how to hang a curtain rod | made simple

Marian ParsonsDecorating, home improvement, My House, Popular, Secret Weapons, Tips and Tricks, Tutorials144 Comments

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 - mms2.wpengine.com

Here’s the template in action…

Hanging a curtain rod made simple - mms2.wpengine.com

 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 - mms2.wpengine.com

I drilled holes through the template.

Hanging a curtain rod made simple - mms2.wpengine.com

 …and there we go.  See the holes?

Hanging a curtain rod made simple - mms2.wpengine.com

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 - mms2.wpengine.com

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

Hanging a curtain rod made simple - mms2.wpengine.com

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

Hanging a curtain rod made simple - mms2.wpengine.com

 (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



how to hang a curtain rod | made simple

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144 Comments on “how to hang a curtain rod | made simple”

    1. What a great idea! I will have to use it when i hang my curtains we are always guessing!. You are so lucky to have a mother that helps you like that . My mom would never do things like that. so lucky.

  1. i think your family room {with the walnut table and those chairs} is one of my absolute all time marian faves! looks amazing, girl! 😉

    1. Thank you! It’s where we spend most of our time, so I love how it’s coming together.

  2. Great idea- I am a template maker too.. Yours is very clever and one I would use! Have fun cleaning your basement tonight- You Mom is going to be glad to get home so she can rest!;>) xo Diana

  3. The room looks great! Hey, I notice you have baseboard heaters. I was scared of my curtains going up in flames and so they are cropped (thankfully a long bench hides this more or less). But I would love the longer ones. Does your baseboard just go to the edge of the curtains??

    1. Our baseboard heaters aren’t electric. They are heated by hot water, so there isn’t a fire hazzard. I asked out inspector that before we bought the house, because they are all over the place. I HATE that I can’t put furniture flush against the walls. I definitely want another form of heat in our next house!

      1. I would gladly give up furnishing flush to the wall in order too have that kind of heat again! I’ve had them.They are ugly.And annoying. -But the single most efficient heating system i have ever had! You will be amazed at how much harder and more expensive it is to heat your home without them.Consider yourself warned.And know that I love you.I typed! AND used spell check. That proves it

      2. My parents house has hot water heat….and I would LOVE to have it….even with the furniture not able to be flush to the wall!!!!! It’s so much less dust, so much more efficient, even heat througout the house….I can’t say enough about it! We have natural gas, electric blowers in our home…and supposedly “energy efficient”…..but we pay out the nose compared to my parents heating bills..plus it’s not an even heat throughout the house. You’ll be surprised when you get a different form of heat…..how you’ll wish you could go back!

      3. No! Hot water baseboard heat is a great type of heat. It is not drying like forced hot air. Be thankful, it isn’t drafty. Having had forced hot air and the sinus infections they bring, I’d love your hot water baseboard heat. PS- I know this is an old post but I saw this on pinterest.

  4. I never thought to make a template. You are a genius !!!! Thank you for answering my question with an entire post and pictures !!!!!!!!!!! You are the best.
    Vanessa

  5. Ahh! It is refreshing to see a room that had toys, carpet, a window air conditioner, and wall heaters. It makes me feel like my home can be beautiful too, which has all but the toys (no kiddos yet). Thanks for posting! 🙂

    1. Yep. We don’t have central air, so we have to use window units. It is November , so they are coming out in the next few days.

  6. What a great idea to make a template. I have four windows in my family room and it is always suck a pain putting up all those rods! This will make my life so much easier! Now why didn’t I think of that?!

    I love what you have done with the corner. I too have my treadmill in my unfinished basement. At first I thought I wouldn’t use it because it’s so cold, but once I get going I enjoy the cooler weather and I tend to use it just as much.

  7. Miss mustard seed you are so smart! I will be using your template idea to hang drapes in my bedroom…hopefully tomorrow. Thanks for sharing this beautiful corner of your family room! And how fun to have a place to “shop” for the perfect things. Good luck tomorrow.

  8. I love how your template worked out! You’re right, it makes hanging multiple curtains a lot easier. Everything looks beautiful…love the table and chairs, and of course, the drapes!

  9. Thanks for the idea to use the template! We are getting ready to redo our living room and curtains are first on my list. By the way, wanted to tell you that I was in Leesburg Friday (I live in Frederick, but have a lady in Leesburg who buys a lot of my furniture) so on the way home I stopped at the Old Lucketts Store. I’ve passed by there lots, but never stopped. I saw your space, it’s great, that reupholstered vintage sofa is even more beautiful in person! Next time, I’ll have to leave my impatient husband at home so I can really explore!

  10. And NOW I am glad I waited to hang all those curtains in our newly enclosed back porch. See, sometimes it pays to wait. Of course, now I have no excuse. 🙂 Yours look GRAND, as usual! 🙂

  11. A template is a wonderful idea! Our old farm house has the curtains right on the window frame, which is something I’m going to correct room by room as we go. Thank you for making hanging curtains easier for us all with this idea.

  12. Goodness gracious, you’re already tired, you did 50 million things today, and you’re starting on the basement tonight!? Sometimes i worry about you pushing yourself too far… but, i’m just a worrier, don’t mind me. I know you love what you’re doing, and it is inspiring to get so much done. I know you’re loving the family room now, it looks amazing. Those chairs are perfect in there!

