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4 Tricks to Use When Hanging Drapes and Curtains

When it comes time for hanging drapes and curtains in your home, I have learned a few window treatment hanging tips from two good friends with professional window treatment businesses complete with workrooms that will ensure you get the professional looking results you envision. 

Over the past week I have been tweaking ready-made drapes to fit the width of my sliding glass doors in our new house. I am using everything I have learned about making and hanging drapes using traditional methods as well as not so traditional ones and also found a new-to-me idea that I thought I would share with you.

I also have a few more drapery hanging tips for you that may not only help your window treatments look like they were professionally installed, but function better as well.  All of them are easy and can be done in minutes.

4 Tricks to Use When Hanging Drapes and Curtains

Tip #1: Attach the Last Hook or Ring to the Wall

tips to use when hanging drapes and curtains

As I was removing all the professionally made and hung drapes that were left by the previous owner of my house, I found these specialty angle irons on the wall right under the rod brackets on each side of all the sliders and windows in the house.

Do you know what they are used for?  I didn’t at first glance, but I do now :-)

One of the reasons they were mounted to the wall is to hide the opening between the side of the drape and the wall.

Tricks to hanging drapes and curtains that anyone can do

This is the sideview of the drapes in my studioffice. When you walk into the room it is the first thing you see. Not very pretty.

I went in search of these angle irons to make sure it was something a homeowner could buy before I posted about it, but I could only find them sold in bulk at pro drapery workroom websites.  I have many that I removed, but since I don’t like to post about things that readers won’t be able to easily find at a craft or hardware store,  I came up with an even simpler way to close up the side opening between a drape/curtain and the wall…

How to close the side gap between a curtain and the wall

…use a small screw eye.

How to hide side view of hanging drapes

It has to be small so that the eye is against the wall.

Curtain hanging tips from the pros

Line the screw eye up with the height of where the drapery hooks attach to the rings.

To use it, instead of placing the last drapery hook into a ring, place it in the mounted screw eye and…..

How-to-close-up-the-side-view-when-hanging-drapes-and-curtain-panels

….voila!   No more side light passing through the space between the wall and the drape. The view from the side of the drape looks much better.

Variation:  If you have a pretty pole style rod bracket, you can simply take the last curtain ring and place it over the bracket before putting the rod into the bracket. 1.2.3… easy. When the rod is placed back into the bracket it will curve around the rod and will close up the gap. The only problem with this method is if the bracket is long, the ring may move up towards the rod and won’t be as effective as the screw eye.

Tip #2: Use Drapery Wands

Drapery baton or curtain wand

Drapery Wands help you to easily open and close drapes so they glide across the rod without having to touch the fabric which can soil or tear it. They sell them on Amazon in clear acrylic or white metal. I have the white metal kind.

How to install a drapery wand

To install one, simply clip it to the first ring or drapery hook on each panel.

What is a drapery wand?

Just like in a nice hotel. :-)  Closing the drapes has never been easier. When not in use, the wand is hidden behind the folds of the drape.

Tip #3: Use Metal Clip-On Rings

Hanging curtains and drapes

In my search for white rings to hang the drapes in my house, I could only find clip-on style in white in the desired size. Clip-on rings make for easy hanging, but I didn’t want the clips showing.

Many drapes come with back tabs where you can clip the rings, or you can pinch the fabric to create pleats. I have tried all these methods but prefer using drapery hooks to get a more tailored look.

how to place drapery hooks on a drapes

On the white drapes I bought at Target, I used the back tabs that are used to slide a rod through to attach each hook instead.

You can use drapery tapes to attach hooks, but I have found this simple method works just fine for me.

To make sure each hook was placed at the same height, I used a sewing gauge to mark exact placement for each hook.

How to use clip on curtain rings with drapery hooks

When using drapery hooks, you have to make sure the hook does not go through to the front of the drape.  You only want it to grab the back tab or lining.

How to hang curtains with drapery hooks

Thread the hole in the ring through the hook to attach. I left the clips on since you can’t see them. I may want to use them someday for something else. :-)

Tip #4: How to Create Perfect Pleats or Folds When Hanging Drapes and Curtains

After you hang the drapes, even if you pressed them, you are still going to have wrinkles and the fabric may not fall into the soft folds you envisioned.

The trick to achieve a nicely draped drape goes way back in my memory as I remember my mom doing it after she washed the curtains in the house.

How to create perfect pleats in drapes
  • How to create soft even folds: Folds need to be trained, sometimes they just won’t fall right without daily training.
  • Arrange the fabric into even folds with your hands, then tie a ribbon around the drape mid point and if your drapes are long you can tie 2 – 3 ribbons top, center, and bottom.
  • Don’t tie it on too tightly, but just enough to keep the folds secure.  
  • After a few days or longer you can remove the ribbon. The longer the ribbon is on the better trained the fabric will become.
  • Use a steamer to remove any creases the ribbon may have made in the fabric.

Variations for Setting the Soft Folds in the Drapes

Drapery pleating tips
  • Instead of using ribbon to train the fabric so it drapes evenly, use straight pins to hold each pleat or fold in the drape/curtain in place. Just as with the ribbon method, the longer you keep them in place, the better trained the fabric will become to fall into place.
  • A steamer will remove any creases they leave in the fabric.

I know there are many other tips and tricks that help make hanging drapes and curtains easier and look better. Do you have any to share?

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155 Comments

  1. Hi there. Nice tips.. Any suggestions for hanging sheer scarfs in a swag or tier like manner over sheers? Trying to help a friend with hers and the sheers slide around on the rod. Very tough to get the swag correct. Have 7 scarves for 7 windows – one is a group of 3 and the other 4 are spaced about 16″ apart. Thank you.

