When it comes time for hanging drapes and curtains in your home, I have learned a few window treatment hanging tips, plus the answers to the most frequently asked questions when it comes to hanging curtains and drapes that will ensure you get the professional looking results you envision.
I tweaked ready-made drapes to fit the width of my sliding glass doors in my house. I am using everything I have learned about making and hanging drapes using traditional methods as well as not so traditional ones from two of my friends with professional window treatment businesses complete with workrooms. I also found a new-to-me idea that I thought I would share with you.
5 Tricks to Use When Hanging Drapes and Curtains
Here are my 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 can be easily done with no DIY skills needed.
1. Attach the Last Hook or Ring to the Wall
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.
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.
Use a small screw eye.
It has to be small so that the eye is against the wall.
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…..
….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.
2. Use Drapery Wands
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.
To install one, simply clip it to the first ring or drapery hook on each panel.
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.
3. Use Metal Clip-On Rings
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.
On the white drapes I bought at Target,(no longer available). Here are similar. 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.
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.
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. :-)
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 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
- 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.
5. Curtain Rod Placement Template
One of the most stressful parts of hanging curtains or drapes is where to place the curtain rods.
You not only have to think about how high and wide so the drapes just skim the floor and the stack back when open doesn’t block the window, but you have to find the studs in the wall or use drywall anchors to make sure the rod is secure.
This inexpensive Curtain Rod Hanging Template with Stud Checker takes the guesswork and stress out of where to place the rod above the window when hanging curtains or drapes.
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?
Frequently Asked Questions About Hanging Curtains
Most curtains or drapes look best when they graze the floor, where they are not quite touching it, but are very close – less than an inch to the floor.
If your curtains are long, it is decorator acceptable to have them puddle on the floor.
What you want to avoid is curtains that are either too short or long or where the length ends halfway between the windowsill and the floor.
Short drapes that are not meant to go to the floor, like cafe style curtains should skim the window sill. If there is no window sill, the length should go past the window opening by about 2 inches.
The easiest solution to keep curtains together in the closed position in the middle of the window is to apply adhesive Velcro (hook and loop) tape.
Attach a few pieces of the Velcro along the edges of the curtains where the two panels meet. Place a piece on the near the bottom, middle and top to ensure easy closure without a gap along the entire length of the curtains.
Depending on the fabric and pattern on the curtains, you can place the Velcro on the wrong side of the curtain so you don’t see it when the curtains are open.
Velcro tape is available both in sew-on or adhesive varieties as well as pre-cut strips and circle shapes in both black and white.
When covering a window with curtains, most people think of two pieces of fabric, one on each side of a window. But most curtains are sold by the panel nowadays.
A panel is a single curtain, so it is one piece of fabric. So if you want that traditional curtain look, you will need to buy two curtain panels each wide enough to cover at least half the width of the window or more.
A rule of thumb when choosing the curtain panel width is to make sure each panel is wide enough to cover half the window with extra width to keep the look of fullness when the curtains are closed.
If you prefer to have only one panel per window, just make sure the the panel is wide enough to cover the window completely.
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