How to Hang Curtains Without a Rod

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 new and unique approaches to window treatment installation. Best of all, most of these alternative curtain rod ideas can be found at your local home improvement center for under $25.

Upholstery Tacks
In some cases, curtains don’t necessarily need to function, they’re there to simply add color and texture. Dress up your windows with stationary curtain panels hung with upholstery tacks. This one is almost too cheap and easy. Pick up a pack of upholstery tacks in a coordinating finish and begin by pushing the first tack into the corner of your curtain at the outside edge of the window opening.

Next take some fabric and create a pleat and tack it into the wall about three inches from the first one. Repeat this process until you’ve used up the width of the fabric. You may need to do a little dry run with tape just to make sure your pleated curtain panel is positioned properly. Really, that’s all there is to it!

Tension Cable

Tension cable has a number of uses, not the least being as a stand-in curtain rod. This is 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 home improvement center. Tension cable can accommodate any type of curtain from grommeted to rod pocket and ring clipped to tab top.

All you need are 2 turnbuckles, 2 wire clamps, 2 wall hooks, plastic coated wire cable, screws and anchors to secure the hooks to the wall. Purchase at least 1-1/2 to 2 feet more cable than you think you’ll need. It’s better to have too much than not enough.

Screw the hooks into the wall--one on each side of the window opening.  Create 5 to 7-inch loops at the ends of the cable and fasten them with the wire clamps. Thread the wire through curtains with grommets, rod pockets or tabs. Secure each end of the turnbuckles to the tension cable and the hooks. Trim the excess wire and tighten the turnbuckles to create the proper tension.

Eye Screws
Here’s a great idea to maintain the formal look of pleated curtain panels without having to install a curtain rod. This is a great idea for renters who don’t want to damage walls. Insert drapery pins into the pleated header of your curtain panel.  Measure the width of the curtain along the top edge and note the distance between the pins. Mark the pin positions above the window. Screw the eye hooks at each pencil mark, ending with the eye turned horizontally to accept the drapery pin.

Furring Strips
Another ingenious way to hang non-functioning or stationary curtain panels without a rod is to use wooden furring strips. Furring strips are lengths of long, thin plywood commonly used in construction applications. Purchase the correct length of furring and paint the strips to match your wall. Staple your curtain panels to the furring strip, making pleats as you staple.  Screw or nail the strips into wall studs to ensure a secure installation. 

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. Take note of the space between each tab or curtain tie. Strike a level line across the top of your window and mark where each knob will be installed. Drill pilot holes into the drywall and insert wall anchors if there are no studs present. Screw the knobs into the anchors and loop or tie the curtains onto the cabinet knobs.

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