Tuesday, March 29

Rods, rods and more rods!

It's the small things in life that make you happy, right?! Well, this one makes me VERY happy, and if you like saving money, hopefully I can spread the happiness to you.

When we bought the house, I knew I would want to put up curtains in the living and dining rooms.  The windows had standard white wooden blinds, which were nice, but I always like to soften them a bit more with fabric panels on either side.  Let's take a trip down memory lane and check out the living room before we moved in....  We've made lots of updates since then, but today's post is going to focus on the windows.


In previous houses, I always purchased curtains at Bed, Bath & Beyond or some other large home store.  Because I like to hang the curtains near the ceiling, those panels are long and costly!  Usually around $50 a panel.  With a new baby and a pause on my paycheck, I just didn't want to spend that much this time around.  So, I hit up the internet in search of some basic white drapery panels.  I landed on some awesome sailcloth curtains on a website called Linens 4 Less.  I wasn't sure about the company, but read some online reviews and took a risk!  It paid off.  I got eight panels of 95 inch long white sailcloth curtains for less than $130 total.  I think they're comparable to other similar designer options, like Pottery Barn's, that are on sale for $31 per panel.  Next time, though, I'll try making my own, but I'm happy with these for now!

I used to always buy my own curtain rods, too, and if you've checked out window hardware lately, you know it can get expensive.  Sure, you can find some less expensive options at Target, but I wanted something super sturdy (since I have large double windows to span) and figured I could make my own for less.  Plus, these rods are darn near indestructible.  

Here's the quick tutorial on making your own rods... I promise they're easy and less than $5 per window!  The hardest part is getting up the nerve to go to Home Depot or Lowe's to purchase some of the smaller screws and brackets you need.  If you're worried about this, just take a baby to the store with you, let the kid get good and worked up, and I bet you'll get some help quickly and you'll be out of there in no time!  :)

Step 1:  Measure the length of your window and determine how long you want your rod to be.  This rod won't be adjustable like those off the shelf, so measure twice!  Example:  My windows are 6 feet long and I wanted 6 inches extra on either side, so I wanted my rod seven feet long.

Step 2:  Head to your favorite home improvement store with your list, measurements, and enthusiasm!  Buy all this stuff!  
  • 1/2 inch EMT (electrical metallic tubing) conduit cut to length - this will be in the electrical section of the store and they'll cut it to length for you!  Bonus!
  • 1/2 inch conduit straps - we found these in the building materials section.  I used two per rod, but if you have an exceptionally long window, you may need three.
  • 2.5 inch L brackets - again you'll use two per rod normally, or three if the window is super long.
  • Nut and bolt to attach conduit strap to L bracket (determine quantity based on whether you're doing two or three sets per window)  - I totally goofed and didn't write down the measurements for the nut and bolt we purchased, but just stroll on over to the hardware aisle with your L brackets and conduit straps and find them while you're there....easy peasy.  
  • Spray paint for metal surfaces in the color you want (I, of course, chose black!)
  • Screws and wall anchors to attach the L brackets to your wall - I used some we already had on hand.

Step 3:  Once you have all of your supplies, you'll see this really is a super easy project and the hardware you bought looks nearly identical to what you pull out of commercially sold packages.  Now, for the fun part!  Take your conduit, straps, brackets and hardware outside and get to spray painting!  I did three coats on my conduit and just made sure all of the other hardware and accessories had good coverage in areas that would show once installed.

Step 4:  Once the paint is good and dry, start installing just like any regular curtain rod.  You can use my picture as a guide, but these rods are super easy to put together and hang.  Just measure like you normally would for any rod installation.

Step 5:  Enjoy the rewards of your hard work and splurge on a nice dinner and drinks with all that money you just saved by making your own.  Here's what a finished rod and drapes look like in my house.

If you're super ambitious, you can make finials, too.  Just shove a 1/2 inch piece of 5/8" dowel into the ends of the rod.  Once the dowel rod is inserted, you can screw reclaimed cabinet knobs into the dowels for a finished look.  This is where you can get super creative!!!  :)  I'm planning to do this someday when I run across the perfect knobs, but it hasn't happened yet. 

Okay, that's enough for now.  If you have any questions, just let me know.  I promise this is super easy and so worth the effort.

This post is also linked up at:
image image

The Lettered Cottage
Beyond The Picket Fence
DIY Club  


  1. This is a great idea for those who have windows that aren't standard sizes-like me!

  2. need curtains so bad!! that might be a project for me!

