How to Hang Curtains

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How to Hang Curtains

Curtains are a beautiful accent to any window. They can add elegance and class to tall living room windows, or give kitchen windows country charm. Without curtains, a room would not look as vibrant or colourful. Curtains, therefore, are an important aspect of any room's decor. They are not only fashionably appealing, but also functional. Curtains can filter out harsh, glaring sunlight from a room's interior. They can provide additional insulation for a home, keeping homes warm in the winter and cool in the summer. They can also offer additional privacy.

Curtains must be measured and hung correctly to fit the appropriate window. If the curtains are hung incorrectly, the end result can be unappealing. Before one can select the appropriate curtains, the buyer must know about the different types of curtains, including the different methods to hang curtains, the different types of windows, and how to measure windows correctly.

Types of Curtains

There are many different types of curtains to fit any decor. The most popular types are pleated, sheers, tab top, panels, and cafe curtains.

Pleated Curtains

Pleated curtains give a formal, elegant appearance to any window. Pencil-pleated curtains are pulled tightly together at the top of the curtain, resembling a row of pencils. Pinch-pleated curtains are curtains with more evenly-spaced pleats at the top of the curtain. A special curtain pole is needed for this type of curtain in order to maintain uniform, even pleating.

Sheer Curtains

Sheers are a popular type of curtain often used behind heavier, thicker curtains or panels.They are transparent and lightweight. They can be used with formal or informal decor.

Tab Top Curtains

Tab top curtains are a more casual style of curtain. They are straight with evenly-spaced tabs at the top of the curtain. The curtain pole slides through the tabs for hanging.

Panel Curtains

Panel curtains are also called rod pocket curtains because the curtain pole or rod slides through the pocket at the top of the curtain. This type of curtain is usually straight and floor-length, although many buyers buy a larger size to create a pooling effect on the floor.

Cafe Curtains

Cafe curtains, or kitchen curtains, are small curtains mounted across the middle of the window or the inside frame of the window. They are casual, colourful curtains that can be pulled together for privacy. Many times, a valance, placed at the top of the window, is also used with these types of curtains.

Curtain Poles

There are many different types of curtain poles and they vary in price. The type of curtain pole selected must coordinate with the type of curtain selected. Each type of curtain pole has its own particular mounting instructions and hardware.

Standard Poles

Standard curtain poles are the most conventional type of curtain pole. They are inexpensive and lightweight. Because they fit snugly in a pocket at the top of the curtain, they are not very decorative and are usually made of aluminum. They come in different lengths and widths. Two small metal plates are mounted to the wall or frame of the window. Hooks extend from the metal plates. The hooks may be double-hooked for hanging sheers behind the curtain or placing valances at the top of the curtain.

Spring Poles

Spring curtain poles are a popular choice for hanging curtains. They use tension springs within the pole for mounting. The rubber ends of the pole fit tightly within the window frame without the need for other hardware. They are easy to install and come in different lengths. The tension on the spring can be adjusted by turning the pole outward or inward. It can also be inserted through a pocket at the top of the curtain or hung with curtain hangers. They can be colourful and decorative. They are not recommended for hanging heavy curtains.

Traverse Poles

Traverse curtain poles are used mainly with pleated curtains such as pinch-pleated curtains. The pole has a rope attached to it. When the rope is pulled a certain way, the hangers connected to the rope for either opening or closing the curtains. The traverse pole is stronger and able to hang heavier curtains than the other poles. Pin hooks on the hangers are used to attach the curtains to the pole. The hooks are inserted into the pleats and then placed on the hangers. Traverse poles can also come as double poles for adding sheers underneath the heavier pleated curtains. Some traverse poles are motorised to automatically open and close the curtains at the push of a button.

Magnetic Poles

Magnetic poles are good choices for hanging curtains on metal doors. Because they are magnetic, no hardware is needed for mounting the curtains. Simply insert the pole through the curtain pocket and place the pole on the door. Many door curtains have a top and bottom pocket on the curtain. Two poles are then used for hanging the curtain. Magnetic poles are also more expensive than other types of curtain poles.

Decorative Poles

Decorative poles appeal to any fashion style and preference. They can be very expensive or affordably priced. They can be made of metal, wood, or vinyl and come in any colour. Many decorative poles use decorative, matching hangers. For added flair, they can then be coordinated with decorative finials that are attached to the end of the pole.

The following table examines the different types of curtain poles used with the different styles of curtains.

Curtain Style

Curtain Pole




Standard, Spring, Traverse, Decorative

Tab Top

Spring, Decorative


Standard, Spring


Standard, Spring, Decorative



Windows within a room may have slight variations in their measurements. It is helpful to purchase the curtain poles and hardware before measuring and hanging the curtains. This provides a more accurate measurement.

