How to Hang Curtains Without a Rod

How to Mount the Curtain Rods

When selecting the right curtain rod, go for one that is a bit wider than the width of your window. This will allow whatever curtains you chose to cover the window at all times. Go for a curtain rod that is between eight and 12 inches wider than your window, as it will give the illusion that your window is larger than it is. This is just one idea for how to make a small room look bigger.

5. Install Your Curtain Brackets To The Wall

The rest is pretty straightforward – hammer in your anchors and secure your curtain rod hooks to the wall using the provided screws. We do all of this in real-time in the video above if you want to see exactly how quick this whole things goes.

Video

How Height Impacts Curtain Rod Placement

Use these tips to make sure you place your rods at the right height:

  • For standard drapes that hang on either side of a window, the typical height is halfway between the top of the window casing and the ceiling. This applies if there are more than 12 inches between the window trim and ceiling. 
  • For cathedral ceilings, leave approximately four to six inches above the window trim as a guideline. 
  • No matter what the ceiling height, the minimum distance from the top of the window casing to the curtain rod is two inches.
  • To create the illusion of height, mount the drapery rods close to the ceiling. This is particularly important to do if the room has low ceilings.
  • Use these same rules when the windows are arched.

The Spruce / Almar Creative

How to Determine the Number of Curtain Panels Needed

Wondering how many panels to add? If you want the curtains to be functional, the rule of thumb is to get enough panels to cover space at least twice the width of the window.

Instructions

  1. Determine how wide and long your curtains need to be for your window (visit full article for detailed instructions)
  2. Use a drywall anchor to attach the curtain rod brackets to the desired location.
  3. Place the curtain rod onto the brackets.
  4. Adjust the curtain to the correct size.
  5. Hang the curtain onto the rod with curtain rings.

How Fabric Impacts Curtains

Lighter fabrics, such as sheers, will help make the room feel airy as they let in more light. If you need to warm up a room, try denser fabrics or thermal drapes which will also give you more privacy. Winter curtains can stop drafts and save energy.

Picking the Right Command Hooks

In an effort not to drill into the wall to hang a curtain rod, my next best option was to use Command Hooks. But not every Command Hook is created equal. Some are too small to hold a rod, and others can’t hold the weight of fabric panels. I spent a lot of time researching options and even looked at a few in the store. All the hooks options below are both big enough to hold a rod and strong enough to support the weight of several curtain panels, but range in price-points, finishes, and weight.

After much hemming and hawing, I decided on these Jumbo Command Hooks. Although they are bulkier and not quite as “pretty” as the other options, I liked the way the rod fit into them best. And since I was trying to hang 10 lbs worth of curtains (2 panels on each side), I liked that each hook could hold up to 7.5 lbs on its own. Finally, they were also the cheapest and came in bulk sets, making it the most economical option for adding extra support as needed.

NOTE: I am very happy with my hook choice, but did choose to “hack” them a bit to make them look less chunky. If I wasn’t hanging such heavy curtains, I likely would have gone with these.

HOW HIGH SHOULD YOU HANG CURTAINS?

It’s recommended to hang curtains higher than the window to make the ceiling look taller and the room feel larger.

So, don’t hang the curtain rod at the top of the window; give it some space, let it breathe.

Try to have the curtain rod at least 3″ above the window opening and if your window has trim have it at least 3″ above the trim. The higher you can go, the better.

But do not place the curtain rod higher than 12″ from the window opening or trim. It might look awkward if you go too high.

And remember to let the ceiling breathe too, so leave at least 3″ of space between the ceiling and the curtains.

SIDE NOTE: The example image is 3″ from the ceiling.

Once you’ve decided how far the curtain rod will be from the window opening, or trim, you’re ready to move on.

Drapery Sizes

Consider the right size, length, and width drapes for your space. There are many store-bought options or your room may require custom-made drapes to meet specific heights, room, or window specifications.

  • In the majority of cases, the ideal length for drapes is long enough to just kiss the floor. Obviously where you hang your curtain rod will have an impact. If you’re purchasing ready-made drapes, it will be a bit of a balancing act to determine what length to get and where to hang the rod.
  • For a traditional, formal look, consider drapes that puddle a couple of inches on the floor. This look isn’t as popular as it once was but it’s inherently luxurious and can still work in formal spaces.
  • Do not allow your drapes to hang above the floor. When they stop a couple of inches above the floor, it can make the ceilings look lower.
  • For drapes to look full, the panels should have a combined width of at least double the width of the window. If you have two panels, each one should equal the width of the window.
  • Keep in mind that some fabrics hang differently than others, so light fabrics may require more fullness, while heavy fabrics may require a little less.

The Spruce / Almar Creative

DO hang your curtains close to the ceiling

I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but here’s your official reminder to always hang your curtain rods high and wide. If you hang your rods to look like they’re hugging the window, it makes the window (and as a result, pretty much the entire room) feel smaller. Hanging them higher than the window creates the illusion that the window is larger than it is, and that your ceilings are taller than they are!

