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How to Hang Curtains to Make them Look Like Custom Drapes

how to hang curtains to pleat pretty

If money wasn’t a factor, I would have custom drapes made for every room of our home. I love the tailored look. When done right, the look so rich, yet effortless. Unfortunately custom drapes can be so expensive, but today I’m sharing tips on how to hang curtains to get the look for less.

A few months ago I was so frustrated that I enlisted help. I had still spent a small fortune on ready made curtains for the girls’ rooms and they just looked blah. A friend of mine put me in touch with a gentleman who came over and showed me what I was doing wrong. The idea was there, but my execution fell short. We had used drapery hooks and clips, but to my surprise a few too many. Here’s what I learned…

How to hang curtains:

  • Clips should be hung approximately 4″ apart to offer a beautiful fold. But, that first clip doesn’t hang on the rod. how to hang ready made curtains to look like custom drapes
  • There’s no better way to get a custom feel than to wrap the ready made curtains – around the window! That’s right, add a screw to the wall and attach a drapery pin to the curtain and to the wall. tips for hanging curtains tips for hanging curtains how to hang ready made curtains to look like custom drapes
  • Insert your fingers into the fold as you would gloves and pull away from the wall for a pretty fold. how to hang curtains to pleat pretty

These tips made all the difference in the world. Here are a few of my favorite tips to hang curtains that I live by:

  • When in doubt, go high. I like to hang my rod 6″ above the window.
  • Add at least 10″ to each side of the window. It will make your window appear larger.
  • Use wide panels. A good rule of thumb is at least 50″, but for large windows I like to use 100″ wide panels. This will make them feel full.
  • Skim, kiss or puddle. Hang curtains to skim 1/2″ above the floor for a casual look, 1″ longer than the floor for a kiss or 8+” longer for a puddle {I tend to puddle mine}.
  • Steam. This is my least favorite rule, but it makes a world of difference in how curtains lay and can offer a more custom appearance.

how to hang ready made curtains to look like custom drapes

I hope you enjoyed these tips to hang curtains to look like custom drapes! Thanks for stopping by! You can see more of our home {decorated for fall} here!

Supplies to achieve this look:

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entertaining expert and lifestyle blogger Julie Blanner



18 comments on “How to Hang Curtains to Make them Look Like Custom Drapes”

  1. Unlucky for me I had no idea about the high and wide rule so when I first installed my curtain rods the who thing looked wrong. Next time I will definitely do it this way. But for now I am stuck because those curtain rod screws do not want to come out. Thanks for all the great tips.

  2. These look great! Where are those curtains and rods from?!

  3. Great tips Julie!
    Always a pleasure having you share at AMAZE ME MONDAY…thank you!

  4. So pretty! Great tip on hanging it to the wall first! Curious, where you found the curtains and clips?

  5. Wow genius! And loving the blush colored curtains with the brass rod! Gorgeous friend!

  6. Great tips!! Did you attach clip on rings to your curtain hooks please?

  7. what color is that wall i love it

  8. Hi Julie, it’s been a good while since I last visited your sight, sometimes I feel so incapable of making decisions about my home and so far away from what I think I like that seeing the success of others it to hard instead of being motivating. I really like your choices of color, furnishings, simplicity, etc… but can’t translate them to my 3 small bedroomed, 1 bath, square foot home with very little wall space. Anyway, I looked up the pink drapes and discovered RH has several, could you be more specific about yours, are they silk, velvet or other? Next time I write I hope to be in a less discouraged mind set. Thanks for listening… Cheryl

    • Hi Cheryl! Comparison is the thief of joy. I along with many others feel the same. I try to embrace our home even though I’ve never loved it by tweaking it the best I can. I understand it can be discouraging, but I’m here to help!
      I believe they’re cotton blackout drapes…they’re 3 years old, I hope they still carry them!

  9. I like the tip about hooking the first part to a screw in the wall. My most concerning problem in my house is the 7’6” ceiling height.  I don’t want the puddled look so the 96” are out and the 84” can’t be hung too high.  I did hang them wide which I like, but they seem too low.

    5.0 rating

    • Julie, if I may chime in. Buy the 96”, raise your rods high to make your ceilings appear higher, and turn under extra with tape you iron on, if you don’t sew. 

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