In which I fall truly, madly, deeply in love with Ikea’s Dignitet curtain hanging system

I am head over heels in love with Ikea’s Dignitet curtain hanging system, which I managed to install on three windows and a sliding glass door 100% by myself (OK, after my husband showed me how to use a bit extender on the drill, but still).

Ikea Dignitat parts
For each window, you'll need the set, a mid-point support, and the hooks

Ikea’s been my go-to spot for curtains and curtain rods for years. I didn’t actually care for the curtain choices this year, but I was sure I’d find the rods there.

The thing is, all the Ikea rods except one kind of ugly one stop at 79 inches, and the bedroom windows in the Schoolhouse are 101 inches wide.  I bought the Dignitet system as a default solution – but I have ended up thinking it is the best thing since sliced bread.

It’s a taught wire with little hooks. This means:

  • it’s low profile
  • it’s slick, so curtains slide easily
  • it’s kind of industrial looking, in a cool way
  • you can attach anything and switch it out easily
Don't you wonder who designs things like this?

When you take it out of the packaging it’s a little intimidating and the diagram is kind of confusing in that Ikea way but it’s actually pretty easy, if amusingly phallic.

1. Sort out left and right, and center if you’re using one. Attach the left and center phallic pieces to their triangle base pieces and then attach the two right hand pieces and screw them into the base.

Triangle brackets - pop them out of the covers, attach the brackets, hang them, and then snap the covers back on

Make sure the right bracket pieces are not screwed all the way together – there should be space between them (mine were inconsistent on this score – a couple came screwed tight together and I had to use the L-shaped tool to loosen them).

Left, center, and right - see the extender on the right-hand one? It's that middle piece you're going to be twirling to pull the wire taut in step 10 below.

2. One by one, hold up the pieces to the frame, making sure the little screws that you’ll need to tighten are on the underside, so you can get to them, and that the pieces line up horizontally (including the holes in the center support), and mark where you’ll drill the holes. Don’t worry about making the triangles symmetrical against the frame – it doesn’t matter because the circles cover up the triangle bases.

3. Drill the holes

The bit extender is key

4. Using a bit extender, sink three screws in each bracket. I used flat head wood screws, because I was attaching to a wood window frame. Note that screws are not included with the Dignitet system (probably because they couldn’t know which screws you’ll need) so make sure to pick some up – you’ll need three per bracket – nine per window if you’re using a center support.

Slide the cover over the bracket and snap into place

5. Slide the bracket covers over the brackets and snap into place.

Now, here’s where I learned a few helpful things that are not in the directions. Basically, you poke the wire into the hole in the bracket and there are two little screws that hold the wire in place but the directions are not super helpful about how exactly to do this. Here’s what I discovered worked best:

6. Poke one end of the wire into the hole in the left bracket. If you’re right handed, use your left hand to hold the wire and apply gentle pressure, and with your right hand, slowly loosen the screw closest to the wire. This way you can feel when the wire slides in. When it passes the first screw and hits the second, move to the second screw and do the same thing – loosen it slowly while applying gentle pressure until you feel the wire slide past it. Then tighten that screw, and then move back and tighten the first one you loosened.

Secure the wire in the left hand bracket first

7. Thread the wire through the center support, if you’re using one.

Through the center support

8. Pull the wire to the right bracket. Hold it pretty taut and, just like the directions show you, cut the wire where it will reach to the back of the first section of the right bracket (past the two little screws, same as on the left). You’ll need pliers or wire cutters to cut the wire, and it will snap a bit when you do it.

Jeez, kind of embarrassing how corroded these are, but they still work!

9. Repeat step #6 with the right bracket – using your left hand, poke the wire into the bracket and apply gentle pressure while you loosen the two screws in order (near, far) and then tighten them in the reverse order (far, near).
10. Insert the L-shaped tool into the hole in the middle piece of the right hand bracket. Holding the left hand piece of the right bracket steady, use the L-shaped tool to tighten the bracket and pull the wire taut.

Dignitet clips and hooks
Clips and hooks

Attach the clips to the hooks and hang the hooks on the wire.

Attach it to the clips

Attach your curtains to the clips and you’re done!

And you're done!

Note: I am also in love with Rodeo Home Curtains, which are phenomenally priced, come in a variety of lengths, and ship quickly! I don’t know how long they will last when the sun starts beating on them but they are very cute right now.

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