Have the 11ft. rod AND a new dilemma - rod pocket or rings?

bac717July 13, 2010

I guess you could call this Part II to the 'Where will I find an 11 foot drapery rod' post. Altho the new rods from Country Curtains are not up, I'm pretty sure they will work for my situation. However, my latest dilemma is whether or not to keep it simple and just use the rod pockets to hang the drapes or make it more complicated and try to use rings. I see so many window treatments with rings and I really love the look, but I'm trying to decide if it's worth the extra expense of the the rings. The rings available at Country Curtains have the clip which I'm not crazy about, but they match the rod and are the right size. I'd try to figure out a way to add something to the back of the panel, so that the clip would be hidden. They would run me an extra $60! I looked on line for rings with a loop instead of a clip and I think it will be quite difficult to find the diameter and color I need. If I do, they will cost at least twice as much!

So, what would you do? Rod pockets or rings?

If anyone has used the rings with the clips, have you come up with a way to hide the clips so that all you see is the bottom of the ring 'touching' the top of the panel?



Here is a link that might be useful: Here's the look I love

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Bac, someone can probably explain it better than I can but there are drapery pins/hooks that you insert into the drape and then the ring is hooked onto the pin to achieve the look you want. Take a look at my drapes in my DR. BTW, in these pics you will see lots of rings. However, many of them were removed so that the sheer and the drape are now on one ring because there were too many rings and I didn't like the look. Hope this makes sense!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2010 at 10:36PM
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Deborahnj -- thanks for taking the time to post those pictures. I appreciate it. The difference, tho, between your drapes and mine is that yours are pinch pleated and I want to keep mine flat. The pleat gives you something to insert the hook into, but I don't have anything like that.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2010 at 10:47PM
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I like the look of rings also, and honestly I really don't notice the clips. (Maybe because most of my drapes are espresso colored and the rings and clips are ORB, so they kind of blend.) The pictures above using the drapery pins are very pretty!

Another reason I like using rings is because they give you a bit more wiggle room to get the length of the drape right. I have a few fairly high windows, and the rings + clips give me a couple extra inches to make sure the drapes skim the floor. (I don't like the look of drapes that stop a few inches from the floor.) The height of your curtain rod and the length of your drapes will help you determine which option, rings or rod pocket, will have your drapes hanging to the length you want.

Also, the drapes will probably slide more easily with rings, which will matter if you open and close them frequently.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2010 at 10:50PM
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Hi bac717
I think the rings look much more polished than rod pockets. I sew a little and I found this blog where they show how they took a flat panel and created a "wave" panel with curtain hooks and rings. It's very simple but really ingenious.(scroll down the page a bit)

Here is a link that might be useful: wave curtains

    Bookmark   July 13, 2010 at 10:57PM
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Wow, elsa42, that is a great idea!! I need to shorten my panels anyway, so I just may be able to add something like the buckram in order to give me something to dig a hook into. Thank you so much for the link!


    Bookmark   July 13, 2010 at 11:11PM
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I knew one of the experts here would have the information you needed because what Elsa posted is exactly what I was thinking. Good luck and don't forget to post pics when done.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 6:18AM
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I find that w/ a large expanse of window or door that it is easier to open curtains on rings.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 8:08AM
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Here are 2 of the 4 windows in our LR. The panels are on clip-on rings. I'd prefer pinch pleated panels with sewn-on rings, but these work. You can see the clips a bit, but if you fuss with the panels and make pleats, you can hide the rings. My late mother used to form pleats and use close pins at the botton of each pleat near the floor. She'd keep them like that for a few days.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 9:34AM
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The more I think about this project, the more I want the rings. I spent a lot of time thinking about this last night as I couldn't fall asleep and I came up with a possible solution to use the clip rings, but hide the clips. I'm having a hard time trying to describe my idea, but it has something to do with adding a strip of fabric to the back of the panel at the top that I would clip onto. If it works, I'll share what I did. If it doesn't, then it's on to Plan B.

I also want to mention that the panels I'm using are only single width panels and will remain stationary. So once I have the rings and folds in place, hopefully they will stay that way! Or is that wishful thinking?

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 10:05AM
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What about using tabs?

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 10:33AM
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If your fabric is thick enough to use the hooks like in that one womans blog, that would work--or you would have to sew something on to attach the rings.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 12:28PM
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I see we're both still tackling our wide windows! I was on vacation at the beach and just returned today. I can't believe you mentioned the issue with the clip rings because when I purchased my second rod I also grabbed the rings because I generally like that look better. But when I tried them out the clips were on the long side and I didn't like them showing - I was literally sitting on the beach thinking about how I could diguise the clips!

I was thinking about sewing the rings to the top of the panel but wasn't sure if it would hold under the weight of the panel. Have you considered this? Do you think it would be too heavy? I'm also concerned that I wouldn't be able to clean the panels with the rings permanently attached. If you sew a strip of fabric will you hand sew it to the lining only or go through the drapery fabric and lining?

