DIY Curtain Rods: Plumbing Parts Edition

Happy Saturday, folks! I hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July. Alabama is in the middle of some sort of monsoon, so our 4th involved my brother grilling in the rain, the entire family attempting to entertain my five year old and eighteen month old cousin, and a nap on my parents couch with the hubby. Still a great day with family, but the rain did put a damper on the usual pool and firework fun!

Anyways, let’s get back to today’s tutorial. When I gave you guys the house June update the other day, I gave you a speak peak at our bedroom curtains. I knew I wanted something with an industrial look for the bedroom. I also loved the look of curtain rods that wrap around the entire room, like this one below.

and here.

I think the curtains and curtain rods help make the space feel so more luxurious. Is that an actual thing? Luxurious curtain rods? Maybe. IF there is such a thing as a luxurious curtain rods I am pretty sure it would be the kind that wraps around the room. Generally speaking, if I REALLY like something it means it is probably expensive, and more than likely it is THE most expensive option. It’s a gift I have. A talent really. You can walk me into a store, rip off all the tags, and 9 times out of 10 I will pick out the most expensive item. Just ask Ryan 🙂

Well, luckily for Ryan I couldn’t actually find the curtain rods that wrap around the corner. *Womp womp* I did find several industrial curtain rods that I really liked. This one from Pottery Barn, this one from West Elm, and this one from Serena & Lily. What I did not like about these options was the price tag: $250-$300 FOR THREE WINDOWS! 

Not in the budget, y’all. We still have two whole bathrooms to finish and a bajillion other things to buy, so frugal is the name of the game right now.

Enter: DIY Curtain Rods. After some googling and Pinteresting (totally verbs), I settled on using plumbing parts. We decided to use 3/4″ galvanized pipe, which can be picked up from a hardware store like Lowe’s or Home Depot.

DIY-curtain-rods_material

What is not shown in the picture above is the 3/4″ Nipple fitting. I’m not making that up. Not sure why someone thought nipple was a good name, but whatever. This is what it looks like.

diy curtain rods_nippe

We also picked up a can of Rust-oleum metallic spray paint.

diy-curtain-rod_spray-paint

I gave everything a coat of spray paint, except for the nipple fittings. I also tried to avoid getting paint inside any of the threading.

diy-curtain-rods_spray-pain

You will need to remove a couple stickers before spray painting – just fyi!

diy-curtain-rods_remove-sti

After two or three light coats of spray paint, all of the plumbing parts are ready to go.  I am  going to encourage you to do a test fitting of all the pieces while it is still on the ground, just to be sure everything works like it needs to.

diy-curtain-rods_test-fit

You can see in the picture above, the pipe threads into the 90 degree elbow. The elbow and flange are connected with the nipple fitting. All you have to do is twist everything together. It’s that easy!!! Even a caveman could do it.

Once you have made sure all the parts are fitting well, time to grab your curtains and an extra set of hands! If you are using curtains with grommet holes, you need to put the curtains on before hanging the curtain rod. If you are using clip rings, you will need to put the rings on before putting up the curtain rod.

diy-curtains_curtains

Getting the curtain rod on the wall is definitely a two person job. You will also need a drill, screws, and a step stool (unless you are a giant).

I have no photos of the actual going up process because it required all hands on deck! I held up one end of the rod while Ryan held up the other. He would attach his end to the wall, and then come attach mine. Then, repeat.

DIY-curtain-rods_close-up

With all flanges attached, step back and admire your work!

diy-curtain-rods_finished

Since we decided to create the look of one long curtain rod above the bed, we used a tee fitting in the center to connect the two pieces of pipe as well as attach it to the wall with a flange. You can see it right above the bed in the picture below.

DIY-curtain-rods_Pinterest

There you have it! Industrial curtain rods. Here’s a quick review.

diy curtain rod tutorial copy

Here is our material list & cost break down:

  • 2 – 6′ 3/4″ galvanized pipe – $17 each
  • 1 – 5′ 3/4″ galvanized pipe – $17
  • 5 – 3/4″ galvanized floor flanges – $5.60 each
  • 4 – 3/4″ 90 degree elbow fitting – $1.90 each
  • 1 – 3/4″ Tee fitting – $2.90 each
  • 5 – 3/4″ Nipple fittings – $1.50 each

Total cost for all three windows was around $97. $30 a window is a lot better than $100 a window in my book!

Has anyone else DIY-ed curtain rods before? Any other ideas besides pipe material? Here are a couple other tutorials about industrial curtain rods – Here and here. How was your 4th of July holiday?

Brittney

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46 thoughts on “DIY Curtain Rods: Plumbing Parts Edition

  1. Brittney,

    Well, you did get something from me after all!! I have the same gift. I select those expensive items as well and then say “Oh me” when I see the price and then walk on by .I have to accept the inevitable, you start thinking “How can I create that?” I do understand. But, young lady, what you have created is something beyond anything with your curtain rods!!!! They look absolutely beautiful. You have a concersation piece in your bedroom. I just know your creativeness will prove to be a lucrative income for you and your employer. Have you shown him what you and Ryan did? I have to wonder what Ryan says about that talent of yours. I am just so very proud of you. Always have been and always will be. Absolutely unique. And Ryan just jumps right in and puts your ideas together. You have vision. That is a beautiful gift. Be sure to thank your Heavenly Father for it.