Most stores only sell 84″ curtains in-store, which can be confusing – that’s too short for even a standard 8′ ceiling if you’re hanging them high! Don’t be fooled – you’re going to want 95″ curtains for a standard 8′ ceiling, and even longer for higher ceilings. Yes, it requires some extra effort (you can’t just pop into Target and pick some curtains up!), but I promise you it’s worth it.

Our curtains are 108″ long. When you’re determining how high to hang the rod itself, it’s really just a personal preference – you can hang them so the curtains sit eeeeeever so slightly off the floor, so they barely skim the floor, or so they puddle a bit. I generally like mine to graze the floor just a bit – somewhere between a “skim” and a “puddle”. Confusing, I know, but there’s no real science to it – hold them up at a couple of different heights and see what you like, then go from there. My general rule of thumb is to hang the rod about 3″ below the ceiling.

Step 2: Make Your Cardboard Template

We used a scrap piece of cardboard to make our template – marking 10.5″ from both sides (see white arrows) and 3″ down from the top (yellow area). This was actually the cardboard that came in the curtain package, so you might have something like it on hand already! Once we marked our lines, we lined up the curtain rod hook and marked the two screw holes on BOTH 10.5″ marks.

DO know your style and plan accordingly

I used to love a bold, patterned curtain but over the years I’ve learned that my style really leans towards using simpler curtains and allowing other parts of the room to be the star.

I like for my curtains to quietly layer into the space and feel like kind of a background character. You might prefer something that feels bold and exciting – and that’s fine! But if you try to go against your instincts and do something different because it’s trendy or someone else suggests it, you’ll be disappointed.

When we were planning this project, I heard from some people who were so disappointed that we weren’t doing something with some pattern, other people who felt like it would look terrible if it was anything but white, and still other people who thought we should get a couple of different colors and change them out seasonally!

The lesson here is that we all approach curtains (and really, all decor) differently, and that’s fine! Just know yourself well enough to stay away from the patterned curtains if you actually prefer something plain.

2. Hang them wide


When you open your curtains, you want the panels to just “kiss” the outside edge of the window frame rather than obscure any of the glass window pane. This simple trick allows the maximum amount of light to come through, and it has the added benefit of making your windows feel wider. Aim to hang the curtain rod brackets approximately 6 to 8 inches beyond the window frame so when the curtains fall naturally, they won’t block the light.

Step 3

Next, measure the window height. Wall-mounted rods are usually installed four inches above the window. To find your ideal placement, measure down from the ceiling to the top of the trim at the left corner of your window; mark the midway point. Repeat this in the middle of your window frame and in the right corner, then check your markings with a level.

While measuring, keep in mind the length of your curtain panels. If you can avoid it, you don’t want to have to alter the hems once you’ve mounted the rod. You may need to adjust your penciled-in placement by an inch or two to get the panels to fall where you want them. Curtains that just graze the floor or sill appear classic and tailored, while those that break slightly at the floor (from one to three inches) are also on trend.

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To give the illusion of height in the room, mount the rod even closer to the ceiling. Don’t go higher than eight inches above the window frame; any more than that looks awkward.

If you plan to puddle your curtains for a look that is extremely formal, allow six to eight extra inches of fabric to fall at the bottom. Skip this style if you plan to open and close your curtains regularly, as the bottoms will dirty quickly from constantly brushing the floors.

1. Upholstery Tacks

Sometimes, curtains are not necessarily functional—they're just there to add color and texture. If you don't need to open and close the curtains, or if you like the look of curtains drawn with a curtain tie-back, then use upholstery tacks to dress up your stationary curtain panels. This solution is almost too cheap and easy.

Steps

  1. Get a pack of upholstery tacks in a coordinating finish.
  2. Do a little dry run just to determine how big to make the pleats and how many pleats you'll need to make sure your curtain panel will be positioned properly to cover the window.
  3. Begin by pushing the first tack into the corner of your curtain at the outside edge of the window opening.
  4. Next, take some fabric, create a pleat, and tack the pleat into the wall about three inches from the first one.
  5. Repeat this process all the way across the window.

Really, that’s all there is to it!

If you have a window sill, you can use curtain hooks instead of a curtain rod.

Kwik-Hang

Warnings

  • Don’t hang curtains so they cover radiators or heat registers and don’t hang them so close to the ceiling that they are difficult to close and open.

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4. Hang the right amount of panels

When you close your curtains, you want a bit of fu

When you close your curtains, you want a bit of fullness so that the curtains don’t look flat. An easy way to determine how many panels you’ll need is to multiply the width of your windows by 1.5 — this is the minimum amount of panel width that you’ll want to cover your windows. So for example, if your window is 60″ wide, you’ll need at least 90″ of panel width. Most panels fall in the 48-inch to 54-inch range, so two panels will do the job here.

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