Thursday, March 14, 2013

DIY: Curtain Rods & Brackets

Now that you've seen the Master Bedroom in our house, you can tell that I had a major dilemma on my hands.  There are four double-windows in the bedroom, one in the closet, and one in the bathroom plus the bay window above the hot tub.  If you add all of those up, that means that I would need 9 curtain rods, and 18 brackets.  Curtains were a must, as we have neighbors that can see in the windows at night when the lights are on.  Also, they make the room look nice!

So, looking online, I quickly figured out that it was going to cost me well over $200 dollars just for curtain rods, and I was actually looking at more like $300 for the style that I wanted.  

Now, I'm a major DIY-er, so I immediately tried to come up with ideas as to how I could make this a cheap and fun project.  So, I did some research and decided to make my own curtains AND brackets!

I took a trip to Lowes with my dad, and borrowed my sister's SUV, and we bought the supplies.  

First, we went to the Electrical aisle, and took a look at the electrical conduit. It was going to work perfectly.  Now, you have some options in size when buying conduit for your curtain rods.  They come in 1/2", 3/4" and 1" diameters. I ended up choosing the 1", which is slightly more expensive, but would look better with the size of the grommets in the curtains I was eyeing.  

Yep, you're reading that correctly.  Those are the prices for a 10ft. pipe.  I ended up purchasing 5 of them, which is the number that I needed to get rods made for all of my windows.  I also purchased a pipe cutter, which I got for $12, also at Lowes.  Do yourself a favor, and make sure that you buy the one that is just slightly more expensive than the other one. The cheaper one will break. I don't know this from experience ;)

Next, we went to the pipe-fittings aisle, and I got all the parts for the brackets.  All I needed were conduit hooks (make sure you get the ones that are made for the diameter of conduit you chose).  Lastly, was the hardware aisle, where I picked up some wing-nuts, some metal screws, and some "L" brackets.  The "L" brackets should come with their own mounting screws. Make sure you keep those, because that's what you'll attach these to the wall with.  

Once we got home, it was assembly time!

I started with the brackets. I got all my stuff together, and then got to work.

Each bracket will be made of one of each of the items listed above. So, I took one of each item from my supplies, and started putting them together.  

Take the conduit hook and line up the screw hole on the flat part with one of the screw holes on the end of the "L" bracket.  Put your screw through to hold them together.  

Attach your wing-nut to the other side of the screw and start winding it up to tighten the screw around the two pieces.  

You may want to use a pair of pliers to tighten the wing-nut as much as possible.

And that's that!  One bracket down and now 17 to go! Really quick though!

Now, I'll show you the curtain rods.  It makes it really easy to cut the pipe if you have the ability to anchor it down, so what D and I did was bring it outside, and lay it diagonally across two chairs, and then we each sat down on an end.  We had measured out how long we needed the first part of the pipe to be for one of the windows, and I marked it with permanent marker.  We took the conduit cutter, placed the blade on the mark, and started twisting around the pipe.  

You can see how we stopped mid-cut so I could show you the indentation that the cutter was making.  Depending on the brand, your cutter may tell you otherwise, but we tightened the blade after every rotation, and after less than two minutes, we had made our first clean cut.  

After we made all the cuts, we brought the pipes upstairs, made marks on the wall where we wanted the brackets to be, and screwed them into the wall using two screws from the "L" bracket package.  I took the curtains that I bought and hemmed, looped them onto the pipes, and then clipped our electrical conduit curtain rods into place.  

These curtain rods will not have finials, as you may have noticed, but you can get creative and use just about anything as finials.  We have plans to spray paint wooden balls and attach them to the end of ours, but you could also buy normal curtain finials and attach them, or even use grapevine balls, painted different colors (I actually plan to do this in another room in my house!).

And now for the final reveal! 

Closed curtains

Open curtains - with massive glare!

So, the grand total for this project.  Ready?  Less than $80! Yes! For real! I spent less than $80 on everything I needed for this project. Totally awesome, especially considering I had 9 curtain rods and 18 brackets to make!

Now, go out to your local hardware store and save yourself some money!


Unknown said...

What an awesome DIY! And thrifty! Curtain rods can get so expensive!

Rocket in RI said...

I did this a couple of years ago after seeing the beautiful, simple, expensive Pottery Barn rods. I sanded the conduit and hardware, then spray painted everything matte black. To create small finials I bought some cabinet knobs on sale and spray painted them with the same matte black. Like you said, a small fortune saved.

Curtain said...

That’s very interesting I got to read. Thank you for sharing I have bookmarked this page will back soon to read out more here.

Unknown said...

Are these brackets sturdy? I have heavy curtains and need something strong

Mands @ Rhody Life said...

The brackets themselves are very sturdy - the biggest issue that you will have is attaching them to the wall. If you can, make sure that you screw the brackets into the studs in the wall, otherwise, you may need to use an anchor to make sure that the weight of the curtains does not rip the screws out of the drywall. I had this problem, but only on one of my windows, and I have since patched the drywall and attached the bracket to the stud alongside the window casing.
I hope that this information is helpful! Thanks for coming by!

Amy Hall said...

I've been going crazy going to stores trying to find curtain rod brackets for less than $4 each, EACH, when I need more than 20 eventually. Thanks for this!

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Unknown said...

Great DIY! I will definitely be trying this for my next curtain project.

Unknown said...

Home Depot cuts the conduit for free. No need to buy a cutter. I tried conduit curtain rods for a room several years ago and am very pleased with how solid and sturdy they are. (Modern curtain rods don't last, even the more expensive ones.)

Richard Robertson said...

Really good article. I will follow your tips for my next project.

Susan Mercurio said...

What is a "grapevine ball"?

Vertex Exports said...

Really nice article! great info about curtain hardware I will really consider it.

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