How to Measure and Hang Curtains

Whether it's for shade or style, no one wants uneven window treatments. Learn how to properly measure and hang curtains that complement your window.

Measure for drapery panels


It may seem simple, but the way you hang a curtain shows off certain aspects of its surrounding area.
To make windows appear bigger hang them several inches wider and higher than your window frame.

To create a cozy vibe, position the treatments a little lower or not as wide apart.

To show off an attractive window frame, mount shorter curtains on a tension rod inside the window frame.


1. Determine the width. For full curtains, use twice the width of the window in fabric; for more casual curtains, use one and a half times the width. If you can't find the right width, sew two panels together.

2. Check that you'll have room for the hardware. Rods normally extend four inches beyond each side of the window. And install the hardware about five inches above the window frame.

3. Figure out the height you want. Curtains should hang either (A) four inches below the windowsill, or (B) a half inch from the floor (or just skimming the floor) or (C) in a "puddle" on the floor (in this case, add 6 to 10 inches to the distance from the rod to the floor). Shorter treatments, like cafe curtains, may graze the top of the windowsill or fall a few inches below it.