    Bookmark   July 17, 2010 at 11:40PM
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Hi, dana, it's so nice to be sharing this project with someone else! Sitting at the beach on vacation and thinking about a decorating project at home sounds just like something I'd do! My initial thought for sewing a strip of fabric was to sew through both the drapery fabric and the lining. This strip of fabric would be placed far enough below the top of the panel in order to hide the clip and the wire holding the clip to the ring. When sewing on the strip, I was thinking I would sew along and then stop sewing at the point where I would clip on the ring and then begin sewing again. I would repeat this across the entire panel. Does this make sense?

Well, then tonight, I literally just ran across a product that may be the solution to hiding the clips. This product uses hooks, but I don't see why you couldn't clip onto the tape instead. What do you think?

BTW, today, DH and I finally started installing the rods, but so far, we have only 3 brackets up.

Here is a link that might be useful: Universal Tempo Tape

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 12:01AM
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Wow that product is really cool! Who knew there was such a thing?! I like that it would permanently hold the "waves" in place and I wouldn't feel the need to fix them all the time. So, in the video, the woman says to sew three lines of stiching across the panels which sounds like you wouldn't have the opening you'd need for the clip to attach to. I'm guessing we could just stop sewing every so often where the clip needs to attach maybe?

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 12:55AM
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Good point, dana, about not being able to attach the clips. I was thinking, tho, about possibly using the two-prong pins, as shown in the video, with the clip rings I just bought. Turns out the clips on the rings I purchased from Country Curtains can be detached, leaving a small loop. The pin would go thru this loop to attach the panel to the ring. Are your rings like that? I'd share a pic of the rings I have now, but I'm having trouble with my laptop and my memory card. If you really want to see the rings I have, I could always try the other computer in the house. Let me know.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 12:49PM
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Here's a pic of the ring I have from Country Curtains.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 1:17PM
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I have an expanse that is easily 11 feet....actually its' 14 feet.
Rods come 2 ways...they can "draw" with a pulley and cord, and the pulley mechanizm is hidden in the rod, or they can have the rings just run on the rods and pull with a clear plastic rod at each side of the drapery.
But that a lot of stuff to pull to pull every time you want to open and close the curtain.
If you do clips, make sure your fabric is very light weight...because drapery for 11 feet of window is heavy and you will have the problem of the fabric slipping out of the clips.
The best solution is a traverse rod with the rings and use drapery pins in the lining to hook on to the holes in the rings on the rod.
If you have super sheer stuff, the rings on the rod won't be a problem, but if you have any weight at all....11 feet if a lot of window!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 3:48PM
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Hi lindac, even tho the window is 11' wide, I'm using only panels at each side. I am, however, using an 11' rod because I don't care for the look of the short rods at either side. If I was planning on enough drapery to cover the entire window, tho, I would definitely be using a traverse rod with rings, as you suggested.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 5:12PM
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Barb, using the two prong pins with the drapery rings sounds like a really good solution. The clips on my rings can also be removed easily but I think the loop attached to the ring might be too small to accomodate the pins. I see that the loop on your rod is a bit larger.

I see you have the rod hung...are you happy with it? This is the first time I've tried to hang such a long rod and I think my technique for hanging it may not have been the best. I was trying to measure the length of my panels plus any hardware and then mount the brackets accordingly. Do you just hold the rod with the panel on it until it's where you want it, mark the location and then hang the brackets? I can't seem to get this part right and I think I'm overthinking it. (No big surprise there for those that know me!) I see you have your rod hung without knowing your final overall length and I'd love to know how you decided where to hang the brackets. Thanks!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 11:08PM
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Hi, Dana! Like I said before, I'm glad we're working on our projects together, however long it takes to get to completion! What you saw in the picture is just part of one rod. We still haven't completely installed either rod. Both rods still need the end brackets, but I was waiting to get the rings. I want one ring on the 'outside' of the bracket and the rest of the rings on the 'inside'. I think I have it figured out. Now it's just finding the time for DH and I to get to it.

So, to answer your questions. So far, I'm very satisfied with the rods. Since I need to alter my panels (they are 96"), we went ahead and placed the rods at the height we want (8" above the window) and I will alter the panels to work with that height. I plan to hang the rings on the rod and then measure from the bottom of the ring to the floor to get my overall length of each panel.

Yesterday, I test hung one panel just to get an idea of the look. I used the clips and the look was OK, but I think I'll like it better to eliminate the clips, if I can. I also had the entire length of the panel, so there was a lot of puddling of the drapes on the floor and again, I was kinda surprised to NOT hate the look. I think, tho, that I will have them just barely touching the floor. Hey, if I just use the clips and have the drapes puddle on the floor, I could be done! HA!

I understand your frustration in determining the placement of the rod and the length of the panels. I recently made some panels for our bedroom and did just what you described. I held the rod with the panel on it to determine the right height and it kinda worked. They ended up about an inch too long and some day I hope to change that, but for now, at least they're up.

So, to make a long answer even longer, I think if you measure the entire panel and then hang the rod and rings so that the height from the bottom of the ring to the floor is the same as your panel, you should be at the right height. You may want to add about a 1/2" to the rod height, so that the panels are just a little above the floor. Does any of this make sense? Good luck with your project. I'm looking forward to seeing pictures when it's completed. I'm also anxious to share pictures of my project, too, but at the rate we're working, who knows when that will be!

