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4 Tricks to Use When Hanging Drapes and Curtains

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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?

Drapery Resources:

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172 Comments

  1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.