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My Easy (and Cheap!) DIY Curtain Rods

My Easy (and Cheap!) DIY Curtain Rods

I’m so baffled by how expensive curtain hardware is.  Have you noticed this, too?

Here’s an example – a simple curtain rod plus brackets will set you back about $50-100 at Pottery Barn, and then you also need to buy finials ($15 each) to screw on the end of the rod, and THEN you need to buy curtain rings (about $25 per set) to hang the actual curtains on.  So, for each window you’re looking at almost $200 in curtain hardware per window (even if you go the Target route you’re still paying about $100).  It really adds up!!

I’ve already told you that we inherited a bevy of curtain rods and brackets in our new rental house, which is nice from a “saving money” perspective… BUT the rods are way too short.

Case in point – see how the curtain rods are basically the same length as the window?




And here:



I’m telling you, this is a major curtain hanging faux pas.  The rods should be extending a FOOT past the windows on each side.

Why?  Because the WIDER your curtains hang, the bigger your window appears, and vice versa.  (You can learn more about this in last week’s post).

So, I took matters into my own hands.  I purchased long round dowels at my local hardware store.

I opted for 1.5″ in diameter, and I wanted the length to be about 13″ past the edge of each window, so they were quite long (your personal curtain rod is going to depend on how wide your window is, of course.  But my rods ended up being about 8′ and 9′ long).  I asked one of the guys at the hardware store to cut each piece to the specific length I wanted.




I then purchased a small can of wood stain and used an old rag to rub it onto the wood.  I didn’t even look at the instructions.  Was I supposed to sand the wood?  Condition it somehow?  I have no idea!



But it turned out okay so let’s just chalk it up to beginner’s luck.  After rubbing the stain on the wood a few times, I let it dry till the next morning.  The whole thing took me ten minutes and cost less than $30 for two windows.


You can find similar curtain rings on Amazon for about $20.


See how far the curtains extend past the window with my new rods?


(PS: I didn’t bother putting finials on the ends of the rods – I worried about it at first, but honestly I don’t think anyone notices.)




If I had kept the original rods, the curtains would be hanging right in the MIDDLE of the windows, shrinking our view, cutting the outdoor light and making the whole situation appear much, much smaller.




My one regret is that I couldn’t hang the brackets higher (like AT the point where the wall and ceiling meet).  Hey, it’s not the end of the world, but if you are going to hang your own curtain rods, please make sure they are high up there!





  • Ginger Weseloh

    June 6, 2017 at 12:18 PM Reply

    I’ve been wanting to make my own rods but can’t find long enough dowels for the space I need. I need an 11 foot rod! Where did you find the dowels? The only thing I’ve seen that seems long enough is a handrail, but those aren’t perfectly round so I’m hesitant.

  • Jonathan Booth

    November 13, 2017 at 7:42 AM Reply

    Cleaver idea – any comment on doing this with patio doors in the master bedroom. I want to be able to sweep the curtains fully away from the doors so that when open the whole door can be seen. Will 13 inches each side be enough for a standard pair of swing patio doors. Love the tip about going close to the ceiling. We have 9 ft ceilings so to have curtains down to the floor we are going to need them to be about 102 inches in length.

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