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how to make a curtain rod {galvanized}

We recently shared our covered porch makeover featuring our DIY curtain rod. I wasn’t sure I wanted to learn how to make a curtain rod but when I realized that the one I wanted was over $200, I decided it was time to make my own. Outdoor curtain rods need to be weather resistant and rust proof. Who would have thought that a galvanized electrical pipe would do the trick!

how to make a curtain rod

Many curtain rod tutorials use plumbers pipe with plumbing fasteners. I chose galvanized electrical pipe and eye hooks, mainly because the electrical pipe was half the cost and I could cut the electrical pipe myself.

how to make a curtain rod

I purchased two 1″ galvanized electrical pipes. They were each 10′ long. I needed my rod to be 11′ and 2″ so in order to make the rod look proportioned, I decided to cut two feet off each end of one rod and use the second rod along with  1″ compression couplings (in the same isle as the electrical pipe) to join the rods together. I purchased my pipe at Home Depot and the longest pipe they had was 10′ so I had no choice but to add a second pipe in order to get my desired length.

how to make a curtain rod

I cut the pipe with a hack saw.

how to make a curtain rod

The blade was a bit dull but it only took about 5 minutes to cut. It’s fairly easy.

how to make a curtain rod Next, I used compression couplings to fasten the pipes together. They actually are very industrial looking and visually appealing.

how to make a curtain rod

The compression coupling has a ring inside that compresses the pipes together once screwed tightly.

how to make a curtain rod

Slide the end piece, ring and grooved end on the pipe.

how to make a curtain rod

If you are adding pipe (I needed to make mine longer) you will now add your second compression coupling to the second pipe and screw the two together.

how to make a curtain rod

how to make a curtain rod

how to make a curtain rod

how to make a curtain rod

This project caused me a bit of a headache but once I figured out how to add the compression couplings, it was smooth sailing.

how to make a curtain rod

I used large eye hooks that I screwed into the side of the deck wall as rod hangers.

how to make a curtain rod

The galvanized curtain rod was the perfect inexpensive solution to adding outdoor drapery to our covered porch. I love mixing industrial styled decor with a modern cottage theme. The galvanized pipe and compression couplings added that industrial touch I was going after.

how to make a curtain rod

The blue pillows are from HomeGoods and I love how the coordinate with the tan cushions.

how to make a curtain rod

If you think about it, how to make a curtain rod isn’t that difficult. Now that I know that electrical pipe works as a perfect curtain rod solution, I am considering making another one for our pool house makeover. This project cost under $20. A far cry from the $200 one that I wanted and I think it looks just as good! Has anyone made their own curtain rod before? Do tell in the comments, I would love to hear other economical ideas and solutions for hanging outdoor drapery.

PS. Did you see our new pink rug in our family room and enter to win a rug from Mohawk Carpet?

Want to make your own no sew curtains? Check out our no sew burlap curtain tutorial.

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Responses to how to make a curtain rod {galvanized}

  1. kelly arent (copper roof interiors) June 18, 2013 at 8:15 am #

    Love Love Love this idea!!!! Have seen it many times….thanks for the details on the attachment pieces! Patio area looks awesome!!! Am your newest follower…love your site.

    • Jessica Bruno June 24, 2013 at 7:47 pm #

      Welcome Kelly and thank you!

  2. Angela June 18, 2013 at 9:05 am #

    This is great, Jessica! I, too, used galvanized pipes as curtain rods on our outdoor patio and they’re perfect for outside!! Great job!!~~Angela

    • Jessica Bruno June 24, 2013 at 7:47 pm #

      Thanks so much Angela. I am pleased with how it looks :)

  3. Michellelhb June 18, 2013 at 10:30 pm #

    I used copper pipe on my porch with drop cloth curtains as one set of windows get some intense evening sun.

  4. ValenzMom a/k/a Helen June 19, 2013 at 9:34 am #

    I’ve never used galvanized pipe before for curtain rods, but I have used both large wooden dowels and PVC pipe as curtain rods. Both are easy to paint, although I would recommend the PVC for outdoor use rather than the wood. But I really like the galvanized pipe for the industrial look and I’ll bet with “elbow joints” you could have made it go continuously all the way around your entire porch.

    • Jessica Bruno June 24, 2013 at 7:46 pm #

      Good idea with the wooden dowels!

  5. Barbara June 19, 2013 at 4:35 pm #

    Looks like this would be perfect for my dining room, in front of the sliding glass door. Doesn’t seem like it would droop in the middle without a bracket. I want a one piece curtain that just opens from one side, but hubby insisted we needed a bracket in the middle with our last curtain rod. I ended up taking the old drapes down because our 2 year old monkey hung on them and pulled one side out of the wall :(

    • Jessica Bruno June 19, 2013 at 5:42 pm #

      The pipe is fairly substantial. My rod was 11′ so I needed a bracket (I used large eye hooks as brackets) in the middle but if your rod isn’t that long, you shouldn’t need one :)

      • Barbara June 19, 2013 at 6:53 pm #

        I think it’s about 6′ wide. Thanks!!

