Curtain Panel – How to Measure Right!

10 Jan

This question is from Lillian, from Bloomington, MN:

“My curtain panel is 84′”, it is always too short for my window, I can see the wall  What am I doing wrong?  Where can get some great prices?”

Measuring is key.  For a window, the curtain rod should only be 3-4 inches above the window frame (molding).  Take some masking tape and mark that spot.   Using a measuring tape, measure from that point, all the way ’til you meet the floor*.  What is the measurement, once at the floor?   If the number is less than 84″, then a 84″ panel will work.  If the number is more than 84”, this panel will not work, it will be too short!  The next size standard size available would be a 96″ panel.

Do the same process, if the 96″ is a bit long, about 1″in, you can always put a hem.  However; if is more than an inch, you might have to go custom!  Or cut the excess, you have to decide what’s best for you.

Now when measuring, please take in consideration, whether it’s a drape panel, a rod pocket or rings.  For rod pocket, it’s the length you are concerned about from the pocket.  For rings, the length from the ring clips, minus one inch.

You did not mention the width of the window, sometimes you have to double up on the panels if the window is very wide.  The width is usually 55″, OPEN!  So you will have to measure across and divide by 55 and the total will let you know how many panels you will probably need.   It all depends all on the style type and if you want a drape effect.  If you are looking to use curtain tiebacks, there are various styles in which you can drape to get the look you prefer!

Here are the standard panel sizes for your reference (non-custom).

55” width x 84” height

55″ width x 96″ height

55″ width x 108″ height

You also asked, what is a good website for curtain looking?  Try looking at and  Before even looking at styles, the size is the first important task!   I also recommend getting a measuring tape detailing each line description labeled.  For example 1, 1/2, 1/3, 1/4; etc.  Check your hardware store, I have a couple…it saves a lot of time in measuring.

I hope this information helps.  If you still having trouble, just e-mail me your ceiling height, how far the window frame is from the ceiling and width of your window; we should be able to figure it out together!  You originally sent this question through my business website as a  project request <smile>, please send to  Good luck!   Oh! The comment box can be used also; if you prefer! 😉

Letia 🙂

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