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how to hang a curtain rod | made simple


When I realized I was going to have to hang four curtain rods in the family room, I came up with a solution on how to hang curtain a curtain rod to make sure they are all hung at the same height and the same distance from the window.

This process in the past has involved measuring up, measuring out, using a level, repeat. Sometimes it would involve drilling multiple holes when something didn’t work out.  So, I took some time to figure out where I wanted the holes and I made a template.

 I used a piece of raw chipboard, but cardboard or stiff card stock would do the job.  I hung my curtains seven inches higher than the top of the window frame and nine inches wider.  Hanging curtains high and wide (when ceiling height and space permit) make the window feel larger and it keeps the drapes from blocking too much of the light.

My curtains hang over the window frame and a couple inches of the window.  Using a square, I measured and cut out a three inch square to put over the window frame corner.  I then measured seven inches up and nine inches out.  Using the rod bracket, I marked out the screw holes with a pencil.  Then, I turned the template 90 degrees to the right, measured seven inches up and traced the screws holes for the bracket.  This template will be for the center bracket on long windows.  I made a line straight under those marks to line up with the center of the window.

Hanging a curtain rod made simple -

Here’s the template in action…

Hanging a curtain rod made simple -

 See the holes in the top left corner that are vertical?  Those are for the corners of the window and the holes running horizontal are for the center bracket.  I just turned the template 90 degrees to the right and lined it up with the center of the window.

Hanging a curtain rod made simple -

I drilled holes through the template.

Hanging a curtain rod made simple -

 …and there we go.  See the holes?

Hanging a curtain rod made simple -

I then flipped the template over and used it on the other side of the window.  I used this on all four windows and it made the process super easy.

Hanging a curtain rod made simple -

This template was awesome, so I used it when hanging the drapes in my master bedroom as well!

Hanging a curtain rod made simple -

 Here’s how the corner in my family room looks now…

Hanging a curtain rod made simple -

 (It doesn’t take much to make me happy.)

Say a prayer for my mom and I.  We’re going to clean out the basement tonight.  Send help if you don’t hear from me tomorrow.

If you’d like some more time-saving curtain ideas, check out a Shortcut to Hemming Curtains and How to Make Simple Lined Drapes with a $5 Walmart Twin Sheet and Discount Fabric.

If you’re looking for more inspiration on budget-friendly, vintage-style decor, click HERE for a full tour of my house.

hanging a curtain rod made simple | miss mustard seed

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  1. Zolane says:

    Sounds like you and your mom are little dynamos! I’d be tired for sure :) The corner is beautiful and that’s a great tip about using a template. That’s definitely going into my “Tips to Make Things Easier” file! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Janet Lawson says:

    All I can say is….GENIUS…Good luck with the basement…

  3. I love the curtains, thanks for the template tip, and the turquoise coffee pot is to die for.
    BTW I love your new picture, it is more sweet and friendly.
    Keep on Crafting,

  4. Exellent!!! Thanks for the tip.

  5. I love using a template {or as my hubs calls them… a jig} for easy use! I never thought to use it for curtains… but now I am going to look so smart when I hang curtains for clients! Thanks for the tip… your tips as always are very helpful!

    Tiffany {Living Savvy}

  6. I have never hung curtains in the bedroom in the 12 years I have lived there. I am going to do it now. I do have a question. My BR is really small, like 11 x 13. I only have the one window. Will it make it look even smaller to put the rod 9 inches on the outside of the frame?

    • Miss Mustard Seed says:

      No, I don’t think so. You can always have someone hold a panel up and see how you like it.

  7. Where was this idea when we hung our panels in the livingroom? Great idea. It was a DUH! moment for me. It would have made things so much easier. :)

  8. This is one of those little ideas that one smacks themselves in the head for and says, “why didn’t I think of that?” drapery rod hanging template. What a handy tool, esp. when hanging multiples. The seating area looks just perfect. I really like the shutter (?) pieces framing the window, those enlarge it, too. Sigh, just perfect!

  9. Jeanne says:

    Great template, love it! I LOVE the curtains even more though, did you make these or purchase somewhere??? Please share:)

  10. Great idea! I need to hang the curtain rods in my bedroom today and will definitely use this.
    Your styling is impeccable of course, but my favorite thing are those shutters!

  11. Great idea! I’m curious if you used a level to check before drilling the second set? In my crazy house, it would be just my luck that the window frame would be sloping down a half inch and the rod would be crooked…


  12. What a great template idea. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Genius! What a fabulous idea…. I HATE hanging curtain rods!

  14. Super, super, super idea. And so simple! Why didn’t I ever think of that? All those crooked curtains I hung in my life :( you’d think I’d have come up with …something. Great Job! and thanks for letting us in on this fine secret.

