Vertical blinds provide insulation for the home and control the amount of light in a room (see References 1). Though the clean lines suit some decorating styles, blinds lack the softness and versatility of fabric window treatments. Covering vertical blinds offers an inexpensive way to change the look of a room. Tapestry curtains disguise a window or door as wall art. Pale or jewel-toned curtains with deep gathers add a romantic effect. Bright-coloured curtains liven up a drab room--or opt for curtain panels that match the wall to create an optical illusion of a larger room.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Step ladder (if needed)
- Measuring tape
- Calculator (if needed)
- Double projecting curtain rods with mounting hardware
- Curtain panels
- Valance to match the curtains
Measure the vertical blinds track from one end to the other. Extend the measuring tape along the track's concealing cover to measure the full width of the window or patio door at the top. Note the measurement.
Measure the depth of the vertical blinds track from the wall to the front of the cover. This is the length a curtain rod must project from the wall to cover the vertical blinds. Measure the depth at both ends and at the centre. Note the largest measurement.
Determine the desired length for the curtain to cover the vertical blinds. Curtains commonly end at the window sill; even with the bottom moulding beneath the window; at floor length; or halfway between the bottom of the moulding and the floor. Extend the measuring tape from the top of the blind's top cover to the bottom of the blinds. Measure twice to assure accuracy. Note the measurement.
Buy curtains at least as long as the blinds' length measurement. To give a streamlined appearance, use a flat-panel style and size it according to your width measurement. For more gathers, increase the width measurement by 30 per cent. For example, to cover the vertical blinds on a 60-inch wide patio door, add 18 inches. Buy at least 78 inches in curtain panels. If the curtain panels are 24 inches wide, for this example, you will need four of them.
Pick out a valance to match or coordinate with the curtains. The valance is a short curtain that hangs at the top of a window treatment. It will hide the vertical blinds' track when the blinds and curtains are in the open position.
Install the drape rod hardware 2 inches out from the ends of the top of the vertical blinds on each side. Mount the hardware as high as you need to in order to have the bottom of the curtain fall where you want it to.
Pull the curtain rod apart and run the straight end through the curtain rod channel. Slide the curtain rod back together. This method is less likely to damage the curtain.
Repeat the same process as Step 7 for the valance.
Mount the step ladder and have an assistant hand you the rod with the curtain first. Hook the end of the curtain rod on the inside hook of the double rod hardware. Line up the hook with the hole on the top of the curtain rod to lock the rod in place.
Attach the other end of the curtain rod the same way.
Hook the valance rod on the outside hook of the double projecting rod hardware.
Straighten the fabric of the curtain panels and valance so they hang evenly, hiding the vertical blinds.
Tips and warnings
- Avoid curtains with tab top or curtain rings as these will expose the vertical blinds. Solid curtains provide better coverage.
- Curtain length is determined from the curtain rod pocket--it doesn't count any decorative material above the curtain rod.
- Avoid overreaching from a ladder. Ask for help rather than risk a fall.
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