Curtain Clips – the Best Way to Hang Your Drapery

This post was updated in June 2022.

Hang your drapery with curtain clipsCurtains are often the finishing touch in your décor. And with the right combination of color, pattern and texture, the right pair of panels can really set the mood in a room and influence how you and your guests will feel. How you hang your curtains also affects the overall feel, which is an often overlooked detail. From curtain clips to hidden tabs, let’s take a look at the different ways to hang curtains and the considerations that go into choosing your best option.

Rod Pocket

Hanging drapery panels using a rod pocket

The most classic and common of all methods of hanging drapery, a rod pocket is a sewn-in pocket, or casing, at the top of a drapery panel that easily slips over a rod and conceals it. 

Hanging drapery panels using a rod pocket

Drapery panels hung this way bunch nicely and have a simple, casual look.  All of our drapery panels can be hung using this method, and you don’t need any additional pieces, like curtain clips, (aside from your rod and finials) to make this look work.

Hanging drapery panels using a rod pocket

One thing to consider is how often you’ll want to open and close your panels. For drapery you’ll be opening and closing a lot, you may want to consider either curtain clips or pin hooks, as rod pockets tend to be a little stubborn to adjust.

Hidden Tabs

Hanging drapery panels using hidden tabs

Hidden tabs are an easy way of hanging panels, while giving you a neat, pleated look. They feature a row of hidden flat tabs, or loops, sewn along the back top of the drapery panel that threads over the rod, making the curtain appear to float on the rod.  

Hanging drapery panels using hidden tabs

The pleated look that hidden tabs create are great for people who love a tailored look without hardware, and because the tabs are spaced apart, you’ll have a more even pleating than with a rod pocket.

Hanging drapery panels using hidden tabs

Like a rod pocket, hidden tabs are great for panels you won’t be moving often. Because the fabric touches the drapery rod directly, it can be a bit more difficult to move in comparison to a ring clip or pin hook.

Curtain Clips

Hanging drapery panels using curtain clips

One of the most popular methods for hanging drapery is curtain clips which are clipped to the top edge of the drapery panel with rings sliding over the rod.

Curtain clips for hanging drapery

You can use curtain clips to hang any type of drapery panel, since you simply clip the ring to the panel. If you want a little bit more length out of your panel, curtain clips are a great way to add 1-2 inches, since the clips means the fabric hangs just below the drapery rod.

Use curtain clips to hang drapery

We like curtain clips because they’re just so easy to move, which means that on a window where you may open and close the panel daily, you won’t have a problem moving the panel.

Hanging Pins

Hang your drapery with hanging pins

We also offer panels that can be hung using hanging drapery pins. This method has a super tailored look due to the plastic thread that creates loops on the back of the panel. Use a pin that loops through the plastic thread and hooks onto the ring.

Use hanging pins to hang your drapery

Hanging pins create a look that’s polished from the front — no toothy clasps on your panel — and they move smoothly over your drapery rod.

Hanging drapery panels using hanging pins

You can see the clear plastic loops that securely hold the panel. Pins loop through the plastic thread and then hook to our standard ring clip, but because of the plastic thread, you won’t see the clasp and the weight of the panel is more supported.

We prefer using hanging pins for panels that are especially heavy (like Velvet panels), as they’re more secure.


Hanging drapery panels using tie tops

Tie top panels have a romantic look, created by fabric that is tied at the top of the drapery panel directly to the curtain rod.

Hanging drapery panels using tie tops

The ties at the top of the panel have a pretty, organic look that works really nicely in rooms where you want to create a casual feel.

What’s Next?

Now that you understand how each of these methods works, let’s talk about the the different details you should consider before selecting a treatment.


In room where you’ll be opening and closing your drapery on a daily basis, we strongly suggest using hanging clips or ring clips. Because you’ll want to control the amount of light, you’ll want to be able to effortlessly slide the curtains along the rod. Curtains hung by tabs or rod pocket are more difficult to move back and forth. However, if the sole purpose of your drapery is to add a layer of softness while framing your window, then any of the options will work.

Hang your drapery the best way with curtain clips

Curtain Weight

But before you go all in with hanging clips, make sure the weight of your drapery can handle it. A  heavier curtain, such as velvet, may not be fully supported with ring clips, which can pull or pop off the edge of the fabric. In this case, you’ll want to hang your drapery by either pin hooks or rod pocket method, which is designed to hold the full weight of the fabric without sagging.

