How to Hang Up Curtains Like a Pro


Curtains can instantly transform a room, bring in a pop of color, and even revamp it for the season. There’s an endless variety of fabrics, patterns, and styles available, and few types of decor can dress up a space on a dime the way curtains can. As wonderful as they are, there’s one thing that holds many people back when it comes window treatments: hanging them up correctly. If you’re looking for a foolproof way to hang up curtains, just follow this guide.

Get Prepared

Before you even get started on hanging up your curtains, you need to think about the end result that you want. Consider the decor and style of the room, and also think about the type of windows that you’re working with. Not all curtains are well suited for every window imaginable.

Lifestyle is a factor that many ignore. For instance, if you have children who you know like to pull on things, drapes that graze the floor may look nice but probably aren’t a good idea. In a room with a window that’s often left open for a breeze, heavy curtains will be a hassle

You want to think about fullness as well as length when choosing curtains. If you’ve ever seen a curtain panel stretched out so far that it looks ill fitting, chances are whoever put it up only thought out the curtain’s length from floor to ceiling rather than also sizing up the width across the curtain rod.

The type of hardware that you choose to accompany your curtains is another thing that can make the difference between a designer look and one that’s not well put together. It’s also a matter of practicality. You shouldn’t try to hang up curtains made of heavy fabric on a lightweight rod that will buckle and not provide enough support. Aesthetically, aim to choose a rod and finial that will complement the style of your window treatments and the rest of the room’s decor.

With that in mind, you can then move on to grab your curtains, hardware, and tools to get the job done. Depending on your wall, you may be able to simply use a manual screwdriver and screws. To make quick work of hanging curtains, opt for a cordless drill. For certain types of drywall, anchors may be best to ensure that the rod and its brackets are secure.

Measure Twice

Failing to correctly measure windows is a huge problem when many go to hang up curtains. Buying or making the right size window treatments and achieving the look that you desire both boil down to knowing the size of your windows. For instance, if you want floor to ceiling drapes and simply guess the height rather than pulling out a tape measure, odds are the drapes that you get will be too short.

And how many times have you seen curtains that looked odd because they didn’t fit the size of the window? All you need to do is measure the length of your window and the length of where you want the curtains to hit. Make a light pencil mark, measure twice for accuracy, and you’ll avoid wasting time and money. Since curtain panels are sold according to length, accurate measurements are important.

Hanging the Curtain Rod

Remember the earlier planning stage? This is where all of that forethought comes in. You need to make the final decision on how high you want your curtains hung. If you’re trying to make a window look longer, place the rod as close to the ceiling as possible. If you want the curtains to be about level with your window sill, placing the rod a few inches above the window frame will do.

Place the brackets at least three inches from the frame of the window, and mark lightly with a pencil at the top as well as where the screw holes will go. Put in anchors if you need them for your wall, and follow up with screwing in the top hole of the bracket. Add the screw for the bottom hole, repeat putting up the rod bracket on the other side of the window, and be sure to erase your pencil marks when you’re done.

The Right Adjustments

Before placing your curtains on the rod, place the empty rod on the brackets to make sure that everything is secure and fits well. The last thing you want is to attempt to hang up curtains and find that your rod is uneven or the brackets are falling out.

Once the rod is in place, step back to judge how level it is. If you have one handy, grab a level to make sure your rod is hung straight. Otherwise, you can use a tape measure, ruler, or yard stick to help judge the rod’s placement. If you think your brackets need adjusting, go through the previous step again, but try to more accurately measure the second time around. Once the brackets are in their final position, set the rod in place and pull down on it gently, but firmly. If the brackets don’t budge, you’re good to go and can assume that the setup will hold the weight of your curtains. If the brackets wiggle out of place, try adding anchors to make them more stable.

Finishing Touches

When you hang up curtains on the rod, ensure that no tags are sticking out — this is a common mistake that can easily be remedied by carefully snipping the tags off once the curtains are unwrapped. Another thing that is overlooked is whether curtains are wrinkled. Don’t simply figure that they’ll eventually release the wrinkles over time. Instead, take an iron and get the curtains looking great from the start — be sure to pay attention to the fabric care instructions on the curtain’s packaging to make sure your iron isn’t too hot. A portable steamer can also do the trick.


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