How To Hang Curtains
So, you've thought through the design of your home, measured up your windows, and made some decisions about the curtains that are going to work best for you, your family and your home. Whether you decide to buy curtains off the shelf or create your own curtain masterpieces, hanging them on your own can be a daunting task, especially if you are new to the practice.
While hanging your curtains is straightforward, you'll want to do it properly so you can show them off to their full potential. Should you go with curtain rods or tracks in the header to fit the curtains, and is there a way to hang curtains without either of these pieces of hardware?
This buying guide will go through everything you need to know about hanging curtains, including if you should use a curtain rod or curtain track, how to hang them in different parts of the home and what kinds of curtains are best to choose when hanging them on your own. Read on and learn how to hang curtains today!
- Why Hanging Curtains On Your Own Is Great
- Curtain Rods vs Curtain Tracks
- How To Hang Curtains On A Rod
- How To Hang Curtains On A Track
- Hanging Curtains FAQs
- Ready Made Curtains Or Made-To-Measure Curtains
Why Hanging Curtains On Your Own Is Great
Learning how to hang curtains on your own is a great skill to have for life, as it can save you money from hiring professionals to do the job for you. Hanging curtains will also have you practice your measuring and levelling skills, which are both very useful for other kinds of home improvement like hanging wall art and setting up a home bar.
Knowing how to hang curtains enables you to easily change out your curtains should you feel like it. Hang up your floral curtains in spring, then change them for temperature-controlling blockout curtains in autumn when you have mastered this handy skill.
Curtain Rods vs Curtain Tracks
We have a full guide on the difference between curtain rods and curtain tracks, but here is a quick rundown on how each piece of hardware functions, and the features they have:
What Are Curtain Rods?
- Are a simple length of wood, metal or plastic with a smooth surface.
- Curtains are moved along by hand or with a flick stick.
- Are often visible, so can be decorative and come in different colours and materials.
What are Curtain Tracks?
- Are a length of plastic with many small, moving eyelets you can hook your curtains into.
- Curtains are moved along with a string pulley system in a fixed location.
- Are always hidden, so aren't designed for decorative purposes.
How To Hang Curtains On A Rod
Hanging curtains on a curtain rod or pole is the most simple method of hanging curtains, but it can differ depending on the type of curtains you are choosing to hang. The following curtain types can be simply hung on a curtain pole:
- Eyelet curtains - thread the rod back and forth into the eyelets at the top of the curtain. Gently fold up the eyelet curtain 'accordion style' first and thread the rod through the holes all at once to make it super easy!
- Tab top curtains - thread the rod through each of the tab loops in a straight line. Most tab top curtains will allow your curtain rod to be seen, although there are 'concealed' options that hide the rod from view.
- Pencil pleat or pinch pleat curtains can use hooks or rings to attach the curtain to the rod (32mm gather hooks are suitable for rod sets with rings). These curtain types can also be hung on a track if you prefer.
- Rod pocket curtains - thread the rod through the long pocket that is hidden in the header. This pocket is what makes the pleats in the curtain.
Stand at a distance, as well as at various angles, and see how your new curtains look. You may want to adjust the pleats depending on the drop and the tightness of the gathering.
How To Hang Curtains On A Track
Curtain tracks come with eyelets that are attached to a string you can pull by hand and, just like rods, hanging curtains on them is designed to be simple. All you need to do is:
- Attach hooks to the header tape on the curtains. We recommend 28mm gather hooks for tracks.
- Space the hooks evenly so the curtains hang perfectly.
- Insert the hooks into the eyelets. When you pull the string, the curtains will slide apart and together along the track.
Make sure you stand back and look at your new curtains from different angles. They may need a little bit of adjustment, especially after a few days once they've settled into their drop.
Hanging Curtains FAQs
How high should I hang my curtains?
If you're wondering how high to hang curtains in your home, don't worry. There is one simple rule to follow that works for any space, and it's this - hang high! Hanging your curtains towards the ceiling of the room (rather than on, say, the top of the window) helps make your room look taller. Of course, right on the ceiling may look a little strange, so aim to hang your curtains 2/3 of the way up the ceiling from the top of your window for a timeless design.
