Curtains can often feel like a necessary evil. They give you privacy but block out much-needed light. And yet, sometimes, that's precisely what you want as well — to block out light (early morning, lookin' at you). You'll search for months and months to find the perfect set of black-out curtains, only to discover they're too expensive, too thick, or too short. Worse still, when you finally find the perfectly priced thin-but-obscuring, floor-grazing curtains, you get them home... and they hang limply on the rod, dashing your dreams of those Insta-worthy photos you planned to add to your IG grid. Luckily, TikTok has given us the perfect curtain spacing hack to help with that.
As if just having a hack wasn't enough, it gets even better: You can do it for free with all those empty toilet paper roll tubes you've been saving "for a craft." Honestly, is there anything you can't find on TikTok these days? From scrumptious monkey bread or cheap and easy DIY side tables, TikTok's content creators continue to come in clutch for solving life's everyday wants, needs, and conundrums.
How to Hack Your Curtain Spacing on the Cheap
So, how do you do it? The idea is simple, according to DIY TikToker Brooke Styles (@brookestyless). You just place toilet paper tubes on your curtain rod behind your curtain and between each grommet (or loop).
You'll get perfectly placed and spaced "fluffs" or folds in your curtains. If you're confused and feel those House Beautiful dreams slipping away again, don't stress — TikTok home décor influencers and DIYers have taken to the platform in droves to share a look at exactly how you do it.
Of course, there are nuances to consider with this “hack,” too. For instance, this TikTok personality is using the full-length tube, as her windows are bigger. If, however, you’re styling a more narrow window, you might find that cutting your toilet paper tubes in half will make your folds look more proportionate.
The best part of this hack is that it can elevate any curtain (with grommets or tabs). Whether you buy the cheap $10 panels from Walmart or those gorgeous-but-expensive curtains from Anthropologie, just sticking them on the rod will leave them looking limp. To make your curtains look the best, you have to “style” them, and this toilet paper roll hack is the cheapest and easiest way to do that.
Other Curtain “Hacks” to Try
Want to make sure that curtain money really works for you? Make sure you’re doing everything possible to make your curtains look lush and last a long time. From buying the right size to properly caring for your curtains, there’s more you need to know than just the TP hack. A few tried-and-true tips:
- Buy the right size. In almost all instances, your curtains should hang within an inch of the floor. Most designers don’t recommend pooling your curtains on the floor, as it’s hard to make them look right.
- Know where to hang them. There’s a lot of debate between designers on where to hang your curtain rod. Home Depot recommends hanging your curtain rod four inches above your window frame. They also suggest that your curtain rod should extend about three inches past your window frame on both the left and the right.
- Buy the right size curtain rod. You dropped good money on your curtains; don’t skimp on the rods. A thinner rod can look especially strange if you’re using curtains with large grommets. Length is also important. You’ll want to make sure you get a rod where your window’s width falls into the middle of the rod’s extension length, so you don’t end up with a sagging, over-extended pole.
- De-wrinkle your curtains. Iron, steam, or throw your curtains in the dryer (with an ice cube or two) when you first bring them home. Your curtains have “lived” folded tightly into a tiny package for at least a few months, possibly longer. There will be wrinkles and creases. If you wait for them to “fall out,” you could be waiting for quite a long time. And, in the meantime, anything else you do to make your curtains look pretty will fall flat. Just be mindful of any care instructions your specific curtains came with.
- Keep ‘em clean. No, no... we’re not suggesting you attempt to wash your curtains often. However, next time you take the lint roller to the back of the couch, consider doing your curtains, too. Take note, though, that cleaning experts do suggest you wash your curtains seasonally to combat allergies and staining.
There you have it. Go forth, collect your empty toilet paper rolls, and become the thrifty DIY’er you always knew you could be.