Step 1: Measure, then purchase materials
It is essential that you get an exact measurement, as your ceiling may not be exactly 8' at every point.
Purchase the following:
--A wooden board. I used 3/4" plywood.
--1 galvanized steel pipe. I used 1 1/4" pipe. The length should be: Ceiling height minus 2 X board thickness minus 1". (This inch will account for the fact that the pipe may not screw into the flange so that it is flush--something I learned as I was going). My ceiling was 8'1", so my pipe was cut to 7'11 1/2". I should've had it cut to 7'10 1/2". You can have the pipe cut and threaded to length at most major hardware stores.
--2 pipe flanges. Make sure that they are the same size as the pipe.
--4 X hex bolts and nuts. Make sure that they will fit through the holes in the flanges. Make sure that they are just long enough to fit through the board and flanges. I used 1/4" x 1 1/2" hex bolts, but later had to switch to 1" bolts, as you will see later.
--4 X long lag bolts. I used 1/4" x 3" bolts. Make sure they will fit through the flanges.
--12 X flat washers (same size as bolts)
--spray automotive primer
--brass spray paint
--clear enamel spray
--something to prevent skidding (if you have wood floors and don't want to attach the pole to the floor). I originally bought the no-skid strips for bath tubs. In spite of the brand name, these are not magic! They are actually very slippery on my wood floors. I got super ghetto and used jar openers, but you could probably use that stuff you put under rugs to prevent skidding...
--hopefully you already have ceiling paint, but if not, it might be a good thing to grab.