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Ideas for Hanging Shades Without Damaging Walls

This article offers tips for hanging shades without damaging walls using the DIY insulated blackout shades I made as an example.

Let’s chat about hanging shades without damaging walls

There are a bunch of different options for hanging shades and curtains, whether they are DIY or store-bought window treatments. We mounted a curtain rod with hardware for our curtains, but I didn’t want to make any additional holes (especially in the window frame area) to hang the thermal blackout shades I made, so I decided to look into no-hole solutions.

There are loads of great resources out there for mounting curtain rods without putting holes in your walls (see the comments section of this Apartment Therapy post), but they weren’t exactly what I was looking for to hang my DIY shades. So through some trial and error, I’ve collected the most promising ways to hang your shades.

rolled up DIY thermal shade in a bedroom

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1. Hanging using Command Hooks

Command hooks are a super popular way to hang no-hole curtain rods (see this article and this tutorial post from the Happier Homemaker). They can also work for hanging your blackout shades. Simply put a hook on each side of your window (and an additional one in the middle for extra support).

Then, attach loops of fabric, string, or ribbon to the top or back of your shade. You can attach the loops using a needle and thread or any permanent glue.

Once you have your loops, you can use them to hang the shade in the hooks. Super easy. (Hint: Do not jump the gun with hanging your shades. They are somewhat heavy, so make sure to follow the mounting instructions for the hooks, especially the part about letting them completely bond to the wall before hanging anything!)

command hooks

2. Hanging with picture-hanging command strips

I originally wanted to try this idea with Velcro, but the Velcro I had wasn’t strong enough to hold up my shades. 3M picture-hanging command strips are a nice alternative to Velcro because they function in the exact same way.

But they “click” together into place, making them a bit stronger than traditional Velcro. Plus, the 3M packages give an estimation of how much weight the strips can hold, so that’s pretty handy since you’re not actually using them for picture frames.

To use this approach, mount one side of the command strips to the wall or widow frame: put one on each side of the window and one in the center. Then, use any strong glue (I like the strength of Gorilla Glue, but read the directions carefully…it spreads as it dries) to glue the other side of the strips to the top of the shade.

The command strips come with sticky backs, but they don’t stick well to fabric and need a little help from glue. Once the strips are sufficiently bonded to the wall and the glue on the fabric is dry, just hang your shade by clicking each strip into place.

command strips

3. Hanging using strong magnets

If you’re lucky enough to have a magnetic window frame, magnets are your best bet. They require no additional glue or sticky-back hanging because you can hang the shades right to the window frames. I used these super strong magnets to put up temporary screens on steel windows in one of our old apartments.

If you’re looking for strong magnets, these are amazing! I bought and returned three kinds before I found something that could hold up more than a piece or paper. You could glue the magnets to the back of the shade, or you could just pop them on top of the shade and not use any glue (if the magnets are strong enough and you don’t mind seeing them, that is).


So what did I use?

I used a combination of picture-hanging strips and command hooks. Here’s how. I followed the instructions above for using the picture-hanging strips and glue to hang the shades. However, I also wanted a way to roll up the shades when they weren’t in use.

Sure, I could take them off the window, but then I’d have to store them somewhere, which wasn’t an attractive option. So I adhered two mini command hooks to each side of the window frame. Then, I tied two pieces of ribbon to make two big circles.

Hanging Shades with command strips
Hanging Shades with command strips

When I’m not using the shades, I simply roll them up and “hang” them from the mini command hooks using the big circles of ribbon. This option works very well for me; I keep the shades hung all the time, but I simply roll them up to let in some sunlight.

And neither the picture-hanging strips nor the command hooks and ribbons cause any damage to the window frame or surrounding area. I hope one of these options works well for you! There is no shortage of options out there for us renters who need non-permanent options for making our houses look like homes.

rolled up shade held with a ribbon

For more easy projects for the home, check out my post on recaulking cracked staircase stringers, installing a peel-and-stick glass tile backsplash, and creating a drawer organizer for spices!

Pin my tips about hanging shades with Command Strips!

collage that says hanging without damaging walls with pictures of ideas

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  1. carol bittner says:

    This is SO helpful. Our windows are old and let a lot of cold air in. I’ve been thinking about ‘how can I make a sort-of-quilt’ and attach it to the frame close to the glass. Thanks to you, now I know how to do it. I don’t need the black-out, but do need the thermal layer. I’m so glad I came across your post.

    • Kathleen Lee says:

      Please tell me which command hooks to use for installing roller shades. I have already ruin one buy using tacks and they are not cheap blinds.

    • Brittany Merth says:

      I’m right there with you, Carol! Good luck and stay warm. 12 degrees here today. 🙁

  2. GinaGina says:

    This is fantastic! I’ve been wanting to cover my old, cold ceiling lights in my entry way and kitchen, but I didn’t want to put holes in the ceiling. I will use these instead! Perfect solution. Thanks! (By the way, I’m originally from Maryland.)

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