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.
HA! 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. Huh. Novel idea. 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.
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. Please see my safety disclosure policy here.
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. (See this tutorial for how to achieve the achieve the antique brass finish with paint!)
I hung clip 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. The rings on the rod permanently, but the curtains are easy to unclip and take down to wash if need be.
2 ping pong balls, $4.70 for 6 = $1.57 for 2
1 poplar dowel rod, 7/16″ x 48″, $1.48
TOTAL unfinished rod per window: $3.05!
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