Monday, June 4, 2012

DIY Curtain Rods

Happy June!  I have lots of projects and shopping to reveal since I basically took May off from blogging.  First up are my DIY curtain rods! 

The living area of my house (living room and dining room) have four windows (technically, three windows and a sliding glass door) that were in desperate need of some curtains.  So I decided to make my own.  Even the curtain rods.  Because curtain rods can get pricey.  Especially the longer ones.  Plus, I have two windows that practically meet in the corner, so they were kind of demanding some custom attention.  My DIY versions cost a little over $15 each.

I've seen lots of good tutorials for DIY curtain rods using everything from PVC to wooden dowels, but I followed this one by Allison of House of Hepworths the closest.  Girl's a genius.  Just sayin'.

I started by buying some 3/4-inch electrical conduit at Home Depot.  For some reason, my local Lowe's sells this stuff by the foot, making it much more expensive than Home Depot, where they were $3.27 for the entire 10 foot pole.  It always helps to price check.  The 1/2 pipe is cheaper, but I liked the bulkier 3/4-inch.

I bought four pipes and had them cut to size in the store.  Since they are not adjustable, you'll need exact measurements before you go.

Next, I headed to Ikea to buy some brackets to attach the rods to the walls.  I bought nine Betydlig wall/ceiling brackets (which means you can attach the curtain rod to the ceiling, if that's your thing) for $1.49 each.  They can hold up to a 1-inch curtain rod.

On the way to check out, I went into the As Is room and stumbled upon a box of curtain finials being clearanced for $1 each.  By far the cheapest I have found anywhere, and I even liked their look.  So I picked up six and quickly skipped to the register.

I already had a bunch of curtain rod clips on hand from our last house, so I only had to buy two more packs.  They are from Wal-Mart.  $6.97 for a package of 7 clips.  Ones from Ikea might be cheaper (they have both plastic and metal), but I wanted mine to match what I already owned.

You've probably noticed the range of finishes on these various parts.  Obviously some spray painting was in the works.  I wanted gold, so I picked up two cans of Rustoleum Metallic Gold.  I bought two cans (under $5 each) and I used every last drop.

I already had primer on hand (Kilz White Odorless - which is not odorless, BTW, but it does stink less than the other kind) and leftover clear spray for a topcoat.  The Rustoleum paint says specifically not to use a sealer with it, and it does dull down the finish a bit.  However, I thought it was pretty important to protect the paint since these will be working curtain rods, not just for decoration.

I sprayed everything.  One coat of primer, a couple of coats of gold, and a final coat of sealer.

Now, here's where I hit a little snafu.  If I had bought the finials first, I would have bought a smaller diameter pipe.  Because the finials were designed for a 1/2-inch pipe.  But I already had the pipe purchased and cut when I found the finials.  So rather than waste $16 buying smaller pipes, I decided to get creative.

I bought one 1/2 inch conduit and had the nice people at Home Depot cut it into 6 18-inch long sections.  This cost under $2.  I decided on 18 inches just because it was a nice even number, no physics involved.  The Ikea brackets came with some sticky padding you can put on the brackets for smaller rods.  I cut just a small amount, and then stuck it to the end of the pipe, so the pipe now fit the finial snugly.  Then I tightened the finial.  I thought I might need glue to keep it all in place, but it worked fantastically all by itself.

You'll notice this conduit isn't painted - it slides into the larger, painted conduit and is completely invisible. 

Finally, the rods were ready to be hung - but I'll save those pictures for tomorrow since this post is so long already and I haven't even talked about the curtains yet. 

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