    1. Hi Eileen – Trying to style sheer scarves in a swag over sheers can be tricky. Have you figured out a way yet? Years ago I made a hanger using a wire clothes hanger to do this. It was even a project in my book. I got the idea to make them from swag hangers that you could buy back in the 90’s. I did a check online to see if I could find them, but nothing came up, just regular drapery swag holders. The way I would get them to stay up would be to arrange them the way you want, then secure a safety pin to the back area of the swag in the bracket. Then use a color coordinated twist tie or zip-tie to attach the pin to the bracket. Does this make sense?

      1. Thanks Diane. I am having a problem just trying to get sheer to swag properly. If I could gather it right- I could probably pin from other side but it is very different to “pull” the sheer to get the right amount of material to swag.

  2. Thanks for the tips! We are having a problem with the top of the drapes drooping and not looking very clean. Any ideas on how to fix?

  3. Right you are! Yours is the best way, using common eyelet screws. I had a lady friend who I always thought of as another Martha Stewart, but when I was helping her to move, I realized that she had simply stapled her beautiful draperies to the wooden framing that was surrounding her windows! So take a lesson there! They looked lovely, but taking them down was just pull them off of the wall!
    Enjoy your springy Spring!
    Fondly, Linda Weeks

  4. This is absolutely the most helpful article I’ve found on the net on hanging drapes/curtains, and I’ve been SEARCHING! Thank you so much!

  5. I like all of these ideas but I don’t understand where the pins go for training the pleats (tip #4). I trained using the tie method and the pleats are holding but the drapes I made seem to flare out at the bottom on both sides of the panel. I added in a drapery weight on each corner but they still flare. Should I have added 2 or 3 weights?

    1. Hi Cleo – Adding more drapery weights should help. Have you steamed the drapes? I would add more weight and steam and see if they stop flaring. To train the folds using pins is a trick when there is a liner underneath the drapes. When training the folds, you want the two to be together. Once you have the folds evenly in place, use a pin vertically to make sure the face and lining fabric are together and place a pin in front of each fold. Keep them in for a few days to a week.

  6. Thank you so much for your amazing website and this very helpful information. Stay well.

  7. Hello. I have pinch pleat sheers and would like to add heavier drapes to each end of the (double) curtain rod. Do pinch pleat sheers work visually as part of a double curtain rod set? What type of curtain / drape might I use for this combo? Rod pocket or another type?

  8. Hi! We have some lovely silk drapes we recently bought from pottery barn that you can hang with standard rings, clip rings, or rod pocket. We opted for the standard rings which I like, but at the top of the curtains where the rod pocket is, it tends to get a bit droopy. I had an idea that maybe if I bought a 2″ buckram and fed it through the existing 2.5″ rod pocket that it might help add some definition to the top of the curtain that I could further shape. I tried googling around but I only seem to find how to use buckram to create pinch pleats. I’m not interested in creating pinch pleats just add more shape/definition. Do you think that might work or would it be too stiff and cause other problems? Thank you for any advice.

  9. I love your blog because you are so careful and thorough with your directions. I have a question about hanging outdoor drapes made from dyed drop cloth. I have pvc pipes with rings with clips on there already and wonder how to space the rings so they are equally spaced. Also, I like you suggestion about using drapery hooks on tabs but there are no tabs on the drop cloths. Do you have any ideas on how drapery hooks could be used in this situation.
    Thanks so much in advance for your help.

  10. Hi Diane, I came across your website while looking for a solution to my problem. I picked up some great ideas, but I didn’t see the solution to my problem. I’ve sewn very simple kitchen curtains-hemmed rectangles that are hung with clips. Even though the panel is perfectly rectangular when pulled out full, when they are hung with the natural folds, the bottom sides flare out with one side looking longer and the other side looking shorter than the rest of the panel. Any suggestions?

      1. The draperies hang from back tabs, but I would like to use a drapery pull wand to open and close the drapes instead of pulling the drapes along the drapery rod with my hands.

        I just don’t know how to attach the wand – or what type of wand I should buy.

  11. I love all your tips for hanging curtains. I am finally hanging curtains in my home after being here for 8 years! I have a floor length rod pocket curtain that we open and close in my son’s room. I do not want to alter the curtain but I would like to somehow add rings to make opening and closing easier. The problem is that there is not room in length. It is about 0.5 inch from the floor. Any suggestions? I was contemplating putting curtain hooks low so that the ring is at the same height as the rod pocket, but I am concerned that the top of the curtain will just flop over.

  12. Diane, you’ve sold me on taking the extra time to put in hooks before I sew the ring eyelets (not clips). This is exactly the heading I want for a curtain room divider I am putting in for two teens doing online classes from home for the time being. I have previously used heading tape for box pleats, pencil pleats, etc, but this time am using a piece of fabric that we bought overseas, so I can’t match it with other fabric. When it is pulled fully across the room, it will actually be flat with no folds or pleats. Not a great look for curtains, but very practical for Zoom class backdrops. What type of heading tape would you recommend that does not require pleats on the header, but will provide adequate support/body at the top of the curtain itself? Thanks–you have a great website!

    1. Hi Kiri – Have you looked into Drapery Buckram? It is sold sew on and iron on. It is flat and stiff. You could add it to the top of the drapes to give them some support. You can get it at any fabric store or Hobby Lobby.

  13. I plan on sewing my one curtains for my daughter in laws classroom . The material is light weight so I plan on placing tabs to attach my hooks to. How far apart do you think the tabs need to be.

    1. Hi Terri – You don’t want them too far apart or the top of the curtain between the tabs may fall forward. I would suggest about 6 inches apart.

