How to hack a designer curtain rod from pvc/plumbing pipe

Dear diary,

What do you do when you find beautiful finials on a special and the rods to match is just out of your budget?  You hack it off-course! Wooden rods are extremely expensive and the bigger the diameter, the higher the price.  Now if you only wanted dummy curtains, (stationary, non-drawing) then there is an easy and very cheap solution.  Let me show you how to hack a designer curtain rod from pvc / plumbing pipe.

The area in question was a small study with a pull out sofa that serves as extra sleeping for guests.  Without curtains of sort, the room looks a bit sad and dreary (well, in my opinion anyway… I am a big curtain fan ;-)).  Venetian blinds functions well for privacy and the client already had a valance of sorts but this setup did nothing for the feel or decor of the room.

For this application, a plumbing pvc pipe (63mm diameter) will work perfect.  Paint your pvc pipe a universal primer first and then topcoat with any household wall paint.  Streaks from the brush is not a problem as it will only make the rod look more wood-like so don’t be to meticulous with this step.

I opted for a simple brown to match her dark wood furniture, and don’t worry if the brown paint doesn’t look like wood.  High up on a wall it is not noticeable, but if you really want to, you could always paint a stain varnish over the paint.

Once painted and dry, proceed to measure your window, and cut the pipe to the desired size.  I used an ordinary metal hand saw and because of the corner, used a mitre box to cut it to a 45′ angle.

If the pipe marks, you can always touch up when you are done and fill in the corner if it’s not perfect.

To hang your curtains, your will need to put some sort of hook or hanging system in.  Now I mentioned before that this specific hack works great on stationary curtains.  I use little screw-in eye-hooks.  Measure the distance between your prongs or hooks in your curtain, and mark the same on the rod’s underside.  Make sure you have the rod facing the right way if it’s in a corner like this.  Pre-drill the tiny holes to make the hooks easier to twist into the rod.

They should be evenly spaced and placed the to the length of your pre-pleated curtain.

Place the covers that you have painted on the ends of the rods.

The finials were extremely light and could be glued with a hot glue gun into place on the end caps.

To fit them on the wall, I used ordinary L-brackets screwed on to the wooden battens that the valances were hanging on. Make sure your mitre corner is facing the correct way and screw from below with a self tapping screw after you have drilled small pilot holes.  Keep an eye on the join to get it as close as possible.  If your join is not so neat, I suggest using piping cord, glued over the join and touch up with your paint used on the rod. (you could also run a thin bead of hot glue over the join and touch up with paint.)

I extended the rods beyond the windows to create an illusion of bigger windows and I didn’t want to steal more of the already limited natural light in the room.

Count your hooks on the rod and check that they are the same amount on the curtain and add one on the end for a “return”.

Hanging the curtains is the fun part!! At the ends of the rods, add an extra eye-hook behind the last one so that you can take the curtain “around” the side, as to not see in from the side of the curtain and leave a big gap between rod and wall…(a pet hate of mine!!)

Will you look at that!! Who knew pvc pipe can look this good! hahaha

That was such an easy project any one can do.  How good does this study look now?  Yes, I agree, oozing with style! 😉

As you can see below, the L-brackets are not noticeable and the eye-hooks perfectly hidden behind the curtain tape.  There you have it, how to hack a designer curtain rod from pvc plumbing pipe!

You can even paint te pvc pipe different colours. On this window I have painted the first coat brown and lightly dry-brushed with gold over the brown for a more dramatic look.

On the window below, I have used 34mm pipe (because the finials were smaller) and painted it gold , antique it the same as the French chair to match the gold-guilt finials.  I have placed the L-brackets on the pelmets and hung the curtains in front of the pelmets just to spice things up a bit!

I hope your hack-a-designer-curtain-rod-from-pvc-plumbing-pipe project is successful and makes your window dressing and drapes look stunning!  Have fun and let me know how you finished and dressed your windows with more designer hacking ideas!

Till next time,




Article by Teresa

Australian Interior Designer / Decorator & Photographer. I share my style, my creativity and love for all things decor.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!