Hanging Curtains: A Step by Step Guide for Beginners

Finish off a room by hanging curtains with style. This step by step guide will help you choose and hang the curtains that are just perfect for you!

I’ve always been a fan of curtains. 

They have the power to soften the whole look of a room and add the perfect complimentary touch.

But, they also come with a lot of questions and complications.

Which curtains should I choose? How high should I hang them? Are there inexpensive options to store bought curtains? How do I hem them?

Over the years I’ve experimented with SO MANY options. 

Today I want to share with you all the tips & tricks I’ve learned from my experimentation – so that you can choose, and hang the perfect curtains for your space.

A Step by Step Guide to Hanging Curtains

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links for your shopping convenience.

Choosing the perfect curtains for your space

Inexpensive alternatives to hanging traditional curtains:

As you begin the search for curtains, you may quickly come to the conclusion that they are expensive!

They sure can be…

The good news is, you can get the same effect and results with options that aren’t store bought curtains. Here are some ideas:

Favorite sources for store bought curtains

If you really don’t want to go the DIY route with curtains and just want to buy some, my favorite sources are Target and Ikea.

Target has a great selection of patterns and colors that fit with the farmhouse style I love so well. I have Target curtains in my Dining Room and Living Room right now. The prices are quite reasonable compared to similar styles and fabrics from other companies.

Here are some of my current favorite curtains from Target:

Ikea is my next recommendation, with their RITVA curtains being my favorite. They are an amazing value at around $39.99 per pair (most curtains cost that much per PANEL!),  and are an extra long length of 98 inches. They give you lots of options for hanging height even if you have tall ceilings.

How high should curtains be hung?

Although I’ve read lots of formulas and curtain “rules”, I personally don’t follow any hard and fast rules. The fact is, curtains have the power to make a window appear larger and the walls seem taller.

Take our Master Bedroom for example.

This set of curtains was hanging in our room before we started our Modern Farmhouse Boho bedroom makeover. They were hung at the height that they were bought at, which was at least 6 inches above the window.

You will notice that when we took them down, we had hung them to hang wider than the window was, giving it the appearance of the window being wider.

How to hang a curtain rod

Since we wanted to use a pair of RITVA curtains for our makeover, we realized we had the opportunity to raise both the height and increase the width of our curtain rod placement.

To hang a curtain rod, follow these simple steps:

  1. Find the center point of the window and determine the height you want your curtains to hang. (Make sure they are long enough for your desired height.) Mark the spot where the top screw of the curtain rod bracket should go.
  2. Use a nail to start a hole where the wall anchor should go. Remove the nail.

  • Hammer in a wall anchor.

  • Align the top bracket hole with the anchor. Place a screw in the top hole of the curtain rod bracket.

  • Insert a screw in the bottom bracket hole.

  • Follow the same steps for the other two brackets using the measurement from the ceiling to the top of the bracket as your guide, as well as the width you’d like to hang your curtains.
  • Once they are hung, you might realize they “puddle” a little too much on the floor and you’d like to hem them.

How to hem curtains

No sew hemming methods.

There are some pretty handy no sew methods to hemming curtains. They include:

How to hem IKEA RITVA curtains

This time, I decided to do a “real” hem on this pair of RITVA curtains. To do so, I followed these steps:

  • While the curtains are hanging, place a pin on each edge of the panels to mark where the curtain just grazes the floor.
  • Remove the curtains from the rod, and using the pins as a guide, use a long straight edged board as a guide to lightly mark the hem line on the back of each curtain panel.
  • Measure down 2 inches from the hem line and mark a line measurement, and cut the curtain off at that mark.
  • Fold the cut edge up to the hem line drawing and iron flat.
  • Fold over the hem again at exactly the drawn hem line and iron flat.
  • Use a sewing machine to sew the seam shut.
  • Repeat the same steps with the second panel.

We ended up using a copper curtain rod I found hiding in the back of my closet that I’d forgotten about! It fits in perfectly with our Modern Farmhouse Boho style!

I just love the fabric of Ikea’s RITVA curtains, and have made projects with the fabric I cut off – like this upholstered stool!

I made another project for this room makeover using the fabric I cut off from these panels. All the details will be coming your way next week.

This is Week 6 of the One Room Challenge!

This bedroom makeover is part of the One Room Challenge makeover series put on by Calling It Home and Better Homes & Gardens.

It’s so much fun to participate in this 8 week event. To see how all the other participant’s rooms are coming along, go to this week’s  One Room Challenge room makeovers site.

And, if you’d like to catch up on all of my previous posts with this room makeover, here they are:

For a peek behind the scenes…

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One Comment

  1. I appreciate your advise on making your own window coverings. There is a 30″ tall x 6′ wide window over my bed. My recent master bath remodel led to some changes in my bedroom. My contractor put “picture-frame” molding around the existing window. It looked gorgeous and I didn’t want to cover it up so I had to figure out a new type of window covering. I bought a heavy fabric shower curtain from Home Goods and made a faux roman shade. It’s hung from a heavy-duty tension rod. The white frame and the blue/white shade add a great accent over my bed. The heavy-duty tension rod cost almost as much as the shower curtain but it was worth it!

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