  14. I LOVE your idea of adding a screw eye to the wall to create a beautiful edge. I have added a beautiful 2 inch trim to my drapes along the front/inside and am curious how to make the drape “bend” inward to see the trim. My drapes keep flaring out and I can see the lining. Do you have a trick for the inside of the curtain as well? Where exactly should I place the first drapery pin? Thanking you in advance.

  15. I’d like to try your tip #3 and attach drapery rings. What a great idea, love that look! Except – the curtains I want to buy do not come with tabs, only a rod pocket. They are black out curtains so I’m thinking they may be heavy? Do you think I can use tip #3 and attach the drapery hook to the backside of the rod pocket? Thanks!

    1. Hi Cheryl – If the curtains are thick fabric, adding the curtain hook should work very well. Thinner fabric would not work as well. The heavier fabric is in your favor even without having back tabs on the curtains.

  16. Hello Diane,
    Thank you so much for all the information you have provided, it has been very helpful. I have purchased some Sun Zero black out curtains that have back tabs. My plan is to use rings with clips and drapery hooks. The more I read, the more I like the idea of not letting the clips show. My problem is, that if I place the hook in the tab approximately where you show it, the curtain top will flop forward. Do you think I can resolve this by placing the pin higher? I would also love to create some pleats , and am concidered using paper clips at the same location, am I crazy? I would love your input .
    Cynthia

    1. Hi Cynthia – Yes you should be able to attach the pins higher up on the back tabs. Have you tried it? I would take them as high as you can without seeing them and the clips.

      And to answer your second question, No I do not think you are crazy about trying out ways to get the look you want with what you have. GO for it!!! Using paper clips could work to create the pleats – you never know until you try.

  17. Hi! Your content is amazing. I want to do what you’ve done here. Looks like target no longer carries the exact curtain you linked to. I’m thinking the Light Filtering Linen Curtain might be a good substitute. Do you have any advice? Thanks!!!

    1. Hi Brittany – Thank you. :-) I just took a look at the Light Filtering Linen. They will work just fine and will look the same. I do see that the wide 108″ size is sold out, but the other two sizes are available.

  18. I used your advice to anchor my drapes to the wall and it made a huge difference, thank you! I had to use 4 panels across a wide window on a traverse rod, but when i draw them the panels pull apart somewhat. Any advice?

    1. Hi Meryllee –

      Are the panels pulling apart where they meet in the center or where the two meet in the middle to make one large panel? Did you sew these 2 panels together?

  19. Hello – hope you can help me. I purchased rod pocket semi-sheer curtains. I don’t understand how to put them on
    a rod as the end bracket is in the way to make it look nice. Any suggestions? Also the pocket is 3 inches. Back in the day they used to have a second stiched area to slide your pole in. Any ideas would be appreciated. Be Safe.

    Joyce

    1. Hi Joyce – That is a big rod pocket. Do the curtains have a heading above the pocket? When using brackets with rod pocket drapes, you won’t be able to take the drapes past the bracket without it looking messy and seeing the front edge of the bracket. To fix this you can purchase clip-on curtain rings and hang the curtains with clips on the rod and ignore the rod pocket. To get the curtain past the bracket, you lift the end of the rod, move one ring past it and then place the curtain rod back in the bracket. Doing this though the drapes may puddle on the floor or need to be hemmed. I wish I had an easier solution for you.

  20. Hello, Diane, I am so glad to have found your site and am hopeful you can help me. Your tips and clarity on how to fix problems is priceless.
    I have recently purchased two pencil pleated heavy drapes on an incredible special. My problem is that they are both different width curtains (one is 35cm wider than the other) but between them, they fit my wall perfectly. The problem is that when I hung them on my drawstring curtain track, they, of course, did not meet in the middle. I am hoping there is a way of adjusting the drawstring on my existing curtain track in such a way so that the curtains can at least meet (in their middle). At the moment I am left with a 35 cm opening even when they are drawn fully closed and hopeful an adjustment of the track in some way will remedy this very annoying situation. My kind regards, Heather.

    1. Hi Heather –

      I am not sure how to shorten the track so the curtains meet in the middle. I don’t have a traverse rod to see if I can figure out a fix for you. I did find this article. It may help: https://nyti.ms/3fSYk7u

      The only other thing to do would be to get a new curtain rod that is not on a pulley. Use rings and then you have more control on how the curtains meet.

  21. Can you install a drapery wand on grommet curtains? If so how would you install it? Thank you Angie

    1. Hi Angie –

      To use a drapery wand with grommet curtains you would need to attach a drapery hook on the back side of the curtain, preferably right under the first grommet for stability. If your curtains are thick or have a lining, you can place the hook right under the first grommet and only into the lining and a small bit of the curtain fabric so you don’t see anything on the front of the fabric. This isn’t ideal, but can be done. Other than doing this, I am not sure there is any way to attach the wand.

      1. Thank you for a quick reply. The curtains are bamboo framed with cotton fabric. I purchased them @JCPenneys Naples Grommet-Top Bamboo Panel which I love. I have 2 issues with these curtains they are not really an issues more of a liking, 1 the wand and 2 is I have these curtains on my sliding glass door. I need a larger rod and need center support. I don’t want the opening in the middle. So I was trying to figure out how to go around this issue of the middle bracket to open and close to one side when I found your website. So thank you for the wand input and any input or ideas about the middle bracket is appreciated.

