Just by hanging outdoor curtains your space is instantly elevated.

It’s special…

it’s charming

it’s intimate

it’s romantic

It has ambiance … and attitude! It becomes an oasis … your private resort!

Sheer curtain panels can obscure a less than desirable view and they can frame a stunning view. They say “special, cozy & private”.

They’re such a simple way to make a big statement, like here and here.

Sheer curtain hanging on balcony with boston fern

And it’s not expensive. We’re talking sheers here, rather than heavy drapes and no expanse of outdoor curtain rods are needed.

Adding indoor elements to outdoor spaces; think area rugs, lamps, wall art and yes, curtain panels, elevates the outdoor space to the same level as your indoor rooms.

Let that patio-deck-balcony proudly throw back its shoulders and carry the same entertaining weight as any indoor room!

Sheer white curtain panels hanging on screened porch

Our screened porch certainly carried the entertaining weight in our last house. (sorry I don’t have good pictures of the sheers with the trees all green)

single sheer white curtain panel hanging on screened porch

That table lamp? It served us so well out there — made the porch a room, a very special room. That lampshade post is getting a rewrite at the moment.

But this blog post its about how to hang outdoor curtain panels. Don’t have time right now? No worries. Pin this to find it when you need it:

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Let’s Get Started Adding Ambiance

Sheer white curtain panel hanging outside with boston ferns

Materials and Supplies:

closeup of White sheer panel with loops at the top

Let’s Talk Outdoor Fabric-

Since we’re talking outdoor use, choose a fabric that is machine washable and dryable. Any rain will dry quickly and you can throw them in the washing machine between seasons like I do. Yes, in this case, you can use indoor curtains in your outdoor spaces.

Keep in mind, these sheers are not privacy curtains or protection from the weather. This type of curtains is for ambiance, filtered shade and maybe filteriing a view.

My original outdoor curtains on the screened in porch were made from the cheapest white sheer window scarf Walmart had in stock at the time — those were the dark ages before online shopping.

Typically window scarf valances are 216″ long, yielding two panels. But be careful because some of them are not very wide.

You can use individual panels, if the length is right and you don’t mind spending a bit more as trade-off for no cutting and hemming.

In our current house, I’ve made two more pair from window scarves ordered online. 

If you prefer no sewing, purchase panels that have thin tab tops.

I prefer a more matte sheer with a bit of texture. With that in mind, I’d choose these curtain panels in lots of size options and this for a scarf (at a crazy cheap price) if you don’t mind cutting and hemming a bit.

NOTE: if you plan to always have your panels tied back as we do, the length does not need to match the height of your hanging space — longer is better because the length will rise up as they are tied back.

And if you have enough extra length, I love the look of the panel tied in a loose knot where my ribbon is.

Let’s Talk Hardware-

Plain and simple, tension rods, sisal rope and adhesive hooks like command hooks, do not hold up in outdoor areas. Even classic curtain rods on traditional curtain rod hardware may not hold up to strong winds (and could become dangerous).

Outdoor drapery rods, whether ready-made or diy, are made to hold up to harsh weather conditions, but the curtains will not stay put. They slide wherever the wind takes them. Plus they can get quite expensive and are just a heavier look than I wanted.

I have found the best way to hang outdoor curtains for decorative purposes is also the easiest method and least expensive! The trifecta of curtain hanging!!!

So rather than using rods, I hung the panels from hooks (actually cabinet door knobs) at a spacing that worked for my spaces.

Now, my sheer panels stay where they belong and the hardware is incredibly inexpensive and easy to install.

black drawer pull or knob and sku information from Home Depot

They’re way up high, all I wanted was round and black.

I used the least expensive black drawer pulls I could find at Home Depot. Check! And check!

I suggest five knobs per 54 to 56-inch wide panel.

Dowel screw packages at Home Depot

Then pick up a package of hanger bolts (dowel screws will work in a pinch). You should be able to find them hanging with all the “specialty screws”.

Hanger bolts have machine screw threading on one end and wood screw threading on the other. Dowel screws have wood screw threading at both ends.

These let you screw a drawer pull on one end and the other end screws it into the porch header, wooden beams, the side of the house or nearby structure, or even into a hearty tree branch.

