How to Hang Curtains Over Blinds

Hanging curtains over blinds can add an extra layer of style, light filtering, and privacy to your windows. With some planning and the right techniques, you can install curtain rods and curtains over existing blinds or shades. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to hang curtains over blinds properly.

Gather the Right Curtains and Hardware

Before starting the installation process, you need to get the right curtains and hardware. Here are some tips for choosing suitable curtains and rods for hanging over blinds:

Curtain Style and Fabric

  • Opt for lightweight, breezy curtains that won’t overwhelm the blinds underneath. Sheer, linen, or gauzy curtains are ideal choices.
  • Avoid heavy fabrics like velvet or brocade that will completely hide the blinds. Go for light-filtering materials instead.
  • Measure the height and width of your windows carefully to get custom-fit curtains. Having too much excess fabric can make installation tricky.
  • For a tidy look, choose curtain lengths that just brush the floor or puddle slightly. Dramatic floor-sweeping curtains can look bulky.
  • Match the style of the curtains to your overall decor. Simple, unfussy curtains suit modern spaces, while gathered or pleated styles work for traditional rooms.

Curtain Rods

  • Curtain rods for hanging over blinds should be at least 2-3 inches wider than the window frame to accommodate both blinds and curtains.
  • Sturdy double rods with inner and outer rods work best. The inner rod holds up the blinds, while the outer rods support the curtains.
  • For a clean look, choose low-profile rods that sit close to the molding. Thick, ornamental rods will make the windows look cluttered.
  • Match the color and finish of the rods to the existing hardware in the room, like doorknobs or cabinet pulls.
  • Opt for extendable rods that you can customize to fit your windows perfectly. Avoid rods that are too long or short.

Other Hardware

  • Gather necessary mounting brackets, screws, drywall anchors, and other hardware to securely install the rods.
  • Have quality ring hooks, clip rings, or pin hooks ready to hang the curtains onto the rods.
  • Purchase additional accessories like finials and holdbacks based on your curtain style.

Mount the Curtain Rods

Installing the curtain rods is the most important step in hanging curtains over existing window treatments. Follow these tips for a smooth installation:

Measure Carefully

  • Measure the width of each window or glass door accurately, along with any surrounding moldings or trim.
  • Add at least 2-3 inches on both sides for the outer rod that will hold the curtains. Account for more space if your curtains or rods are extra wide.
  • Note down the measurements and use them to choose the right curtain rods and rings for each window. Extendable rods allow adjusting small gaps.

Use the Right Mounting Placement

  • Install the rods just above the existing blind hardware. Remove any old curtain rods if needed.
  • For inside mount rods within the window frame, position the brackets 2-3 inches above the molding.
  • For outside mount rods on the wall, install 6-8 inches above the window trim for sufficient clearance.

Follow the Manufacturer’s Instructions

  • Refer to the curtain rod’s manual for how much weight it can handle, and the number of brackets needed.
  • Note the spacing recommended between brackets. This is usually 24 – 48 inches.
  • Use the included screws and drywall anchors to affix the brackets securely into studs or the wall.

Check for Level and Sturdiness

  • Use a small level tool to ensure the curtain rod is completely straight and even at both ends after mounting.
  • Give the rod a gentle shake to confirm it is sturdy with no loose brackets. The rod should not wobble at all.
  • Realign any crooked brackets and tighten screws in loose ones to reinforce the rod.

Hang the Curtains

Once the hard work of installing the rods is done, it’s time for the fun part – dressing the rods with beautiful curtains! Follow these tips:

Iron the Curtains

Give the curtains a thorough ironing or steaming to remove any creases from packaging.

Put Up the Curtain Rings or Hooks

Attach clip rings, pin hooks or robe hooks along the upper back side of the curtains, according to the package spacing guidelines.

Space them evenly so the curtains hang smoothly without sagging.

Arrange Curtains on Rods

Most rods have an inner rod for blinds and an outer rod for curtains. Carefully slide rings onto the outer rod, positioning curtain panels evenly across the window.

Adjust Length or Hemming

If needed, adjust the curtain length by temporarily pinning the hems and marking where to sew a new hem. Remove curtains and re-hem them to the ideal floor-skimming length.

Consider Added Touches

Add holdbacks, tiebacks, or finials to finish off the curtains. Position them evenly on both sides for symmetry.

Troubleshoot Potential Issues

When installing curtains over existing blinds, a few problems can pop up. Here are some common challenges and solutions:

Rods Aren’t Wide Enough for Both

If curtains puddle or the blinds won’t raise properly, the rods may be too narrow. Extend the rods if possible or purchase wider replacement rods.

Hardware Mounting is Off-Center

This makes the window treatments hang unevenly. Carefully remount brackets to ensure rods are centered and level.

