DIY Lite: This Curtain Rod Only Costs $12 to Make

Copper style doesn't have to cost a pretty penny. See how paint transforms wooden dowels (and few other surprising materials) into chic DIY curtain rods.
DIY Curtain Rods - Step 4

Photo: Ohoh Blog for Bob Vila

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While often initially installed for privacy, window treatments do a lot to improve a space’s interior design. Curtains help fill out an empty wall, make windows appear larger, and even draw in accent colors from elsewhere in the room. Just as important as the design and texture of the fabric panels themselves is the decision on which hardware you use to hang them. Often, curtain rods are an afterthought, purchased with whatever remains of the budget window treatment budget. Sure, cheap tension rods get the job done, but their lack of style often detracts from the drapes. Metal rods with decorative finials and tiebacks, on the other hand, enhance the fabric with their sheen. For a luxe look on a budget, you’ve got to get creative. We made these with surprisingly simple supplies from the hardware store! By styling wooden dowels to look like copper rods, the DIY curtain rods were so inexpensive (just $12 apiece!) that we had money left over to craft statement-making tiebacks to match.

All You Need to Make DIY Curtain Rods, Finials, and Ties

– 1-inch wooden dowel
– Saw
– Sandpaper
– Wooden drawer knobs (2)
– Contact adhesive
– Metal curtain rod brackets that accommodate 1-inch rods (2)
– Wooden curtain rings (2)
– Lamp sockets, ideally wooden (2)
– Plastic sheeting
– Newspaper
– Copper spray paint
– Ladder
– Cordless drill
– Drywall screws
– Curtains
– Rope (2 yards)
– Scissors
– Cup hooks (2)

DIY Curtain Rods - Step 1

Measure your window, then cut the 1-inch wooden dowel to a length at least 5 inches longer than your window is wide. Sand it completely to remove splinters.

Create finials for your DIY curtain rods from wooden drawer knobs that are slightly larger than 1-inch in diameter. Ours are rather simple in style, but when you shop the drawer knob selection at your local hardware store, you’ll see that you have many options here and can go as fancy as you like. Then, to attach, you’ll apply contact adhesive to one end of the dowel and the end of the knob that typically screws into drawers; wait a few seconds and press them together. Once the glue has dried, repeat on the other side of the curtain rod.

DIY Curtain Rods - Step 2

Lay the DIY curtain rod, brackets, wooden rings, and the wooden lamp sockets (without the cords) out on top of a plastic sheet or old newspaper, then spray-paint them a copper. No copper accents in the room? No problem! You can choose whatever metallic hue best fits with your interior design—silver, gold, even black metallic—to give the wooden fixtures a high-end look. Wait until the first coat is dry to flip all of the items and apply a second coat. Repeat until you’ve completely covered all pieces.

Note: If your hardware store does not carry wooden lamp sockets, take a look at the cylindrical plastic or metal options available. Focus on picking a shape you like enough to decorate your curtain tieback later on. (We chose one with minimal ridges so that it wouldn’t look like it might otherwise attach to a lightbulb.) Once you paint it, you won’t be able to tell the difference!

DIY Curtain Rods - Step 3

Stand on a ladder and use a cordless drill to fasten the curtain brackets on the wall, one on each side of the window. Fake a larger window and a higher ceiling by positioning these brackets (and the DIY curtain rod) between 4 and 6 inches above the window.

Hang your curtains on the rod, and place it back on its wall-mounted brackets. Depending on the type of brackets you’ve chosen, you may need to use an additional screw at each end to firmly hold the rod in place; refer to the manufacturer instructions for the bracket, if you’re not certain.

DIY Curtain Rods - Step 5

Repeat steps 1 through 4 to make as many DIY curtain rods as there are windows in the room. After you’ve outfitted each glass pane with a set of window treatments, you can use the money you’ve saved by DIYing rather than buying to create matching curtain tiebacks for each fabric panel.

Grab a spray-painted wooden curtain ring, a wooden lamp socket in matching color, and rope. Cut 1 yard of rope, fold it in the middle, and pass its rounded end through the bottom of the socket. Knot the loose ends beneath the socket.

DIY Curtain Rods - Step 6

Pass the looped rope through the ring, wrap it down, and then pass the socket through the loop. Pull the wooden lamp socket so that the rope tightens around the ring and the knot slides into the socket itself.

DIY Curtain Rods - Step 7

Screw a cup hook onto the wall next to the window about 6 inches above the windowsill with the hook facing up to hold the doubled-up rope. You can make a knot around the hook to prevent the rope from slipping.

Repeat steps 5 through 7 to make additional tiebacks for every curtain panel.

DIY Curtain Rods - Step 8

When you’re ready to open the curtains and let the sunshine in, simply pull back your fabric panel and wrap the two ends of the rope tieback around it so that the socket passes through the ring. The simple yet distinctively modern shapes strung around the lower third of your shower curtains balance the room’s DIY curtain rods for a completely chic window treatment.

DIY Curtain Rods with a Copper Glow

Ama is a DIY addict and the creative mind behind Ohoh Blog. She likes home decor, lighting, and furniture projects that may involve painting, sewing, drilling…no matter the technique! Whatever she has on hand is inspiration to create, and fodder for her serious addiction to upcycling.