Custom Look for Less

This drapery rod provides a quick, easy, and affordable solution for any room of your home.
Derick Belden
Custom Look for Less

One dilemma homeowners face is how to treat windows without spending a fortune, so here's a solution. This inexpensive drapery rod project is easily made in an afternoon. To complete the look, hang stock draperies from it.

Materials
  • fabric
  • 2-inch-diameter PVC pipe
  • spray starch
  • iron
  • spray adhesive
  • 1 x 4
  • 2-inch hole saw and drill
  • wood glue
  • 2 (2-inch) wooden drapery finials
  • fishing line
  • U-shaped valance hanger
  • curtain panels

Step 1: Choose a fabric to wrap your rod. Here, we used fabric left over from reupholstering chairs. It was free and helps bring the bold print in a small dose to another part of the room. (Note: If you select a white fabric, paint the pipe to hide labels.)

Step 2: Measure the window from edge to edge; cut a 2-inch-diameter PVC pipe 4 inches longer than this measurement. This will allow for a 2-inch overhang on each side.

 

Step 3: Lay the pipe on the fabric, and cut fabric to size. You want the fabric to overlap about 1/2 inch when it's rolled over the pipe. Also, cut the fabric 2 inches longer than the pipe so it can easily be tucked into the ends.

Step 4: Using spray starch, iron the fabric, and lay it wrong side up on a flat surface. Apply spray adhesive to the fabric, and place the pipe on one end. Roll the pipe in the fabric until it is completely covered. Tuck the fabric into the open ends of the pipe. Use more spray adhesive as needed.

Step 5: From a scrap piece of 1 x 4, create two (2-inch) plugs using a 2-inch hole saw and drill. Put glue on the plugs, and slide one into each end of the fabric-covered rod. The plugs should stick out of the rod by about a 1/4 inch. This is where the finial attaches. Allow glue to dry thoroughly.

Step 6: Stretch smaller scrap of fabric over one of the wooden finials. Be sure the fabric completely covers the finial and hangs over the end by about 1 inch. Tie fabric in the groove with fishing line. Spray a little adhesive on the bottom of the finial; attach the overhanging fabric. Repeat the process with the other finial. When the glue on the plugs dries, screw the finials to the plugs, tucking the fabric hanging over the bottom between the plug and finial. As you screw down, the fabric should become tight. If you need to make the fabric more taut, use a small screwdriver to tuck any loose fabric. (Note: Getting the finials right is tricky. If they don't look right or you don't have enough fabric to cover them, consider painting them a color to coordinate with the fabric.)

Step 7: Screw a U-shaped valance hanger over the seam on the back of the rod. Locate brackets on the wall, and hang rod on the brackets according to the manufacturer's instructions. Hang the curtains of your choice.