Hanging curtains in a rental apartment can be tricky. You need drapes to give you privacy, but you don’t want to damage the walls by installing curtain rods or equipment as you’ll have to pay for the damage to the walls. How can you hang curtains in a rental?
This article will discuss in detail various methods of hanging drapes in a rental apartment without causing any damage to the window frames or walls.
If your rental apartment already has curtain rods compatible with your curtains, you shouldn’t have any issue hanging your curtains. Unfortunately, this is very rarely the case.
Even if your apartment has existing curtain rods, they may not accommodate your drape style.
If you already have curtains and you don’t want to go to the expense of attaching new curtain rods, use the existing one in by following one of the ways below:
- Adapt your curtains to fit your apartment’s curtain rod. This can involve sewing on a strip of fabric to the drapes and inserting curtain rings or accessories compatible with it.
- Buy extra long curtains and hang them over the existing rod. Measure the length of your window, and buy double the length of curtain fabric. Then drape each curtain drop over the rod and open and close as needed. Now and then, you may have to readjust the fabric as it’ll shift a little after each use.
- Drape the curtains in an attractive way over the current curtain rod. If your apartment is temporary and you don’t want to spend too much money, try draping your curtains in a decorative way over the rod. You can adjust them whenever you need more privacy or when you want to let more natural light into the room.
If you really like the look of a particular curtain rod, or you already have one that you love, you can attach it to the wall with heavy-duty magnets, which will only work if the curtain rod is metal. The heavy-duty magnets will provide the necessary support for the drapes and rod.
The heavy-duty magnets should be attached to the wall with the strongest Command brand hooks you can find.
I recommend Command Wall Hooks from Amazon. These hooks will hold on to the wall without you needing to damage the walls by creating holes, and won’t leave any sticky residue behind when you remove them.
Wait 24 hours after putting up the wall hooks before placing any tension on the magnet and Command hook as per the instructions.
When you’re ready to treat your window, attach the rail to the magnets, and hang the curtains as you usually would. Alternatively, you could buy a magnetic curtain rod from a DIY store. These come with built-in magnets that you can attach to any metallic surface.
Bear in mind that heavy drapes might be too weighty for this method and could cause the curtain rail to fall down.
Sheer or lightweight curtains work best with the heavy-duty magnetic method.
Making your own curtain frame that doesn’t attach to the wall or window is easier than it sounds. Wedding and party planners often create curtain frames to dress windows beautifully at events with minimal fuss.
A curtain frame can be custom-made and is free-standing on the floor directly in front of the window. You’ll have a curtain rail on the top and supporting rods or posts on the sides that allow it to remain upright.
The side posts can be metal, wood, or any other material you have lying around or can obtain cheaply.
You’ll need to measure your window’s dimensions and then build your frame from there. Try to design it and use the materials so that the structure is as close to the window as possible.
Once your personalized curtain frame is ready, you can hang your curtains on its rail and then place them in front of your window.
Spring tension rods are incredibly versatile as they can fit the width of any space needing a suspension rod.
They’re widely available at DIY and big box stores and aren’t too expensive. Alternatively, you can check out this Amazer Spring Tension Rod. It resists rust, and there are several sizes that you can choose from.
A spring tension rod is an excellent way to hang curtains temporarily in a rental apartment as they’ll fit any window size, and you don’t need to drill into the wall. They typically have simple designs and can’t support heavy objects, so it’s best to use them to hang light fabric curtains.
This method will also work with drapes that require rings to hang. You’ll need to place the rings onto the tension rod before installing it in your window.
Once this is done, you can hang your curtains.
Many rental apartments already have brackets above the windows.
Alternatively, they may have unattractive blinds in front of the windows that have brackets. Most people don’t want to use the standard vertical blinds that many apartments come equipped with as they’re ugly, poor quality, and break easily.
An alternative method might include putting up clip-on brackets, as you can simply clip them to the top of the blinds and then hang your rod and curtains.
For this purpose, I recommend the NONO Bracket Mini clips. They don’t require any tools and work the same as normal brackets that you drill into the wall. When you move out of your rental apartment, you can simply remove the clip-on brackets, and you’ll leave no damage behind.
Some rental apartments already have cheap roller shades that block out the light and provide privacy. They’re not particularly attractive, and, understandably, you’ll want to personalize your living space with your own drapes.
If you don’t want to install a new curtain rail and have a roller shade, roll the shade up completely so that it’s in a single, horizontal tube at the top of the window.
