Repurpose hook sets to hang curtains.

Cute Ways to Hang Curtains Without a Rod

by Joanne Thomas

If standard and conventional aren't part of your preferred styles of decor, eschew the regular curtain rod and come up with some cute, creative ways to hang your window treatments. For children's rooms, consider alternative ways to add some whimsy or color to this easily overlooked element of design; throughout the house, make your curtain-hanging methods reflect your personal style by repurposing hardware in imaginative ways.

1. Hooks and Knobs

Mount hooks or knobs in a row above your window, either on a backing board or directly on the wall, and use them to hang curtains fitted with grommets, tab- or tie-tops, buttonholes or tab-backs. Alternatively, affix hooks on the ceiling above the window, close enough to the wall that the curtains hang close to the window frame. For heavier curtains, use more hooks spaced at closer intervals. Look for decorative drawer pulls, single and multiple hook sets designed for hanging towels in the bathroom, vintage hat and coat hooks and heavy-duty adhesive hooks. For kids' rooms, try novelty hooks, which are designed to hang coats and bathrobes on the backs of doors; they often come in fun styles, for example, elephants with long trunks serving as the hooks, or dinosaurs with tails as the hooks.

2. Tension Wire, Rope and Cording

Tension wire is designed specifically for hanging lightweight curtains, and it works in the same way as a curtain rod. It is often sold as part of a kit with hardware for anchoring each end of the wire to the wall, to the insides of the window frame or from the ceiling. Tension wire creates a minimalist, modern look, but you can take inspiration from the technique and adapt it to fit any style. Replace tension wire with a heavy, nautical-style rope, knotted at each end around a finial or anchored to the wall with cleats. Braided cording, sold in fabric and decorating stores to make curtain tiebacks, can be used in the same manner. Very lightweight, sheer curtains, such as lace panels, look pretty when strung on a length of velvet ribbon. You might need to mount the rope, cording or ribbon to the wall in several places along its length to prevent the curtains from drooping. For a whimsical take on this technique, use a length of plastic-coated clothesline and hang curtains from it with brightly colored clothespins. Most clothespins clasp so that you can still slide them along the wire to open and close the curtains.

3. Crafty Ideas

Instead of a typical curtain rod, take the idea of a rod and replace it with something crafty that serves the same purpose. A tree branch of an appropriate length, sturdy enough to take the weight of your curtains, can be mounted above the window at each end, or suspended from the ceiling by chains. If you want to be able to open and close the curtains easily, find a smooth branch, or remove any twigs and sand down the stumps, applying a coat of varnish to the end product. You can also paint branches any color you wish. If you have a little one who loves sports, create a substitute curtain rod from one or two old baseball bats or hockey sticks. Wooden yardsticks used as curtain rods complement an area designed for studying. Tab-top and tie-top curtains work best with these types of curtain rod substitutions.

4. Wire Hangers

For narrow curtain panels designed to hang at both sides of a window without ever closing, or to hang over glass panels on a door, consider repurposing a couple of wire clothes hangers. Untwist the tops of the hangers and use pliers to bend them into a different shape, like a coil or a heart. You can paint the hanger or string beads onto the upper wires for decoration. Fold the upper edge of each curtain panel over the hanger and stitch it in place. Mount each hanger above the window with hooks, screws or nails.

About the Author

A writer of diverse interests, Joanne Thomas has penned pieces about road trips for Hyundai, children's craft projects for Disney and wine cocktails for Robert Mondavi. She has lived on three continents and currently resides in Los Angeles, where she is co-owner and editor of a weekly newspaper. Thomas holds a BSc in politics from the University of Bristol, England.

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