7 Renter-Friendly Ways To Hang Curtains Without Drilling

updated Nov 1, 2023
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If you’re looking for easy, inexpensive ways to hang curtains without drilling holes into your wall, there are lots of options. While some landlords are lenient about drilling holes to hang art and curtains, every now and then you meet a landlord who’s such a stickler, you wouldn’t even dare bring a drill into the apartment. If you find yourself in such a situation, these damage-free ideas for hanging curtains will help you keep your privacy—and your security deposit.

Credit: Sandra Rojo

1. Use Temporary Command Hooks

If you love the look of a real curtain rod — or have a penchant for decorative finials — then a simple tension rod probably won’t work for you. Instead, use a trick we often employ on photo shoots when we don’t want to drill holes in our studio walls: pick up some Command hooks. They attach everything from picture frames to small shelves to the wall, yet one tug on the strip’s tab instantly releases the hold. Command sells metal hooks designed specifically to hold curtain rods, and the brushed nickel finish works with a wide variety of curtains.

2. Hang Curtains With Tension Rods

If you have traditional paned windows with frames, tension rods that stretch from one side of the frame to the other are a subtle and sophisticated way to hang curtains. When hanging sheer, lightweight curtains, pair them with a thin curtain rod (no bigger than 7/16 inches) for a delicate style. Depending on the look you’re going for (and how much privacy you need), you can position the rod at the top of the window for maximum coverage or place it lower for a cafe-curtain style.

3. Order Custom Compression Shades

If you plan to stay in your rental for several years and don’t mind spending a little more to get custom-cut blinds, there are several companies that offer blinds with a compression system (i.e. a drill-free installation). Check out RediShade’s selection of Artisan Custom Shades. These fabric pull-down shades come in 7 different degrees of light filtering, from translucent to blackout, to make both sunlight lovers and vampires happy. Be sure to choose an option that uses a “Simple Fit” compression system, rather than an adhesive strip, which can harm the paint at the top of the window frame.

4. Combine No-Drill Brackets With a Traditional Rod

We have good news: If you love the look of a traditional curtain rod, you don’t have to opt for a more temporary tension rod and sacrifice your desired style. These temporary no-drill brackets from Amazon work with most standard curtain rods, securing them into place with spring snaps and adhering to the wall with tough (but damage-free!) adhesive. The best part? You can switch out the rod (or take it down for cleaning) as desired without even taking the brackets off the wall.

5. Make a Faux Roman Shade

By sewing a custom-sized curtain panel with pockets at the top and bottom for tension rods, you can create faux Roman shades. If you know how to sew a straight line, making this shade is a breeze, and DIY-ing it lets you customize the color and pattern of the window treatment. When it’s time to move out, you can pack up the rods and curtain and take them along to your next place.

Credit: Amazon

6. Buy Twist & Fit Curtain Rods

Using the same concept as an ordinary tension rod, twist-and-fit curtain rods are secured across the window. Their design gives the impression of a hook and a separate rod, when in fact, it’s all one piece. Maytex makes a great option in the dark oil-rubbed bronze finish, but metallic designs are also available.

7. Suspend Curtain Rods from the Ceiling

If it’s dry, crumbly plaster, or a cinderblock wall that’s preventing you from drilling holes, consider hanging your curtain rod from the ceiling instead. If you have high-set windows, suspending curtains from the ceiling will look natural. Take a look at this Petra Mounting Bracket (set of two), which comes in seven finishes.

Lastly, if you’re stuck on what curtains to buy, check out these stylish curtains and window treatments!