Tuesday, June 4, 2013

DIY: Curtain Rod Finials

This weekend D and I took a much needed break from doing house work and yard work, and just spent some time together.  We slept in, we went swimming in the river at my in-law's house, and we played some tennis in the ridiculous heat that we had.  With how busy D has been at work, he just wanted a break, and it ended up being perfect.  

But, I can't just end my first post in a few days like that, so I have a little project for you.  A quick little project too, that you could easily do in just about an hour or so.

A few months ago, I showed you my DIY Curtain Rods using electrical conduit. I had mentioned that I was going to make some finials for the end using wooden balls from a craft store, and I finally got around to making them, so here you go!

I collected some light wooden balls from the craft store. These are actually supposed to be clementines that you paint orange and place in a bowl or a basket for decoration. But, they are the perfect size and aren't too heavy since they are made of balsa wood.  

In order to make the perfect fit for the ball on the end of your curtain rod, take the ball and place it on the end of your curtain rod. Center it, then press the ball into the end of the rod.  Twist it back and forth to make an indentation on the wood.  Since the wood is soft, this should happen rather easily.  

In the picture below, you can see the marking left on the wooden ball from the conduit.  

Using a flat-head screwdriver, make the indentation in the wood larger by scraping along the marking and pushing it straight down into the wooden ball.  

Once you have a good and deep groove made in the wooden ball, line up the indentation with the end of your conduit again, and trace around the outside of the pipe so you know how wide your groove needs to be.  

Again, using a flat-head screwdriver, go along the marking that you made by tracing the conduit, and make a second groove in the wooden ball.  Then, using the flat-head screwdriver, scrape the extra wood out of the center of the two tracks to make a larger groove on the ball.  

Using the screwdriver for scraping the wood out of the groove will only work if you are working with a soft wood.  If you are working with a harder wood, you may need to use a chisel or a drill to help you get the depth and width that you want. 

The groove does not need to be perfect, so you can leave it really jagged like the picture above.  Test that the end of your conduit will fit in the groove that you have made, and make adjustments as necessary.  

Once you have the width and depth that you need for your conduit to fit in the groove on the wooden ball, use some medium or fine grit sandpaper to sand down the edge of the track that will be seen on the outside of the ball.  

Now, it's time to paint the wooden balls.  Since I left my conduit raw, and didn't paint it, I decided to use a metallic spray paint from Rust-Oleum.  You can use any type and color of spray paint to match your decor.  If you want to see less of the wood grain in your wooden balls, you should prime them first.

When spray painting, always start about 12"-18" away from the item and work your way in closer to get the coverage that you want.  Don't apply too thick of a coat of paint. Thin layers are key to getting even coverage.  

First, flip your wooden ball onto the end that will be showing on the end of the curtain rod.  You will want to lightly spray the bottom of the ball so that you get full coverage along the bottom where the conduit will attach.

Once that light coat has dried, which shouldn't be longer than just a few minutes, flip the wooden ball over and lightly spray an even coat of paint onto the rest of the finial.  

Let this coat of paint dry, then spray again until you get the coverage that you want.  

Once the wooden ball is completely dry, you are ready to attach it to the end of your conduit curtain rod.  

Using an adhesive, such as E6000 glue or silicone, place a ring of the adhesive in the groove that you made in your finial.  

Spread the adhesive evenly in the groove.  I used a screwdriver since that's all I had on hand, however, you may choose to use something different, like a plastic knife, which can just be thrown away when you finish this project.  

Once you have the adhesive spread evenly, place your conduit on the finial, matching it up with the groove that you made for it to sit in.  

Press down firmly so that your conduit adheres to the finial.  Using a damp paper towel, lightly wipe away any excess adhesive that may have been pushed onto the outside of your finial.  

Flip the finial and the conduit pipe over and press down firmly to make sure the connection between the two pieces sets properly.  While you have it in this position, also check to make sure that it is level.  

Once your adhesive has time to dry (please refer to the package's instructions for this information), you are ready to attach the finial on the other side.  

Please test your curtains before you attach the other finial.  Because some curtains are tabs and others are grommets, you may not be able to fut your curtains over the finials.  If that is the case, you can string your curtains on your conduit before attaching the second finial.  

If you ever need to remove your curtains in the future, your finials should easily come off of the ends with just a little elbow grease.  The adhesives are strong enough to hold the wooden balls on, but not permanent, so switching the curtains should be easy.

Once you have your finials and your curtains hung on your rods, hang them back up where they go, and admire your work!

Have you ever made finials for your curtain rods? What did you make them out of?

1 comment:

Dustin said...

You could also get some wooden dowel that will fit fairly snugly inside the conduit. Cut a piece of dowel ~1" long then drill a small hole through the center. Use a wood screw through the dowel into the wooden ball. Then you can just slip the finial into the ends of the conduit without messing with any adhesives. If you can't find a dowel to fit snugly, wrap it in some masking tape.

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