Use curtain clips to hang your drapery

Curtain Length

The various hanging styles can let you cheat an inch or two in length in either direction. (Ideally, you want your drapes to just graze the floor.) If you find your curtains are a smidge too long, hanging them from the hidden tabs or rod pocket will raise the hem up a bit. Conversely, hanging your curtains with clips lowers them below the rod, bringing the hemline down.

What's the best way to hang your drapery panels?

Desired Look

The decorative element of hanging drapery is obviously a huge consideration. You want the style of your curtains and the way they drape to echo the look and feel of your room.  


By contrast, rod pocket and hidden tab styles offer a more formal, or dressy, presence, with rod pocket being the most traditional. Both methods will result in soft, vertical folds that are pleasing to the eye.

Somewhere in the middle are hanging clips. Curtains attached by ring clips loosely slide back and forth on the rod, creating a less uniform drape in the process. The result is naturally a more casual, lived-in feel. But, keep in mind, you can instantly change the look and dress things up or make it modern with a show stopping rod, since the curtains will hang below it.

Shop all of our drapery panels and drapery hardware. For more inspiration, read these helpful posts below:

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Caroline McDonald

Caroline lives for pairing together patterns, mixing furniture styles, and oogling over our newest furniture pieces. As you can imagine, her little 1920's craftsman is in a constant state of flux. Here on How to Decorate, it's her goal to help you turn your home into your own little slice of paradise.


  1. Reply


    September 25, 2021

    I know it’s been a while since this terrific article was posted, but I just love the cream with sage print curtain panels shown in this article under the “Rod Pocket” header. Do you still carry this curtain or know where I could find it? Thanks so much!

    • Reply

      Abbey Nolte

      November 29, 2021

      Thank you for reading this post. We’re so glad you enjoyed it! Unfortunately we no longer carry those drapery panels, however, our Becca Drapery Panel has a similar look.
      Hope that helps!

  2. Reply


    June 15, 2021

    Hello! My window is about 120 inches long and 5o inches wide. Clearance on one side is 7 inches, the other side is a blank wall. Do you suggest having two panels, or one panel and a tie back? How do you know what height for the tie back? Won’t the “swoop” block too much light/make the window look smaller? Thank you so much!

    • Reply

      Mallory Thomas

      July 12, 2021

      It’s hard to make a suggestion without seeing your space. We have a team of free interior designers who would love to help you figure out your decorating dilemma. Simply upload images of your room and your question here.
      Happy decorating,

  3. Reply


    October 27, 2020

    Hi there!
    Would you mind sharing on where I could get the exact gold curtains (under the ring clips) in this article please? Thank you.. And thank you for all the wonderful and helpful posts!

  4. Reply

    Laura Perry

    July 25, 2019

    Great article! I have been trying to find the Hanging Pins you mentioned (Hanging pins create a look that’s polished from the front — no toothy clasps on your panel — and they move smoothly over your drapery rod.) but I can’t find anyone that sells them. Do you have any suggestions?

    • Reply

      Caroline McDonald

      July 29, 2019

      You should be able to find them pretty easily on Amazon. Just search ‘drapery hooks’ or ‘drapery pins.’ Good luck! Glad you found this article helpful 🙂

  5. Reply

    Miriam Rosser

    December 8, 2018

    Is this comment thread still open? I just posted a question but I don’t see it. Will anyone get back to me? Thanks!

  6. Reply

    Miriam Rosser

    December 8, 2018

    Thank you for your clear directions plus terrific photos showing how to use drapery hooks with curtain rings! My 95” panels don’t have plastic loops for the pins, but I can just catch a bit of the fabric with the pins for support!
    Can you please suggest how I might hang sheer panels behind the front panels (attached to the rings) without having the sheers show above my ringed panels? Hanging the sheers via their rod pockets clearly won’t work. I have already installed double rods, or I would consider installing two separate rods so I could place the rod for my sheers lower than the front rod, even though I’d have to raise the bottom hems. My question is how do I hang the sheers so they don’t show above the main panels at the top? Should I search for a second set of clear rings for the sheers? Is there another way?

    • Reply

      Caroline McDonald

      December 10, 2018

      Hey Miriam,
      So glad you found this post helpful. If you already have a double rod, I’m not sure why the sheers are hanging above the front panels? Is it because you’re not hanging them on drapery hooks too?
      I’m sorry I don’t understand, but elaborate a bit and I’ll be happy to get back to you!

