The ugly roll-down shades that once covered the windows in my master bedroom decided to just give up and fall down one day. This put an end to my months-long (who am I kidding, years-long) procrastination of finding new window treatments. I decided to make myself these easy DIY industrial curtain rods using PVC pipe.
Take me to the Step-by-Step Instructions
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Decision to Use PVC Pipe vs. Plumbing Pipe
My initial plan was to use plumbing pipe because, hello gorgeous industrial curtain rods! Then I saw the price to get all the supplies from my local Home Depot and thought, uh, $50-$75 for one complete rod? No, thanks.
I decided to turn to PVC pipe. I wasn’t sure how well it would hold up, plus there was the possibility that it might look really cheap. But, considering how inexpensive it is, I had to try it.
I have two windows in my master bedroom. My headboard sits in front of one. Knowing I’d want to go slightly wider than the headboard for that rod, it ended up being 76” long. The other curtain was for a 36” window, and I wanted it 42” wide.
Industrial Curtain Rod Supplies
- 2 – 10’ long, 3/4” diameter PVC pipe (I also did the window in my son’s bedroom, so needed the second pipe)
- 4 – 90 degree PVC elbows, 3/4″ diameter
- 5 – conduit fittings, 3/4″ diameter
- 1 – tee, 3/4″ diameter (only needed one for the rod over 48″)
- 4 – floor flanges, 3/4″ diameter
- Spray paint – I used Rust-Oleum Universal All Surface Hammered Black Spray Paint and Primer in one (I love this stuff)
- Hand saw
- 1.5″ screws
- Black marker
- Tape measure
I started off using a power circular saw to cut the PVC, but the pipe kept slipping away from me and some of the pieces even broke or cracked. If I’d have had a clamp to hold the PVC down with, it might have worked. Regardless, I didn’t, so I broke out my hand saw. It took a little longer and required more physical exertion, but it probably ended up being safer in the end.
- Measure the length of each cut you’ll make from the 10′ piece(s) of pipe and mark them with a black marker. I had wiggle room on sizing, plus had the second pipe available, so I wasn’t overly concerned with making the measurements exact. However, you’ll also want to cut several 1″ pieces that you’ll use to connect the conduit fittings to the elbows and tee. In this case, I needed five.
- I painted all the pieces before putting them together. Lay out some plastic (I did mine in my garage) and place all the cut pieces, floor flanges, elbows, conduit fittings, and tees on it.
- Paint! Make sure you have adequate ventilation. If you’re using the same paint as I did, hold the can about 10″ from the pieces for a nice, even finish.
- Wait about an hour, then add another coat of paint. Make sure you rotate the pieces around so you don’t have any white spots show through. Two coats should be sufficient and it’ll help hold all the finished pieces together more snugly without gluing them.
- Once dry, I put the rods completely together, positioned them where I wanted them on the wall, lightly marked the holes with a pencil, then took them all apart. It’s easier to hang the floor flange by itself than it is to try to balance the whole curtain rod and hang it at the same time.
- I hung the floor flanges with my Ryobi impact driver. (battery and charger found here) I love this tool. The battery lasts a few hours with constant use, and it isn’t super heavy, which is great when using over a longer period of time.
- Once the floor flanges are securely in place, screw the conduit fittings into the floor flanges. If you’re using curtain rings (like mine), put them onto the rod now, followed by the elbows, then attach the other end of the elbows to the conduit fittings.
Get those curtains hung and admire your work! I did
n’t sit on my bed staring at my final product for ten minutes once I was all done. Okay, I couldn’t help it – I was so excited with how they turned out. All concern I initially had about using PVC pipe versus metal pipe went out the window (see what I did there) once they were hung. The look is just what I was after, plus they’ve held up incredibly well.
***6 month later edit: Remember how worried I was that the PVC pipe wouldn’t last? Hah! I worried about nothing. These have worked great, and the pipe isn’t bowing or anything ugly like that. If you’re on the fence about PVC pipe, just do it. You won’t regret it.
- 10’ long, 3/4” diameter PVC pipe – $2.44 each
- 90 degree PVC elbows, 3/4″ diameter – $0.55 each
- PVC conduit fittings, 3/4″ diameter – $0.40 each
- PVC tee, 3/4″ diameter – $0.61 each
- floor flanges, 3/4″ diameter – $1.50 each
- Spray paint – I used Rust-Oleum Universal All Surface Hammered Black Spray Paint and Primer in one – $6.76 per can (I had some leftover from another project)
- Hand saw – I already had
- 1.5″ screws – I already had
- Black marker – I already had
- Tape measure – I already had
My cost for both windows in my bedroom came out to less than $23.00 (that’s including the can of paint). Considering one store-bought industrial curtain rod is closer to $30, and the cost to make it with plumbing pipe is at least double that, I’d consider this one a win.
I can’t wait to get more up in the rest of my house!