How to Hang & Arrange Balloon Curtains


A curtain rod with side brackets that project approximately three inches from the wall will provide enough clearance for a puffy balloon valance to hang down and display at its best. Some balloon or blouson valances include open side pockets where you insert lightweight stuffing between the front and back curtain layers to create the puffy balloon profile. Another type of balloon curtain features rows of rings on the back which you connect with a split ring from the bottom to adjust the vertical length. Soft gathers appear on columns, and a wavy lower hem will create the distinct balloon effect.

Things You'll Need

  • Lightweight netting or tissue paper
  • Scissors

Side Openings

  • Position the balloon curtain face up on a large, flat surface. Insert the rod through the rod pocket. Gathers will form. Take care to ensure that the fabric does not fall off either rod end.

  • Raise and balance the rod and then set it into the side brackets. Adjust the sides of the curtain’s rod pockets to cover and hide these brackets.

  • Cut nylon netting or tissue paper with scissors into approximately two-yard pieces.

  • Insert the netting or paper into the valance’s side opening and start scrunching the materials from the center of the panel to each side opening. The front and back curtain layers will separate and support this light stuffing to create the balloon effect.

Split Rings

  • Position the pressed balloon curtain face down on a large, flat surface. You will see rows of attached rings on the back of this curtain.

  • Open the split rings hanging from the bottom row of rings and connect them to the next higher row of rings to shorten the drop length of the curtain. Some manufacturers provide the split rings in a separate bag. If you prefer a shorter length, use the split ring to connect several lower rows to a higher row, which will raise the lower edge and create soft gathers. The more rings that accumulate on the split ring, the shorter the drop length. For a uniform length, attach the same number of rings to each split ring.

  • Insert the rod through the curtain’s pocket. Carefully raise the rod and curtain up to the brackets. Arrange the gathers along the rod evenly for a uniform effect between the left and right ends. Tease or puff the face of your balloon curtain for the preferred effect. View your curtains from inside and outside your home and make any adjustments.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you prefer to show the window frame and display the balloon curtain between the side jambs, insert a spring-tension rod into the rod pocket. Adjust the telescoping end of the rod to ensure that the rod stays horizontal.
  • The width of the rod pocket works with a narrower rod width. For example, if the pocket is 3 inches wide, select a 2 1/2-inch flat continental rod for ease in insertion. If you prefer a more economical rod, select a slimmer rod and insert a strip of thin cardboard to fill the wider pocket.
  • Stuffing more netting or tissue paper will create a rounder profile.
  • A lightweight, flat panel can convert to a balloon shade when you hang long ribbons from the top of the curtain and suspend the ribbons from the front and back of the curtain. Tie up the lower ends to raise the hemline to the preferred height. A puffy, scalloped effect will show at the lower hemline.
  • Balloon curtains work best as stationary curtains.
  • Keep children and animals away from any stepladders or chairs next to windows.

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