Tuesday, April 19, 2011

DIY Curtain Rods

Why are curtain rods so expensive?  It’s a piece of metal for crying out loud. 

Wal-Mart is usually my go-to curtain rod source.  Gasp.  I can’t believe I said the “W” on this blog.  What can I say?  I’m cheap.

I wanted to avoid a trip to Wal-Mart something a little nicer for our bedroom.  I soon realized nicer equaled A LOT more money because we needed 3 rods…one of which was pretty long.

I then ran across a few tutorials on how to make curtain rods for little $$$. (Read those tutorials here and here.  This is not our original idea.  Our tutorial is a combo of those tutorials with our own tips added in…especially with regards to a bay window) 

Curtain rods for less. Sign. Us. Up.

Nate measured the length of the walls.  We wanted the rods to touch to make the curtain rod appear to be one continuous rod for our bay window.
We headed to Lowes and picked up our supplies:
  • Two 10’ conduit pipes (1” diameter) ($10.56..we have a little left over)
  • Eight 1” conduit straps ($2.56…we used 6 (2 per window))
  • Eight 2.5” L brackets ($5.94…we used 6 (2 per window))
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We already had :
  • nuts and bolts to attach conduit strap to L bracket
  • Black spray paint
  • Screws and wall anchors to attach the L bracket to the wall
I tried to talk Nate into having someone at Lowe’s cut the conduit for us. The man DIYer in Nate came through and he insisted it wouldn’t be hard at home.

We cut the conduit using our measurements and a borrowed pipe cutter from Nate’s dad.  It worked.  It just took a REALLY long time.  I held the rod.  Nate used the cutter.  He kept saying “We’re getting really close now” and then 20 minutes later 1 rod was cut.  (Have someone at Lowe’s cut the pipe for you….)

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Nate assembled the conduit strap to the L bracket.

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I then spray painted the conduit and hardware.  I rested them on a couple of six packs.  We are nothing but classy here on Decor and the Dog.  I did a light coat. Rotated. Light coat. Repeat.  There will soon be a tutorial on how to remove black spray paint from your garage floor…

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We let the paint dry overnight.

The next day Nate held the curtains up to determine how high to place the L bracket.  He then found the stud in the wall and marked the location for the screws.  He drilled a pilot hole and then screwed the L brackets to the wall.

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We then placed the curtains on the rod and positioned the conduit rod into the conduit strap.
Wah-lah.  Curtains hung.

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$19.06 for curtain rods for a bay window.  Not so shabby.  I priced 3 similar length rods (thinner diameter) at Target and our total would have been between $70-$80….and we would have had that annoying middle strap that always comes with lesser quality curtain rods.

For those of you wanting to try this on your bay window, we recommend purchasing curtains that are not pole-pocket.  It’s doable but would be easier with grommet curtains.

Overall, a pretty easy project that saved us quite a bit of cash. 

Would we do it again?  Absolutely.  I know I want curtains in our guest room and we think we have enough pipe left to make it work!

**Edit: Here are some updates from comments we have received…**

Here are what the ends look like…
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Our ends just but up to the wall. No finials for us. They will look cleaner when we add crown molding. Note: still gloomy….

Wall color: Poolhouse by Sherwin Williams

Our curtains are purely for looks only.  No function.  That’s what our lovely blinds are for.  Chipping of the spray paint may be a concern if you were to open and close the curtains a lot!  Keep that in mind.

The curtains can be removed VERY easily.  Just lift the rod from the conduit strap.

Want to see more of the curtains…read yesterday’s post here!

Linking up to: Remodelaholic, SAS Interiors/Green Door Design, Savy Southern Style


  1. These look great! At first I was wondering if the paint would chip off, but I suppose it's only touching the fabric. It'd probably be an issue with grommets?

    Very cool project and especially perfect for that area. This looks better than any store-bought version.

    Will it be hard to get the curtains off to wash? I'm just wondering, because I'm seriously considering asking my husband to do this project. ;)

  2. This is a great idea! my windows in my kitchen do this so you either have to do separate curtain rods or make something. Thanks for posting this!