Are you planning to use the Universal Tempo Tape?

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 9:05AM
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"Hey, if I just use the clips and have the drapes puddle on the floor, I could be done!" Now c'mon, it can't be that easy!!

I like your ideas on hanging the rod. I like the panel hanging just a little above the floor as well and hadn't considered hemming the panel to fit the placement of the rod if I need to. So I'll try to get it right but lean toward too low as opposed to too high. Thanks for the suggestions.

One more question/opinion if you don't mind...the top of my window is about two feet below the ceiling (9 ft ceilings). How far above the window would you go? My 96" panels puts me about 1 foot above the window.

Then on either side of the window, beginning about 15-18 inches out, there are speakers in the wall. Would you mount the brackets outside the speakers (putting me about 30 inches outside the window frame) or inside the speakers, about 15-18 inches from the window frame? If you recall the window has a window seat so I can't cover the window more than a couple inches. (I'm not concerned about the sound from the speakers being blocked.) To make matters worse, the speakers aren't exactly symmetrical so mounting inside will probably make this more obvious. Mounting outside the speakers would make the rod about 14 feet long which seems crazy but putting them inside the speakers might make the bunched up width too wimpy for such a big window. What would you do? I know a picture would help here so I'll try and post one tomorrow.

To answer your question on the Tempo Tape, I'm not sure yet. I need to play around a little more with the rings this weekend. I hear you on finding the time...it's so hard to feel like you're making progress sometimes, isn't it?

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 10:40PM
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Hi, Dana, Perhaps this thread should be renamed the Barb/Dana conversation. :) Or, if I knew how, we could continue this conversation via email, but I don't know how to give you my email without sharing it with the whole world!

But anyway, back to the issue of rods and panels! As far as how high to hang your panels in your home with 9ft ceilings, I would use the entire length of the 96" panels, which would put you about 1/2 way between the top of the window and the ceiling. One source I found recommended 8" above the window and another source recommended 1/2 way between the window and the ceiling.

Without seeing a picture of your project, it's difficult to give you some advice on how far to extend the rod. I would recommend starting a new thread (I think you'll have a lot more responses) and posting a picture.

With our schedules this week, it now looks like DH and I will not get back to installing the remaining brackets until Saturday. Darn! I should use the time I have, tho, to alter the panels, so that once the rods are completely up, the panels will be ready, too.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 10:45AM
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Perhaps this thread should be renamed the Barb/Dana conversation. :)

You have one lurker here as well. I watched the entire series of videos on the Universal Tempo Tape. Cool stuff.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 10:44AM
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I'm glad to to know we're not alone, graywings. That is cool stuff, isn't it? They have some other products for making different types of pleats, as well. My latest thought on my project is to remove the clips from the rings I purchased and just sew them directly to the top of my panels using the loop on the ring. It's just a matter of finding the time to do it!
If that fails, I may consider purchasing the tape.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 4:33PM
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Another lurker here! I plan to make some drapes for the living room sometime this year and this is a very helpful conversation. Can't wait to see how they both work out. Chris

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 5:16PM
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I'm so glad Barb and I aren't alone here and that we at least have some lurkers!

I'm still considering the drapery pins but have never used them before so I started googling them and lo and behold a thread popped up from this forum that was very helpful for anyone considering using rings with drapery pins. One tip was to add some interfacing to the top of the panel before inserting the drapery pins to help give the panel some stiffness at the top. This sounds like it would help maintain that "wave" shape a little better. (There's a picture in the attached thread where the panel just appears to not hold it's shape as much as I would like.)

Barb, was there a reason you are considering just sewing them on now? Did you try the pins and rings and not like the result?

Here is a link that might be useful: Using pins with drapery rings

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 10:46PM
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Wow, Dana, thanks for the very helpful link! I should give the pins a try. As I mentioned before, I need to alter the length of my panels (currently 96") and even tho it probably doesn't matter, I've been trying to come up with a way to do that WITHOUT removing any length from the panel. I know that sounds crazy, but I'm just thinking that down the road, at some point, maybe, just maybe, I'll want the option of going back to rod pockets at the top. My thought is to just fold over the amount I don't need (kinda like shortening a pair of pants 3" by folding up 3", but leaving in the 2" hem that was already there). If I do that and just sew each ring near the top of the fold, I wouldn't have to even sew thru all the layers. However, now, after reading the thread you linked, I'm thinking I should insert a layer of interfacing when I fold over the top of the panel, sew about an inch or so from the top in order to secure the interfacing and then insert the pins. I think that may be faster than sewing each individual ring and more secure with the interfacing, not to mention easier to remove the rings if I want to send the panels out for cleaning.

What method will Barb use to finally hang the panels with rings? Stay tuned on "As the Panel Hangs". OK, now I'm really dating myself. Does anyone remember the soap opera, "As the World Turns"? I didn't watch it, my mother did. Really!

    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 9:22AM
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