How to hang curtains without a rod

If you have a plain window that needs dressing up, hanging a curtain can give it some character. Unfortunately, purchasing the window treatment in addition to the necessary hardware that is needed to hang it can be a bit pricey. But, if you can swing the cost of the curtain alone, there is a way to forgo having to buy the rod. Two nails, a piece of string and your favourite curtain are all that you need.

Measure the length of your window and cut a piece of string that is double the window's width. The string will serve as your curtain rod. Kite string will work perfectly for this project if you have it lying around your house, otherwise you can purchase it in the supermarket for minimal cost. Just be sure that you have enough to double the length of your window, because you will need to wrap it around the nails.

Use a pencil to mark the locations for the nails that will hold string. The nails markers should be placed approximately one inch to the right of the top window moulding, and one inch to the left of the top window moulding. In other words, a nail will be placed on both sides of the top window moulding.

Hammer in both nails at their marked locations. Be sure to leave approximately one quarter of an inch between the wall and each nail head. The nail heads should not be flush with the wall; one quarter inch away will give plenty of room to wrap the string around the nails.

Wrap the string around the first nail several times, and then tie it to the nail using a tight knot. Run the open end of the string through the top of the curtain, just as you would a regular curtain rod. Once the string is completely through the curtain, pull it taught and wrap it tightly around the remaining nail. Tie a final knot to secure the string.

Cut off any excess string, and neatly centre the curtain. Use both ends of the curtain to cover the nail heads and the string. Once the curtain is in place, no one will know that you used string and nails, in place of fancy hardware.


Heavy weight yarn, wire or cording can be used in lieu of string. If heavy yarn is what you have access to, and it is strong enough to hold the curtain, use it. If you do not have a set of nails, and can only find screws, they will work just as well. If you are having trouble getting the string through the hem of the curtain, tie it to an embroidery needle, pull the string through, and then remove the needle. If you do not have a needle you can also use a pair of tweezers, a stick or even an old toothbrush. This technique works best on pole-top curtains, not tab-top curtains since the tabs will expose the string.


Be sure to measure evenly on both sides of the window moulding when you are marking the nail holes. If you place one nail higher than the one on the opposite side, your curtain will hang lopsided.

Things You'll Need

  • Curtain
  • String
  • Two nails
  • Hammer
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
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About the Author

Jonae Fredericks started writing in 2007. She also has a background as a licensed cosmetologist and certified skin-care specialist. Jonae Fredericks is a certified paraeducator, presently working in the public education system.