How to Install Drapes Over Your Sliding Glass Door

Lead Image
  • 1-2 hours
  • Beginner
  • 60-100
What You'll Need
Measuring tape
Drapery rod (wider than the sliding glass door)
Drapery hooks
Rod brackets
Screwdriver or hammer
Drapery panels

A sliding glass door brings light into your home and extends your home into your yard. You may want a window treatment for your sliding glass door to add privacy, keep out too much light or add a decorative treatment to your room. Draperies are a popular choice. One of the best features of draperies is that there are so many choices in fabric, color and style. Draperies are mounted on a rod with hooks and have a pull that can draw the draperies to one side to allow access to the sliding door.

Step 1 – Measure the Width

The first measurement is the width. Measure from one outside edge of the trim of the glass door to the other outside trim edge. Add 8” to the measurement so that the drapery can extend beyond the door. Then multiply the total width by two to tow and a half. This allows for gathering in the drapery. One way draw draperies come in various sizes, but the standard widths of 60”, 72”, 96” and 120”. Compare your calculated width measurement and purchase the drapes closest to that width. You can use more than one panel if necessary.

Step 2 – Measure the Height

Keep in mind that the standard length for pre-made draperies is 84”. So add one inch to keep the draperies from dragging the floor. This means the drapery rod should be hung at a height of 85”. Measure and mark this height on your wall above the glass doors to see if the standard length will work on your glass doors. If not you may have to hem the draperies to make them work. It is okay for the rod to hang several inches above the glass doors.

Step 3 – Hang the Rod

From the center mark use a level to mark the side bracket positions. Be sure to double check that these measurements are also 85” off the floor. Position the side and center brackets and then fasten them with the screws or nails that came with the rod brackets. Put the rod into the brackets.

Step 4 – Hang the Draperies

Put the hooks into the pleats on the back of the draperies. Next, using a small ladder or step stool, start to hang the draperies from one side. Put the hook into the traverse rod. Once all of the hooks have been inserted test the draw the curtains to test the mechanism.


If you want to keep in heat or cooling then you can get a thermal-backed drapery. If you need light blocking capabilities then you can get draperies that have light blocking lining made into the drapery. If you would prefer to have shears with a heavier drapery on the outside then you will need a double rod. Then you will be able to pull one or both of them to the side.