How to hang a curtain rod

Learning how to hang a curtain rod yourself is so useful because not only are drapes and curtains decorative, but they can be used to block the sun from coming too brightly into a room also. Additionally, they can make ceilings feel taller by hanging them several inches above the window. Room darkening shades come with an extra layer on the back to fully conceal the sun so you can sleep longer. 

And to be able to take advantage of all a curtain can offer, you need to know how to install the rod to hang curtains properly. Curtain rods come in different styles, colors, and sizes to fit a variety of window layouts.

Curtains in master bedroom

(Image credit: Dori Turner)

In our master bedroom we had already installed very nice white wood blinds when we first moved in. We didn’t need curtains to block the light, but the windows looked very bare. We decided to dress them up with some additional window treatments. We chose white linen curtains from IKEA (opens in new tab) and went with gold rods (opens in new tab) and drapery rings (opens in new tab). Before installing the rods, we had to gather the right tools.

1. Measure and mark the wall

The first step is to measure and mark where you will hang the brackets. Remember that the end cap, also known as the finial, will attach on either end of the pole extending beyond the bracket so you don’t want to install it too close to the wall. Tip: Install the rod 4-6” beyond the length of the window to make the window seem bigger. You can also install it 6” or more above the window to make the window seem taller and give the illusion of a larger space. 

installing curtain rod

Marking where the anchors and screws go

(Image credit: Dori Turner)

2. Make sure it’s level

Once you’ve marked where you’ll hang your brackets on either end of the window, use a level to make sure your markings are the same so the rod will be straight when installed.

anchors and screws to curtain rod

(Image credit: Dori Turner)

3. Install the anchors

Unless you’re screwing the bracket into a stud, you will want to install anchors to grip the sheetrock and hold the screws in place. There’s nothing more frustrating than installing your rods just to have them pull out from the wall because of a stripped screw in the drywall. Anchors are typically provided along with the screws to the curtain rod. You’ll install them by drilling a pilot hole where you marked the wall and gently tapping them in with a hammer.

install curtain rod brackets

(Image credit: Dori Turner)

4. Install the brackets and rod

Once your anchors are in place you’re ready to install the brackets. While holding the bracket in place, use a power drill to drive the screws into the anchors on the top and bottom. Screw the finials or end caps into either side of the curtain rod. 

Next you’ll hang your curtains on the rod. We chose to hang the curtains from drapery rings (opens in new tab) so I clipped the rings evenly across the curtain panel and then slid them onto the curtain rod. Once you’ve placed your curtains on the rod, insert the rod into the brackets. Adjust your curtains to your liking, step back and enjoy your handiwork! 

gold curtain rod above window

(Image credit: Dori Turner)

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