The bottom edge of the roller blind will be poking out, so you’ll need to secure it to the rest of the rolled-up blind to make a solid tube. The best way to do this is to remove the blind (if possible) by unscrewing it from the bracket against the wall.
Then, make a solid tube with some double-sided tape, rubber bands, or Blue Tack. Avoid using a stapler as this will create a hole in the fabric, and your landlord may make you liable for the damage.
If you use curtain rings, you can place them over the improvised tube and hang your drapes.
If there’s no other way for you to attach your curtains to the improvised tube, you may have to drape them over the tube and then screw it back into the bracket.
Command brand hooks are attached to smooth walls and other surfaces with a strong and sticky strip.
I recommend the Command Jumbo Hook that can hold up to 7.5 lbs (3.40 kg), making it great for supporting a curtain rail and drapes. It comes in a package of 4 hooks, so you’ll have extras on hand just in case you need them.
Command brand hooks come in a range of attractive colors, so you should find one that matches your curtain rail well. Bear in mind that they may not adhere to the walls if they’re textured, in which case you’ll have to use another method of securing your curtain rail.
Once you have your Command brand hooks, you’ll need to attach the sticky strip to the wall first, followed by the hook. You’ll then need to wait for 24 hours to allow the hook and sticky strip to adhere fully to the wall.
After this, you can place your curtain rod on the hook and hang your drapes.
When you move out of your rental apartment and remove the hooks and sticky strips, you may notice that it leaves a sticky residue and mark behind on the wall. If this happens, you should be able to remove it with some eucalyptus oil and a soft cloth.
Suspending a curtain rod from the ceiling is an excellent option if you can’t use the existing window or surrounding walls to install a curtain rail temporarily. Ceiling to floor drapes have the added advantage of creating the illusion of height, which is especially beneficial if your room has low ceilings or a small window.
You can suspend a curtain rail from the ceiling using a few broom and mop hooks. These are attached to the surface similarly to Command brand hooks in that they have sticky strips.
Bear in mind that if your ceiling is textured, the strips won’t adhere well, and the hooks won’t provide enough support for the curtain rail.
Mop and broom hooks are inexpensive and available in DIY, big box, and dollar stores. Or you can go online and check out this Mop and Broom Hook holder. It is made from stainless steel and looks stylish wherever it is located.
They’re available as either closed or open hooks. Closed hooks work better as they help prevent the curtain rail from unexpectedly sliding out.
Once the hooks stick to the ceiling, you can slide your curtain rail through the loop and hang your curtains.
Using coat hooks as a temporary curtain hanging solution is great because they don’t need to be attached to anything, and there’s a low risk of damage to the walls. You can buy coat hooks at any DIY or big box store, but your curtains will also need hooks or rings attached to them so that they can slide onto the coat hooks.
Your coat hooks can be attached to an existing curtain rail or an upper window ledge, and this will freely allow you to open and close your curtains.
The coat hooks can shift around, and you may need to rearrange them every few days.
The final method is only recommended if you’ll stay in your rental apartment for a short period and don’t want to go to the expense or effort of finding a suitable curtain hanging method.
It can also work if you don’t have extra money for another solution.
This method involves hanging your drapes up with double-sided tape or a product such as the Bostik Blu-Tack. Blu-Tack is a reusable adhesive that can be used on a variety of surfaces and is easy to remove, making it ideal for a short-term rental.
You can also use velcro that you attach to the wall and drapes with Command brand hook strips. It should only take a few minutes to attach the Blue Tack or double-sided tape to the drapes and then secure them over the window.
Before starting, however, you’ll need to decide how open or closed you want your drapes to be, as this method doesn’t allow you to open or close them whenever you want to.
If you’re hanging drapes for privacy and want them closed, a downside is that they won’t allow any natural light into the room, making it darker. The reverse is also true, and without any drapes, you’ll have less privacy but more light in the room.
If you don’t have drapes, you can use other fabrics instead.
Table cloths work well, and even a large bath towel will do the trick if you don’t have anything else. The result won’t be elegant and attractive, and it won’t enhance the look of your room.
It will, however, be functional and will provide you with the privacy you need.
As you can see, hanging curtains in a rental apartment don’t have to be expensive or damaging to the walls. If you want to spend as little money as possible, using Blue Tack, velcro, or double-sided tape to hang your drapes or a piece of fabric is a great idea.
Alternatively, you can use the existing curtain rail, heavy-duty magnets, a spring tension rod, clip-on brackets, or Command brand hooks to hang your drapes.
Coat hooks and suspending a rail from the ceiling also work well.
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