    Cindy

  13. Would you mind asking your mom to stop in at my house on the way back to FL? I could sure use a ‘honey-do’ mama! Great idea to use a template. Why didn’t I think of that? ;p

  14. GENIUS idea, Marian! We can always count on you for some great ideas to make our lives a little easier. 🙂 Your family room looks so cozy and welcoming! I hear ya…..it doesn’t take a lot to make me happy either. lol!

    xoxo laurie

  15. I love that little corner of your family room. The template idea is definitely a good one; I would use in the future. I’ve wanted to hang my curtains higher but have put it off– because of the trouble!

    I’ve noticed in the above picture your A/C and I’ve noticed a unit before in other rooms of your home. You’ve already addressed the fact that you remove them in the winter– Ours drives me crazy… I don’t like taking a picture of it. However… like the TV— almost everyone has one. If it weren’t the TV or the A/C it would be a huge return vent on the wall near the ceiling or a thermostat on a ‘picture’ wall.
    I guess we just learn to deal.

    Anyway– your family room looks great! Love the curtains and the TIP for hanging them.
    You do a great job…

    Pat

  16. You are TRULY amazing. I hate hanging these so much it’s one of the few things I call the husband in to do. I can’t wait to try this, thank you!

  17. Aha! You’re a total genius. i would’ve never thought of that, thanks for the awesome tip. I can finally hang my curtains that I purchased when we first moved into our house almost a year ago

  18. Your room is amazing! You’ve now inspired me to make curtains for my family room. What did the doors/panels/ shutters come from that are on both sides of the window? It adds so much, and is such a great idea that I hope I can steal from you.

  19. Brilliant, brilliant idea! I just finished putting up one curtain rod and it was a pain. I’ll definitely be making a template for the rest of them. Thanks for sharing! What a time-saver! Your home looks beautiful.

  20. ok everything that you touch always turns out beautiful seriously…i am also loving the wood shutters or boards to the sides of the curtains where did those come from and did you make it or buy them..
    curious

    amy C

  21. I will send out the bloodhounds to find you guys!! Ha! Sounds like you two are quite the remodeling and junking queens for sure! I would love to spend the week with you!!
    Enjoy!
    And your corner looks fabulous
    Hugs
    SueAnn

  22. Years ago when my sons were still in school and living at home, my mother would come a couple of times a year just to help me get organized, clean, whatever I needed to do to catch up. Together we could tackle just about anything…and did! I am sure that in addition to getting a lot of projects finished with the help of your mom, you are also having a wonderful time just having her with you. Enjoy!!

  23. Isn’t it great to ‘get things done’! It’s the kind of exhaustion that you can really sit back and feel you’ve earned…Blessings to you and Momma Mustard Seed for your venture through the basement.

  24. I love your time saving, clever ideas! What a blessing that you and your mom both love the same things and are able to do them together. I bet you’ll rise from the basement triumphant.

  25. Looks gorgeous! And the table and chairs perfect place and I’m happy you are busy bee with your Mom I can imagine lots of laughter going on. Have a wonderful Sunday!

  26. Oh My Gosh! This my be my favorite post yet! This is the chore that I dread doing more than ANY other household chore. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for the fantastic idea! I could just squeeze you right now!

  27. This is a wonderful idea if all the moldings in the room are exactly level and square! LOL – I admit to being rather anal and precise, so I’d probably be doing the measuring and installation the old fashioned way. I know, I know….. ANAL!!! But, as new as my home is, there are still crooked ceiling lines and out of plumb window trim moldings! Case in point- I had to have my blinds retailer re-order and re-install 2 sets of blinds because the framed out window casings were out of plumb. If he had measured correctly in three places to get an accurate measurement of the casings, there would not have been a problem. aaaggghhh….. it’s a curse!

    1. My thoughts exactly! We just moved into a home that was built in the 1930’s and added onto in the 1950’s. I don’t think any of the moldings anywhere in the entire house are level LOL!! I might give the template a try, but I’ll definitely have to take my level up the ladder with me. More than likely, I’ll have to mark a straight line and line up the top of the template on both ends to make sure things line up right, but for the measurement aspect, this is a good idea!

  28. Your template is genius! Along the same lines when it comes to hanging the brackets, you can use a small piece of double sided foam tape to hold the bracket to the wall while securing the screws. The foam tape smashes flat so no one ever knows it’s behind the bracket.

  29. What an ingenious idea!!! I’m going to use that template idea when I finally find the right curtains and right rods for my living room! BTW, love your curtains!!!

  30. What a clever way to make sure drapery is hung evenly! I love the way your mind works! Thanks for sharing your talented thoughts with all of us! BTW your drapery look great!

  31. The window treatments are so pretty. I love that you can go shopping in your own store. I walk around my own house, “shopping”, when I’m redecorating. It helps me see items with a fresh viewpoint.

  32. I love the template idea, don’t know why I haven’t thought of that before. I use one for cabinet knobs. Anyway, your room looks great, love the table and chairs in there. That’s a nice little perk to having your own shop!!! 🙂

  33. 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.

  34. 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,
    Hal

  35. 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}
    savvydesignwest.com

  36. 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?

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

  37. 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!

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

  39. 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!

  40. 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…

    Jan

  41. 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.

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

  43. 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!

    1. 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. 🙂

  44. 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

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  46. 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.

  47. 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?

    1. 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.

  48. 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!!

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  50. 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.

  51. 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.

    rick

  52. 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

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    1. I love the template! But all my windows aren’t framed! So what do I do? Thank you linda

  56. Such a good idea!

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

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  59. 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.

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

  61. 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?

    Thanks!

  62. 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.

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