How To Hang Curtains In A Dorm

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Hanging curtains in a college dorm room can add personality and make the space feel more like home, but most colleges prohibit drilling holes or hammering nails into the walls. There are several creative, damage-free solutions for hanging curtains, like over-the-door hangers, Command hooks, tension rods, twist-and-fit rods, ceiling hooks, and Kwik-Hang no-drill brackets.

Lightweight, sheer curtains work best with adhesive hooks, tension rods, and twist-and-fit rods, while heavier blackout curtains can be supported by Kwik-Hang brackets.

When selecting any curtains or hardware, carefully measure your dorm room window first. With a bit of creativity and the right curtain-hanging method for your needs, you can easily add curtains to your dorm without damaging the walls, allowing you to give your space some flair and personalization.

What You May Need Before Hanging Your Curtains In A Dorm


For an efficient workflow, you will need to have all the tools you need before starting your work. Having all the tools together will make your job much easier, and you will be done in no time.

Some of the equipment you will require to include:

Command hooks

Command Large Forever Classic Metal Hook, Oil Rubbed Bronze, 2-Hooks, 4-Strips, Decorate Damage-Free

Command hooks here on Amazon!

3M Command products are a must-have for anyone who lives in a dorm or rented unit. Hang lighter curtains from their hooks. Hang a curtain rod across a large clip on each side of the window trim.

Command hooks are available in many different styles, textures, and dimensions. Select a large clip capable of supporting the weight of both your curtain rod and your drapes.

Ceiling hooks for curtains

Amazon Basics Curtain Rod Ceiling-Mount Bracket, Set of 2, Black

Ceiling hooks for curtains here on Amazon!

These hooks are incredibly similar to command hooks in appearance and employ the same sticky strip. The difference is that these hooks are mounted on the ceiling rather than the window trim. This is especially useful in dorm rooms with windows that extend to the ceiling.

If you wish to use a curtain as a room divider, you can also use ceiling hooks because you are not confined to positioning the hooks only on the wall.

The sole disadvantage of ceiling hooks is that they have a lesser weight capacity than command hooks. This can be fixed by adding more ceiling hooks.

Tension rods

BRIOFOX Tension Curtain Rod 43-73 Inches, Rust-Resistance Shower Curtain Rod for Windows or Doorways, Matte Nickel

Tension rods are here on Amazon!

If you have wall space between the window trim and the window itself, you can use a tension rod to hang lightweight curtains in a dorm.

Tension rods are held in place by a center spring and can be positioned to fit between two walls or flat surfaces. End caps keep the rod in position and prevent it from slipping and damaging the wall.

Tension rods can range in price from $5 to $25 on average, depending on the material, length, and thickness, making them a low-cost, damage-free curtain-hanging solution. You won’t need to purchase any additional gear or supplies if you use a tension rod.

Tension rods cannot handle enormous loads because there is no adhesive or permanent fixture. A firm pull on the curtains may also remove the tension rod. The tension may weaken over time, and you may be astonished to find your curtains on the floor.

Therefore, it’s always a good idea to check or reset the tension rod from time to time.

It is vital to note that installing tension rods between the window trim means the curtains will not completely cover the window.

Twist and fit curtain rods

Maytex twist and shout Easy to Install Adjustable Tension Decorative Window Curtain Rod, 28 inches to 48 inches, Oil Rubbed Bronze

Twist and fit curtain rods here on Amazon!

Curtain rods that twist and fit are a more refined version of tension rods. Twist and fit rods may be an excellent solution if your windows cannot handle a standard tension rod.

Twist and fit rods, like tension rods, can be adjusted to fit the width of your window. These rods also feature improvised brackets that lock into the window trim. It’s like having a complete set of curtain hardware in one piece.

These rods, however, are more expensive. Twist and fit rods start from $20 to $25 and go up from there, with some higher-quality parts costing more than $50.

Twist and fit rods are more durable than standard tension rods. You can easily hang medium-weight curtains with the additional bracket support.

Ceiling hooks

Command Ceiling Hooks, 3-Hooks, 4-Foam Strips per Pack, 4 Packs Total, Decorate Damage-Free

Sticky ceiling hooks here on Amazon!

You can hang floor-length curtains from the ceiling with sticky ceiling hooks to create a more elegant or luxury ambiance.

Use them to separate a room and give privacy, which is especially useful if you share a dorm room.

Steps To Follow To Hang Curtains In A Dorm Room

After assembling the tools, you will need to hang your drapes. The actual hanging will then follow. Steps required for you to hang your curtains well include:

Measure your dorm window

Measuring the window is the first step. This measurement is required to determine the length of the tension rod that will be used.

Tension Rods will be placed between windows at the topmost part of the window. It is critical to get this dimension because a tension rod that is too long or too short would not properly fit between the windows.

Place all your materials in one place

It is now time to prepare all of the materials after taking measurements of the room. You’ll need three items: hooks, curtains, and a tension rod. I recommend you use an adjustable tension rod.

The adjustable tension may be adjusted to meet any length. Using a tension rod also avoids the need for Brackets, and the implication is that you will not be drilling any holes in the wall.

You must be innovative enough to select a curtain that complements the room.

Installing a curtain requires two people. Although you can accomplish this on your own, it is preferable to have someone assist you with the installation to make the task easier, neater, and speedier.

Install the tension rods

Installing the rod is the next step in figuring out how to hang curtains in a dorm room. Adjust the tension rod to fit correctly between the two ends of the window.

To prevent purchasing a tension rod that is too long or too short for the window, it must do so with the window’s dimension.

Mount the hooks

To do so, measure the spot on both ends of the window where you want to mount the hook. With a pencil, make a mark there. It is critical to verify that the mounting positions for the hook on both ends are equal.

After that, apply your glue to the back of the hook and press it against the wall. This must be done for both hooks.

Hung the curtain

The method of hanging a curtain in a dorm room is the last thing you need to know. You can hang the curtain on the rod directly or with a curtain clip, which clamps the drape right below the tension rod. 

What Are The Ideal Drapes For The Dorm Room?

Aside from determining how to hang curtains in a Dorm room, you must also consider the type of curtains you want to place in the dorm room. When searching for curtains, you should always consider two factors: pricing and quality.

I recommend an insulated lounge curtain for your dorm room because it helps you sleep during daylight hours while keeping the room temperature bearable.

However, there are a plethora of other excellent options for dorm room curtains. You can look into the following options:

Rains blackout curtains

These curtains are insulated and have a more elegant appearance. If you want a mix of style and functionality, this is a wonderful option for you. It will offer you privacy or reduce the light during the day and insulate your dorm room to give you more comfort.

Thermal insulated blackout curtains

When you’re in your zone, you want to keep as much noise out as possible, and this curtain kind could be just what you need.

Aside from thermal and blackout properties, these thermal insulated blackout curtains also provide active noise canceling, essential in a dorm atmosphere.

Best Curtain Fabric For Your Dorm Room

Since a dorm room is more like a unique room and has a particular curtain installation procedure, there are specific drapes that will be best for it. They include:

Curtains with lightweight fabric

Hanging methods of the dorm do not support heavy weights. Install lightweight curtains to avoid collapsing the whole setup.

A blackout fabric curtain

Blackout curtains are an excellent choice for completely blocking out sunlight. They also offer plenty of seclusions to keep prying eyes at bay.

Curtain fabric with a simple, subtle pattern

If you use a curtain with a solid color or a mild pattern, it will readily fit the rest of your décor.

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