Saturday, March 8, 2014

DIY Tutorial - Making Curtain Rods with PVC

I've been making the most beautiful curtains for my front room, I am excited to show them off - but more on that later.  First I needed a rod to hang these beauties on.  I started to look online for bay window curtain rods and they are a pretty penny... more than I wanted to spend.  I did a little searching online, combined a few ideas that other people had and ended up making my own curtain rods for around $10.  That's one curtain rod for a regular window, and another for my bay window for a killer price.  Boo yeah!  

Shopping List:
  • 2 - 1/2 inch PVC conduit ($1.48/pc at Home Depot)
  • 2 - 1/2 inch 45 degree PVC elbow pieces ($0.68/pc at Home Depot)
  • 1 - Bag of 3/4" One Hole Straps - 4 in a bag - next to PVC Conduit ($0.99 at Home Depot)
  • 1 - 1 Can Rustoleum Oil Rubbed Bronze Spray Paint ($6.60 at Home Depot)
  • 2 - 11/16 x 17/32 Sealing Corks ($0.68/pc at Lowes in Hardware drawers - not sold at Home Depot)
  • 1 - Package of 1/4" x 1 1/2" wood dowell screws ($0.99 at Home Depot)
  • 1 - Bag of Wooden Ball Knobs 1 3/4" size - 6 in bag - for finials ($3.99 at Hobby Lobby (or) $2.40 with 40% off coupon)
  • 1 - 4-pack of 1" corner braces ($1.99 at Home Depot)

Step 1- Measure the width of the middle section of your bay window.  Subtract 5 inches from that number and that is what you are going to cut your first piece of PVC to.  (Why subtract 5 inches?  You need to subtract 3.5 inches from each side for the elbow pieces.  Then you need to add 2 more inches because 1 inch of each end of PVC will be lost when it slides into those elbow pieces.)  Cut your 1st middle piece.  It should have straight edges on both ends.


Step 2 - Place your cut PVC on the ground below your window and slide the elbows into place.  Make sure that the curves match up correctly.  Assuming all is well, you can now take your outside bay window measurements and subtract 2.5" and cut.  (Again, subtract 3.5 inches for the elbow, and add the 1" that will slide into the elbow.)  Slide them into place and make sure it fits the wall correctly.


Step 3 -  Next you are going to want to pull out your "one hole straps" and your "corner braces".  You are now going to make the brackets that will attach your rod to the wall.  You will need some small screws and nuts to hold these together.  I had some at the house.
 They should look like this when they are put together.  Once you are done, set those aside.

Step 4 -  Next you will want to take out your dowell screws, and your wooden balls that will be your curtain finials.  Using pliers hold your dowell tightly in the middle of the screw.  With your opposite hand screw the wooden ball onto the dowell until it meets the middle.


Hold the dowell screw with pliers while you twist the ball onto the screw.

Step 5 -  Next pull out your corks, and hammer them into the ends of your PVC pipe.  This will give you somewhere to screw your finials into.


Step 6 -  Grab some newspapers and all of your parts and head outside to spray paint.  I found it helpful to get an old shoe box lid to stick my finals into while I painted them.  Again, I used Rustoleum Oil Rubbed Bronze which gave it a metallic finish and turned it from plastic PVC to a realistic looking metal rod.  It takes about 30 minutes to dry, and I applied a second coat.


 Here is a close-up of what the finish looks like dried.

Step 7 -  Once everything is dried, grab your ladder, and a drill.  Using a stud finder, or the good old knocking method, find a stud and drill your brackets into the wall.  I chose to hang mine as close to the ceiling as possible to make the room appear taller.  (Tip:  Instead of measuring every time to make sure it's even, get a piece of cardstock paper and cut a template to hold up against the wall to make it the same every time.)


After all your brackets are in place, hang your rod on!  And of course, don't forget to screw the finials into the end!


Wa- laaa!  Beautiful looking curtain rods a great price!!

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