  22. Hi Diane,
    Thanks for your great tips and suggestions. My question is regarding ready-made full length grommet style curtains on my sliding glass door. Efforts to train the folds to hang properly have been successful with exception of lower corner portions which tend to roll/curl out no matter what I do. It may be due to the quality of the curtain construction itself in combination with being the end or edge of the panel. However, seems to me I have seen drapery that has a lightweight cord/string that loosely spans the outer edge of the lower hem to the back of the next fold, preventing the outer edge of the lower portion of the curtain from twisting out of position. I hope my description makes sense. Have you encountered this trick (does it have a name?), any suggestions welcome. Thank you.

  23. I actually have a question. I have a patio door and then a regular window on the same wall. At the moment I have full length curtains, but would it look okay if I shorten the window ones to just below the frame?

    1. Hi Rosemary – To make sure I understand your question. Right now you have full length drapes on both the patio door and the regular window. If this is the case then, yes, for sure you can shorten the window drapes. It will look fine, it may even look nicer and give the wall a more spacious feel.

      If you want to make sure you like the look before shortening, clip the bottom of the drapes up to the sill level and see if you like the way it looks on the wall and in the room. If you do then, go for it.

      My best – Diane

  24. Your site gave me the perfect response I needed. Drapery Wands and suggestions I needed to keep my pleats in perfect shape.

  25. This was very interesting but my problem is with the side edges of the curtains,they are silky material,and even though I have pressed them with a damp cloth or dry cloth they remain all wrinkled so when up at the window they look a mess,just wondering if you have any ideas what I could do to solve this problem.
    Thank you Mary Mercer.

    1. Hi Mary –

      I wish I had an answer for you. It is very hard to remove the wrinkles from silk. Have you tried hanging them and using a hand-held steamer to remove the wrinkles? It may help. Get the curtains hung just as you want and then use the hot steam to press and remove the wrinkles. If you don’t have a hand-held steamer, you could get an extension cord for your iron and if it has a steam function, hold it up and press the shot of steam button along the sides of the curtains.

      1. Hi Diane and Mary,
        Regarding wrinkles in silk drapes, if the silk is wrinkled it probably means that the silk fibers are broken. If that happens, unfortunately it is nearly impossible to get the wrinkles out. Silk drapes must be kept flat and not folded. If they are, the fibers break and the wrinkles appear. Even steaming will usually not remove them. This may have occurred when they were transported or installed. It’s very frustrating and I’m sorry you’re dealing with this.

        Marilyn

  26. Thank you! I’m deciding on drapes now. I think this trick will give them a more finished look.

  27. HI,
    Currently changing the window treatments for our bedroom. We have five (!!) windows in the room, so it can get expensive to buy drapes. I’ve found some blackout drapes that have back tabs, but I need to be able to open and close them daily (and easily). Back tab drapes aren’t really designed to open and close regularly. I love your idea of using drapery hooks with rings. In the picture, I see you’ve pierced the back tab with a drapery hook, but how does the hook stay in place? Have you used some sort of anchor to keep it there?

    1. Hi Kirsten –

      When I pierced the drapery hook onto the back tab of my drapes, I didn’t do anything else. The linen fabric is heavy and the hooks have stayed in place. I did mark exactly where to place each one on each tab so they would hang evenly.

      If your blackout drapes are thin and you don’t think the hooks will stay in the back tab, you can use fabric glue to glue a piece of felt into each tab. Let the glue dry and then pierce the hooks in. The felt will add enough thickness to hold the hooks in place.

  28. The clips on the drapery rings should be removable. You might need a small pair of pliers to pull the wires apart. Then you can store the clips in a small container or a sip loc bag.
    Thank you for the good suggestions.

  29. My Mom had all sorts of ways to use and mount new draperies, so I’ve always thought that we should be able to use draperies in whatever way we want…one time I visited a friends’ home, someone I thought of as the new and improved Martha Stewart, only to find that her beautiful front window draperies were stapled to the window frame! I haven’t tried that, but it goes to show ya. Make it work!!

  30. Awesome tips thank you! Your methods produce some of the best looks I’ve seen while still being easy to do :)

  31. Thank you for your great recommendations, especially on the ring/hook/clip attachment.
    I was looking for exactely something like this, because I bought these type of curtains and will use the clips for backing blackout curtains .

  32. Hi Diane! I have a dilemma and am hoping you can help. My patio door is half French door half large window. I have hung four panels of curtains, two on each side. I attached drapery wands so that I wouldn’t be touching the curtains all the time with my hands. I hung them with rings and clips. My dilemma is that when I close them, I have to touch the curtains to “even out the rings”. There is a back tab on the curtains. Any ideas about a way I can get the rings to automatically space themselves? Sort of like pinch pleated drapes space themselves.

    Thanks in advance!!
    Lisa

    1. Hi Lisa –

      This is a great question. For my drapes on rings, I shake them with the wand to get them to lay evenly, but it doesn’t work all the time. I and not sure of a way to do this since if you pinch pleated them some way with pins in the back, the drapes would not stretch across the window as well. It would be a good product for someone to invent. If I think of something I will let you know.

      1. Couldn’t you just tie the rings together at the appropriate distance from each other using yarn or fishing line?

        1. Hi Angela –

          Yes, you could do that with yarn or fishing line. There is no one way to do anything when you are improvising and not doing things the traditional way.

  33. HI, great idea about how to attach the ends to the walls so they aren’t visible!
    I just bought Miracle Wands for my drapery wands and love them! They’re less expensive than metal or acrylic wands, and you decorate them whatever color you want. I left the website link for you.

  34. I need some thoughts. I have drapes with grommets for a sliding patio door, multiple panels. I do not want to sew them together but want them to follow each other some how. I have seen cheap plastic pieces at the top of curtains in the hospital, that is my intent with hopefully a better look. I do not know what they are called or if you have a better idea. Any help would be appreciated.

