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How to Hang Cheap Curtains?

Hanging curtains can update the look of a room while also providing privacy, light control, and insulation. With some basic supplies and a bit of know-how, you can hang stylish, cheap curtains to fit your space and needs. This comprehensive guide covers everything from choosing curtain rods and panels to properly installing them for optimal functionality and visual appeal.

How to Hang Cheap Curtains?

Selecting Curtain Rods and Mounting Hardware

When choosing curtain rods, consider the window size, desired visual impact, and weight of the curtains. The rod width should extend 2-3 inches beyond the window frame on either side for best light blocking.

Common affordable rod options include:

  • Tension rods – Very inexpensive; slide into place without needing mounting hardware. Best for lighter curtains in rental homes, dorms, offices etc.
  • Spring tension rods – Similarly easy to install but sturdier for heavier curtains. Provide adjustable custom fit.
  • Wood dowel rods – Offer a classic look. Need brackets secured to wall to mount.
  • Metal or vinyl rods – Very low cost but durable. Often come with mounting brackets. Available in white, black, bronze etc.

Make sure to purchase mounting screws or anchors suitable for your wall type if needed. Heavy duty anchors are best for drywall.

Choosing Inexpensive Curtain Panels

When selecting curtain panels, decide if you prefer rings, back tabs or rod pockets based on ease of hanging and appearance. Consider fabrics, opacity, dimensions, colors and patterns that fit your room.

Good cheap curtain options include:

  • Cloth shower curtains – Water-resistant fabric makes them extra durable. Often have button holes or back tabs for easy hanging.
  • Sheer single panels – Let in light while maintaining some privacy. Great for bedrooms and accent windows.
  • Blackout panels – Prevent outside light with specially designed dense fabrics. Help darken rooms for sleep.
  • Twin sheet sets – Cotton/polyester blend twin sheets can be hung as instant curtains.
  • Tablecloths – Large vinyl and cloth tablecloths work nicely for covering wide spans.

Shop discount home goods stores, superstores and online for the best deals. Measure carefully and buy panels at least twice the width of your window for optimal coverage when drawn closed.

Hanging Curtains

Follow these simple steps for hanging curtains properly on any type of rod:

  1. Determine optimal height and mark curtain rod bracket locations. For rooms with average height ceilings, mount rods just above the window frame. Adjust to your needs and decor style.
  2. Install mounting brackets and securely fix curtain rod in place per included hardware instructions.
  3. Slide rings or thread back tabs/rod pockets onto rod if not already attached to panels.
  4. Evenly hang curtain panels on rings or rod, centering them to cover the window.
  5. For panels with button holes, carefully secure over hooks evenly spaced along the rod.

Optional Enhancements

Consider these easy upgrades after the basic curtain hang for added functionality:

  • Tie backs – Loop ribbons, rope or fabric around the curtains to keep them held back during the day.
  • Weights – Sew weights into bottom hems or clip metal weights to bottom edges for added stability and improved draping.
  • Grommets – Add grommets along the top edge for a more finished look and easier hanging/sliding.
  • Layering – Hang sheer and blackout panels in tandem on separate rods to allow light filtering and complete darkening as needed.


Hanging inexpensive yet attractive curtains is an easy and affordable way to transform any living space. With the right rods, mounting method, curtain panels and optional enhancements, you can quickly implement this impactful decor upgrade. Follow the guidance in this article to select durable components, properly hang your curtains, and optimize their styling and functionality. Soon you’ll be enjoying the finished look and added benefits unique windows dressings provide.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are the best affordable curtain rods?
    The best and most affordable curtain rod options are spring tension rods, tension curtain rods, wood dowels with mounting brackets, and basic metal or vinyl curtain rods with mounting hardware included.

  2. Where can I buy really inexpensive curtain panels?
    Great places to buy very low cost curtain panels are discount home goods stores like Ross and Marshalls, superstores such as Target and Walmart, thrift stores, dollar stores, or online retailers including Amazon, Overstock, Wayfair and more.