  6. melissa June 20, 2013 at 10:54 am #

    I love this idea!

  7. Saunders June 21, 2013 at 12:23 pm #

    i love this. totally awesome and simple and so cheap! your covered patio is so welcoming and zen, love it

  8. Betty819 June 27, 2013 at 9:59 pm #

    Great idea..In a previous post, I asked you if you had used tension rods to hold the sheers. Ignore that question. Don’t laugh but when we moved to this house 8 years ago, the master bedroom has a galvanized pipe clothes pole. Guess the previous owner had a lot of clothes. We have left it up but I laugh every time the closet door is open and I have to look at that. The orginal owner had to think of that, I don’t think his son who inherited the house would have come up with that idea.

  9. Samantha June 29, 2013 at 5:11 am #

    This is a great idea! If you are looking for a natural look, I used large (about 1 1/2 inch diameter) bamboo for tab top curtains in my bathroom. It is green when you cut it but dries to a more neutral golden tan color.

  10. Laurel Stephens August 2, 2013 at 3:42 pm #

    This is such a great DIY project. Curtain rods that are long enough and strong enough are expensive, and this is such a great alternative. I featured your post on Friday Finds today. Thanks so much for sharing, and have a great weekend!

    • Jessica Bruno August 4, 2013 at 5:20 pm #

      Thank you so much for sharing! Yay ! :)

  11. Sondra August 5, 2013 at 2:44 am #

    I love your idea. You didn’t mention if they are heavy, I wil check it out..
    We’ve used bamboo, pvc piping, dowels, even rebar once. its very thin strong, and easy to cut, but it can droop if you dont place enuff supports. I love your cottage porch.

    • Jessica Bruno August 5, 2013 at 10:08 am #

      Thank you! It’s not that heavy, I hung it by myself :)

  12. Doreen@househoneys August 13, 2013 at 5:22 pm #

    Your porch looks lovely!

    I’m getting ready to do something similar in our covered porch and was considering using either conduit or dowels. I do have one question Jessica…you said you cut two feet off each end of one pipe to make things proportional. I’m a bit confused about that. Why would two feet off each end be any different than four feet off one end?

    • Jessica Bruno August 13, 2013 at 5:37 pm #

      Hi! Because when you use the couplings to attach, I wanted the compression couplings to be even on each side. If I cut four feet off one end (yes this would have been much easier) I would have only had to use one compression coupling (the piece I used to attach the pipes) and it would have looked funny with one coupling at the end. Does that make sense?

      • Doreen@househoneys August 13, 2013 at 10:40 pm #

        Yes! That makes perfect sense! I suppose if the curtains had a rod pocket and covered the pipe it wouldn’t be an issue, but if they don’t, I can see why you did that. Thanks for the explanation!

  13. Maria September 19, 2013 at 7:51 pm #

    Thank you for sharing your idea and how to!
    Did you also make your own cutains?

    • Jessica Bruno September 19, 2013 at 10:52 pm #

      The curtains are from Wayfair :)

  14. Maria September 19, 2013 at 7:53 pm #

    I have another question,
    How did you close your end of galvanized pipes?

    • Jessica Bruno September 19, 2013 at 10:53 pm #

      I used the compression couplings or you can buy end caps

  15. Steve January 16, 2014 at 12:53 am #

    Brilliantly simple WELLDONE

    • Steve January 16, 2014 at 1:00 am #

      If you purchase the conduit from a electrical wholesaler, or electrical trade supplier you can get it in three metre length ,

  16. Melodie January 28, 2014 at 5:08 pm #

    Thanks for posting this! I hope to tackle this in the spring and your tips are going to help alot! :)

  17. Janet March 28, 2014 at 6:59 am #

    What a great idea. what did you do with the ends of the rods

  18. Elisabeth April 1, 2014 at 7:02 pm #

    Hi Jessica,
    thank you so much for sharing your brilliant idea.
    I can’t believe how simple things can be.
    I have been searching for long length galvanized outdoor poles which is something you can’t buy… they are all telescopical poles which won’t work because they need center supports which then get in the way of sliding the drapery panels over to the side.
    Love the idea and how you solve the problem..
    take care

  19. Vicki Elliott April 20, 2014 at 8:59 pm #

    Great idea. Just couldn’t get over an outside curtain rod costing $176 without curtains. Seen this posting and followed pretty much the same idea except we used heavy duty curtain rod holders for your closet that were stainless steel. Ended up costing $28 from Home Depot.
    Bought outdoor curtains from Improvements Catalog. They were 108″long and used 3 panels to cover the lanai area. They were $69 each plus I got 15% for my first order.Looks great and now have some privacy from the neighbors. Thanks for sharing the idea. The whole project cost me less than the outdoor curtain rod was that I had seen. Had pictures to share but can’t post them here..