  3. WOW - super inspiring. They turned out so great!!!

    I shared them on my TT&J facebook page and linked to you. Your blog is great!


  4. Bookmarked! Fantastic, this is exactly what I was looking for...I usually hit IKEA for affordable curtain hardware (and material!) but the local hardware store is tons closer!


  5. I like this idea!!! I have spent so much on hardware/rods for curtains. We have the white wood blinds, too and I'm not a fan!
    Claudia @http://faithfamilyhopeandlove.blogspot.com/

  6. clever! totally bookmarking this!

  7. I love this idea! The number of windows we had doubled last time we moved and after buying a ton of new curtains we did not splurge on the rods so we have the cheapo (sag in the middle because they're so flimsy) rods from Target. I definitely want to try this. Thanks for the tip!

  8. Oh my gosh thank you so much we just bought a house in November of last year and I need to figure out how to do some drapes! thanks for stoping by my blog insanity rules earlier today as well.

  9. Just yesterday my husband dug a bunch of metal rods out of the barn for us to make curtain rods for the back patio. When he came back from the store with what he thought would work to attach them I was headed back to the store to exchange them for not sure what. Now, thanks to your post I know exactly what I need to make it work. Thank you!!! FYI - we're using painters drop cloths from a discount store ($7. a piece-aka panel) to make an awesome curtained back patio.

  10. Definitely a great idea and cost efficient too! Thanks.


  11. Thanks for this great tute! Curtain rods are so expensive in the stores! Congratulations on the new blog. You're off to a great start!

    Sherry @ A Happy Valentine

  12. This is a great idea!! Thanks for sharing.

  13. thank you!! this is perfect. can you post a picture of what the finished product looks like without the finials? i'm having a hard time seeing it in my head...

  14. Ahhh! Perfect timing! I have 3 large windows to do and was trying to come up with something clever (and cheap!) LOVE this. Thanks! And thanks to the Inspired Room for featuring you so I could find you!


  15. Love this! Loving the transformation (those black lamps are divine!)

  16. Love this- I just used PVC pipe as I needed a very long rod. I just posted about rod options - will have to add this. I like finding inexpensive alternatives like this. I am your newest follower.
    My best- Diane

    1. I have a slew of pvc left over from plumbing my house so I wondering if this would work or if it would sag. I'm guessing that if you used it on a large window I will be ok. Thank you both for sharing your experience and creativity.


  17. Super idea, especially when you have a non-standard window size or need it to be extra sturdy. I'm thinking they would even look great just bare in a boy's room or something. Thanks for getting my wheels turning :).

  18. Thanks again for all the comments!! :)

  19. What a great money saving idea. Take that big stores that charge too much or don't have my size! It sure does feel great to make it myself. Thank you for linking up at the beagle.

  20. I would like to include your idea in a book I'm currently writing. Please email me at contact@busy-moms-tips.com.

  21. I'm linking this up to my blog on Tuesday! Thanks!!

  22. Thank you for the great idea.

  23. excellent idea, will be heading for the trade centre as I am redoing all my curtains

  24. Thank you for linking up to Creative Bloggers' Party & Hop. These rods are wonderful...as is your room. I'm a new follower.

  25. I agree with your idea. It will make a seance of curtain in our windows. I appreciate knowledge the way you have shared with me.

    curtains window

  26. You are my newest hero!!

  27. This is so great! I'm making my own curtain rods with copper pipe and spray painted the L brackets with copper spray paint! This is such a great idea for the three large windows that are very close together, got two 10 foot pieces and put them together with a small cuppler! So inexpensive! Love it!

  28. LOVE THIS! I have a not so standard window size and a curtain rod was going to cost me $40. I know to some its not that much, but honestly I just could not justify spending that much money on something to hang curtains!

    Thanks for this simple idea! It worked great!

  29. I use copper pipe and L brackets about 6 years ago to do two windows in my dining room - so cheap and no one knows the difference! :)

  30. this is just the kind of inexpensive project i was looking for. thanks for the clear instructions.

  31. Brilliant! Love all your post! I feel very inspired as well ((:

  32. How clever and inmaginative you are! I need curtain rods for my very very large patio door and living room window. These are just right for my budget. Thanks for posting them,.

  33. Such a fantastic and simple idea. I hope you don't mind if I feature this project in a post tomorrow about DIY curtain rods.

  34. thank u this is awesome! i did it in all 3 of my huge windows... 9.5 ft each for under $12. u are a genious. keep them ideas flowing!


Thank you for all of your fabulous comments! Keep 'em coming!