Instructions for making magnetic curtain holdbacks.

I came across some of these drapery tie-backs when I was in France and I knew they would be easy to make myself.

You will need:

  • large buttons
  • ribbon
  • magnets
  • glue gun

DIY, curtain, tie-back, supplies


  1. Fist cut 2 pieces of ribbon about 10″ long. Using a glue gun, glue one end of the ribbon to the back of the large button and the other end to the back of the smaller button.
  2. Glue the magnets on top of the ribbon, pressing them together firmly until the glue is set. If your magnets have an adhesive backing, just peel and press.  Make sure you have the correct sides of the magnets facing up – you want them to stick together!

back of black holdback

back of small button

pair of black holdbacks, back

They are really easy to use – no installation required! Simply gather the curtain where you want it pulled back and place the large button in the front and the small button directly behind it on the back of the curtain. These work best with unlined, light to medium-weight curtains.

curtain, holdback, magnet, DIY

Magnetic holdback on hemp/tencel curtains by NikkiDesigns

Here are a few more I made:
holdback, tieback, wood, magnetic, DIY

holdback, tieback, curtain, DIY, button, magnet

The holdbacks can also be used in other ways:

French, curtain, holdback, magnet

Gather a curtain panel up in the center for a decorative effect

curtain, holdback, DIY, magnet, button

Wrap the holdback around the curtain

Other things could be used for the front besides buttons – ceramics, wood, metal, glass, even vintage brooches! If you decide to make some, I would love to know what you decided to use. Keep in mind the weight and size of the curtains when you are making them. A larger magnet may be needed for heavier curtains.

You can find more DIY ideas here:

DIY Green Christmas Ideas

Pillow with Piping and Zipper DIY

Fabric Bucket DIY

DIY Thanksgiving Centerpieces

Fabric Cork Board DIY