Simple guidelines to hang curtains and pictures

July 28, 2015

Nothing beautifies a room more than a gorgeous piece of artwork or some lovely curtains. Nothing also catches the eye more than when those things are askew because they were not hung up correctly.  Here are some guidelines to make sure your curtains and pictures are turning heads for the right reasons.

Simple guidelines to hang curtains and pictures

Taking the right curtain measurments

To measure the length:

  • For full length: Measure from the bottom of the track to 2.5 centimetres (one inch) above floor covering,
  • For window length: Measure to 10 centimetres (four inches) below a window sill
  • For hanging above a radiator: Measure to 5 centimetres (two inches) above a radiator

To measure the width multiply the width of the track or pole by the factor required for your heading style:

  • 1.5 to two for gathers
  • 2.25 to 2.5 for pencil pleats
  • Two for pinch pleats.

For made-to-measure curtains add 30 centimetres (12 inches) for side turnings and overlaps where curtains meet.


Getting the right curtain track

The track must be strong enough for your chosen fabric and be securely fastened to the wall or ceiling.

  • Most tracks are fixed with brackets spaced about 20 centimetres apart.
  • Poles are held with one bracket at each end and, for heavy curtains, may need an extra central bracket.
  • Buy track to extend at least 15 centimetres (six inches) beyond the window at each end.
  • In bay windows, fit track to run beyond the bay and onto the wall at each side.

Getting those curtains to hang straight

  • Sew small lead weights to the hem on the wrong (reverse) side to keep heavy curtains hanging straight. These can be bought ready covered with fabric.
  • Weighted beads threaded through the hems of sheer curtains will prevent them from billowing.

The best hooks for hanging a picture

  • Use fixings strong enough to support your picture and check that the plaster is sound.
  • Pin-type picture hooks, driven in by a hammer, usually suffice. Drill into the wall and insert a round-head screw into a wall plug for a more secure fitting.
  • A heavy or wide picture should hang on two hooks positioned near each end. Don't leave it to just one central hook. Use a spirit level to mark a true horizontal line on the wall so the hooks will be at the same level.
  • Heavy pictures and large framed mirrors should be hung on battens rather than hooks.

Steps to hang the proper picture

Here are the steps for hanging a picture on a single hook:

  • Position carefully so the picture has room to breathe and sufficient light to be enjoyed.
  • Hold it in position and lightly mark the wall at the central point at the top of the frame.
  • Lay the picture on its face, mark the top centre, and use your picture hook to pull the wire tight towards the mark.
  • Measure the distance between the top of the frame and the top of the hook.
  • Measure this same distance down from the mark you made on the wall and make a new mark.
  • Hammer in the hook so that its top is level with this new mark.

Following these simple guidelines will let make your curtains and pictures hang nice and straight which will add a boost to your room's appearance.

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