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How to Hang Curtains Without a Rod

Linda is a seasoned writer and bedrooms authority. She loves sharing design trends, decor ideas, and useful tips with her readers.

5 creative ways to hang curtains without a rod.

5 creative ways to hang curtains without a rod.

5 Creative Ways to Hang Curtains Without Rods

If you want show off your eclectic style by ditching traditional curtain rods, we'll show you how! There is no hard-and-fast rule that says you have to use them. In fact, some of the most creative designers forgo convention in favor of these new and unique approaches to window treatment installation:

  • upholstery tacks
  • tension cables
  • hook-eye screws and drapery pins
  • staples and furring strips
  • cabinet knobs

Best of all, most of these alternative curtain rod tools can be found at your local home improvement center for under $25.

For stationary curtains, it's easy to hang them without a rod using upholstery tacks.

For stationary curtains, it's easy to hang them without a rod using upholstery tacks.

1. Upholstery Tacks

Sometimes, curtains are not necessarily functional—they're just there to add color and texture. If you don't need to open and close the curtains, or if you like the look of curtains drawn with a curtain tie-back, then use upholstery tacks to dress up your stationary curtain panels. This solution is almost too cheap and easy.

  1. Get a pack of upholstery tacks in a coordinating finish.
  2. Do a little dry run just to determine how big to make the pleats and how many pleats you'll need to make sure your curtain panel will be positioned properly to cover the window.
  3. Begin by pushing the first tack into the corner of your curtain at the outside edge of the window opening.
  4. Next, take some fabric, create a pleat, and tack the pleat into the wall about three inches from the first one.
  5. Repeat this process all the way across the window.

Really, that’s all there is to it!

If you have a window sill, you can use curtain hooks instead of a curtain rod.

If you have a window sill, you can use curtain hooks instead of a curtain rod.

2. A Tension Cable

A tension cable can accommodate any type of curtain: grommeted, rod pocket, ring clipped, or tab top. It's the perfect solution for hanging lightweight curtains or sheers as room dividers or over long expanses of windows.

You can purchase all the components as part of a kit from retailers like IKEA or buy the items individually from the hardware store or home improvement center. All you need are 2 turnbuckles, 2 wire clamps, 2 wall hooks, plastic-coated wire cable (purchase at least 1-1/2 to 2 feet more cable than you think you’ll need, as it’s better to have too much than not enough), and screws and anchors to secure the hooks to the wall.

  1. Screw the hooks into the wall, one on each side of the window opening.
  2. Create 5 to 7-inch loops at the ends of the cable and fasten them with the wire clamps.
  3. Thread the wire through the curtain's grommets, rod pockets, or tabs.
  4. Secure each end of the turnbuckles to the tension cable and the hooks.
  5. Trim the excess wire and tighten the turnbuckles to create the proper tension.
Use the hook clips for the wire cables to hang them to clip on the curtain.

Use the hook clips for the wire cables to hang them to clip on the curtain.

Supplies for tension cable wires.

Supplies for tension cable wires.

3. Hook Eye Screws and Drapery Pins

To maintain the formal look of pleated curtain panels without having to install a curtain rod, use hook eye screws.

  1. Insert drapery pins across the top of your curtain panel.
  2. Measure the width of the curtain along the top edge and note the distance between the pins.
  3. Mark the pin positions above the window with a pencil.
  4. Screw the eye hooks at each pencil mark, ending with the eye turned horizontally to accept the drapery pin.
Insert the sharp drapery pins directly into the center of a pleat in the top hem of the curtain. Put in the drapery pins into the eye screws. Install each eye screws into the wall at each several inches.

Insert the sharp drapery pins directly into the center of a pleat in the top hem of the curtain. Put in the drapery pins into the eye screws. Install each eye screws into the wall at each several inches.

4. Staples and Furring Strips

Another ingenious way to hang non-functioning (stationary) curtain panels is to use wooden furring strips to staple into. Furring strips are lengths of long, thin plywood commonly used in construction applications.

  1. Purchase the correct length of furring.
  2. Paint it to match your wall.
  3. Screw or nail the strips into wall studs to ensure a secure installation.
  4. Staple your curtain panels to the furring strip, making pleats as you staple.
This curtain's stationary panels are hung by stapling into furring strips.

This curtain's stationary panels are hung by stapling into furring strips.

5. Cabinet Knobs

Install cabinet knobs above a window to create a casual substitute for a formal rod. This rod-less solution is perfect for hanging tab-top or tie-top curtains.

  1. Take note of the space between each tab or tie.
  2. Use a level on the wall at the top of your window to mark where each knob will be installed.
  3. Drill pilot holes into the drywall and insert wall anchors if there are no studs.
  4. Screw the knobs into the anchors and loop or tie the curtains onto the cabinet knobs.
You can also sew rings on the curtains to hang them on the cabinet knobs.

You can also sew rings on the curtains to hang them on the cabinet knobs.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Linda Chechar

Start a Conversation!

Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona on October 31, 2020:

Linda, I'm so glad that you noticed several types of hanging curtains. You're right, these ideas are very decorative and creative!

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on October 30, 2020:

Your tips are very useful. I didn't realize that there were so many ways to hang curtains!

Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona on October 30, 2020:

Eman Abdullah, glad you liked the article! The curtains are simple and so easy with the neat ideas!

Eman Abdallah Kamel from Egypt on October 30, 2020:

They are all simple and uncomplicated ideas for hanging curtains. Thank you for sharing

Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona on October 29, 2020:

Liz, you like the different innovations of putting the variety of hanging the walls on the curtains. Glad you enjoyed these curtain types installed!

Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona on October 29, 2020:

Pamela, this is really least expensive to create the curtains that don't need any of rods or types of tracks. They are fun decorative curtains!

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on October 29, 2020:

I really like this great variety of ways to hang curtains. This is a very good article when redecorating, Linda. You really showed us a variety of clever ways to hang curtains or drapes.

Liz Westwood from UK on October 29, 2020:

This is a very interesting and innovative article. In our house I have seen over the years a move away from hooks running along a strip towards poles. You give some very practical tips and encouragement to consider other options.

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