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How to Hang Back Tab Curtains

Back tab curtains have a clean, uncluttered look.
Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images

Back tab curtains have fabric loops sewn along the top backs. The look is clean and somewhat tailored, but it's less structured than pleated curtains and draperies. The top edge appears straight, but not stiff. The tabs, which are hidden once you hang the curtains, cause the fabric to fall into soft folds. Because the rod will show when you open back tab curtains, opt for a decorative curtain rod instead a white utility version.

Things You'll Need:

  • Curtain Rod With Brackets
  • Measuring Tape
  • Pencil

Lay one of your curtain panels face side down. Measure down from the top of a tab to the bottom of the panel; the tabs aren’t always even with the curtains’ tops.

Position your measuring tape next to the window’s left side, just outside the frame, so the projecting sill doesn’t get in the way. Measure up from the spot where you want your curtain hem to fall -- floor, apron or windowsill -- to the length you measured in Step 1. Mark the spot with a light pencil mark. Repeat at the window’s right side.

Install the curtain rod’s brackets as the manufacturer instructs. Position them so the top of the rod lines up with your pencil marks. Place the rod on c-shaped brackets or slide it into o-shaped versions to check the alignment.

Remove the left end of the rod from its bracket. With the decorative side of the curtain facing you, thread the rod through all but the last tab of the left curtain panel. Place the end of the rod back on or in its bracket. Pull the unattached tab across the front of the bracket and slide it over the end of the rod. Screw the finial into the end of the rod. Repeat with the right end of the rod and the right curtain panel.

Adjust the spacing of the tabs across the rod as needed. Slide your hand down the curtains beneath each tab to straighten the fabric folds.


Store-bought curtains typically come folded in packages. If yours are creased or wrinkled, fluff them in the dryer on delicate, iron them through a towel or guide a handheld steamer along their installed length, depending on the manufacturer’s care instructions. The right method depends on the curtain fabric.

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