This instructable will show you how to make strong, attractive and low cost curtain rods out of metal conduit. My goal was to make curtain rods similar to the Pottery Barn Standard Drape Rod
but at a much lower cost. My biggest window needed a 106 inch bar which would have set me back $50 from Pottery Barn. Making my own rod using widely available EMT conduit ended up costing me less than $6. Your biggest variance of cost will be determined by your method of making or purchasing the finials.
Step 1: Materials
The materials for this project are pretty simple and inexpensive:
- 1/2 inch EMT conduit, available in 10 or 5 foot lengths (also available in 3/4 inch diameter)
- 1/2 inch conduit straps, 2 per window or 3 if it's a big window
- L brackets, 2 per window or 3 if it's a big window
- one small nut and bolt to attach each strap to an L bracket
- two 1/2 inch pieces of 5/8 inch dowel rod
- cheap/used/salvaged kitchen cabinet knobs for the finials
- flat black spray paint
Here is my cost breakdown:
- (10ft.) 1/2 inch EMT conduit = $1.97
- (3) 2.5 inch L brackets = ($0.70*3) = $2.10
- (3) conduit straps = $0.10*3 = $0.30 (pack of 25 - $2.54 / 25 = $0.10 per unit)
- (3) screws and nuts = $0.08*3 = $0.24 (pack of 12 - 0.98 / 12 = $0.08 per unit)
- (2) 1/2 inch stubs of 5/8 inch dowel rod = $0.04*
- (1) can of generic black spray paint = $0.98
- (2) surplus cabinet knobs or other creative object for finials = ???
Total: $5.63, not counting the finials.
I had surplus cabinet knobs from when I replaced them in my kitchen. If you don't have any laying around you should be able to salvage or scavenge some at the usual places: thrift stores, yard sales, auctions, surplus construction material liquidators, or even curbside. If you actually have to buy some new they shouldn't cost much more than a dollar a piece. Of course, a truly Creative Person would create stylish finials from scratch. Maybe someone else can contribute a specific Instructable showing how to make prettier finials... Worked metal finials would be really sweet! Or if you had a lathe handy I suppose you could turn out nice wooden finials.
(*I already had surplus 5/8 inch dowel rod on hand but a new 4 foot dowel rod would only cost $1.98 or about $0.02 per 1/2 inch unit)
Pretty basic: drill, hacksaw, screwdriver, sandpaper