How to Hang Curtains like a Pro

At a glance, it seems like choosing new curtains and hanging them in your home should be a straightforward activity. You just slide the curtains onto the rod, right? That’s the basic idea, but in reality it can get a little more complicated, especially if you need to install the curtain rod as well. Luckily, Moshell’s has broken the curtain hanging process down in a handy infographic. Look over the tips and infographic below, and in no time you’ll be able to call yourself an expert in the art of curtain hanging.

  1. Choose your curtain type. Before you can even think about hanging curtains, you need to decide on a style. You’ll quickly find that there are plenty of varieties out there, including popular options like grommet, tab top, and café curtains. Café curtains typically only cover the bottom portion of a window, adding style while still letting in light.  Grommet curtains are typically full-length and have rings at the top that the rod will pass through. Tab top curtains are similar, but use a tab loop instead of a ring. Many people also choose to add valances—short pieces of fabric that hang across the top of curtains to cover and hide the window treatment’s hardware.
  2. Choose width and length. Valances need to be just wide enough to cover the window, rod, and stack backs (the space occupied by the curtains when they are fully opened). The curtains themselves, however, should be about 2 to 2 ½ times the width of the window (or 3 times the width of the window for sheer curtains). The length of valances and café curtains can vary depending on what kind of style you’re going for, but full-length curtains should be about 4 to 6 inches more than the distance between the rod and the base of the window.
  3. Choose your curtain rod. One of the most popular options is the classic rod, which attaches to the wall with brackets. You can also choose a return rod, which is U-shaped and screws directly into the wall, or a tension rod, which adjusts to fit directly inside a window frame. Tension rods are the cheapest option, but usually can only support lightweight window treatments like café curtains.
  4. Choose where to install your curtain rods. If you’re hanging a valance, you’ll want your curtain rod to be about 2-4 inches above the window frame, leaving enough room for the bottom of the valance to cover the top of the window frame. For grommet or tab top curtains, hang the rod anywhere from 4 inches above the window frame to 6 inches from the ceiling. The higher you hang the rod, the taller the room will look once you add the curtains. With café curtains, you’ll want to install the rod slightly above the middle of the window. Make sure to carefully measure and mark where you will be installing your rod so that it is straight across.
  5. Hang your curtains. If you’ve chosen a curtain rod with brackets, you’ll need to use a drill to secure the brackets into the wall at the points that you’ve measured and marked. Once your brackets are installed, simply insert the rod through the curtain pocket (either grommets or tab tops) and hang the rod on the brackets.
  6. Hem your curtains. Valences don’t need to be hemmed, but for full-length curtains, hem the bottom 4-6 inches so that the hem is below the bottom of the sill. Letting your curtains hang closer to the floor can give you an elegant look, but make sure the curtains aren’t dragging when you open and close them.