Prepare Your Curtain Panels

If you bought panels with tab tops, then you are ready to go and can jump ahead to installing your hardware.

If you bought a window scarf like I did, you’ll first need to cut it to your desired length plus allowance for a double turned under hem.

I cut that long scarf into two long panels, about 108-inches each.

Then folded and pressed a modest hem, folding over twice.

PRO TIP: Add a curtain weight in the corners of each bottom hem. 

Run it through the sewing machine, but you can certainly hand-stitch if the machine terrifies you. This hem will be the bottom of the curtain and hardly show. Don’t stress about its perfection.

Now For the Ribbon Loops

Use stout ribbon, such as grosgrain or a soft webbing.

I wanted to stay with white and only had a wide grosgrain piece on hand. So I pressed it in half lengthwise and then stitched down those sides (probably didn’t really need to stitch the sides).

Cut you ribbons to length. For my 1-1/8″ knobs, I cut my ribbons 4-inches long. I suggest doing a zig zag over the ends, or if machine fear kicks in, then heat-seal the ends.

You can only heat-seal ribbons that are of synthetic fibers. (not cotton, wool or burlap) Cut you ribbon and pass the flame from a lighter across the very tip of those cut edges. Watch carefully as the edge melts and shrivels up. Sidenote: it’s really rather fascinating to watch. 

CAUTION: Of course, use precautions with open flame. And please do not have any little ones watching, possibly planting the seed to mimic.

Along the top of the curtains, mark where your ribbons will go.

With five there’s no math required. One centered on each of the side hems, fold in half and mark the middle, then line up each corner mark with the middle and and mark both of those middles.

Closeup of secured ribbon with a stitched box

Next, on each mark, stitch a ribbon folded in half with ends lined up a bit below the top on the backside of your panel.

PRO TIP: Pin one of the ribbons in place and test again, making sure the loop is large enough to make it over the drawer pull.

All good? Then stitch these securely!!!

I stitched a box with one edge of the box along the upper folded edge of the hem. This keeps the upper edge flat and hanging evenly. You can certainly do this by hand. Your stitches will barely show.

Install Your Curtain Hardware

Closeup of black knobs holding sheer curtain panel with slack

Determine how wide you want to space your knobs. You can go as wide as your panel, or space them in a bit to give a more eased look.

Look back up at our screened porch panels, I hung them very drapey — just for a touch of ambiance! And look at the spacing at the very bottom of this post where I overlap two panels.

Go with what works for your style and your space.

Closeup of black knobs holding sheer curtain panel tautly

Our balcony is L-Shaped with one arm deeper than the other (such is our quirky 60’s nestsigh).

I hung both panels the full width of the balcony arms, so one is rather taut at the top and one is more eased.

I seem to be the only one that notices this. And here I am pointing it out to you.

Obviously, I trust you with my dirty secrets and consider us good friends!

Screw drawer pull knobs into header.
Closeup of black knob on dowel screw screwed into header

Measure and mark the placement for your knobs.

With a drill (or if your drill battery is on loan to a neighbor when you’re ready for progress, a large nail will do — oh, like that’s never happened to you. Yup, I thought so…..), create a starter hole.

First step, screw your knobs on the dowel screws and then into your starter holes. (Told you it was easy!)

Hang Your New Curtains the Easy Way

So simple there’s not much to say here: just hook each loop over each knob. 

Add a Tieback-

Now pull them back to one side and add a locking cup hook where you want a curtain tieback.

Your tie back can be something as simple as a pretty ribbon, but outdoors its is nice to have something with a bit of weight to help hold everything  in place during strong winds.

These dyed cotton rope tiebacks I made for our patio curtains work much better than the ribbons I’ve been using on the balcony sheers.

New curtain tiebacks for the balcony are on my current crafting list. Stay-tuned for an update.

Alternative Outdoor Curtain Styling

I also hung a pair of outdoor sheers on one end of the patio under the balcony.

