7:14 am

    Oops. Forgot to mention your photo bomber. That was cute and funny. Loved it. Thanx again. Look forward to more of your videos and photo bombs. LOL


  27. Linda

    January 29, 2016 at 1:53 am

    Great tutorial. Who was the head that kept appearing at the door? I found myself watching for that, more than paying attention to the instructions! Funny!


  28. stafviper.xyz

    March 8, 2016 at 10:59 am

    Press the pleats while in the pleater board. If you are not using fusible tricot, you can use steam on them.


  29. Susana Costa-Medeiros

    July 1, 2016 at 9:47 pm

    Fantastic idea! I’ve seen how houses of haut couture do it with the help of elaborate tools. You came up with a way to do it at home.


  30. Michele Rickitt

    April 10, 2017 at 10:39 am

    I’ve just discovered this video, thanks so much for sharing. Where did you get that fantastic metre ruler that you use in the video?


  31. sam

    May 24, 2017 at 2:54 am

    how do i calculate the markings for different sized pleats, . Great Great tutiorial as they charge the earth for them & are mostaly from usa so the postage costs are really high. I would like to in the future like to own a 1in, 1.5in 2in, & a 3in i could never afford to buy them so as a sewer making my ownmakes perfect sence.


  32. Teresa Hiscott

    July 23, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    If anyone is interested I have a “Princesse Pleater” for sale . . I am in the South of France. .. very good if not the best quality and quite simple to use. Pleats of divers sizes can be done too, I used it for pleating before smocking, my passion, but not possible now unfortunately. You can get in touch via – teresa.hiscott@sfr.fr.

    Si cela interesse q.q’un j’ai un ‘Princesse Pleater’ a vendre. J’l'utilisez pour plisser le tissus avant de faire des smocks, mais divers largeurs de plis peuvent etre fait. Il est d’excellente qualité. Vous pouvez me contacter au – teresa.hiscott@sfr.fr.


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Beaufrog | Making great fashion and beautiful homes
Dressmaking, Featured

This week I decided to give the Hemlock Tee a go from Grainline . I wanted something easy, comfortable and wearable to get me through January. And this one meant I could switch the colour of my threads out on my over locker (excited by the small things).

I already had a striped knit set to the side that worked brilliantly. I whizzed through the pattern like a breeze – only complication was that I have octopus arms and the sleeves were a weird length on me. So I kinda created 2 cuffs and overlocked those to the end of the sleeves – almost perfect :)

Hemlock tee

I did find with this knit that it had a lot of give in it and became huge around the waist, so after these pictures I ran it through the overlocker again taking off 4-5cm from the sides. It now sits really nicely on the hips while staying loose and slouchy around the neck.

Hemlock tee

Hemlock tee

It took 2 evenings to prepare the pattern and throw it together – so quick that I’ve got my sister making one too. Before hand she said she was scared of sewing machines….few hours later she’s flown through it! :)

If she’ll let me, pictures will be shared when finished.

Fabric shopping

I decided to go and explore Minerva Crafts a couple of weeks ago to get some air. It was that period between Christmas and New Year when you realise you can’t remember the last time you left the house – so I needed to do something that would make me feel sane again.

It’s only 30 minutes down the road and don’t know why I’ve never made the journey before…maybe because I think of Minerva as being online rather than bricks and mortar.

Anyway, after driving around a few one way streets and then eventually releasing “it’s that massive building there (!)” I entered into the shop to find a cave of goods.


The shop was very well stocked with crafting supplies – if you’re after wool then you’ll find it here!

As a fabric shopper, I think most of the stock sold online wasn’t on display in the shop but I did manage to find a couple of fabrics I might antibiotics return for.

I recognised this one which looks very similar to a version Paunnet used for a dress.


I also found a nice wool that I may be returning for which seemed like a bargain at £6.99 p/m. I’m looking to make a winter boyfriend style coat soon so this would work well.


I wasn’t expecting to, but I somehow ended up leaving with some knitting supplies to mess about with.

Before now I’ve tried cutting t-shirt jersey into thin strips to knit with, but failed – and got covered in frayed ends at the same time. Well, now they’ve only started selling the stuff!? It’s called Hoooked. So looking forward to experimenting with that along with some nice warm coloured wool to play with.


So that’s it, there’s a lot of talk about Minerva online and I thought it would be nice to share what the store looks like…


Nicole @ beaufrog

Dressmaking, Featured

Archer shirt

I’ve seen the pattern all over the web and thought it was time to have a go. I’ve never done a sew along before (I’ve always done my own thing) but decided to join in with the step by step walk though. And loved it :)

I didn’t realise it when I bought it at Christmas – but December was also Archer appreciation month! Good timing eh.

The fabric that I bought from Morocco seemed perfect. Maybe a bit soft but I bought it with a blouse/shirt in mind and there were no fabric shops open on boxing day to be distracted by!

Its been a while since I’ve sewn anything like this so I started with a toile first just to get familiar and gage the size as I could see myself making more than one of these shirts. It was good job because even after measuring the inside arm before hand, the sleeves ended being a good couple of inches too short.

Archer shirt - cutting table

The thickness of the muslin meant it was really easy to throw the shirt together. The edges met nicely, corners turned perfectly, and the pressure was non existent as this was a practise run.

For the second attempt I added an inch to the length of the body and 3 inches to the length of my arms. I have freaky arms.

Archer shirt - Rotary cutter

The cotton was a slightly different story. Just getting the grain nice and straight was the first problem as it distorted really easily. The next issue was pulling the grain when using scissors, so I had to give up on that tramadol idea and got out the rotary cutter.

Top tip : stick a bit of masking tape to the wrong sides of your pieces

Archer shirt - wrong side

My right sides had a slight sheen but it wasn’t always easy to identify. I stuck some washi tape to all my wrong sides and that saved loads of time – just remember to remove it before you trap it inside your yolk!

The cotton was very fragile so I had to be careful applying heat/steam. Where possible I used a second off cut of the fabric as a barrier for the heat but the iron allowed me to mould my pieces really nicely for a clean finish.

Had a couple of issues with the collar which I’ll avoid next time but was very pleased with my sleeve plankets this time. Jen eased the nerves in the sew-along.

Archer shirt - sleeve planket

The pockets where the last additions. In the Archer walk through, Jen put the pockets on at the start, but I decided to see what the shirt looked like without first. Hmm plain….

So I decided these needed so be featured up a bit. I’ve really enjoyed the top stitching on this project so I went for couple more diagonal lines on the pockets - just ’cause I could.

Archer shirt Archer shirt Archer shirt

So that’s it – my first Archer. I’m sure there will be more. Very little amendment needed, really clear instructions and nice looking result. You can buy the download from the Grainline shop.

Now I’m off to look at everyone else’s on flickr….

Nicole @ beaufrog



Ta da, here it is…the new blog design!

Weve gone from this bland old thing -

Old beaufrog design

To this -


It seemed to take for ever for the name servers to move, and then there was some frantic find and replace action to get everything working again but Beaufrog has a fresh pharmacy face for 2014.

Its nice and easy to read across devices and Ill be sorting out the categorisation of posts to make it super easy to find the stuff that you are most interested in.


Hope you like it :)

nicole @ beaufrog


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Featured Posts

Hemlock Tee from Grainline Studio

Hemlock Tee from Grainline Studio

I made an Archer Shirt

I made an Archer Shirt

Fabric Dash Around London

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