  20. Jen May 16, 2014 at 2:46 pm #

    Love the tutorial…thank you! Other websites show similar, but don’t explain in detail. Love that I have a guide on how to figure this out myself :)
    What do you do if you have to remove the pipe? Other other style I saw had elbows and flanges going into the wall – which I wouldn’t mind except the curtains we want have grommets and make it impossible to get on/off without unscrewing. I think your way might be best…but I wanted to be sure.

    • Jessica Bruno May 17, 2014 at 9:57 am #

      I just remove the ends on the pipe (they are just sitting there) and add the curtains that way. You can certainly do the other method but you would need to unscrew each time you put up or removed the curtains.

  21. Helen June 14, 2014 at 7:15 pm #

    I read everything below about your porch drapes. I am still confused a little. 2 questions. You indicated you needed 11′ 2″. You bought 2 poles 10′ each. If you cut off 4′ from one pole to attach to the other 10′ pole, you would now have a total of 16′, 10′ pole + 6′ left from the one you cut…how did you get 11.2 from that equation? And, I’m still not understanding why 2 feet off from each end as opposed to just 4 total. How did you attach the ends of each pole to the deck, so that it’s not permanent and you can take curtains on and off. Sorry, that was 3 questions. Thank you

  22. Jeanette June 22, 2014 at 10:06 pm #

    Thank you soooo much!!!! I am renting a west-facing house with a lovely, wide front porch. I have been looking for a good rod solution for the drop cloth curtains I made for my porch. Good to know what size they come in, as most likely I’ll be getting mine from HD as well.

  23. Francine July 12, 2014 at 9:47 am #

    I actually use sheets for my curtains as they are so cheap and they give me no seams for a king size, wide length. They suit weights at the base and can be very attractive. Iron on any motif or stencil, likewise just sew a border all the way around or just on the base and top. Attach tabs via ribbon pieces if wanted.

  24. Jeannie July 20, 2014 at 5:14 pm #

    Because I needed the conduit to be 10’6″, I too had to buy two conduit and cut in order to have two 5’3″ pieces that I could join in the middle with the compression coupling. I am having a hard time getting the compression coupling to work. I have 3/4″ conduit and a 3/4″ coupling, but it just seems to slide up and down the conduit as if it is too large. What am I doing wrong??????

  25. Sharon August 6, 2014 at 8:41 pm #

    I can’t quite figure out how you ran the rod and curtains through the eye hooks… I have all supplies ready to go except for figuring out that small detail! :)

    • Jessica Bruno August 7, 2014 at 9:09 am #

      Make sure your eye hooks are wider than the rod so the rods will fit. I also had to use multiple rods so I had to feed one rod through the hole and then feed the next using the couplings to secure them together. It was a two person job adding the rod through the rings ;).

      • NR March 23, 2015 at 4:11 pm #

        Where did you buy the eye hooks from? I cant find them at local home depot. I have a 20′ foot span. Thank you

  26. Diane Ditzler September 24, 2014 at 3:31 pm #

    Love this idea, This is what I want to do to section off an area. I need to attach to the wall..so how do I do that, also! going from one wall to the other , it’s on an angle..can you help??

  27. jenny January 5, 2015 at 9:36 am #

    great idea for outdoors! I have made indoor curtain rods with a long wooden dowel (commonly called the closet hanging pole LOL ) I then drilled into the ends of the wood dowel and screwed in a beautiful crystal looking drawer pull. it came out great. I painted the wood dowel, though you could stain it for a wood effect for room that needs that look. Ideas that we share always benefit someone! thank YOU for sharing! :)

  28. Tracy January 7, 2015 at 7:57 pm #

    We have lived in our house for 6 years now and I have not decided on what kind of curtains that I want until now. Thank you for this great idea. What I’m going to do for the rods is get some twisted metal kinda like stake rods that you use in your garden and weld 2 old horse shoes on each end. Can’t wait to get started.

  29. Judy January 27, 2015 at 9:01 am #

    thank you for Tia alternative t plumbing pipe. I was about to try wood doweling and large eye hooks until I saw your alternative. Given the large area on our deck this will be a more reasonable expense.

  30. monika johnson February 5, 2015 at 11:08 pm #

    I have 18×16 foot deck which is connected to my house. I am doing the exact same thing as you did. Could not afford to have it screened in and hanging sheer curtains will give us a breeze and hopefully protection from bugs in the summer.

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