How to Order Window Curtains

Before ordering curtains, it is important to know what you want. First, you must decide if you want to keep the same curtain rods. Then you must decide if you want the curtains just to cover the windows or to hang to the floor. Next, you must decide how full you want your curtains to be. Once you know what you want for your home decor, measuring and then ordering curtains is not a difficult task. The key is to measure accurately, so your curtains will fit correctly.

How to Order Window Curtains

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window curtain
  1. Decide if you want to keep the same rods. If your window already has curtain rods, you may choose to keep the same rods and hang the curtains from these rods. If so, measure the width first by placing the tape measure across the front face of the rod from tip to tip. Do not include a wrap around measurement or a finial measurement. Add 6 inches to your measurement to cover the casement. If you want your curtains to be full, double your measurement. Record your measurement. The width is always expressed first.
  2. Decide where you want the curtain to hang. Measure from the top of the rod at the center point to where you want the curtain to hang. If you want the curtain to hang to the floor, measure to the floor and subtract one-half to one inch. If you want the curtain to fall just past the bottom of the window casement, add 4 inches to the bottom. Record your measurement as the second number.
  3. Decide to replace the curtain rods. If you wish to hang new rods, you may decide to place the curtains at any level and extend out to any width. If you decide to place the rods at a normal width, measure the window from the inside and add 6 inches to cover the casement. Again, multiply by two if you want full curtains. If you are hanging your rod at a normal height above the window, measure from the inside window to where you want the curtains to fall. Add 4 inches for the top of the window. Remember to subtract one-half to 1 inch from the floor, if you want the curtains to come to the floor without dragging.
  4. Place your order. Make sure to write your measurements with the width expressed first and the height expressed second.

Things You Will Need

  • Retractable metal tape measure
  • Pencil and paper
  • Step stool (optional)


  • Use a step stool for easier access.
  • Ask someone to help you by holding the tape while you measure.
  • For even fuller curtains, multiply by three instead of two.


  • Do not use a cloth tape measure because it is difficult to hold it taut.


About the Author

Pauline Gill is a retired teacher with more than 25 years of experience teaching English to high school students. She holds a bachelor's degree in language arts and a Master of Education degree. Gill is also an award-winning fiction author.