  7. Reply


    May 28, 2017

    I am hanging linen curtain panels on a rod 120 inches. With that long of a rod it will need 4 brackets. What clips do I use so they go over the brackets? Thank you

    • Reply

      Caroline McDonald

      August 21, 2018

      None of our clips are meant to go over a bracket. Typically we like to divide the panels into sections, so for example two panels each between brackets and a panel on each side of the interior brackets. That way you can always open and close panels, even though they aren’t able to slide over the bracket. Does that make sense?
      Good luck!

  8. Reply


    January 22, 2017

    Do you have any tips for finding a way to easily move drapes over a long drapery rod (center & 2 extension rods)? I have trouble even with the little plastic fitting that is supposed to help ease the drapery ring over the “lip”? I cannot be the only person to be frustrated by this??? Finding a single rod that can span the witdth I need is out of the budget right now.

    Any help or suggestions are very much appreciated.

    • Reply

      Caroline McDonald

      August 21, 2018

      The only thing we can think of is one of those clear rod that hangs down next to the panel!

  9. Reply


    November 14, 2016

    Thank you so much!

  10. Reply


    November 6, 2016

    I am so glad to have found this article! Great information! I am making 18ft drapes for our living room, and having a tough time deciding the hanging method to use. What are your thoughts on using pins? I am a bit nervous due to the height creating more weight to the curtain. Thank you!

    • Reply

      Caroline McDonald

      November 7, 2016

      Pins should work fine, even on 18 foot drapes. They are very small and shouldn’t add much weight.
      Best of luck!

      • Brittany

        November 11, 2016

        Thank you so much! So you feel the clips along with the pins will hang them sufficiently without falling off from that height? Do you think I would even need the pins?

      • Caroline McDonald

        November 14, 2016

        Generally speaking, pins are more secure. The clips could slid a bit, but pins should work well!

  11. Reply

    Marita padavich

    October 27, 2016

    I have a window. It takes 4 separate panels. Do these panels need sewn together or can they hang separately.

    • Reply

      Caroline McDonald

      November 11, 2016

      I think that’s really a personal preference. If you won’t be opening and closing the panels a lot, letting them hang separately would be fine. If you think you’ll be using the panels for light control, it would probably be best to have them sewn together!

  12. Reply

    Lillian Schaeffer

    September 23, 2016

    Thanks for sharing this post! I really like your suggestion to use a pleated look to hide hardware when hanging curtains. I’m redecorating my living room, and I want to take the blinds out in favor of curtains. I’d prefer to have the rod hidden, so I’ll definitely look into hanging the drapery with a pleated style.

  13. Reply

    Luzette Lightfoot

    August 18, 2016

    I love the your use of the plastic thread that creates loops on the back of the drapery panel so that a drapery pin can be looped on the back of the panel through the plastic thread and onto the ring. Where can I buy plastic thread as you suggest? I’ve never heard of it before, this will slove my problem. Can’t wait to hear from you!!

    Lu in Tampa, Fl

  14. Reply


    March 23, 2016

    I have the SK heavy linen panels and plan to use ring clips. Very basic question: Where do I place the ring clips (ie, spacing)? Are there placement guides on the panel itself or should they just be evenly space without regarding to existing folds in the fabric?

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      March 25, 2016

      This is a great question. Our trick is to take the panel by the top corners (where you’re placing the clips), fold the panel in quarters. Then place a clip at each end, in the middle of each fold, then in the very middle of the space between the end and the fold. This should space 10 clips evenly along the top of the panel.
      Does that make sense?

  15. Reply


    March 5, 2016

    Love your article, thanks so much. I have your panels 54″ x 108″. In burlap, do you think they will be okay with the ring clips? Or too heAvy?

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      March 7, 2016

      Ring clips should work just fine!

  16. Reply


    January 21, 2016

    So, so helpful for someone who is clueless when it comes to decorating. Thank you!

  17. Reply


    January 2, 2016

    I am so excited to read your article on hanging options for panels. I currently have drapes with drapery pins and would like to replace them with your linen drapes. Do any of the linens drapes have the loops on back for drapery pins? I love the look of the drapes, but have been struggling with how i would hang them.

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      February 9, 2016

      Thanks for your comment. We’re happy to hear you liked this article! Unfortunately we only offer the option for hanging pins on three different panels, our Velvet Drapery Panels, Dupioni Silk Panels, and Jardin Toile Panels. However, you can often find hanging pins online or in your local fabric store that have a very pointy end that makes it possible to use pins on almost any panel since the pointy end can puncture through the fabric and slip over your ring. Does that make sense? We think that might be an option for you!
      Hopefully that helps.
      The How to Decorate Team