This post is not so much about WHAT I used for DIY curtain rods, it’s more about thinking outside the box – and about rethinking what is important to spend your money on when it comes to your home.
In our previous houses I have spent a small fortune on window treatments. When it came to our home, we used to abide by the “Let’s Do This Right” mentality. As in, if we bought “proper” curtain rods (and good quality furniture and so on), we were Mature Adults making smart purchases that would last.
Hardee har har har. Turns out Mature Adults do not go into debt furnishing a house, they actually do without or find a way to have nice things without spending money they don’t have. *lightbulb goes off* Ohhhhhh. Fast forward to this house, where I subscribe more to the High-Low concept. Some items are worth investing in, but curtain rods? That’s a really un-fun way to spend my very small decorating dollars.
Going to the other extreme, last year I hung Ikea curtain panels in our master bedroom on really, really cheap, rods I bought at Big Lots. It didn’t go so well:
Yes, the rings are a different color than the rod, but more importantly, all three flimsy rods bent within a month or two. So annoying!
A while back I made a long rod for my living room out of pvc pipe and loooove it. I like that it has no seam like a regular extension rod, I like the overall look, and I love the price.
PVC makes great curtain rods, but the only issue is that it is plastic and tends to sag in the middle without a support bracket. This time I used wood dowel rods.
A 1/2″, 48″ long dowel rod (found in the wood trim section of Lowes or HD, or at craft stores) is less than $2 each. Spraypainted – BANG – instant curtain rod. Now you just need to figure out what you want to use as a finial for the end, so your curtains don’t slide off.
+You can buy finials to paint. They come with screws to attach to the dowel.
+Cabinet knobs, spraypainted to match your dowel, can be glued on.
+Modeling clay can be shaped into balls, or whatever shape you desire, painted to match the rod, and glued on.
+Large beads, pretty stones, vase-filling marbles – all could be used with a small dowel rod.
I was thinking of a little bling for my new navy walls, like classic gold stud earrings with a pretty navy dress:
I walked around my house looking for something circular that I could make into a finial. Pantry? Nothing. Craft supplies? Nothing. Playroom? Ahhhh, here we go.
The ping pong balls, hundreds of thousands of which litter my basement at this very moment, are cheap and light-weight.
*caution*caution*caution* If you use ping pong balls as finials, be very careful with this next step. I would be so sad to know that something you read about on this blog and tried caused you harm.
To drill a hole in the ball, I placed it on a non-slip surface (rubber jar lid gripper on a cutting board) and very carefully used an awl to poke a hole in it (the ball is slippery so I slowly pressed the awl into the plastic and then applied pressure). Then I used a very large drill bit (about the size of my dowel), inserted in the pilot hole, to very slowly drill a hole. Don’t go fast or the drill bit will slip and potentially have a run-in with your hand.
After I drilled holes in all my “finials” I painted them to match the dowel rods. (Tomorrow I’ll show you how to get an antique brass finish with paint.)
I use rings with clips to hang my curtains. I know decorators don’t love them but the exposed clip doesn’t bother me and they make customizing the length of your curtains SO easy. I hung the rings on the dowel rod, placed the rod on the curtain rod brackets, and then used Gorilla Glue, run along the edge of the hole in the ball, to attach the balls to the dowel, holding each one in place for a few moments until adhered.
Cost breakdown per window, excluding paint
(I had the ping pong balls and clip rings on hand so my only cost per window was $1.68!)
Loving the end result and figuring out that “Doing It Right” doesn’t have to mean expensive:
Antique brass tutorial coming tomorrow!