(The other end is a bar area).

full length view of cabinet with accent striping, sheer curtains hanging on brick screen wall with an oval mirror above the cabinet and a large palm with a new light fixture

This corner is decorated more like indoors with a fun storage cabinet with a touch of colorful stain, an oval mirror diy, new light fixture and usually some seasonal decor, like this wire cloche.

So here I hung a pair together overlapping and flanking the mirror that’s hung on a 60’s brick screen.

Do you have a spot that needs a bit of resort treatment? I encourage you to go for it!

round image of Diane smiling next to a Signature that reads: With Joy, Diane

26 Comments

  1. Jean | Delightful Repast

    Diane, I love this! Now if I can just talk my husband into it! Like you, I’m a traditionalist with a twist, so I’m sure to like many of your projects here. Adding you to my list! #CharmingHomesAndGardens

    Reply
    • Diane

      Thanks so much Jean! Would love having you on board!!!

      Reply
  2. Jayne

    Great idea! I’ve been thinking of making something like this for our outdoor area but was worried about the wind since we get quite a bit! now I know exactly how to to do it!

    Reply
    • Diane

      Yea!! Please send pics when you’re done! Would love to see how your’s turns out.

      Reply
  3. Libbie

    Love how elevated the outdoor space becomes!

    Reply
  4. Kim | Shiplap and Shells

    I’ve always loved sheer curtains hanging in an outdoor space! Well done! Thank you for sharing with Charming Homes and Gardens Party!

    Reply
    • Diane

      Thanks Kim! And I truly appreciate the feature in Charming Homes And Gardens!

      Reply
  5. Claudia

    Your instructions are so complete. Your pictures of the things you need are so helpful. I haven’t seen your blog before but I hope to follow you from now on. Thanks for your inspiration.

    Reply
    • Diane

      Thanks Claudia!
      Welcome! I’m so happy you found me. Please share your “discovery”. The more the merrier. ?

      Reply
    • Diane

      Thanks Michelle! When you hang yours, be sure to send me a pic!

      Reply
    • Katy

      it was the KNOB IDEA!!! I have notes and notes of ideas and when I stumbled across this pic and clicked the link….WHY didn’t I think of this!! Cannot wait for SPRING!! (getting another 9 inches of snow today!)

      Reply
  6. Richella J Parham

    These look awesome!! The knobs are a brilliant idea! I think you’ve made a lot of us say “Why didn’t I think of that??” Well, we didn’t have to, thanks to you!

    Thanks for joining the Grace at Home party at Imparting Grace! I’m featuring you this week.

    Reply
    • Diane

      Thanks so much Richella!! I hope they inspire others!
      And thanks for hosting Grace at Home!

      Reply
  7. Catherine

    How I wish I could go back and forth in time to read this and not do it the completely wrong way last summer. I used PVC and plumbing hardware to hang gauzy Ikea curtains on my patio in my very windy backyard. Which lasted all of well, no time. If I can convince my husband that this will work, we may give it another go. Or maybe I’ll just do it and he can be in awe of my problem solving skillz.

    Reply
  8. Sher

    Perfect! I had bought the panels but was struggling with the rod. Now you have provided the solution and it will work wonderfully for our porch. Thanks very much!

    Reply
    • Diane

      Glad this will work for you. Please send pics!!!

      Reply
  9. Amy

    Great idea with the knobs! I’ve got my outdoor curtains ready to go up soon so I’m going to look into this!

    Reply
    • Diane

      It’s a great option when you don’t really want to pull the panels open or closed, but just use them to frame — or hide — a view and add ambiance. Glad that it might help you out. Let me know if you do this. I’d love to see a pic!

      Reply
  10. Christine

    So happy I found this post! You made my life so easy hanging sheers on my new deck. Thank you for the FABULOUS idea!

    Reply
    • Diane

      I too am so glad you found your way here. Glad this is going to help you out. Please send your friends over too.

      Reply
  11. Wendy McMonigle

    I love this idea, Diane; it adds so much charm to your outdoor space.

    Reply
    • Diane

      Thanks Wendy! It really does give me resort vibes. (Now, all I need is a pool boy)

      Reply
  12. Missy

    Great tips for securing the curtains! And I am a sucker for a wispy drape beside a hanging fern! Great post, Diane!

    Reply

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