What to Know About Hanging Drapes with Curtain Rings

Curtain rings are one of the most popular drapery hardware components, not just for their functional purpose, but for adding another layer of interest to a window design. While they are not required for some styles of drapery, rings can provide fluid movement along the rod that cannot be achieved with other curtain headers like rod pockets or tabs.

Because they are visible at all times, curtain rod rings should not be overlooked as part of your drapery installation. When you choose curtain rod rings that match and complement the rest of your drapery hardware, the result will be easy on the eyes and be an addition, rather than a distraction, to your decor. To help you decide what curtain rings are right for you, we have created an in-depth guide on choosing, buying, and installing your curtain rod rings.

Types of Curtain Rod Rings

Most people do not choose their drapery hardware based on the curtain rod rings alone but for a number of factors, including the color, material, desired curtain rod length, the style of finial, and the type of drapery. But in some cases, there is some flexibility in the type of curtain ring you select, so before you can choose the drapery rings that are right for you, it’s important to understand what types of curtain rings are offered and the differences between them.

Standard Drapery Rings

The most common rings for drapes are full-circle rings with a small metal loop at the bottom, called an eye or an eyelet. They are used with drapery pins, which have a sharp end that is inserted into the top hem or pleat of drapery, and then hooked onto the metal loop on the curtain ring.

Curtain Rings with Clips

Clip-on curtain rings are also a closed circle with a small metal loop attached to the bottom. The difference is that these rings have alligator clips attached to the eyelet, which grab the top of the drapery fabric. It is recommended that curtain rings with clips only be used with draperies that are lighter in weight, however, Kirsch has specifically designed curtain clips for wood drapery and metal drapery rods. The clips may not be strong enough for bulky or heavy fabrics. Kirsch curtain clips are removable, so you have the option of using a drapery pin with the rings, as well.

C-Rings for Curtains

C-rings for curtains, or bypass rings, do not completely encircle the curtain rod and must be used in tandem with matching bypass brackets. Bypass brackets are typically used for wide windows that need more support in the center. These brackets are designed to have a lower profile, allowing the c-rings to pass over them when drawn.

While technically not curtain rod rings, grommet curtains are another way to hang drapery and are worth mentioning. These curtains are window coverings such as curtains or drapes that feature a ring, also known as “grommets”, at the top through which the curtain rod sits. Essentially grommet curtains come with built-in curtain rings. They are remarkably easy to install and come in a variety of colors, fabrics, and styles.

How to Select Drapery Rings

There are two key components to choosing curtain rod rings. First, it’s best to select curtain rod rings that are designed to be used with the rest of your curtain rod set, including the brackets, rod, and finials. Choosing curtain rod rings from the same collection ensures that all of the pieces will work seamlessly together and eliminate any headaches that can arise from mixing and matching.

Second, it is important that you select the right type of ring for the drapery you will be hanging. Some types of drapery have grommets already installed and do not need additional rings, while others may work well with clip curtain rings rather than standard curtain drape rings. Check to see if your drapery manufacturer has a recommendation for the type of curtain and drape rings you should use.

What Size Curtain Rod Rings Do You Need?

One of the most common questions we get at Drapery Rods Direct is how large a curtain rod ring needs to be. Our collections come with a selection of drapery rings for every rod size and are sold based on the size of the rod. A 1 3/8” rod will take a 1 3/8” ring, but the ring is a little larger in diameter than the rod so it slides easily. As long as you purchase all of your drapery hardware from the same collection, you won’t have to worry about ring size. If your drapery is very long or very heavy, we suggest going up in rod and ring size (say, from 1 3/8” to 2”) for all of your drapery hardware.

If you want to mix and match your drapery rods and rings, a good rule of thumb is to choose a drapery ring with an inside diameter that is a half-inch larger than the diameter of the curtain rod. This will ensure the effortless movement of your drapery panels. Going larger than that can create a disproportionate look.

Drapery Hardware Sets


If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to buy a curtain rod set that contains all of the rings, brackets, and finials you need for a complete installation, Drapery Rods Direct has you covered. Our drapery hardware sets come in wood, metal, and wrought iron collections so there is something for every taste and decor style. Simply go to the collection of your choice and you can select a color or finish, finials, pole, brackets, and rings—all on one page. It’s as easy as that to put together a complete curtain rod set!