  3. Brilliant!

    Now you have me considering using wooden rods for my problem window - similar to your project, but slightly different.

  4. Can you post a pic of the ends of the curtain area? I'd love to avoid the middle support look but am wondering how y'all diy filials (sp?).

    Also, I love that color blue on your walls. Care to share?

  5. Your tutorial was as entertaining as it was instructive :)
    I'll be coming back to this one as we have a couple of bay window situations in our house...

  6. I love a hubby who helps decorate the house!!!! I am sure he will say, he was not "decorating", but "constructing"!! I LOVE your blog...thanks for the visit and compliments!!!

  7. Looks wonderful, well done!I enjoyed my visit to your lovely blog. I hope you'll stop by Katherines corner and enter my giveaway to win a gorgeous dress. Hugs!

  8. wow! they look awesome and curtain rods of this size would have cost you well over $100 to buy!

  9. These are just amazing! I'm definitely stealing your idea when we move next! And yes, why are curtain rods so expensive!?

    Thanks for commenting on my blog!

    Turning a House into a Home

  10. PS I'm a new follower - yay!


  11. I need 2 new larger curtain rods. Hmmmm.... I love this post. My wheels are turning!

    When you do your how-to-get-spray-paint-off-of-the-floor tutorial, can you include how to remove it from your front lawn too?! LOL! My lawn is blue!!!

  12. Visiting from Remodelaholic. Great idea! Thanks for sharing.

  13. Nice! Your curtains look beautiful, too! And lol at tutorial on removing black spray paint from garage floor. :)

  14. Simply beautiful! Really appreciate you sharing this great post with us at the Creative Bloggers' Party & Hop :)

  15. What a great idea! I love when someone comes up with a way to make an item they need for less.

    And as for the paint chipping-Did you use the paint meant for metal? I wonder if that would make it last longer-or even if you used that fusion stuff-isn't that supposed to actually bond to the material you are painting?

  16. I love the idea. I've been trying to think of something for my bay window as well. How do the angles of the bay window meet on the rod? Would you mind sending me a picture of that? Is the conduit cut at an angle so that they come together nicely or is it just hidden beneath the curtain?

  17. @Kelsey- I can't find your e-mail on your profile...the rods are cut straight and are just hidden by the curtain. Our curtains are more for looks that function. Hope that helps!!

  18. Brilliant post!Now I understand why is it expensive because of the procedures and the things to do enable to get the perfect size of the rod.

  19. BRILLIANT! I wasn't around when you posted this, so I get to pretend like it's a brand new post. Totally pinning this.

  20. Great idea,, just in time.. i am redoing my room with baywindow and needed some guidance, what do you do about rods sliding? and I am made my curtains with grograin ribbon ties on back,,but they do not show. thanks for this wonderful idea.I have hated my bay window from day one. but this will make me enjoy it.

  21. Brilliant...like the curtain...easy to follow..like it.

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  22. I had a set of metal rods with brackets and finials that expanded to 6 feet that matched the rods on my smaller windows. Problem was the feature wall of windows twelve feet long. I used a ten ft section of conduit in the middle with my rods and finials stuck in each end. I used the hanger hardware that came with the store bought rod that included a center bracket. I took my store bought rod with me to pick out the right size conduit. The only set back was waiting many days for the paint to cure hard enough to use with metal rings. Not quite as crafty as doing it all from scratch, but the results for me were worth the effort and it didn't break the bank!

  23. The diy curtain rods are easy to make if you follow the steps given here. Excellent post

  24. One of the most critical elements to any successful curtain feature is the curtain rods. Often called upon to support ornate or heavy curtains, the curtains rods can make all the difference in the overall look and feel of curtains as well as to how effectively the function.

  25. Thanks for the great tutorial. My husband and I used your directions to put a continuous rod around our whole sunroom this weekend. It turned our great, just what I wanted, and it didn't break the bank. I found your blog through a google search, and I live in the QC, too!

    1. Awesome! Send me photos if you'd like! decorandthedog at gmail! I'd love to see them!

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  34. Good choice of color for your curtain, Michelle. It goes well with your blinds. It simplicity added some character to your window.

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