    1. Hi Gary – Hospital curtains have hooks that are set into the rod, like a traverse rod, so they slide easily across. I don’t think you can do something similar with grommet topped drapes. You would need to get hook on or pleated style drapes.

      For your drapes with grommets, have you thought about attaching the sides of the panels together with a stapler? We used to do this all the time when I worked in retail display. I know it sounds crazy, but you can paint a row of staples the color of the curtains, let it dry and then load into the stapler. Butt the edges of the drapes together on a hard surface. Open the stapler so you don’t have to place the fabric in-between the bed of the stapler and the top. Staple over the edges of both panels at the bottom, top and center or every 6 inches or so. When it is time to wash the drapes, you can simply remove the staples.

  35. Diane, I am so happy to have found your blog and read all your tips. I could use your advice on my window treatment dilemma. I bought 2 drapery panels at an upscale consignment store. I will be using one panel per window as the windows are fairly narrow and closely flank the fireplace. The panels are custom made, beautifully constructed, lined, pinch pleated. I planned to hang with rings on a rod, since I won’t be opening and closing them. As it turns out, the panels are too narrow at the top, due to the pleats. :( I think I can carefully remove the pleats without damaging the silk fabric. Would this be ok to do and then use rings on the then flat panel? I hate to take away the more formal look of the drapes, but they are too lovely (and costly) to not use. Thanks for any suggestions you can offer.

    1. Hi Katy – Can you attach a curtain hook behind each pleat and then attach the rings to the hooks? When you do this, does the drape not cover enough of the window? If so, then yes, you can remove the stitching to make the panels wider. Once you do, I think there will be some interfacing in the heading where the pleats are. This will make the heading feel thick or stiff which can be a good thing when attaching rings.

  36. This is a great post. Thank you! I’m wondering if you have a solution for grommet top drapes for sliding them over the telescoping hump area of the rod. I won’t be using rings, so the wand method wont work. I don’t want to tug on them and pull. I open and close them daily and don’t want to ruin them.

    1. Hi Connie –

      I am not sure what would work for grommet top drapes since you can’t really clip anything to them. Sewing something on wouldn’t work in the long run either since it would end up pulling the fabric and cause it to rip eventually. The only way would be to see if you could wire the drapery wand on to the first grommet on each drape. You could paint the wire to match the color of the grommet and push (like the wire was a needle and thread) it under the grommet and around it a few times (neatly) and then hook the wand onto the wire in the back. If I think of another idea I will email you.

  37. I wanted to thank you for these hanging tips for curtains. It’s nice to know that to create nice folds you shouldn’t try to tie them together too tightly. You mentioned after a few days you can take the ribbon off and I wouldn’t mind knowing if it should stay on for heavier curtain materials.

    1. Hi Taylor –

      The weight of the fabric will determine how long it takes for the folds to hold in place. Test it out, remove and see if the folds stay, if not, tie the ribbon loosely around again until the folds stay in place.

  38. Hi Diane, I bought pleated drapes for my daughter’s apartment from J.C. Penny. As a kid, I always noticed that when the drapes were fully pulled open, i.e. “stacked”, the fabric between the pleats projected forward, but lately what I’ve been seeing is that when pleated drapes are fully open, the fabric between the pleats projects backwards, which leaves the pleats in a neat row, like little soldiers. Which is the correct way for the fabric to fold? Outwards or inwards. I want to do this correctly for my daughter as this is her first apartment, and I’d like to avoid a rookie mistake that would make the job look stupid.
    Thanks, and I really loved your tips above, especially the eyelet hook, as that was a problem I didn’t even know I was going to have.

    1. Hi Larry –

      If I am reading your question right, the extra fabric between the folds when the the drapes are fully open should be projecting backwards so the pleats line up as you said like little soldier. The fabric right under the pinch pleat should stick out.

  39. Thank you for mentioning that the fabric will need to be trained. I never really thought that that was necessary for curtains. I just thought that they hung like that naturally. I’ll be sure to try out your advice so that our curtains hang a little better than they do now.

  40. I just wanted to thank you for these great tips. The one about using wands to move curtains instead of hands was especially appreciated since my wife and I wanted to use wands instead of hands but hadn’t seen anything about wands to move curtains until I read your article. Also using a sewing gauge to place hooks for ring attachment was a great idea since I have no experience with sewing gauges but I want one now. All 4 tips were excellent, I wish you would write a book and share all your methods.

  41. Help please! I finally gave up trying to find pinch pleated drapes for my three approximately 100″ windows. Rather than pay at least $700 each for custom drapes which I can’t even examine before ordering, I reluctantly decided to buy drapes with grommets. I’ve looked online for weeks and the only ones I like are 50″ wide. WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO SEW GROMMET PANELS TOGETHER TO CREATE A WIDER PIECE? I appreciate our input!

    I am thoroughly disgusted with retailers not offering pinch pleated drapes. Look in any better magazine and you’ll see they are used pretty much used exclusively. Second, why ado they offer so few wider widths??

  42. Your opinion please. We have a beach house with a bay window and I am hanging a gauzy white linen. I want a loose blowing gently in the breeze look. Would hanging them from the rod pocket or loosely placed clips look and work better. They will also loosely puddle on the floor or should I hem them?
    Thank you this is keeping me up at night
    Jb

    1. Hi Jeri –

      It is really more about what look you like better. Clips are more popular now. I prefer using them over the rod pocket. Clips also make the curtain easy to close and open. A rod pocket makes it a little harder. I like everything white. White rod, clips and curtains, but any color or wood tone would look good. I would love to have Driftwood colored rods and clips someday. :-)

      As far as puddling. It looks dreamy, but since you are using white linen, in reality, the bottom will get dirty from sitting on the floor. If you have pets, they will walk over it. You will also notice dirt accumulating on the puddled bottom. I have mine so they just skim the floor, not puddle. It still looks casual and beachy this way.