Different Curtain Drapery Ring Styles

Wooden Curtain Rings

coffee Kirsch 1 3/8" Wood Trends Rings

For a traditional and charming look, try wooden curtain drapery rings. Wooden curtain rod rings are designed to be used with matching wood drapery hardware. That’s because the ring size is made to fit the specific diameter of the rod you will be using. If you choose a 2-inch wooden rod, the corresponding wooden curtain ring would be 2 ⅜” diameter on the inside and 3 ⅞” diameter on the outside.

Wooden curtain rod rings are available in the Wood Trends collection. These drapery rings need a drapery pin to attach to the curtains. If you would like to purchase clips for your wood rings, Drapery Rods Direct can special-order clips. These clips come in 50 to a pack and are available in a brass finish.

Wood Trends 1 3/8” smooth curtain rings come in nine different finishes for you to choose from and come in packages of seven.

Kirsch 2” Wood Trends rings also come in nine color options and feature fluting for added style. The rings come in packages of four.

Metal Curtain Rings

antique silver Kirsch 1 3/8" Designer Metals Rings

Metal curtain rings are a stylish way to bring a modern look to your window treatments. If you are looking for rings for drapes in the gold/brass family, the Kirsch Designer Metals collection is a good place to start. The collection includes two styles of curtain rod rings with optional clips, all available in eight metallic finishes. The Kirsch Designer Metals collection also includes a bypass C-rings for curtains option. All of these rings are designed to work with the collection’s 1 ⅜” metal stationary (non-traversing) rods.

Wrought Iron Curtain Rings

rust Kirsch 1 3/8" Wrought Iron Rings

For a visually striking drapery installation, the Kirsch Wrought Iron collection can bring old-world influences and Spanish or Asian flavor to any room in your home. The clips are removable, and the rings are available in five finishes to complement any decor. The Kirsch Wrought Iron collection also includes a bypass C-ring option. All of the rings are designed to work with the collection’s 1” Wrought Iron smooth curtain rod.

For metal drapery rings in eight finishes, the Iron Art by Orion collection comes in two sizes with many beautiful decorative finials to choose from.

How to Hang Curtains with Hooks and Rings

Hanging draperies is not difficult, but it is a task with many steps. Before attempting to attach rings to your curtain rods, first ensure that your brackets are installed where you want them. Our guide to curtain rod brackets can tell you everything you need to know about installing brackets for the best possible results.

The next step is to add your rings to the rod. Attach a finial to one end of the rod to keep the rings from sliding off. Once you have the correct number of rings on the rod, you can attach the other finial and place the rod onto the brackets. Generally, one ring is placed between the outside of the bracket and the finial to keep the entire drapery from sliding across the rod.

How to Attach Curtain Rings

When attaching curtain rod rings to draperies, note that the small metal loop should be hidden from view when the drapery is on the rod. Experiment with the placement of your drapery pins. The apex of the hook section of the pin should end up about 3/8” from the top of the fabric. The fabric should just kiss the bottom of the ring, and the pin and eyelet should not show at all. The hook will go right into the eyelet.

Curtain clip rings are also a popular choice for hanging drapery, but they will be visible once on the curtain rod. To use a clip curtain ring, simply pinch the clip and close it on the top of the drapery. Many curtain clip rings come with removable clips so that you can purchase drapery pins to use with them instead. C-rings are attached the same way as clip curtain rings, as they come with the same removable clips.

How Many Rings For Drapes Do You Need?

The number of rings you will need per panel depends on the style of drapery you are hanging. If you are using flat-panel draperies, it is recommended you place six to eight rings evenly spaced across the panel. Some draperies come with back tabs, eliminating the need to measure where you will place your rings.

When you are using pinch pleat draperies, such as pinch pleat or inverted pleat curtains, you will at minimum need to place a ring at the top of each pleat. It is recommended that you also use a ring at each outside edge of the drapery. Make sure to inspect your drapery and count the number of pleats before ordering to ensure that you will have enough rings.

Where To Buy Rings for Curtain Rods?

Drapery Rods Direct offers a wide selection of curtain rods and other drapery hardware to brighten up any interior space. In addition to decorative drapery hardware, we offer custom traverse rods and basic accessories to help you complete your look. If you have questions about curtain rod rings, get in touch with our experts at 1-800-251-5009 or send an email to customerservice@draperyrodsdirect.com. We can help you create a room you’ll love!

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