Basics of Hanging Curtains

by perms

Hanging Curtains is easier than most people think. With a few supplies and some time, you can hang your own curtains and will add warmth and color to any room.

Many homeowners and renters have turned to window blinds and shades. But I feel that curtains can add warmth and beauty to a room. So gather some tools and hang curtains to fit your own needs and personality.

Before selecting your room curtain, take a good look at the room. Stand back from the select window and envision what color, style and texture that you want. Think about the furniture and wall color, etc. Decide what would look good and serve your needs as well. By serving your needs, I mean, "Do you need black-out, room darkening curtains or Are you going for an airy, light feeling?". If it's in a bedroom, you may prefer room darkening curtains. If it's in the living room or dining room, you might desire an airy look that you can still see some of the outdoors, like a sheer.

Tools, Rods, and Curtains

  • Hammer
  • Screwdriver, manual or electric
  • measuring tape
  • stud finder
  • ladder
  • plastic wall inserts
  • pencil
  • small cup or bowl to hold loose hardware (screws, plastic inserts, etc.)
  • drill, or small nails to start holes for rod screws
  • curtain rod
  • curtains or drapes
  • curtain hooks or clips

In the Eyes of the Beholder

Be Creative

Also, consider what other family members would like.  Of course, if you are the one doing all the work, you should have the final say.  This might be a good way to enlist a helper.  If they want to be a part of the decision, insist that they are around when it comes to curtain hanging time.

Decide on the width and length.  Do you want curtains all the way across a wall?  Or just over the window?  Ceiling to floor length or just above window to window sill? Will you want to pull them back with a tassle?  If so, you will need cup hooks or tassle holders.  Consider pets as well.  A cat will play with a tassle and/or long curtains.  Cats can shred a sheer curtain with their claws.

Take some time to think about all of this.  Sleep on it.


The best part

Now it's time to go shopping.  Consider your budget.  If you are limited as most of us are these days, go to a thrift store or shop the sales.  Some discount stores like Big Lots or Wal Mart have great prices on drapes and curtains.  Don't rush into anything.  I know it's tempting, but be patient.  You will have to live with your decision for a while.  But if you don't like what you chose after it is hung, you can always add a colorful tassle or valance to jazz it up.

Choose the right size rod.  The rule of thumb for width is to add 4" to each side of window for overlap.  This keeps the extra light from seeping into the room.

Choose the width and length of curtain, carefully.  Most curtains come in 63" or 84" lengths.  Widths range from 24 - 84.  Of course, there are tier or kitchen curtains which are shorter.  You can also, purchase 95" length for high windows or ceilings.

The actual Work

Now comes the WORK!  Don't worry, it's not as bad as it sounds.  But you do need to set aside some time.

  • Gather your supplies as listed above. 
  • Grab a pencil and make small marks where the screws, plastic inserts, and rods will go
  • Pre drill (or use small nail) to penetrate sheetrock for rod supports screws (plastic inserts are not necessary unless you are hanging heavy rods and curtains)
  • Use an electric or standard screwdriver to hang rod supports

Place your curtains on the rod with either hanger clips or thru the curtains tab tops or pre sewn curtain tops

  • Place the rod in the support brackets
  • Tighten the screws to the rod supports if needed
  • Adjust curtains as needed
  • Add cup hooks or tieback holders to wall if using tiebacks

Stand back and congratulate yourself for "A Job Well Done".

Word of Caution:  If you use the hanger clips, the clips add length of about 2 - 3" depending on their size so take this into consideration when deciding on the length of the curtains.

Also, the most difficult part of hanging curtains is getting the rod straight.  Measure from top of ceiling on each side and in middle for placement of rod.  Sometimes your ceiling is not straight across, so eyeball this from a distance and see if it looks straight.  I stay away from traverse rods.  These are used mostly for pinch pleated drapes.  If you do find some drapes that you just love, use the circle clips and attach drapes to a regular rod.

You can and will make adjustments.  Don't feel bad if it's not right the first time.  Wait one more day if you are not sure about the finished look. I know that this is difficult, but sometimes the extra day, gives a fresh perspective.

Updated: 12/16/2011, perms
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Ernesto Hugo on 02/21/2014

Thanks for the useful info. I really love curtains. Planning to buy this one soon:

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