      I hope this helps you figure out what to do so you get a good night sleep tonight. :-) Happy weekend.

      1. Boy I appreciate you confirming what I knew but wasn’t acknowledging.
        Now I think I have something to share with you. Although everything is beachy around here it isn’t overdone. The floors are a gray distressed pine and the legs of various pieces, light fixtures are all pretty much black iron. So rather than another black piece in the adjoining living room and dining room I already did as you wished.
        I took unfinished rods and used an aging grey material and then got out my acrylics and added the washed out white and soft brown to create the look of driftwood. I even did the round end pieces and it looks terrific
        Now I will hem the gaudy linen and hang from the clips. This bay window will soon be a finished look. Thanks so much for your advice.

        1. Hi Jeri –
          Your room sounds dreamy. I especially like how you think and used your ingenuity to create the look of driftwood on the rods. To me that is the best kind of decorating…making your vision come to life by DIYing. No reason to settle for anything else just because what you envision is not sold in a store. :-) Thanks for sharing what you did. Enjoy the room’s new look.

  43. When using pins to hang curtains, is there a possibility that the ring may rip through the back fabric? I also don’t like the look of clip on rings and want to hide the clip, but I’m afraid I may ruin the back of the curtain with the pin. Is that even possible? Thank you!

    1. Hi Beverly – If your drapes are made of thin or sheer fabric, then you run the risk of damaging the fabric and the pin may even go through to the front of the drape. Drapes need to be made of heavier fabric or have a lining so you can stick the pin through the lining or just grab a little from the back of a heavier fabric drape. I have always hung my drapes this way when I didn’t want to use the rod pocket or clips and have never had a problem with drapes ripping. The pins do leave a tiny pin prick size hole when they are removed that may be noticed in tightly woven fabrics, but not in larger woven fabrics .Once washed, the any pin prick hole will disappear. I hope this makes sense. :-)

      1. I too am having this same issue. I have found some curtains I like, but they are simply rod pocket with no taping in the back. They are blackout, so they have a bit of heaviness to them, but I am concerned what sticking pins directly into the fabric will do. How would I go about using a hook belt / taping of some sort or do you think it would be fine to directly pin it into my curtains? Thank you for these tips. The internet is scarce when it comes to help like this for draperies!

        1. Hi Joy –

          Having the extra weight of the blackout lining will help keep the pins secure. I would simply place the pins in. I have never had a problem doing this and I have done it like this for years on curtains and drapes in my previous homes.

          If you want to use tape – you could add that. There are many different types. Some you have to sew on, others, at least years ago there was a stick on kind, but I am not sure if it is still made. I would ask at a local fabric store like JoAnn Fabrics. They carry a few tapes like this.

  44. Diane,
    We recently purchased a home and they had beautiful traverse rods with many heavy drapes. We are replacing drapes and want to use grommet drapes. Is there any ideas to be able to use the present rods?

    Appreciate any suggestions.

    Thanks,

    1. Hi Glenna –

      I think it depends on the rod and how far out they project from the wall. Grommet drapes sometimes require more clearance. Traverse rods are usually installed pretty close to the wall. Grommet drapes typically need more depth since they have to accommodate the fabric that folds back to the wall.

      If you want to try, I think you would lose the open and close function of the traverse rod. You will need to remove all the moving parts, hooks and mechanism on the back of the traverse rod. This is pretty easy to do. You would need to remove the finials and the stops at the ends of the rod. Once off, you can reattach the finials.

      Removing these parts will allow the grommets to pass over the rod in a smooth motion. I am not sure there would be a way to use the traverse hooks to attach the grommets so you could open and close the drapes with a traverse cord.

      1. We have a similar issue in which we have several windows with traverse rods over each left from the previous owner. We are hoping to use the rods, but I cannot find pleated blackout curtains in the color I want. I found some with back tabs though. Would putting the drapery pins into the back tabs work to hang them off the traverse rods? I’m concerned it would hang oddly and just pull the tab, exposing it and the pin at the top.

        1. Hi Terri – I have done exactly what you are thinking of doing, adding the drapery pins to the back tabs on the drapes. The trick is to make sure you measure for spacing so you place each pin the same distance away. Use the longer pins if you can find them and make sure to grab the fabric using the whole length of the pin. You don’t want to see any of the section of the pin that goes through the fabric. It should all be in the fabric. If you do this, then your drapes can look just as nice as pinch pleated ones.

  45. The proper use of the words “drape” and “drapery” is as follows.

    “Drapery” or the plural “draperies” is a noun that names the fabric that is fashioned and hung on windows (or elsewhere).

    “Drape” is a verb that describes the act of hanging a drapery, as in “drape the draperies in a manner that is soft and romantic”. Other uses: one would drape a cape around one’s shoulders. One would drape a decorative scarf on an upholstered piece of furniture.

    “Drape” is never used to identify the “drapery” that is hanging on a window.

    1. Marie,
      I, too, love the English language, but I try my best to NOT use it to point out other people’s mistakes, especially on their own blog. If you’re offended by the improper use of a word, perhaps you could try removing that stick from your butt! It works perfectly every time, and will make you a much more pleasant person! And do remember that reading a blog is your choice. No one is forcing you to continue reading if the writing isn’t up to your standards. If you do not like the content, close the tab and move on to something that’s more inline with your needs and/or personal preferences. Might I suggest “9 Steps to Hating Yourself a Little Less”, by Mark Manson. And don’t forget to remove that stick!

