Finding Style in the Plumbing Aisle! {Industrial Pipe Curtain Rods}


By now, I’m pretty sure you know just how much I love the modern and fun home decor from West Elm– so when I found their Industrial Pipe Curtain Rods I had a decision to make. I could drive to the mall, buy the curtain rods, be home and have them set up in about 2 hours. HOWEVER. I could also drive to Home Depot, grab the materials, DIY the heck out of them, and have everything finished in about 3 hours and for $100 less. Guess which idea won?
The materials cost about $90 total for two curtain rods, which is less than what ONE of the West Elm curtain rods would cost!
Oh yes, I got my DIY on by figuring out how to make the galvanized pipe curtain rods all by myself – well, with a tiny helper in tow. HINT: It’s easier than you think.
(The curtain rods, not the tiny DIY helper in Home Depot. That part is challenging.)
Here’s what you’ll need to get started for EACH curtain rod – all can be found in the plumbing section of your hardware store. Don’t be intimidated – I stood there for 30 minutes putting parts together until I figured out how to make it work but you can just use this page and take it along as your shopping list and get the parts in minutes flat.
Make sure to get TWO of everything but the pipe for each curtain rod!
Materials for DIY Industrial Style Pipe Curtain Rods:
* Galvanized pipe cut to desired length (make sure it’s longer than your window’s width, with room to allow for the threaded ends) and threaded on both sides (Home Depot will do this for FREE! Just ask!)
* Two 1/2 inch floor flanges
* Two 1/2 inch 90 degree elbows
* Two 1/2″ X 2 1/2″ inch nipples (I know, I know… tee hee…)
These parts are MESSY, so I’d highly recommend cleaning them first. I used good ol’ TSP, a fantastic cleaner for the DIY-er.
Then, start putting parts together! Sung to the tune of “Dem Bones“: The floor flange connected to the nipple. The nipple connected to the elbow. The elbow connected to the pipe rod. And then start all over again…… (I’ve clearly spent too much time as a teacher. Ahem.)
The next step is optional, but I feel it puts a finishing touch that works nicely in my son’s room. I spray painted the finished curtain rod with Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint and let it dry.
Since the entire unit will be attached to the wall, you’ll need to load your curtains and/or curtain rings on first, THEN hang. This is kinda a two-person job, unless you ask your husband to hold it then run out of the room to check on the kids and come back 3 minutes later and see your husband is STILL holding it. At that point, it becomes a one-person job because someone is maaaaaaaaaad….
The curtain rod will be HEAVY, plus there’s the added weight of the curtains, so be sure to use anchors in the drywall. Mark where the screws will go, screw in the anchors, put the rod in, and then add in the screws. I was being lazy and used silver screws (it’s ‘industrial style, okay?).
You’re done. Celebrate your easy DIY victory and go spend the money on something else you love at West Elm.

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Carrie MakingLemonade

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Larry
    on Apr 30, 2016

    How do you remove the curtains to clean or wash? We are wanting to drape a screened porch using the industrial pipe, but are not sure how to remove the drapery panels for cleaning easily. Is there a simple and easy way?

    • Susan B Garrett
      on Dec 7, 2017

      You can install "clip rings". They go on the rod when assembled and you can change out your curtains whenever needed.
  • Jessicandavis
    on Nov 9, 2017

    What if you need a 10" return (projection to clear a radiator)? Would galvanized pipe be too heavy? Any alternative suggestions? I'm kind of overwhelmed by the options in the aisle... conduit, PVC, etc....

Join the conversation

2 of 23 comments
  • Sue c.
    on Feb 15, 2016

    I want to do this ASAP. I have quilts to display and this will do it beautifully. Thank you so much.

  • Allegra Miller
    on Nov 1, 2017

    Finally a great idea for my home that is classic, elegant, easy curtain swappable and diy 😺And my husband will like it too because it's not too frufru.
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