Types of Windows

Curtains must appropriately match and complement the window and its location. For rooms with short, wide windows, curtains that drop to the ledge accentuate the room's width. Curtains mounted above the window trim and dropped to the floor emphasise the room's height. Rooms with tall, narrow windows, ideally, should hang floor-to-ceiling curtains. To emphasise the room's width as well as height, the curtains should be mounted so that the width exceeds the actual window width measurement by several centimetres. This makes the curtains and windows appear much larger than they actually are. Buyers should remember to order the curtains in a larger width size than the actual window width to achieve this effect.

Arched Windows

Arched windows are some of the most beautifully-shaped windows. Their elegance should be emphasised and not hidden behind curtains. The curtain pole should be mounted several centimetres above the top of the window to keep from hiding the window. Using a long curtain pole and tiebacks, the curtains can be pulled completely away from the window sides as well. Sheers and voiles look tasteful with this type of window.

Dormer Windows

Dormer windows are windows with small wall space within the alcove. Conventional curtain mounts tend to cover the window's interior rather than accentuating it. For this reason, curtains for these types of windows are usually hung on a curved or flexible track that allow the curtains to lie against the side of the recessed walls. Tiebacks can help keep the curtains open, emphasising the windows rather than the curtains themselves.

Bay Windows

Bay windows are one of the hardest type of windows to hang curtains. They are three windows formed as a single window unit. It is best to use a specially-made bay window curtain pole to hang curtains for the entire window. When hanging multiple curtain sections using three curtain poles, always hang the curtain poles on the sides slightly lower than the middle curtain pole. To highlight the width of the window, only use a pair of curtains on the sides.

Measuring Windows

When correctly measuring a window for hanging curtains, several important factors must be considered. First, determine the room and windows within the room where the curtains will be located. Are the windows tall and narrow, or small and wide?

Next, select the style of curtain. Are the curtains floor-length or cafe? Will they be hung with sheers, tiebacks, or valances? Determine the type of curtain pole or poles and hardware needed with the poles. If possible, secure the curtain poles and hardware before measuring and hanging the curtains to get the most accurate measurement. How straight or full do the curtains need to be? If the curtains are going to be floor-length, buy a size that correctly fits the drop measurement. If the curtains are going to pool on the floor, buy a size that is longer than the drop measurement.

To accentuate the room's height and make the windows appear taller, add 15 cm to the drop measurement. To accentuate the room's width and make the windows appear wider, and add 7 cm to the window's width measurement. It is best when measuring windows to make more than one measurement. Measure the drop and width of the top of the window and the drop and width of the bottom of the window. Also if the room has more than one window, measure the drop and width of each window.

Windows may look identical but have slight variations that may alter the window's measurement. Examine the window frame and determine if the curtains will be mounted on the inside or outside of the frame. Using a measuring tape, and if possible the curtain poles and hardware, begin measuring the window. Don't forget to round numbers to the nearest 3 mm.

How to Find Curtains and Curtain Hardware on eBay

eBay offers quality curtains and curtain hardware in various styles and colours at affordable prices. To begin shopping online on eBay, simply go to the eBay home page and type in "curtains &" or "curtain poles&" in the search bar. This will take you to a page of descriptions of either curtains or poles. If you know the particular type of curtain or curtain pole you want, you may enter this description in the search bar on the home page instead of using a generic search query. You might select, for example, cafe curtains for the particular type of curtain or metal curtain poles for the particular type of curtain pole. eBay also offers curtain hardware such as hooks, hangers, rings, and finials for your perusal. eBay also provides Top-Rated Sellers listings on the left of the page that indicates which sellers are ranked favourably for their customer service and for delivering on time. It is also important to check each seller's profile for return information in the event that the curtains selected are the incorrect size.


Curtains add beauty to a home and highlight a home's interior with elegance and charm. Curtains, hung correctly, add radiance and appeal to any room. Curtains, hung incorrectly, can draw attention away from the room's decor and distract from its other qualities. Therefore, it is extremely important to measure the window correctly before ordering and hanging curtains, taking into account the type of window and style of curtain. Using the curtain pole and hardware when measuring the window helps ensure a more accurate measurement. Remember to take into account any stylistic effects such as pooling or adding drop to make the windows appear taller, and accessories such as tiebacks or valances. eBay offers a wide variety of curtains and curtain hardware that may not be found in regular department or homegoods stores. eBay offers the online convenience of shopping from your own home. Bring a touch of elegance into your home by hanging beautiful, stylish curtains found on eBay.

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