      Thanks for the tips! I’m struggling right now, trying to decide which window treatment to use in my LR. Your post has definitely helped! And I really enjoy your blog!

      1. The first paragraph in my previous comment is directed at Marie, the English scholar. Lighten up, sister! Life’s too short to be so picky!

    2. Marie,
      Thank you… I’m with ya sista!!!
      Referring to draperies as drapes is like (if not) bad grammar. It makes me shudder.

  46. I bought sheers and the top of them are flopping over as the fabric is gauzy thin. There is room to fit another rod, but thought there might be a fix to put something that is somewhat invisible…do you know anything? It looks so wavy and I want to visibly uniform. Thank you.

  47. My daughter has ready made silk drapes that she wants warm Windows lining added to, and wants to hang with hidden tabs. She does not want rings or grommets. The lined drapes will be very heavy. Do you think using a super stiff interfacing/stabilizer as the drapery header & to make the hidden tabs from that as well will allow them to hang properly? She will open some, but not a lot. Thanks for such a helpful post!

    1. Hi TC – Dritz and other brands make stabilizers just for this purpose. I would check at the fabric store and ask to see what interfacings they have for draperies. I think you will find exactly what you need. Some are sewn in, others ironed on. I think if you sew it on, it will hold the lining very well while still allowing the drapes to open and close.

  48. I have sliding doors in my kitchen-breakfast area and the ceiling is 9 ft tall with 2-3 inches of crown molding if I place the drapes just below the crown molding there will be about 19-20 inches of wall showing from the ceiling to the top of the door also my drapes are 52 inche wide as I am just framing the glass doors and extending them another 3 inches wide on both sides do you think that is too much wall space showing? thank you Jeanne

  49. I am hanging linen curtains on a 120 inch rod which needs 4 brackets. What type of rings do I get so they go over the brackets?
    Thank you

    1. Kirsch makes c-rings that allow passage of the ring past their “center bypass bracket”. Drapery Rods Direct and Designer Drapery Hardware are both websites that carry the product and their pricing is almost identical.

  50. Hi Diane,
    I’m really stuck on a problem for which I don’t think there is a solution — but if there is, I’m sure you will be the one to find it! I’m covering a 6-foot slider with drapes that must all stack on the left when open. I plan to use hooks and rings. The rod will be long enough that it should have a center support but that, of course, would make it necessary to have a center close. Is there any way out of this?

    1. You may be able to find a center bypass support bracket, but you need C rings for the rings to pass this bracket. This will allow you draw all of your drapes to the left.

      1. Hi Jenny – Thanks for taking the time to share this info. I feel enlightened knowing that there are rings called C rings that will go over a center bracket. I will have to do research about them.

  51. I just purchased 50 inches wide by 108 inches long lined silk drapes. the header on the back is flat with little pockets. How many hooks do I need and how far apart do I put them?

  52. Thanks so much for the tip of using the hooks with rings. Completely solved my issues and looks great, ingenious!

  53. What Target curtains are these? I just bought grey ones that look like them but mine only have the rod pocket

    1. Hi Jolene – The white woven linen drapes I bought at Target are no longer available. I found them online back in the spring, they were not in any of the Target stores I went to. They are beautiful and so well made… a bargain for $29. I am not sure why they decided to stop selling them. I know Target likes to keep things fresh and new and once things are gone…they don’t bring them back. :-)

  54. Hi! Thank you for these tips! What do you suggest to do if one has rod pocket curtains (as opposed to grommet style curtains? Im using these curtains to hide a storage nook in my wall. I was thinking to drill the eyes res just one- two inches below rod. There would still be a little gap at the top, but no gap at eye level hence no one could see in storage… What would you suggest?

  55. Hi Diane, I bookmarked your idea a few month ago because I want to hang curtains with rings on Country Curtain panels using the curtain hooks. I am using 84″ panels. How far away from the top edge have you found works out best for the panels to hang? Your picture looks like less than an inch, but I’m worried that my curtain is going to tilt unless I place the hooks correctly.
    Thanks, KJ

    1. Hi Kay –

      I had to play around with the hook placement a bit until I came up with the right measurement. I have the hook part where the ring will attach about 1/4″ from the top edge of the panels.

      Another way to think about it is this: I didn’t want the little bottom ring (on the curtain rings) where the hook goes in to be visible. I moved the hooks up so all that is visible when looking at the drapes is the main ring. In some instances, the little ring under the big ring that the rod goes through is shown. I just don’t like that look.

      Another tip. If you don’t want the top of the panels to tilt, use more rings than you think you need. I used 16 on each side which helps the top stay upright.

      1. Thank you so much, Diane. Yes, I don’t want the little ring to show either. This sounds good plus I failed to mention that the panels are lined so the extra weight might make them tilt more than a lighter weight panel. The idea of using more hooks/rings also sounds very good!
        Best to you, Kay J.

  56. Nice tips ! Was wondering if Velcro would work to hold curtains in place to close gaps on sides of wall. Just cut a few tabs and attach to curtain and side of window frame? Would that work?

  57. Thanks Dianne … I love each of these tips & will be implementing them asap … Cheers, Wendy from Oz … :)

  58. Great idea. I recently installed some Ikea curtain panels that I am hanging without rings. How would I do this with these panels?

    1. Hi Mark – The panels I bought have a rod pocket so I could run the rod through the pocket to hang. The reason I didn’t do this was I need to open and close my drapes on a daily basis and rings glide over the rod easier. Most IKEA panels come with lots of hanging options built right into the back. They are pretty ingenious.

