How to Hang Drapery Panels in 5 Easy Steps
I'm here today to talk about how to hang those dreaded drapery panels. Have you attempted that Pinterest-Worthy look only to have it fall flat? Well don't worry, I have outlined my step by step process below (all designers do things differently, this is just my personal preference) and hope you are able to follow along to recreate the look for yourself.
Let's get started!
STEP ONE: Measure the drapery panel length needed for your window.
I like to get a ballpark measurement and then order the closest stock curtain panel I can. The panel should be hung higher than the window to create height in the space and should at least meet the floor. There isn't a standard measurement above the window that I like, it all depends on the window size and ceiling height. For example, if there isn't a huge space between the top of the window and the ceiling or ceiling trim, then I like to hang my rod as close to the ceiling/trim as possible. If the ceilings are really high, I usually get somewhere between 12"-24" above the top of the window. Again, it is a flexible range and I always try to find a stock panel that is ready to order in a length within that range.
STEP TWO: Measure the width of curtain rod you need.
The drapery panels should hang outside the window edge as shown in the diagram below because you don't want the panel blocking any natural light. Therefore, your rod needs to be wider than your window width. I usually add 24" to my window width to get my needed rod width. For example, if your window is 36" wide then you need a rod that is 60" wide. With the panels hanging high and wide, they will create the illusion of a much bigger window. And make a bigger statement as a result!
If you are dressing bay windows or two windows in a corner, you'll need to be sure your rod reaches the middle of the space between the two windows and then use a connector.
STEP THREE: Attach the drapery rings to the top of the panels.
If using clip rings (my typical go-to), I like to pinch the fabric in a way that creates faux pinch pleats. There are two ways to accomplish this. You can either attach the clips to the tops of the panel folds or attach the clips to the back of the panel folds, both shown below. Either way looks great, completely a personal preference. Clip rings are my favorite because they're inexpensive and versatile while still giving a custom look.
You could also use drapery hooks instead of clips, use grommet panels which require no rings at all, or feed the rod through the rod pocket, but in my opinion this is the best look for the most reasonable price.
STEP FOUR: DETERMINE BRACKET PLACEMENT.
Put one of the panels onto the rod and hold the rod up until the panel meets the floor. My hubby is my main man when it comes to hanging rods and he holds the bracket against the wall with one hand and places the rod into the bracket with the other hand. This allows me to see that the bracket is the correct height to keep the panel grazing the floor. Then he hands the rod back to me while keeping the bracket in place on the wall so he can make a small mark inside the screw hole opening.
This gives us our VERTICAL bracket placement only. Then we use a stud finder to move left and right from the original mark to ensure the bracket goes into a stud for stability. This gives us our HORIZONTAL and FINAL bracket placement. While the vertical placement must be the same for both brackets on each side of the window (we shoot a laser level across to be sure), the horizontal can be slightly different in order to be in a stud. When using drapery rings, the brackets will be hidden within the rings disguising any discrepancies in the horizontal placement. Hubby also triple checks everything and even shoots the laser up and down to see that his 2 marks are vertically level for each bracket.
This is the method we use BECAUSE KIDS. It is the most stable and I never close my curtain panels so the rings don't need to slide past the brackets. If you want to be able to close your drapery panels, the brackets need to be flush with the finials on each outside edge.
STEP FIVE: Put the rod in place in the brackets.
Put both panels on your rod and gently place in the brackets. Move the rings around the bracket until you're satisfied with their placement and then tighten the stability screws on each bracket to keep the rod in place. Remember, if you want to be able to close your draperies, all rings should be inside the brackets on each side. I also use a steamer to steam the wrinkles and creases out of my draperies. This always makes a HUGE difference in how they hang!
And that's it! Five easy steps to hanging drapery panels. I welcome your comments and questions! I hope this gives you the nudge you needed to tackle the windows in your home.