No-Drill Dorm Room Curtain

Introduction: No-Drill Dorm Room Curtain

About: I like regular robotics and combat robotics. I also like just about anything that has to do with instructables.

The first night sleeping in my dorm room I was woken up early in the morning when the rising sun started to shine in through my East facing window. The provided shade didn't do much to stop the sun (see picture) so I decided to add my own curtain. This is usually a straight forward project where the curtain rod hardware is simply screwed to wall. However, that doesn't fly in dorm room because no holes are allowed to be put in the walls. After thinking about it for a while I came up with the idea to attach the mounting hardware for the curtain rod to some of those Command wall hangers.

Now with the new curtain installed the room is almost completely dark when the sun starts to rise and my sleep can continue undisturbed.

After publishing this I noticed that another similar instructable has already been published by kayakgirl, so credit to her for coming up with the idea first! Also, that means I can now enter this in the Remix Contest!

Her's uses command hooks as well but uses rope instead of a curtain rod. That way will be a lot quicker and easier to make, but it might not be as easy to close the curtains. Just depends on how you'll use the curtains and how much time you have to build this.

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Step 1: Materials and Tools

Materials Needed:

  • (2) Command Large Wire Hook ($2.94 ea from amazon)
  • (1) Curtain (take a look at the curtain selection step)
  • (1) Curtain Rod (I picked one up from target from about $2. Make sure it comes with mounting hardware.)
  • (4) Screws and Nuts (I just used some 6-32 3/8" long screws and lock nuts I had laying around. As long as they fit it will work fine. More on this in a later step.)

Curtain Tools Needed:

  • Drill and Drill Bit (size of drill bit depends on the size of screws you use. I used 1/8")
  • Screwdriver
  • Nutdriver or Pliers
  • Marker

Step 2: Prepare the Command Hooks

  1. Slide the part that attaches to the wall out of the main piece.
  2. Pull the wire hook out. This won't be needed.
    1. Side Note: I originally chose the wire hook version because I figured if there wasn't room for the nuts on the inside of the plastic piece then I could bend the wire hook up and attach the curtain rod mounting hardware to it. Fortunately there was room for the nuts and the wire hook popped right out. The regular plastic hooks should work as well but you may have to cut the hook off.

Step 3: Mark and Drill Holes

Marking the Holes:

The easiest way to layout the holes is to set the curtain rod mount on the plastic piece and mark the holes. Be aware of where you are placing the holes, make sure there is room for the nut. There are some ribs on the backside of the main plastic piece that have to be avoided. If you want to be extra careful you can check to see where your hole will be from the backside be shining a flashlight through the front. See the pictures and accompanying notes for more details on placement.

Drilling the Holes:

Simply drill the holes where you marked them. I used a 1/8" drill bit which was kind of a tight fit for the 6-32 screws I used but it worked fine.

Step 4: Attaching the Curtain Rod Hardware

This is a fairly straight forward step. The only problems to be aware of are again making sure there is room for the nuts and also to make sure the screws don't stick too far out the back. The screws I used were short enough to not cause any problems, but if yours are to long you may have to clip them.
  1. Set the bracket for the curtain rod on the plastic piece and put the screws in.
  2. Hand tighten the nuts on the back.
  3. Tighten everything down with a screwdriver and nutdriver (or whatever tools you need for the hardware you are using).

Step 5: Installing the Curtain Rod

Now the easiest part! Simply put the hooks up following the instructions for the Command Hooks.

Here are the basic instructions if you need them:

  1. Figure out where exactly you want to put the curtain rod.
  2. Slide the clear part that sticks to the wall out of the body of the hook.
  3. Attach to the wall using the adhesive strip (following the label on the strip for which side is the wall side).
  4. Slide the main piece on.

After the hooks are up put the curtain rod on like you would if the mounting hardware was screwed into the wall.

Step 6: Done!

That's it! I've been enjoying my curtain for the past month or so now and it blocks out almost all of the light. One thing to be aware of is the width of curtain. I originally bought a curtain that was too small and had to go get a new one. I ended up getting two so it would part in the middle. The second picture shows the first curtain letting in a lot of light.

I hope this is useful to someone who has the same problem I did!

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    3 Discussions

    Nicely done on hacking the command hooks. Is there college that has blinds that blocks light? I would love to know. You're curtain's look amazing, and it's so awesome that no one is going to get fined for using them. Thanks for sharing!

    This is a nice clean solution to a pesky problem. Your instructions are clear too. There are a lot of place where you can not permanently install curtains rods either because of the policies (your dorm, an apartment) or because of the wall material (basement cement walls) - they would work at any of those. Great idea!


    5 years ago

    Great idea! :)