  15. Where are all of your curtains from?? Or where did you buy the fabric?! I love the color and design of all them.

  16. Great idea!

    Odd question….how to you get your curtains to stay back on the rod all scrunched up? Mine don’t want to stay and it looks horrible!

    • Try a binder clip or maybe wrap a rubberband around the rod and then pull the drape so it covers the clip or rubberband and isn’t visible but still holds the drape in place. :-)

  17. Brittney says:

    Just pinned this! We tried this tip this afternoon and it worked perfectly. Thank you!

  18. This is so simple for such a complex thing, major duh moment when I saw it. Next time hubby measures I’ll tell him, uh uh here you go. Thanks

  19. Cindy says:

    I came across your site, and just wanted to tell you that I liked what you have done. Great job!

  20. Treva says:

    Great ideas. And I love your name Miss Mustard Seed

  21. Samille says:

    Please come to my house. Pleeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaasssssssseeeeeeeeeeeee 😉

  22. Karen says:

    Excellent idea!!! Thank you for sharing.

  23. Julie says:

    Thanks so much for posting this great idea and making it so clear to understand. I’m about to hang curtains this weekend and I already have more peace of mind about it.

  24. Nicole says:

    I noticed that you have heating elements like I do. I have read elsewhere that drapes should be hung 12 inches higher than a heating element.

    Do you think this is really a concern or should I go for the long drapes?

    • It depends on how they are heated. If they are electric, you definitely have to keep fabric away from them. Mine are heated by hot water, so it’s safe to have fabrics right up on them.

  25. Muddiesmile says:

    WELL-DONE!! I’ve seen the template idea work for cabinet knob installation, but didn’t think of it for window treatments. Your brain’s connections are a blessing to the rest of us. Thanks for sharing!!

  26. Karen says:

    That is such a great idea and so simple. I am so glad to find your site and get so much useful information and wonderful ideas! Thank you MMS! You are the best. I can’t wait to hang curtains in my new apt. now.

  27. Rick S says:

    I love your curtains. The jig/template is an idea I have used. I make sure I label them so they don’t get thrown out. I have used this idea for shower rods too I used 1×4’s as shelf supports in the bedroom closets and made a jig to install coat hooks in a row on each side of the door. A piece of furring strip and 1/4 plywood or fiberboard is perfect. The furring strip is at the top to ride on the top edge of the 1×4. You can use the same trick to attach closet rod hardware.


  28. I love the new look and the tip for making life easier. Thanks!

  29. Love this trick, will be using this for sure on most of my windows, but if you have a trick for a resessed window with a small window seat in it and the trim inside plus a bulkhead, I’m all ears. The ultimate dabate is do we hide the curtin rod under the bulkhead or put it bellow about 2-3 inchens above the window opening

  30. Cindy says:

    I don’t have framed windows will it still work the
    Same way?

  31. Such a good idea!

    I was wondering, do you recall where you got the blue pitcher/vase in that last picture? It’s beautiful!

  32. simple yet brilliant idea. Thnx as this can be a very frustrating task. Did you mean to have your drapes slightly puddling? Enjoy your blog.

  33. larissa says:

    Can you tell me what paint color that is on the wall?

  34. Sarah Marie says:

    Could you please tell me where you found the turquoise and white pattern curtain fabric in these photos? I love it?

  35. I have a window that butts up against a door and am perplexed how to hang curtains. There is no room on the one side. Any thoughts?


  36. Love Love this idea … gonna use it when I do my guest bedroom .. genius thanks

  37. What a great idea thanks!

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  39. Nichole says:

    Great idea like everyone said…..but just looking at your photos your curtains are touching your heating vents. That’s a really dangerous fire hazzard if those are base board heaters.

  40. I just used this technique to help my son-in-law hang curtains. It took the stress out of our project!

  41. Becky says:

    Will be doing this!

    Did you have to hit a stud to hang your curtain rods?

  42. Laura Faye says:

    I saw this on pinterest and had to come over and thank you! We just hung curtains on four windows in an open plan space where they needed to look cohesive and it was so easy!

  43. So clever!!!

  44. Love the idea of the template, used it to hang curtains for our arched bathroom entry and it took half the time 😀

  45. Bhagwant says:

    Nice article and thanks for the template idea

  46. Victoria says:

    You have saved my relationship with my curtain-hanging frustrated son-in-law. This is a huge help. I detest needless holes in my walls. Thank you!

  47. Ernestine Sitkiewicz says:

    Fantastic tip. A template is a great idea. I have used that idea with installing cabinet pulls, but didn’t think to use it hanging drapery rods. Here’s a tip from me regarding using pronouns. You said,
    Say a prayer for my mom and I.” Would you say, “Say a prayer for I.” I don’t think so. It’s easy to determine whether to use “I” or “me.” Just run the sentence in your head without the “and.” If it sounds strange, you’re probably using the wrong pronoun.


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