  59. Diane,

    Thanks for the suggestions, several to be used later. I’m now considering using antique glass door knobs after seeing your pictures on drapery rods w/2″ blinds. Outside of my home is victorian but decorated more traditional with a few antique pieces of furniture. I have bright brass door hardware which is no longer in style. Red mahogany entrance doors with red mahogany bookcases in greatroom. What size rod should I use w/the knobs and 10 ft. ceilings in the greatroom and dining room, and natural color 3/4″ red oak hardwood floors which is now more amber color due to time. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    1. Hi Jeannette – Since you have high ceilings you can go with larger rods. They will look more in proportion. I would take one of the doorknobs you plan to use to the store. Hold it up to a few different size rods to see how the the end of the rod looks with the doorknob. The rod diameter should be no bigger than the diameter of the doorknob. If the rods diameter is smaller, that is fine, just not bigger. I hope this helps you.

  60. I was a curtain fitter for many years, the other way to get your curtain to sit to the wall is to place a ring directly onto the bracket befor the pole is dropped on, the return (last) hook is then put into this ring, it sits at 90 deg to the other rings,and that then saves you having to drill another hole into the wall, if it has already fitted and you don’t have access to a drill , hope that makes sence to you ?

    1. Hi Michelle … Thanks for this tip about hanging the ring directly on the bracket! I was impressed with the small eye hook .. but this is an even better idea …. especially as I’m renting & would have to remove & fill the holes from the small rings before leaving … Thanks heaps …. Cheers, Wendy (from Oz)

    2. Hi Diane. Thanks for the great tips! I went to the hardware store to purchase screw eyes for the side of the drapes to eliminate the annoying gap. There were so many sizes. I didn’t know which to get. Would you please provide an appropriate size or possibly provide a link for what you used? Thanks very much! Connie

        1. Hi Diane,
          Thank you so much for the info on the screw eyes. I appreciate the link so much! You are so kind to answer all our questions. I find so much great info on your blog!!
          Connie

  61. Diane, all I can say is “Brilliant, Brilliant, Brilliant, and lastly, Brilliant.” I learned a lot about hanging drapery…the tricks I never knew. Thank you. I also began following your “creative” board tonight on Pinterest, though I use a “nom de plume” on both Pinterest and Facebook. I love, love, love your blog and, as I’ve told you before, I love seeing your smiling face each time. I’m also loving following you and Ed’s adventures in creating “In Your Own Style” your “new-to-you,” lakeside home.

        1. Hi Rachel – The easiest way to prevent light from peeking out the top of your curtains is do place the rod far above the window, about 8-10 inches will work. You will need longer curtains, but it will do the trick. You can also extend the track/pole 10″ on each side of the window frame to stop the light leak from the sides.

          Another option would be to create a no-sew cornice/valance and place it over the top of the curtains. You could using a matching fabric or one that coordinates with your existing curtains. I made a foam one that is pretty easy and affordable to make. You can find the post I wrote about it here: https://inmyownstyle.com/2010/02/my-entry.html and one I made using cardboard here: https://inmyownstyle.com/2011/08/quick-and-easy-home-decorating-window-valance.html

  62. The screw eye tip is genius. I have been trying to solve this problem for years. Thank you so, so much for sharing.

  63. Diane, Wonderful ideas, tips and tricks! I love your idea with the screw eye, I have drapes in my livingroom which are getting that treatment as soon as I can get to the hardware store. The look is so perfect and finished!

  64. I think this might be a silly questions. Unfortunately I couldn’t find two panels that would cover the width of the window so was stuck buying four panels. Is there a way to connect two panels for each side of the window. It doesn’t look good to have individual panels because you have to fuss with them too much. Or is there no solution? Thanks for your help.

    1. Hi Linda – Your question is not silly at all. I will be posting soon how I am sewing 2 panels together to create one large panel. When I make 2 large panels (2 panels for each large panel) they will cover the large expanse of the window with some extra so when the drapes are closed they still look full and not like a sheet hanging at the window. I have been ripping out the one seam length on each panel and then sewing them together, washing, and then hanging. If you don’t have a sewing machine, you could rip out the seams and then use fabric glue to seam the two lengths together. The drapes I am using are cotton. After sewing, I am washing them to allow for shrinkage. This way if I ever have to wash them again, they won’t shrink and then be too short when I rehang them.

  65. Another informative and helpful post. Looking forwarding to seeing those drapes draping your sliders. Vikki in VA.

    1. Thanks Vikki – I am working on them as much as I can. We had company for the past 4 days so my production line stopped. My sister is coming this weekend so that will keep the production down line down. :-) I will post photos and more details when I get them completed.

  66. Thank you so much for the information in this post. I did not know about the Amazon in clear acrylic or white metal. I had to pin this to share with my friends too.

  67. Wow! What an ingenious idea to use screw eyes and a hook to secure the end flap of the curtain to the wall. I’ve been struggling with that for years. I currently use a push pin to keep it in place. I am going to implement your screw eye method. Thank you, thank you for such a great idea!

  68. Thank you for this (and all your) great advice. I just bought new curtains for the guest room and now I know how to hang them correctly!

  69. Hi Diane,
    Thanks so much for the hints! I’ve always by-passed those drapes with the tabs at the back, and unfortunately they’re the type I see the most in the colours and fabrics I like. Now I can buy them, knowing a nicer way to hang them. I’m really grateful to you for the tips.
    Cheers,
    Ellisabeth (Australia)

  70. My mother worked in a fabric store whose owners made custom draperies. They used soft cardboard sleeves stapled around the drapes at intervals. The cardboard was the same weight as posterboard and dind’ t leave any creases.

  71. Hi Diane! Thanks for the great tips. I bought PB white panels and would like to add trim to them. Any suggestions?
    Thank you!