Blinds Get Tangled in Curtains

Fabric can get caught in blind slats if rods are mounted too low. Raise rod height to allow blinds to operate smoothly without interference.

Too Much Light Filtering

With both blinds and curtains, the window can look dark. Substitute lighter, breezy sheers to maintain brightness.

Metal Rings Make Noise

Plastic or fabric rings can reduce bothersome clanging of metal on metal. Or add rubber O-rings inside metal rings to prevent noise.

Style Ideas and Inspiration

Hanging curtains over shades or blinds allows you to double up on style! Here are some chic window treatment combinations for inspiration:

Sheers Over Matching Blinds

Hang breezy white sheers over complementary white wood or faux wood blinds. This monochromatic pairing looks crisp and modern.

Patterned Curtains Over Plain Roller Shades

Introduce color and vibrancy by mounting vibrant patterned curtains over simple solid-colored roller shades. The pairing adds depth.

Textured Linens Over Bamboo Shades

Cozy natural-fiber linen or cotton curtains complement eco-friendly bamboo shades nicely for an organic look.

Bold Solids Over White Blinds

Make a style statement by hanging opaque curtains in rich solids like emerald, sapphire or gold over classic white blinds.

Metallic Sheers Over Blackout Shades

For light control and a glam touch, install shimmery metallic sheer panels over standard blackout shades or blinds.

Best Practices for Hanging Curtains and Blinds

Follow these general best practices when planning, measuring, purchasing and installing blinds and curtains together:

  • Check window measurements carefully before buying any window treatments. Account for all trims, handles and surrounding moldings.
  • Select lighter, breezy curtain fabrics that won’t overwhelm or hide the blinds underneath.
  • Look for low-profile hardware and rods that provide sufficient clearance between the blinds and curtains.
  • Mount the curtain rods just above the blind hardware using the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Install rods wider than the window itself to prevent any crowding or interference. Extendable rods allow slight adjustments.
  • Use clips, rings or hooks designed to smoothly glide along the rod without snagging.
  • Hang curtains high and long to soften the windows beautifully without negatively impacting the function of the blinds.
  • Adjust or re-hem curtains to the ideal length so they don’t get tangled in blind hardware or slats.
  • Layer sheers or thin linens before thicker drapes to provide sufficient light filtering.

By following the tips above and using quality hardware, you can successfully hang beautiful, functional curtains over your existing window blinds or shades. Get creative with different color palettes, textures, and patterns to create custom window treatments that reflect your personal style.

FAQs About Hanging Curtains Over Blinds

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about coordinating blinds and curtains:

Should curtains touch the floor when hanging over blinds?

Curtains hanging over blinds can touch the floor, but generally look best with a break of 1-3 inches above the floor. This keeps their hems clean and prevents fabric from getting caught in blind hardware or sliding doors.

Do you put curtains inside or outside the window when using blinds?

With most standard windows, it works best to mount curtains on an outside mounted rod, installed on the wall above the blinds. This provides sufficient clearance. Inside mounted rods tend to crowd the space.

What length of curtains should I get for windows with blinds?

Measure from above the blinds right down to the floor, then add 4-6 inches. This provides enough curtain length to puddle attractively on the floor without being so long they tangle in the blinds.

Should I get blackout curtains or regular curtains for windows with blinds?

Regular light-filtering curtains are ideal for layering over most blinds, which already provide some light blocking on their own. Blackout curtains tend to be heavy and overwhelm the blinds.

What type of curtain rods work best over blinds?

Opt for wide, sturdy double rods designed specifically for layering curtains over blinds. The inner rod holds up the blinds, while the outer rod mounts the curtain hooks or rings.

Can I hang curtains from ceiling to floor if I have blinds on the windows?

Full floor-to-ceiling curtains can make layers with blinds look messy and crowded. Mounting tailored window curtains using a proper rod over the blinds is best.

Should you put blinds or curtains on the windows first?

It’s easiest to install any blinds or shades first since they sit right on the window frame itself. Once the blinds are up, the curtain rods can be positioned just above them.

Is it OK to hang curtains from the same rod as the blinds?

Sharing one rod for both curtains and blinds leads to congestion and tangled fabrics. Investing in a separate wider rod for the curtains prevents issues.

What distance should curtain rods be from the window frame with blinds?

Mount rods for curtains anywhere from 2-8 inches above your window trim or existing blind hardware. This allows both elements to function without interference.


Layering tailored curtains over window blinds allows you to control light and privacy while also adding warmth, softness, and your unique decorative style. By using the right mounting techniques, selecting suitable curtains and hardware, and properly measuring your windows, you can achieve a blended look that highlights both elements beautifully. Experiment with different colors, fabrics, and curtain styles to find the perfect framing for your blinds.