How to Install Window Blinds without Drilling: The Ultimate Guide

How to Install Window Blinds without Drilling: The Ultimate Guide
There are several reasons why you might not want to drill holes when you hang up blinds: You might not have the tools, you might be really bad at DIY projects or you might be renting from a strict landlord who absolutely does not allow holes to be drilled in the walls. Whatever your reasons, there are a few ways to hang window blinds without drilling holes. If you’re simply intimidated at the thought of installing window blinds, it’s actually very easy to do it the traditional way with minimal tools.

Below, we explain how to install both blinds and curtain rods without drilling and then guide you through doing it the traditional way. Finally, we explore why you might want to consider both no-drill window treatments and classic treatments that do require drilling.

How to Install Window Blinds without Drilling

If you really don’t want to put holes in your wall, there are a few ways to hang window blinds without drilling holes:

man installing blinds over window

Peel-and-Stick Blinds

If you’ve ever used Command strips, you know the general principle these blinds operate on. The top bracket is coated with a line of heavy-duty adhesive covered in a protective strip. To install the blinds, you simply have to remove the protective strip and press the tape to the inside of the window frame or the upper trim. Peel-and-stick blinds come in a few standard sizes and are usually made of paper so they can be trimmed to the exact dimensions of your windows. If you don’t like the look of paper blinds and want a different window treatment, you’ll need to explore other options. Be sure to follow the instructions for both installing and removing the blinds, as doing it improperly can strip the paint and/or drywall and make it difficult to get back your security deposit.

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Tension Rods

If you are looking for more variety in your blind choices, then tension rod blinds are an excellent choice. These blinds are mounted on a tension rod that can be placed inside the window trim. The tension in the rod holds it in place. These rods work best in slightly recessed windows that have a “pocket” of space where you can inside mount the rod. Tension rod blinds come in many different styles of cordless window shades, including roller shades, Roman shades, zebra shades, pleated shades and blackout blinds. Because of the adjustable nature of the tension rods, they can suit a range of window widths. You do need to be careful not to pull too strongly on them which can cause the tension to fail and the shades to fall. If you already have blinds installed but they let in too much light, you might be able to use a tension rod to install blackout rollers behind the existing blinds without having to drill additional holes.

Magnetic Blinds

If you have a metal door with glass panels, then magnetic blinds are about to become your new best friend. These temporary blinds have magnets attached to the back of the brackets that stick onto metal surfaces. While the applications of magnetic blinds are necessarily limited, if you have a metal door that needs window coverings, these fit the bill perfectly. Make sure you get high quality blinds with strong magnets. If you get cheap magnetic blinds with weak magnets, they will move around and potentially even fall off every time you open or close the door which can be a huge pain.

hands hanging blinds above window

How to Install Curtains without Drilling

If you’re looking into how to install blinds without drilling, then you’re probably wondering the same thing about curtains as well. Even if your apartment already came with blinds installed, you still might want to hang up curtains for aesthetics, as well as light control. Thankfully, there are several solutions to hang curtains that don’t require you to put holes in the wall. 

Tension Rods

You can also use tension rods to hang curtains inside the window. Again, you’ll need a pocket of space inside the window in order to be able to fit the tension rod inside the frame. If your blinds already take up this space, this solution probably won’t work for you (but keep reading for other ideas that will). Make sure to get a sturdy tension rod that can hold the curtain and won’t collapse when you open and close the drapes. Just like with blinds, you do have to be careful not to tug too hard on curtains that are hung on tension rods or they may fall down. When in doubt, use tension rods to hang lighter curtains, such as sheer drapes.

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Twist and Fit Curtain Rods

Most tension rods for curtains can’t be seen because they’re covered completely by the curtain itself. This is great if you want a minimalist look but not so good if you prefer the look of traditional curtain rods. Thankfully, there are special tension rods that mimic the look of classic curtain rods. They stick out from the window and have balls or other hardware on the end so you can’t tell the difference from the front. Like other tension rods, you do have to be careful not to put too much weight on them, but that’s pretty typical.

install curtains without drilling graphic

Large Command Hooks

Although you probably use Command hooks for pictures and shelves, you can actually use them for curtain rods. Command makes hooks specifically for curtain hanging that can hold up to five lbs. in weight and are large enough to hold a slim rod. Thanks to the brushed metal finish, these hooks look very similar to ordinary curtain rod brackets for a more traditional look. Keep in mind that when more than one hook is used to hold an item, the total weight capacity remains the same as one hook. You should follow all instructions for proper surface cleaning and prep, adhesive strip placement and recommended weight claims to avoid stripping the paint or falling hooks.

