Saturday, November 10, 2007

Thrifty curtain rods

Thrifty Curtain Rods
Curtain rods are expensive! A few years ago I needed rods for my kitchen windows. I have five windows, two on one wall and three on the other where they meet in the corner. So basically I needed two long rods. I shopped around for the rods and just couldn't believe how much it was going to cost me. I decided there must be another way, and there was. I went to Home Depot, purchased 3 inch PVC pipe (the type used for plumbing) 1 can of spray adhesive and a few
packages of twine. I took the pipe home, cut it to the size, sprayed it with adhesive and wrapped twine around it. I bought some finials and attached them to each end.

When you go to the plumbing aisle and take a look at the PVC you will notice they have all sorts of connectors. That's what I bought so my rods would form a 90 degree angle where the walls meet (see below). I made tab top curtains with some marked down fabric. They were cheap next to what I would have paid in a retail store.

There is so much you can do with PVC pipe. First you must buy it big enough so it doesn't sag in the middle. If you like the thinner PVC then buy brackets to support it. Think about what you could apply to the pipe to cover it. I used twine, but you could use fabric in the same way, cover it with wallpaper or another type of decorative paper and lastly you could spray paint it. Krylon has come out with a great paint for painting plastic. Here is the web site:

Here is a close up of the PVC rod covered with twine.

Finials you can find at thrift stores, discount stores and also craft stores. They carry all sorts of wood objects that can be made into finials. It's best not to make your finials permanent by gluing them on or you won't get those curtains off and on easily. I glued a small wooden rod onto mine so they would slip into the PVC pipe.

Other Ideas:

Here is another idea. Use a large, beautiful and as straight as possible tree branch as your rod. This looks especially good in a southwestern motif or a masculine room. It takes a while to find the perfect branch, but the completed look is great. Look for a branch that is dead but in good condition. Dry it out for a few days, sand it well, stain if you desire and apply polyurethane. Just drape a piece of fabric and you have a very unusual curtain rod. It's free too. You just need some nice hardware to hang it from. Here is a photograph of a branch that I found and made it into a hand rail. You can imagine the same set up as a curtain rod. Don't you love the fact that it's not completely straight. That's what makes it unusual and unique.

Here is an example of a rod made with a plain wooden dowel purchased at Home Depot and stained. This rod (it's missing a finial ) is hung from two large decorative hooks which are actually metal curtain tiebacks. Total cost for this rod including the hooks was under $15.00.

This rod was made from a cardboard dowel found at a fabric store. They use these to wrap the fabric around. It was spray painted brown and small finials were attached.

Buying your rod is the easy way to go, but sometimes expensive. Now at least you know there are alternatives and different creative ways to make your own.

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  1. What brilliant ideas!
    Am off to find stuff to adapt.

  2. These are really great ideas. How do you attach the "rods" to the wall?

  3. If you look at the very top of the page you will see exactly what I used to hang the rod. I purchased these in a craft store and refinished them. I've also found them, occasionally in the Goodwill. Walmart has them sometimes and they are also found in the home improvement stores.

  4. any ideas for closets? I am redoing my teenage daughters room. I want it to have a sexy young look to it. I was looking at maybe a curved curtain rod. But wow, very pricy. Also wanted to make the small window match. Maybe a easy throw blanket for her bed.

  5. I like using PVC pipe. You can buy it at the home improvement center and it is easily cut with a saw. The PVC can be covered with fabric. Just measure what you need, apply spray adhesive and cover with fabric. Find something interesting to use for finials. You can even use a tennis ball covered with fabric. Large wood balls or anything else you can find.
    This is very cost effective too. Check Walmart, Big Lots or Odd Lots. I have found some really cheap, but nice rods, in those places.

  6. Loved your ideas. Once I used copper pipe, and it turned out beautiful. But, now it is a lot more expensive.

  7. Copper pipe sounds very unique and interesting. But, you're right, it is probably too expensive these days.

  8. I love that idea! I'm all about saving money so that's right up my alley. thanks for the tip!

  9. I am so glad I found this site (by accident). These are all such GREAT ideas.