How to Hang Curtains On Rings (With Perfect Results!)

How to Hang Curtains On Rings (With Perfect Results!)

Reader Interactions


  1. Tamars Jones says

    Awesome. So beautiful. I like your idea. A good solution, saving money, while they can obscure the light, again just decorate your room. Wonderful. I thought I would try to do it.

  2. Jamala Wallace says

    Whatever design you choose.. it's always a winning look! Love those curtains


Can you hang back tab curtains with hooks?

Using clip rings to hang back tab curtains is a perfect solution for those who want elegant, clean, and floating curtains but also enjoy the flexibility of ring attachments in opening and closing windows curtains.

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.

Are pinch pleat drapes out of style?

Pleated panels are a classic style of drapery and so never really go out of fashion, although their popularity rises and falls with current trends. They look quite formal, so work best with formal or traditional decorating styles. Pinch pleat is the most common style.

Curtain Hanging Mistakes to Avoid

I’d rather have puddling curtains than curtains that are too short! My preferred look is curtains that rest about 1/8″ above the floor. However, puddling curtains are certainly luxurious and look fantastic! I just think of the cleaning though… :/

I see this ALL the time. Where the curtain rod measures the exact size of the window frame. You want your curtain rod to extend 8″-12″ beyond the window frame on either side. So if your window is 6′ wide, the curtain rod should be about 8′ wide. Remember, curtains are meant to accentuate and frame the window as well as filter or block light.

Usually if I see a curtain rod that isn’t wide enough, it’s installed too low. The curtain rod should be about 8″-12″ above the top of the window frame (unless the ceiling or crown molding prevents this – then just go as high as you can).

For designers, we talk in fullness and or stack width when it comes to drapery. Standard fullness is 200%, meaning you need 2x the amount of fabric as curtain rod length. Extra fabric is pleated in some sort of decorative way to make the drapery appear more full and luxe. Drapery fullness details. We also factor in stack width: this is the added width of a window treatment so that you can install the drapery slightly outside of the window frame so that it does not cover the window when the drapes are open. At a bare minimum, the curtains should be wide enough to cover the opening they are intended to cover when closed.

Hanging Curtains with Rings

If you love the look of curtains with rings, there are two ways to achieve the look! One, with drapery hooks. The other with ring clips.

Drapery hooks are little metal pins the slide into the backside of the curtain panels and provide a little hook for the rings to slide into. You can find these at local hardware stores or online. They’re my preferred way to hang curtains with rings.

Ring clips are another way to hang curtains with rings. They are curtain rings with clips pre-installed. The little clips are attached to curtain panels. This will give you a relaxed look. If I am honest with you, I think they look a bit unfinished.

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!

Curtains vs Drapes: Whats the Difference?

It can be confusing, right? If you’re wondering about the differences in a battle of curtains vs drapes, here’s some basic background.

Curtains are the less expensive option for your windows. They are fabric panels that are generally sold in pairs. They hang from a rod, and tend to filter light instead of blocking it out entirely, and are often installed over blinds or shades.

Drapes are generally a heavier fabric and they are lined. This makes them better at blocking light and drafts… but they are also more expensive and more formal than lightweight curtain panels. They are often custom made and have a more high end feel.

Whereas curtain panels can range in any length from a cafe style (covering just half of a window) to full length, draperies are always full length, touching or puddling on the floor.

What Size Drapery Rings Do You Need?

There is no set rule on just what size the drapery rings need to be, but it’s always a good idea to think about scale and proportion. A drapery that’s hung 9 feet from the floor may do just fine with 2-1/2-inch diameter rings and a 1-3/8-inch diameter drapery pole. This is what we used for the cream and black drapes above, as well as the light blue Euro pleat drapes pictured at the beginning of this post.

But if the drapery is hung high up in a two-story living room and is a whopping 240 inches long, you may need to upgrade the size of the hardware. The hardware will be further away and harder to see, not to mention that it may look out of proportion compared to the extra long drapes.

More fabric also means more weight that needs to be supported, so the hardware will need to be substantial, too.

What About Clip-On Rings?

Clip-on rings are fine, just keep in mind that the clips will be exposed and clearly visible. This creates a larger gap between the rod and drapery than the method mentioned above does.

Draperies with clip-on rings.

Draperies with clip-on rings.

Hi, I’m Megan!

I am a military spouse, mom to 3 young boys, and a constant creator. Thanks to my husband’s career, we have moved 8 times in the last 15 years, and I’ve made it my personal mission to decorate, organize, and re-imagine each rental space until it feels like home.

I love navy blue, a good peel-and-stick wallpaper, my Cricut machine, and really hot coffee; and I genuinely believe that…

…any space can be transformed into a place you love!

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