How To Hang Curtains With Drapery Hooks? 4 Awesome Tips!

How to Use Drapery Pins, Hooks

Follow the easy instructions below for years of trouble-free service

Drapery pins (figure A) are inserted into the back (lining side) of the panels. The sharp, pointed end goes into the fabric. Insert the straight end of the pin all the way until it looks like figure B. The curved end of the pin will go through the eyelet of your drapery ring or rod carrier.After placing the pins be sure to check that none are poking through the front of the panels. TIP!If you want the top of the panels even with the bottom of your rings or carriers, insert the pointed end of the pin 1 ¼” down from the top edge of the panel. This will place the top of the pin even with the top of the panel. ROD POCKET & FLAT TOPSInsert the pins into the back of the panel into the pocket or the lining. Horizontal spacing of 4-6” is recommended if you want a straight look across the top of the panel, and horizontal spacing of 7-12” is recommended if you want the fabric to “swoop” a bit as it hangs between the rings. PINCH/FLAIR/CARTRIDGE PLEATSInsert pins into the back of the panel into each vertical stitch line (shown as letters “P” in image C). Also put one pin at each upper corner of the panel – these can be placed into the side hems.

INVERTED PLEATSInsert pins into the back of the panel so that each pin lines up with the vertical stitches on the FRONT of the panel. Also put one pin at each upper corner of the panel – these can be placed into the side hems.

Step 3: Iron Hem In Place

(If your curtain is really wrinkled, go ahead and iron the whole thing now before proceeding.)

Place your curtain panel right-side down onto an ironing board or other heat-safe surface, with your pinned hem along the top. Fold the hem along the pin line wrong-sides together, as shown below.

Remove the pins and then use a hot iron (with stea

Remove the pins and then use a hot iron (with steam if needed) to make a crisp, clean fold line across the top of your panel.

TIP! I love using my Cricut Easy Press for curtain projects since the heat plate is so much bigger than an iron’s.

You’ve now technically hemmed your curtains!

You’ve now technically hemmed your curtains! But how does that fold stay in place? Remember, we made the hem at the top of the curtain panel (rather than the bottom), which means we can use our curtain rings to hold it in place!

Mind blown, yet?


Types Of Drapery Hooks

There are several types of drapery hooks, and these are just some of them.

#1. Pin hooks

Pin hooks are just like a folded metal wire.

It has a sharp end and a curved hook in the other.

#2. Sew-on hooks

Sew hooks are similar to pin hooks, but the difference is the other end is to be inserted and sewed on the fabric.

#3. S- hooks

S-hooks are exactly as the name describes.

They are “S” shaped hooks that are usually made from metal plastic or wood.

This type of hook is most commonly used in shower curtains.

#4. Clip rings

Clip rings or Round Rings are designed to add a more detailed look to your curtain.

The clip is attached to the plastic loop and at the top of the curtain attached to the ring base.

It has a small eyelet ring and at the base of the ring.

The hook is to be inserted into the hole on your curtains.

The Benefits of Hanging Curtains

Like many of my favorite Designer Secrets, hanging curtains correctly can completely change any space in your home!

  • Give you the appearance of higher ceilings
  • Elongate your windows
  • Bring in more light
  • Help a room look finished
  • Create privacy
  • Add warmth

How to hang pencil pleat curtains?

You’ll hang pencil pleat curtains similarly to hanging pocket style curtains; however, I suggest having someone hold the curtain rod up into place with the rings and drapery attached to determine the *exact* placement of the hardware.

Generally, you want curtains to just barely kiss the floor (be about 1/4″ above the floor). This is very hard to calculate exactly without actually holding the drapery into place. Even if you’ve ordered a specific length, human hands make things, and very slight variances can occur. Better to be sure before drilling into your walls.

With pencil pleat curtains, there is some advantage because the drapery hooks can be adjusted slightly to get the height *just* right.

DIY Ikea Pleated Curtains from Grit & Polish
DIY Ikea Pleated Curtains from Grit & Polish

Oddly Shaped Windows

Bay window can be approached two ways: with adjustable curtain rods or by opting for shades. If there is room above the window frames, it’s easy to add adjustable arms to your curtain rods. However, if there isn’t room for a curtain rod to be hung above the window frames, opt for shades. I love linen roman shades in bay windows!

To add curtains to arched windows, you’ll want to hang the curtain rod about 8″-12″ above the top of the arch, and treat the window as if it were rectangular. If you have a set of arched windows at different heights, treat them as one large window and hang the rod 8″-12″ above the tallest arch.

Determining How Many Curtain Hooks to Use

As I said before, when you hang curtains on grommets or back-tabs, it is pre-determined how many pleats you get (and therefor, how wide your curtain panel sits). But when you get to decide the ring placement, you have much more control over how your curtain ultimately looks!

How many rings you use depends greatly on how wide your panel is, how wide you want it to sit on the rod, and how tight of pleats you want. Here are some generalities to help you:

  • More curtain rings = more pleats = panel will (generally) sit wider on the rod
  • Less rings = less pleats = panel will (generally) sit skinnier on the rod
  • More rings/pleats = shallower pleats = pleats are more likely to look uniform
  • Less rings/pleats = deeper pleats = fabric will sit more casually and maybe even sag between rings
  • # of desired pleats = number of clips – 1

You will always place a clip on either corner of the curtain panel and then evenly space the remaining clips in between those two. Before you move forward, it can be worth the time to experiment to see how many rings you prefer on your particular panel.

For reference, I used 10 clips (for 9 pleats) on my white 56″ wide panels; and 9 clips (for 8 pleats) on my navy 42″ wide panels.

Tips for Curtain Length

Curtain lengths are certainly a point of contention in the world of decorating. Hanging curtains can be stressful and you want to get it right the first time!

Everyone has different needs for both practicality and aesthetics, but in my opinion, it’s important that your curtains reach the floor. Otherwise, you’re shortening the visual length of your walls. This forces the eye to believe that your ceilings are shorter and your windows are smaller- two things we’d like to avoid!

With that said, if you have radiators or something that impedes your panels from touching the floor, by all means do what you need to do! Curtain lengths vary greatly for a reason. Find the right length that works for your home, and if necessary consider taking them in for alterations- a little hem change can go a long way!


Knowing how to hang curtains with drapery hooks could make changing or replacing the curtains much easier.

With this basic knowledge, you can do a lot more to style, design, or dress up your rooms.


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