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How To Make Your Own Curtain Rods On The Cheap

Making your own curtain rods is super easy and super cheap…. it’s a project you can do even if you’re not a DIY kinda person.  I made a rod for just under ten bucks, including all the hardware.
How to make your own curtain rods on the cheap - Domestic Imperfection
The secret to the homemade curtain rod is electrical conduit, which you can find at any hardware store. I love this stuff and have used it all over my house. I used it to make my laundry room curtains…
Laundry Room - Domestic Imperfection
My funky, uneven, dining room bay window curtains…
Modern Farmhouse Dining Room - Domestic Imperfection

My master bedroom curtains (which I never blogged about)…

master bedroom curtains
…and now my living room ones.
Electrical conduit can be found in the electrical isle of your hardware store and is about $2-3 dollars for ten feet (depending on the thickness).  I bought the 3/4 inch, but I think most people buy the 1/2 inch. I like mine beefy.
The first step is to cut it down to size. I used a hacksaw, but if you know what length you want they will cut it for you in the store. You could also buy your own pipe cutter if you feel like spending some money…but since your reading this post I’m assuming you don’t.
So here is the process….
First, cut it to length (or if your feeling lazy have your overzealous toddler do it for you).
I cut mine about two feet longer than my window is wide because I want my window to look bigger than it actually is.
baby bloggers
 Then spray paint them whatever color your heart desires. I usually leave mine raw because I like the look, but this time I used rings on the curtains and wanted them to match. Here is the raw one and the one I painted pewter…
spray paint curtain rod
 Then hang your brackets. Mine cost a little under $4 a set at Home Depot. I like to hang mine higher than the window…it’s all about making those windows look big and bright!
curtain brackets
Then add your finials to the end of your rod. This is where you can get creative! I used decorative wicker balls for mine, but I thought about using decorated leftover Christmas ornaments or light bulbs, old doorknobs, cabinet pulls, big silk flowers, river rocks…
creative finials
I found these at Hobby Lobby for less than two dollars a pop.
(Also, in case you are unaware, you can always print out a 40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby.com)
I want to be able to easily take down the curtains for washing so I made one of my finials removable. I wanted to glue a wine cork to the ball and insert it that way, but my husband and I aren’t drinkers and don’t have any lying around. Sooo, I got a little creative and came up with this…
ghetto finials
It’s a big ‘ol drywall screw that I wrapped duct tape around and glued to my ball. Then I just inserted it into the conduit to hide and all the ugly cheapness.
Lastly, put your rods in the brackets and TA DA…custom curtain rods for ten bucks!
DIY curtain rods

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  1. I love it!! I have two big picture windows that I have been needing new rods for, but putting it off because of the cost. Thank you Thank you!!! You just made my night! I see a trip to the hardware store tomorrow :o)

  2. Awesome! I just saw a DIY curtain tutorial and I was thinking to myself, “what I really need is a DIY curtain ROD tutorial.” And then I saw this! I think it's time to make some curtains to hide the blinds…

  3. Okay you are a life saver. I have been trying to figure out how to get a curtain rod for 85-90 inches without spending $40. Thank you! The expensive part would be the spray paint, but I already have what I want to use!

  4. I am totally using this. We have pain-in-the-ass windows that are set back, so conventional rods won't work and the ones that will cost waaaay too much money. I now just have to figure out how to make the brackets that will hold them since again, traditional won't work. Brilliant.

  5. I saw your post on Thrifty Home. I just love these!! Curtain finals are so expensive but I haven't found a good way to make them myself…until now! Looking forward to following along with your crafty craftiness!

    Amy {Aprons & Ambitions{

  6. What a great idea! I saw your post on Tip Junkie's Tip Me Tuesday. Thanks for sharing the detailed instructions. I think this might be my next project. :) I love your photo with your children in it. That's my house when we are doing projects too.

