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.
THE QUEST FOR
CHEAP COST EFFICIENT CURTAINS
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.
MAKE YOUR OWN CURTAIN RODSHere'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.
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