Curtains can take a window from "whatever" to "wow." You can achieve an affordable yet elegant window makeover using flat panels of fabric that are hung from a curtain rod using curtain clips. A curtain clip is a handy device with a ring on one end that slides over the curtain rod and a clip on the other to grip the curtain. Because they are used with flat panels of fabric, curtain clips increase your no-sew curtain options. Tablecloths, tea towels and fancy bedding sheets are all ready-to-hang alternatives to curtain panels sewn from scratch.
Choose your curtain rod or wire. Rods work best with heavier curtains; wires can support only the sheerest of fabrics. For optimal good looks, choose a curtain rod that is 3 to 6 inches wider than your window on either side. A decorative finial on the ends of the rod will look attractive and prevents the curtains from slipping off the rod. Your rod will have at least two supports to hold it. If your window is 48 to 86 inches wide, it will require a central support to prevent the pole from sagging.
Determine where your curtain rod should be attached to the wall. Your rod should be 3 to 6 inches above your window. Consider where the top of your curtain will be once it is clipped and hung on the rod. Some people prefer that the top of the curtain is not visible from outside their home. Others prefer that the woodwork surrounding the window isn't visible above the top of the curtain when they are looking at the window from inside the room. Your rod support will impede the movement of the curtain along the rod, so make sure it is placed toward the end of the rod on each side.
Measure carefully and use a pencil to mark the spot where the rod support will be screwed into the wall. Check your measurements to confirm that the supports will be positioned in the same spot on either side of the window.
Attach the supports for your curtain rod or curtain wire. If you're screwing into drywall, use drywall anchors to help bear the added weight of the curtain. If you're screwing into plaster, find a stud (the tapping technique works best) and insert your screw there.
Attach the curtain clips to your fabric panels, making sure that each clip is the same distance from the next. You'll need one clip for every 4 inches of fabric. Start at the outside edge of the fabric and move inward. If your curtain rod is long enough to warrant a central support, your curtains won't close completely. Solve this problem by attaching the innermost clip on each curtain panel a few inches in from the edge. This will allow the curtains to overlap.
Slide the clips onto the curtain rod. It may be easier to do this on a table, rather than with the rod in place.
Place the rod on the supports and secure it. If you're using a store-bought rod, it will have some sort of securing mechanism, such as a small screw, to make sure the rod does not shift as the curtains are opened and closed.
Make any final adjustments to the spacing of the curtain clips.
Disguise small windows by hanging your curtain rod close to the ceiling and using curtains that extend to the floor or the "puddle" where the wall meets the floor. Update old pinch-pleat curtains by hanging them with clips instead of drapery hooks. Create a two-layered curtain by clipping two curtains made from complementary fabrics together using the same clips.
Tips and warnings
- Disguise small windows by hanging your curtain rod close to the ceiling and using curtains that extend to the floor or the "puddle" where the wall meets the floor.
- Update old pinch-pleat curtains by hanging them with clips instead of drapery hooks.
- Create a two-layered curtain by clipping two curtains made from complementary fabrics together using the same clips.