    Love you so much and would love you if you did not possess this gift. Haha

    GrandMOM

  2. Great way to save some dough and get exactly what you want. Geez, why the heck are window treatments and rods so darn expensive? Crazy! Once you painted them they look really high-end. We’ve used pipe to make a table and door handles but never got around to doing the curtain rod. I LOVE IT! Richie used them in all of our closets for rods. Talk about sturdy!
    I love this project. It looks wonderful.

    Our windows are so tall (up to the ceiling) that I ended up ordering curtain tracks and they just slide back and forth on a channel attached to the ceiling. I’m going to to do a post about it soon. I’m always searching for inexpensive solutions. You really did good, B.

  3. Found you on Pinterest and just wanted to come over and say that these are awesome!! I love the idea of using something for what it’s not intended!!! Cute Cute Cute!!! (And….I’ll be doing something similar for my bedroom and living room!! Thanks so much for inspiration!)

  4. A few months ago I made a shower curtain rod out of plumbing supplies. I really love it! What I don’t love about it is that now I want to make more curtain rods with the same stuff and the price of the supplies has increased at my local HD! Just in a matter of a few months…

    • I haven’t figured that out yet! Ha! Generally I just vacuum the curtains and febreeze them (I cheat I guess). I think you would have to take the entire assembly down, including the fitting attached to the wall. I will let you know when I get to that point! 🙂

    • I am using galvanized pipe but I’m putting a “decorative” connector (of shorter pieces of pipe) in the middle of each window (to balance everything)where I can unscrew the pipe to disconnect it. That way, you also don’t have to hunt for a long piece of pipe which can be difficult to find. Also, if you are putting the rings or even the curtains onto the pipe itself, you need to try that out before you paint the pipes…..that way you can take them back if you need to,,,,after you paint them is too late. I am making a curtain hook for each end similar to a regular curtain hook. That way, I’m just outfitting my 3 windows with a straight rod. Tried to think thru this before I start purchasing pieces.

  5. We used PVC that we painted pretty much the same concept only I think we got 2 full rods about 5 foot ech for about 10$. We weren’t going for industrial look though. We had pocket rod type curtains and they coved the pipes but what stuck out the sides were black like the curtains themselves

  6. Ok, really and truly is this easy??? Your tutorial makes this look so simple, but I have a history of getting I over my head. I mean, I’m crafty and I’ve done basic home projects (hanging curtain rods, painting, installing hardware to cabinets), so I’m thinking this project is doable for me, but thought I’d check before I jumped in!!

    • It was easy! It does require two sets of hands and I did get a little shoulder burn when hanging the really long one above the bed 🙂 it is totally doable with extra hands and two step stools!

  7. This is genius!!
    I’m wondering though, how the paint is holding up? I want to do this in my living room, but those curtains get opened every day and I don’t want to be having to repaint them constantly. Did you prime the pipe at all?

    • Thank you! So far we haven’t had any problems with the paint, but they aren’t curtains we open or close. We just close the blinds when needing privacy. We did not primes them, just cleaned and spray painted.

  8. Thank you for showing how you made it so long! I have 3 windows in a row (16 1/2 feet) and I want to have just one rod go all the way across. And I love the spray paint idea! Thanks!

  9. Pingback: Shower curtain DIY | Alexandra Old and New

  10. I simply LOVE this, Britney! I have purchased new curtains from Pier One and I am just waiting to get the rods which are expensive. I need them for three windows. Now that I saw your wonderful project, I have made up my mind and will use the pipes, just like you did. It not only gives a very unique look to the whole room, it’s also much cheaper than the real rods. I love different and when I found your project on Pinterest, I went, “Whoa!! This is it!!’. Thank you!!

  11. Would you mind sharing how and what you used to put the rods up? We have plank walls we just put in but are unsure what to use where there is no stud. Thanks!

  12. How did you get the nipple to fit in the rod or how do you get them to be one piece? I’d like to try it but this is much too puzzling for a beginner like me. Does the nipple just thread into both the rod and the flange without needing to be machined? Is it that simple?

  13. I used larger t joints and screw in plugs for the ends, it makes it so much easier to take curtains down to clean easier! Also a primer before painting makes it so the paint doesn’t chip or scratch with curtains with metal around the openings.

    • Do you possibly have any pictures of the t-joints you used? I have grommet curtains and would like to do this…but I’m trying to figure out a better way so I can take them down to clean them!

  14. I am now terrified that we have a mineral build up problem in our pipes somewhere. The last week the color of the water has been a murky reddish kind of color. I thought it was just some rust probably. Now I’m starting to wonder if its mineral calcification. Please tell me it isn’t an expensive fix.

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