How to hang curtains without a rod
There are several ways you can hang curtains without a rod or track, but it means you won't be able to open and close your curtains. So you can permanently cover a window or even a blank section of wall with closed curtains, or permanently frame a window or door with open curtains. With that in mind, here are a few ideas to consider:
- Command hooks - these nifty gadgets are a favourite for many renters, as they can be used to hang art, clothing and more from any wall without leaving a mark. Command hooks can be used in place of a track for curtains like the pencil pleat style.
- Staples and furring strips - you can find furring strips at your local hardware store, which can then be attached to a stud in your wall using screws or nails. You can paint the furring strip to blend in or stand out from your wall, then attach your stationary curtains to it using staples and a heavy-duty staple gun. Create pleats as you staple for a more interesting-looking curtain!
- Upholstery tack - coming in heaps of different colours and materials, upholstery tackles are one of the quickest and easiest ways to hang a stationary curtain. Start by pushing in a tack on the top corner of your curtain, positioned at the outside edge of your window. Then create a pleat and insert another tack, around 7.5cm from your first tack. Continue across this way until the whole window is covered.
- Tension rod - while it is technically a rod, the indispensable tension rod is perfect for hanging curtains across small, recessed windows without having to use nails, screws or glue. They are also the only option here that allows for curtain movement. If you are wondering how to hang curtains in an apartment, this is the option to invest in!
If you live in a smaller space, like an apartment, you may not have the space for large, bulky curtain rods and tracks, and if you're renting, making holes in the walls can also be a big no-no. Our tips from the above category can really come in handy in this case as well!
How to hang blackout curtains and sheer curtains
Hanging sheer curtains and blackout curtains together is a popular combination that allows you to control the total amount of light that enters your home. But obviously you can't hang two curtains on the same rod or track… or can you?
- If you only want to use a single curtain rod, it will minimise the amount of movement your curtains will have… but it is possible! You can hang your sheers in the centre and add blackout curtains to either end for a good mix of both, but it does mean you won't ever have total light blockage.
- Double curtain rods are the most effective way to hang these two types of curtains, with your sheers against the window and your blackout curtains on the outside for a classy look, or you can swap this order for a more fanciful style. You'll have total control over how much light you let in!
How to hang outdoor curtains
When hanging outdoor curtains and blinds, you need to keep factors like wind and rain in mind when choosing your hanging method and fixtures. You will need a curtain rod or track that is weatherproof as well.
If you have a wooden verandah or pergola, you can drill into it to attach a curtain rod for your curtains.
If your space is made of stone or brick you can use tension rods instead - but make sure your outdoor curtains don't exceed the weight limit of your tension rod.
You can also use heavy-gauge steel wire, wall anchors and eye hooks to hang curtains, but you may need support in the middle so your wire doesn't sag once under the weight of your curtains. It is best to engage professional services for outdoor blinds and curtains, Spotlight can help with all your outdoor curtains and awnings needs with the Made to Measure service.
Pro tip! If you are worried about your outdoor curtains blowing around in the wind, look for weighted curtains that have weights sewn into the bottom of the curtains to help steady them.
Ready Made Curtains Or Made-To-Measure Curtains?
At Spotlight we offer both ready-made curtains and a made-to-measure curtains service, but how do you decide what you need? A lot of it comes down to how well you have measured your space at home and how much you can do yourself.
If you want a fully comprehensive hassle free service and custom curtains, then the Made to Measure service is for you, we will even hang and install your curtains for you! Made-to-measure curtains will always be crafted to your exact specifications, so you can be sure they'll reach across your windows.
Ready Made Curtains are an off the shelf product at low prices, therefore you will need to measure, buy and hang the curtains yourself.Carefully check the dimensions on any premade curtains you'd like to buy and ensure you account for how stretched or compact you want the curtains to look across your space.
Learn How To Hang Your Curtains With Spotlight!
If you're ready to start hanging curtains at home, we've got everything you need to begin. Browse our range of curtains online, where you can safely pay and have them home delivered, or visit your nearest Spotlight store to grab your supplies in person. Our friendly team is ready to answer your questions and ensure you get the best curtains for your home. Don't forget to check out our article on mistakes to avoid when hanging curtains to make sure you get it right the first time, as well as our handy guide to which curtains and blinds are best for the rooms in your home.