Velcro Adhesive Strips

If you don’t want to fuss with a curtain rod, you can hack Velcro adhesive hanging strips to hang your curtains. Normally used for picture hanging, Velcro adhesive strips have a higher weight capacity than ordinary strips. Attach one half of the adhesive set to the top of your curtains and the other half to the wall above the window. Keep in mind that you won’t be able to remove the adhesive from the fabric and you won’t be able to draw the curtains back either (you’ll have to use tie backs if you want to push them away from the window). If this sounds like too much work, you can also use ordinary thumb tacks to hold up light curtains.

No-Drill Corner Brackets

If your windows have trim around them, you’re in luck. There are curtain rod brackets specifically designed to sit on the corners of this window trim. These metal brackets stick out and hold a traditional curtain rod for a classic look. They are also more sturdy and can hold a heavier curtain or be hung across wider windows, though larger windows might need additional support brackets in the center. If you like the look of traditional curtain rods but can’t drill them directly into the wall, this is a very good solution for your needs–especially if your windows are set flush with the wall which precludes the use of a tension rod. Both single and double rod brackets are available, and they come in several different finishes to complement all decor. Make sure to measure your window trim to ensure it’s wide enough to support these brackets before purchasing them.

marking blinds using tape measure

How to Install Blinds the Traditional Way

If you’re looking for no-drilling window treatment solutions because you don’t own a drill or you don’t have a lot of experience with home improvement projects, we have some good news for you. Hanging window blinds is super easy, and it doesn’t even require a drill. Having a drill will make it easier, but you can do everything with a screwdriver. And if you need to make a pilot hole to get the screw started, simply tap the end of a nail into the wall with a hammer and then pull the nail back out.

If you’ve been operating under the assumption you need a professional to hang your blinds, this simply isn’t true. This is a beginner level project and you can hang all the blinds for a single room in only a couple of hours.

In order to hang blinds, you will need the following materials:

    • Blinds

    • Mounting hardware (which should come with the blinds)

    • Drill or screwdriver

    • Hammer and nail (if not using a drill)

    • Pencil or other writing instrument to mark the wall

    • Tape measure

    • Step ladder or stool (if necessary)

install blinds traditional way graphic

The instructions for hanging blinds vary depending on what type of blinds you have, as well as whether you inside mount or outside mount them. For detailed instructions, including diagrams, check out our series of installation guides:

Please note that if you are installing your blinds into aluminum or concrete, you will need special anchors which will not come with your blinds. These can be purchased at any local hardware store and do not cost that much. And don’t forget the first step of installing blinds before you even purchase them: How to measure for blinds.

Should You Get No-Drill Window Treatments?

Now that you know how easy it is to hang blinds, you are probably wondering whether or not you should get traditional window treatments or install window blinds without drilling. Below, we present both sides of the case so you can make an informed decision that is right for you and your house.

Reasons you might want to get no-drill window treatments:

    • You don’t have any tools whatsoever.

    • You are renting a property and the landlord has very strict rules about not putting holes in the wall.

    • You are renting a property and worried about getting your security deposit back.

    • You don’t mind having to choose from more limited window treatment options.

    • Your windows are a standard size and shape.

    • The curtains you want to hang are very light.

    • Your home occupants will go easy on the window treatments and not tug on them very much.

pulling white blinds down

Reasons why you might want to get traditional window treatments:

    • You already own a drill and/or basic tools, like a hammer and screwdriver.

    • You don’t own these tools but are looking to buy them soon.

    • You want to get better at home improvement and are looking for an easy way to get started.

    • You want to choose from a full selection of blinds and curtain rods because no-drill options are much more limited.

    • You have a specific decor you are trying to match.

    • Your windows are a strange size or shape so that you need custom blinds.

    • The type of blinds you want aren’t available in no-drill options.

    • You want to hang heavy curtains, such as blackout drapes, that are too heavy for most no-drill options.

    • You have children or pets that tend to tug on window treatments so they need secure anchors.

There are many different ways to install blinds and curtains, whether or not you’re trying to avoid drilling holes in your walls. Make sure to consider the pros and cons of both options before making a final decision.

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