How to hang curtain rods from the ceiling

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Measure the Curtain Length You Need

The second step is that you need to measure the length of the curtain and curtain rod you need. You can do this by measuring the distance between the floor and the ceiling.

This process is useful for measuring the length of the curtain that you will use. To create this canopy, you can add about two inches from the actual length.

After measuring the length, you can start measuring the wide of the curtain that you will use. In this stage, adjust the length to your bed.

Do not forget to add an extra two inches so that you can hang beautifully framed your bed.


Drapery Sizes

Consider the right size, length, and width drapes for your space. There are many store-bought options or your room may require custom-made drapes to meet specific heights, room, or window specifications.

  • In the majority of cases, the ideal length for drapes is long enough to just kiss the floor. Obviously where you hang your curtain rod will have an impact. If you’re purchasing ready-made drapes, it will be a bit of a balancing act to determine what length to get and where to hang the rod.
  • For a traditional, formal look, consider drapes that puddle a couple of inches on the floor. This look isn’t as popular as it once was but it’s inherently luxurious and can still work in formal spaces.
  • Do not allow your drapes to hang above the floor. When they stop a couple of inches above the floor, it can make the ceilings look lower.
  • For drapes to look full, the panels should have a combined width of at least double the width of the window. If you have two panels, each one should equal the width of the window.
  • Keep in mind that some fabrics hang differently than others, so light fabrics may require more fullness, while heavy fabrics may require a little less.

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4. Drill Larger Holes Add Anchors

Once you’ve made pilot holes on the other side of the window using the other half of your template (this is why you marked 10.5″ from BOTH sides of the cardboard) you can proceed. If you hit any studs, skip to the next step. Otherwise, you’ll need to add anchors, which are typically provided with your curtain rod

Swap out your drill bit for the correct size that works with your anchors (ours needed a 3/16″ drill bit) and drill into each premade pilot hole to make larger holes for your anchors. Bonus – the template acts as a great way to catch drywall dust!

With all of your anchor-ready holes drilled, gently tap in your anchors in with a hammer or mallet. If you’re able to push your anchors into the wall by hand, you’re making your holes too large! Switch to a smaller bit or keep your drill steadier as you drill. Loose anchors can cause your rod to sag or fall out of the wall over time.

Things You’ll Need

Using a Rod and Brackets

  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Brackets and a rod for the ceiling
  • Hollow wall anchors (molly bolts) or screws
  • Drill bits and drill
  • Curtain

Installing a Track for Curtains

  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Track bracket meant for the ceiling
  • Hollow wall anchors (molly bolts) or screws
  • Drill bits and drill
  • Curtain with small hooks

How to Calculate the Right Measurements for Hanging Curtains

Before you start hanging curtains, make sure the panels are wide enough to cover your home’s windows. You don’t want to be rudely awakened by a beam of sunlight that the curtains don’t block, so measure your window dimensions before purchasing or making your curtains. The total width of your curtain panels should add up to about two times the window’s width.

Choosing the correct curtain length for your windows is also important. Besides looking awkward, too-small curtains visually shorten your space, making ceilings appear lower. Too-small curtains also make the room look smaller overall. Curtains that drag on the floor could pose a tripping hazard and collect dust more easily. For the ideal middle ground, curtains should hover just above the floor.

To find the right curtain length, measure from the floor to where you’ll hang the rod (usually 4 to 6 inches above the window frame). Otherwise, hanging the curtain rod just below the ceiling is a simple design trick that makes your ceilings appear taller. Curtains come in standard lengths like 63, 84, and 96 inches. Choose one closest to your measurement, erring on the side of a few inches longer than shorter.

Additionally, be sure to choose a curtain rod that's wider than your window. This allows curtains to be pulled completely to the side of the window and makes the space feel larger. The rod itself should be 8 to 12 inches longer than the window's width, which allows for 4 to 6 inches on either side.

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DONT skimp on the curtain width

Consider the width of your actual curtains when you’re purchasing, even if you don’t ever plan on closing them. We rarely pull our curtains all the way closed (we have blinds and tend to use those instead), but we always make sure to get curtains that theoretically could be pulled closed to cover the window.

Why? Your curtains will feel disproportionate if they’re really skinny or don’t bunch up at all on either side of the window. If you want to create a full, luxurious feel to your window trimmings, get curtains that can fully cover the window with even a little extra width. Many curtains have extra wide options, which is the perfect solution for those large windows.

Bottom line? Just be sure to check how wide the curtains are before ordering so you don’t accidentally end up with a skimpy-looking setup!

6. Add Your Rod Curtain Panels

With both brackets secured to the wall, you can hang your rod with your curtain panel already attached. Now you’re done… unless your panels require any hemming. Or you could just hide the bottoms behind a bed like we did below. Ha!

Step 4

Once you’ve factored in curtain length, window height, and width, proceed to install the curtain rod bracket.

  1. Hold a bracket up to the wall so that the position of the rod lines up with your initial markings.
  2. Use a pencil to indicate where the screws should go.
  3. Predrill the pilot holes at those marks.
  4. Insert the plastic wall anchors, align the bracket with the anchors, insert the screws, and tighten until the bracket is flush with the wall.
  5. Repeat the process for the other bracket.

If your pole is longer than four feet, consider adding a center support to prevent sagging.

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Step 1: Determine how high to hang curtain rods

Wondering where to hang curtain rods? It's essential to mount curtain rods in the right spot, or your perfect-length curtains might not hang properly. A rod that sits too close to the window can make a space seem smaller than it really is. To ensure perfect curtain placement, measure the depth of your window molding to determine the ideal size for your curtain brackets. You'll want curtain brackets that extend past the depth of your trim. If they're too shallow, your curtains won't hang properly.

Using a pencil and tape measure, mark the desired position of your curtain brackets, so the rod is about 4 to 6 inches above your window frame, making sure the curtains will slightly brush the floor or hover just above it. The curtain brackets should be placed about 6 inches from the outside edge of the window frame to allow plenty of natural light.

How Height Impacts Curtain Rod Placement

Use these tips to make sure you place your rods at the right height:

  • For standard drapes that hang on either side of a window, the typical height is halfway between the top of the window casing and the ceiling. This applies if there are more than 12 inches between the window trim and ceiling. 
  • For cathedral ceilings, leave approximately four to six inches above the window trim as a guideline. 
  • No matter what the ceiling height, the minimum distance from the top of the window casing to the curtain rod is two inches.
  • To create the illusion of height, mount the drapery rods close to the ceiling. This is particularly important to do if the room has low ceilings.
  • Use these same rules when the windows are arched.

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