  7. wow……love this. I have spent so much $$ on rods over the years…wish I knew this a long time ago. So I can get this at Home Depot or Lowes…..will they cut it down to size for me? Also, idiot proof me on how would I install finials…such as a door knob or cabinet knobs etc……that I am not catching on to so quickly

  8. This is such a great idea. We are currently living in a rental so I don't really want to put a whole lot of money in to it. But still want curtains!! We will have to give this a try…

  9. Love the idea, curtain rods can be so expensive, so this is perfect and you can paint it the color your want. Yippee! I like then in the “raw” look as well as painted. Thanks for sharing this with us. Thanks for sharing your creative inspiration at Sunday's Best Par.tay! PS – now following you on Linky!

  10. Yup, you can get the conduit at any hardware store and they will cut it down for you (well at least they will at my store…they know me pretty well there, lol.) For making a cabinet knob or door knob work, they have long screws on the back for installing, you just wrap tape around it like I did (to make it snug in the conduit).

  11. I love the pic of the kids getting into the action. Wait another few months and you may need to reinstall ALL of your curtain rods like I've had to do with better supports. Did you happen to get a chance to check me out as #34 at Not JUST A Housewife (Show Me What Ya Got #60) or this: http://wp.me/244Y3 where I redid mine with added support in an attempt to kid proof the yanking on my curtains problems.

  12. What a great idea. I love them and my mind is racing thinking of all the different ways you can do this…
    One other reason I am posting is your snake skin. I almost fell out of my seat
    because my dad had one just like that. He has passed and I miss him terribly. we put it on an old board just as yours. They could be identical. Strange sometimes how we come across things across cyber space.

  13. What a simple idea! Love it! Found your site through a blog hop and would love to have you follow me back! I would love for you to link up your projects on my “Homemade by You” Link party on Wednesday. Putting your button on my “Blogs I Love” page

  14. Hi there, how is the paint holding up on the conduit? I am going to spray paint some metal rods which have functional curtains on them, they will be opened and closed daily. I am just wondering if you think the paint will hold up or will it chip and wear off?

  15. How wonderful!!! I've seen (and was going to use) painted PVC used for this, but we have a parrot and can only spray paint and stuff like that outside. That's fine, but it is winter in Nebraska at the moment! In fact, I HAVE copper pipe at hope (I'm a jewelry artist) that I may use!!! The way you did your bedroom and dining room are fabulous!!!

  16. Hmmm, I don't know the answer to that. The paint is holding up fine BUT I don't open and shut them. I might be a little leary if your doing a drastically different color, like black. You could always just try it, and if it starts to wear repaint it. Or you could make back tab curtains, those would be fine because it's not metal on metal.

  17. I talked to a few other folks and decided to get it powder coated. It is really nice custom hardware, the color just doesn't work with the new curtain panels I'm making. And I have to use the rings for ease of use. :) Thanks for responding!!

  18. Awesome idea!! I’ve been on the Ross-TJ Maxx hunt for cheap curtains and rods, but I think I’ll opt for your idea. I love how candid you are about your “ghettoness”. I feel as if it can be rigged, I’ll figure out a way to do it!

  19. Trying to brainstorm ideas for DIY finials for a kids bedroom. In my case, they will go on the end of a wooden rod, if that makes a difference.

  20. I needed to add rods for shear curtain behind some curtains I made with grommets. Every bracket I tried stuck out to far so the grommets wouldn’t slide. I finally used tea cup hooks. Had to open the hook on one side for the larger end of the rod, but used a pair of pliers and opened very easily. Still these curtains are for a vintage travel trailer, once the rods were in place, used the pliers to close the hook so rod will not bounce out on the road. Worked great–the shears are close to the wall and will stay in place.

  21. I know this is an old post, but the content is still fresh. I was thinking that you could use wax over the paint to make it more durable. I think you could use any wax that can be used over paint. I’m wanting to do mine in a sort-of distressed gold and then put clear wax over it. I will be opening and closing my curtains, so it should help the rings slide easier, too. Thanks for making this available!

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