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How to Hang Curtain Lights (5 Expert Tips)

beautiful string lights decoration at a restaurant

Also known as fairy lights, curtain lights are essentially just indoor Christmas string lights. They add an easygoing and almost ethereal vibe to a space but hanging them is easier said than done. The good news is that hanging curtain lights isn’t as impossible as you might think. Let’s check out how you can hang curtain lights up like a pro.

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The 5 Steps on How to Hang Curtain Lights

1. Plan Your Design

Some people like to just do a simple window light perimeter, while other folks get wild and make complex art with curtain lights. Regardless of which one you are, you’ll have to write down some measurements before you start putting lights up willy-nilly. Lay out the wire you have and see if you have enough. If not, go grab some more before we move on.

big windows with brown wooden frames
Image By: Miguel Luis, Unsplash

2. Buy a Curtain & Curtain Rod

It seems obvious, but you need a curtain for curtain lights or some of the effect is lost. Choose whatever type of curtain is suitable for your window and space, but make sure that you get a standard rod and brackets. It’ll make hanging the lights up much easier later on.

Lastly, you should always check to make sure your lights will have access to an appropriate electrical outlet. If not, an extension cord might be a wise investment.

3. Install the Curtain

First, use a drill to install the curtain brackets as directed in their instructions. It’s usually just as easy as putting a couple of screws in while holding the bracket in the right position. If you’re not careful, some brackets can slip while you’re working. We know you’re excited about your lights, but take it easy and install the brackets right so you don’t have to think about it again.

person measuring the window
Image By: New Africa, Shutterstock

4. Hang Up Your Lights

The easiest way to hang curtain lights is to simply take a string of lights across the top of your curtain rod and stick it to the rod at various points across the wire’s length. For a more whimsical but less secure look, wind the lights around the rod, like ivy. You can also use adhesive hooks or eye hooks. The former requires no drilling, which is great for renters.

5. Add Decorative Touches

Congrats on hanging up your lights! Now’s the fun part: decorating the space now that you have pretty, twinkling little lights running across your curtain. There are so many different ways you can dress up curtain lights, but we’ll just list a handful down below.

Seashell Indoor String Lights_Branislav Cerven_Shutterstock
Image Credit: Branislav Cerven, Shutterstock

Ideas for Dressing Up Curtain Lights:

  • Layer faux ivy around the lights for a cottage-core window.
  • Add filmy gauze and flowers for a birthday, wedding, or special occasion.
  • Opt for blue or pink curtain lights and matching drapes for a gender reveal party or baby shower.
  • Decorate the wall around it with matching stars.
  • Paint a mural around the window to create your own art exhibit.
  • Run the lights down the drapes with winding faux ivy and onto adjacent surfaces to give the impression of the lights growing.

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Curtain or fairy lights may be just the thing you need to brighten up a space or as the cherry on top for a special occasion. Don’t be afraid to alter or experiment, because that’s often how we find our greatest creations.

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Featured Image Credit: Jumpstory


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