  3. What if my ceiling is too high to reach?
    If your ceiling is too high to reach, use a sturdy step ladder or small step stool to safely access the installation area. You can also use a curtain rod that extends, either with telescoping functionality or by connecting two rods together.

  4. Is it okay to hang curtains above the window frame?
    Yes, mounting curtain rods just above the window frame is the standard installation height in rooms with average ceiling height. The exact placement can vary based on your room dimensions, personal preferences, and style of curtains.

  5. How wide should curtain panels be compared to the window?
    For best coverage when closed, curtain panels should be about twice as wide as the window frame. This allows the fabric to generously overlap in the middle while pulled to each side.

  6. What kind of anchors should I use for drywall?
    For mounting into drywall, heavy duty toggle bolts or molly bolts are best. They have greater weight capacity and grip than many other drywall anchors.

  7. What if I don’t have a drill for the hardware?
    If you do not have a drill on hand, look for curtain rod brackets and anchor types that can be installed without drilling, such as peel and stick mounts or removable spring tension rods.

  8. Should I iron my curtains before hanging?
    It is not necessary, but ironing curtain panels before hanging can remove any creases from packaging and help them hang neatly for a crisper finish.

  9. Is it hard to hang blackout curtains on a window?
    Blackout curtains are no harder to mount than standard curtains. Follow the same installation process as any other curtain panels. Be sure your mounting hardware can support the weight of thicker blackout fabrics.

  10. Do I need two brackets per rod?
    It is highly recommended to install two secure mounting brackets per rod, one on each side, to properly anchor it horizontally across the window for safety and stability.

  11. How do I hang curtains on a rental property?
    Great temporary options for hanging curtains in a rental without making permanent holes include self-adhesive hooks, command strip curtains rods and brackets, tension curtain rods, or spring rods that compress to fit in place without hardware.

  12. Can you use rope instead of a curtain rod?
    Rope or decorative cord can serve as an inexpensive curtain rod alternative. Mount securely with heavy duty hooks anchored into the ceiling or wall studs on either side of the window.

  13. What kind of stitch should I use when hemming curtains?
    For most curtain fabrics, a basic straight stitch or blind stitch are ideal seam techniques for cleanly finishing curtain hem edges.

  14. How do I soften stiff curtains?
    To soften stiff new curtains, wash them prior to hanging using fabric softener, vinegar or hair conditioner in the rinse cycle. Tumble dry with dryer balls to further relax fibers.

  15. What is the standard height to hang curtain rods?
    The standard height for hanging most curtain rods is just above the window trim itself. However, personalize placement to your room, window size, ceiling height and style preference.

  16. Where should I mount the brackets for eyelet top curtains?
    For eyelet style top curtains with holes or grommets, position your curtain rod brackets equidistant from each set of outermost eyelets/holes to properly distribute weight.

  17. What kind of rod should I use for curtains in a rental apartment?
    Good rods for rental apartments include adjustable spring tension rods that fit by pressure, adhesive curtain rods that won’t damage walls, or lightweight tension rods that slide into place without needing brackets.

  18. What is the best way to hang curtains in a dorm room?
    In small dorm rooms, space-saving options like bed canopy brackets, adhesive hooks on walls/ceilings, spring tension rods, or lightweight portable rods offer easy hanging without permanent installations.

  19. How do I hide an ugly curtain rod?
    To disguise an unattractive curtain rod, wrap the pole in coordinating fabric, lace, ribbons, garlands, small flags or bunting for a quick makeover. Or paint the rod a color that blends with your walls and ceilings.

  20. Can I use embroidery hoops to hang lightweight curtains?
    Yes, embroidery hoops make creative, inexpensive substitutes for conventional rods to hang lightweight fabrics or scarves as curtains. Secure hoops horizontally to walls with removable adhesive hooks or clips.

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