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Hang Curtains and Drapes

Hang curtains to create a new room décor.

New curtains and drapes can easily freshen up your home's décor scheme. With the right tools and some precise planning, you can put up new curtains to spruce up your living space.

Know Before You Shop for Curtains or Drapes

  • If your drapery rod mounting brackets are more than 4 ft. apart, add the center support that’s included with most long rods. This will ensure that your window treaments won't sag.
  • You have lots of freedom when it comes to positioning drapery rod mounting brackets on the window frame or wall, so use it to create special effects. Skinny windows? Hang the brackets about 10 in. from the window frame edges and use the draperies to make the windows look wider. Want to make the ceilings seem higher? Purchase longer curtains and position your rod closer to the ceiling. Be sure to take into consideration whether you want the fabric to puddle on the ground or if you will be using tiebacks.
  • As soon as you get home with your new draperies, remove them from the package and lay them across a bed to allow creases to relax. If necessary, press them smooth with a warm iron or steamer (depending on the fabric) before hanging.

Shop Window Treatments

Hang New Window Treatments

Follow these tips for hanging new window treatments.

Step 1

Measure the window for the proper fit. You can attach most curtain rods directly to the wall (around the wooden frame), though some window treatments may call for hanging on or inside the frame. If you attempt to drill or screw curtain hardware directly into a wooden frame, splintering and damage may occur. Use the tape measure to assess the rod's exact length. Take into account the hardware or hanger placement. For example, some rods have brackets or hooks that must sit at least a few inches from the edges, while others hang directly at the ends. Mark two sets of measurements, one on each side of the window (for the hanging hardware), approximately 2 inches over from the frame and 2 inches up from the frame.

The exact placement of the marks depends on the specific drapes and your overall décor objectives. You can hang some drapery hardware with two or more screws on each side of the window. Others require only one. If the hardware set uses more than one screw, measure its exact spacing before drilling. Make additional measurement marks for separate holes.

Consider the area around a window before choosing where to install drapery-rod brackets. You don’t want to cover up a heating vent on the floor or light switches and outlets on the wall.

Step 2

If you add a valance or other decorative panel, this may affect your measurement marks. In this case, put the curtain rod closer to the frame to allow for an extra rod or hanger (for the valance / panel).

When you’re trying to hang draperies only an inch or so off the floor, the length of the material tells only part of the story. Move the rod up to allow for curtain tabs that loop around a rod, or move the rod down to allow for hooks that hang curtains with their tops above the top of the rod.

Step 3

Adjust the measurement marks to make them equal and symmetrical. Use the level to line up the pencil markings so that the rod hangs evenly.

Double-check your bracket placement by temporarily hanging the rod on the brackets and checking the rod with a level. The bubble may be slightly off because of a crooked window, but the bubble should still be mostly between the two center marks.

Step 4

Drill pilot holes into the wall for the screws and hardware. Pilot holes are starter points for the hardware to enter. The exact size of the pilot hole depends on how large or small the screw or nail is, plus the size of the drywall anchor. Avoid hammering the hardware straight into the wall without a pilot hole. This may cause the plaster or drywall to crack. Inspect the curtain rod hardware or kit before you drill the holes. Slightly widen your pilot holes to accommodate the drywall anchors. Start smaller and test your hardware in the hole for size and fit. It's easier to make a hole bigger than to fill it in or patch over it to start new.

Step 5

Hammer one drywall anchor into each of the pilot holes. Use gentle pressure to tap each anchor into place. Look for a snug fit, making sure that the drywall anchors aren't wiggling or sliding inside of the holes. Too big of a fit will cause your curtains and drapes to sag downward or potentially fall when hung. Hammer the anchors flush with the wall's surface to create a level surface for the hardware to enter.

Use drywall anchors that are at least equal to or greater than the weight of the drapes and rod.

Step 6

Attach the hardware to the wall. While specific curtains and drapes have different types of hardware, most rod sets come complete with brackets or hooks and screws. Metal brackets or hooks typically have pre-drilled holes that fit the set's screws precisely. Line up the bracket's and hook's holes around the drywall anchors. Drill the screws one at a time through the holes and into the anchors. Test the hanging hardware to make sure that it's secure. If the bracket rotates or wiggles, adjust the screws to make a tighter hold.

The number of screws and anchors needed depends on the heaviness of the combined weight of the drapes and rod. Heavier weights require more screws and anchors, and may also need an extra hanging bracket to support the added weight.

Step 7

Place the curtain rod on the brackets or hangers.

Step 8

Hang the drapes or curtains according to the rod's and window treatment's specific instructions or type. Some curtains slide directly onto the rod, pushing through a pocket at the top of the drapery material. Other types need hooks or fasteners to attach to the rod.