To hang most curtain rods you will need a pencil, measuring tape, hammer, drill, screwdriver and a level. Having an extra pair of hands is really helpful too. You can follow the instructions the come with your curtain rod or just follow these general guidelines.
Remember how you measured to buy the rods? You decided how far out from each side of the window you want your curtains to hang. For most windows you’ll want the curtain to start about 1½ inches above the window trim.
Now look at your curtain rod. For standard hidden rods measure out from the window 3-5″ (whatever you decided on) and up from the top 1½”. Mark this spot on each side of the window and make sure it’s level, even, straight – whatever you call it, it’s important! Now just follow the instructions that came with your curtain rod for hanging that particular type of hardware.
For exposed curtain rods, like today’s popular decorative rods, you’ll want to determine where to hang the brackets. Follow the above directions for a hidden rod, except you’ll be marking the spot the bracket hangs – which may a different distance from the window.
Here’s some really helpful information: find out where the “cripple studs” are located. They’re wood studs right around your window. Find out how far out from your window they extend and you’ll have an easy-breezy time hanging your rod – you won’t need anchors or cussing or lots of beer later.
How do you do this? You’ve gotta have a stud finder. It’s an electronic gadget you can get at a hardware store for $10-50. You really only need an inexpensive one if you’re just hanging curtain rods and the occasional wall hanging. Follow the instructions to find your studs and then mark your spots.
If you’re not going to mess around with a stud finder, be sure to attach your rods very close to the window trim – you’ll more than likely find a stud there.
(It’s also handy to know about the window’s header. It’s a solid chunk of wood right above the window that spans the length of the window. It usually doesn’t extend much past the window so you won’t be screwing into it for most rods, but you never know when this kind of info comes in handy!)
Whatever you do, don’t waste your time by using screws too short to do the job. You’ve got to get that screw through the drywall and into the wood so it doesn’t loosen later and fall out!
If you’re hanging a rod inside the window trim you don’t have to find any studs – you’ll be screwing right into solid wood. You’ll also be using special hardware called inside mounting brackets.
What happens if you can’t find any studs or any solid wood to screw into? You’ve still got options, and they will work well for you. Go to your hardware store and ask for toggles or anchors. The EZ toggles and anchors work great, and guess what? They come with instructions and… they’re EZ!
Now, at then end of the day, just sit back, relax and enjoy the view of your work and the new curtains decorating your room!