How do I hang curtains from the ceiling?
October 22, 2012 12:42 PM   Subscribe

Have you ever hung curtains from the ceiling? How did you do it?

I live in an apartment with windows that run the width of the room and go from the ceiling to halfway down the wall. There isn't any space to mount the curtains to the wall. Some idle googling led me to this system from Ikea which works from the ceiling, but I was wondering if there were any others out there (can I use simple hooks and just the Ikea curtain rods? hooks and tension cable?). The curtains themselves are not very heavy - they're sheers like this. I also have 2 more questions:

1. My landlord is fine with me putting in curtains, as long as I can remove the hardware when I leave, and do some spackling and painting to cover up any holes. Is it possible to do this with any kind of ceiling curtain bracket/hook? (i.e. I'd like to not have huge gaping holes to deal with or impossible to remove hardware).

2. If I do use actual curtain brackets, what sort of anchors do I need? For either hooks or brackets, do I need to worry about screwing them into a ceiling stud, or can I space them evenly as I choose? The ceiling is just regular old plasterboard.

I'm not a complete novice with curtains, but almost one. I've installed brackets on a wall before, and those curtains were also not very heavy, but the brackets I used came with their own mounting anchor hardware. I asked this question of the good people at my local Home Depot, and their "curtain expert" didn't know. Can AskMe succeed where they failed?
posted by bluefly to Home & Garden (9 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Oh! I just did this and my by-the-seat-of-my-pants, dirt-cheap set up has not yet fallen on my head!

My system involves a very lightweight rod from Target, two loops of yarn about 4 inches in diameter each, and a staple gun. Expand the rod to the length you want, put the curtain on it, hang it from the loops on either end, and staple gun the loops to the ceiling. You can get fancy by painting over the staples and using shorter loops made of fishing line so they don't look like, well, curtain rods hanging from yarn stapled to your ceiling.

Brackets would also work fine, and I don't think you'd have to get too fancy with ceiling studs as long as your rod is pretty light -- those sheers weight almost nothing.
posted by EmilyFlew at 12:51 PM on October 22, 2012

I used to live in an apartment with floor-to-ceiling windows in all rooms. I installed ceiling-mounted curtain tracks. They were pretty great because there was no sagging and I could use fairly heavy cotton curtains.
posted by neushoorn at 12:59 PM on October 22, 2012 [2 favorites]

'hospital curtain track' also turns up some good results...on a lot of those the brackets have ball chain so there's a gap at the top...good for airflow (they'll blow around less) and extra light...
posted by sexyrobot at 1:05 PM on October 22, 2012

Any Ikea (or similar) bracket hardware should work fine for what you're describing, and will definitely not require huge, gaping holes.

That said, if you CAN use studs (i.e., if they're conveniently located per the desired width of your curtains and the relevant windows), this will both permit minimal hole size and make the process of installation a tad simpler. If you can't use studs, you'll need drywall anchors, which require holes that are generally at least twice the diameter of the screws.

Either way, spackling is extremely easy...I've done it a zillion places in my house and you seriously cannot tell there were ever any holes where I've filled them in.
posted by aecorwin at 1:05 PM on October 22, 2012

I did this super cheaply using a length of PVC, some brackets I found in the plumbing section, and my trusty studfinder. Perfect solution for me with the pocket-topped curtains I used.
posted by Kronur at 1:16 PM on October 22, 2012

I've found that EZ Anchors are awesome ways to anchor heavy stuff to drywall.

When you move, unscrew, and spackle/drywall mud, prime and go. Easy-peasy.

I like the ceiling mounted curtain tracks myself.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:33 PM on October 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

We're using ceiling mounted tracks - the first part down on this page is the bit that mounts to the ceiling. They're very cheap at IKEA, quick and easy to install and work pretty well (we have double tracks to layer sheer and somewhat heavier curtains).
posted by halogen at 1:40 PM on October 22, 2012

I got some Ikea curtain hardware once that consisted of small (2-3" tall) standoffs that mounted into the ceiling, which you then strung aircraft cable between. The curtain then hung from the aircraft cable. You can do pretty interesting things with a system like this.

My roommate and I used it to hang a curtain around the top of a flight of stairs, to separate the floors into different cooling/heating zones (keep heat downstairs in winter, cold air upstairs in summer, etc.). It was basically the only solution we could come up with that worked.

I think the ones I had were slightly different, but this is the idea.
posted by Kadin2048 at 2:43 PM on October 22, 2012

I've used this IKEA system for sheers. I was also renting, and everything came down easy-peasy when I moved.
posted by Iris Gambol at 2:46 PM on October 22, 2012

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