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Installing Custom Curtains Part 2: What Tools Will I Need?

Explore part 2 of our in-depth series on installing custom curtains.

installing custom curtains

Hi all!

Following up on last week’s post on installing your custom drapes, I wanted to dig in a little and discuss a few more topics. This week, let’s talk about tools and hardware.

As I mentioned last week, I probably went to the hardware store three times each day I spent on hanging my curtains. I don’t mind wandering around a hardware store when I have time to spare, but this wasn’t that. It was a frantic sprint to buy one obscure thing, each time, because without it I couldn’t go any further.

So, in the hopes of saving you some time and a lot of stress, let’s look at the tools you’ll need to hang your custom curtains.


  • Tape measure: Do not attempt to use your eyes to measure things.
  • Pencil or chalk: Marking walls is a must, if you want things to line up correctly.
  • Level: Crooked curtains look horrible, trust me.
  • Drill (with 2-3 drillbits): Expect to need a small drillbit (3/32”), a mid-sized one (3/16”), and a larger one (5/16”)
  • Hacksaw: At some point, you’ll probably need to adjust a mounting rod to fit your window.
  • Screwdrivers: Expect to need a phillips-head and a flathead)
  • Shop vacuum or hand vacuum

If you’re thinking, “well, duh, this is obvious,” then you’re smarter than me. When hanging my custom curtains, I did not prepare at all to clean up, didn’t have a blade for my hacksaw, and was missing several drill bits in sizes I needed… but that wasn’t what really did me in.

My archenemy was all of the small hardware and supplies needed. Expect, by the end of the project, to need:

  • Screws (wood and possibly concrete/brick)
  • Drywall anchors
  • Spackle
  • Sandpaper (medium and fine)
  • Paint: A quart (or gallon) for each wall color depending on how many windows.
  • Small paintbrush
  • Masking tape and paper (stiff)

The screws and drywall anchors that come with most curtain rods range from mediocre to terrible. Plan to replace them all with something better and buy accordingly.

You’ll need wood screws, probably 1 ¼”, for where you can mount hangers on a stud, and good drywall anchors for where you can’t. I recommend the expanding kind, see the photo below. The bottom two are what you’ll get included with most hardware, I would definitely upgrade.

curtain screws

At some point, you’ll put a hole somewhere you don’t want it, and have to spackle and repaint. You can certainly wait until you need to to buy the materials to do so, but expect to need them eventually. As far as stiff paper, there’s a trick to catching dust from drilling that I’ll discuss in a later post. It’s a lifesaver when it comes to cleaning up after you’ve hung your custom drapes.

Emma Custom does not sell commercially available hardware at a major markup just because we found it and put it on our website. We believe that DIY projects should have access to the best materials and the best information and support for bringing your vision to life, so we sell only what we’re good at, custom curtains. Check out the rest of the website, and start designing your custom curtains today.

Stay tuned next week for a quick overview of mounting hardware to help you choose what’s best for you!


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