DIY Galvanized Curtain Rods from Plumbing Parts

I wish I had a dollar every time someone at the home improvement store asks me, “What are planning to do with all that stuff?”. What I really wish is that a had a camera the day the cashier asked me the same thing about all the plumbing parts in my cart. When I told her I was making DIY curtain rods, all she could utter is, “oh”. By the look on her face, it was not an interested “oh”, but an utterly confused “oh”.
I’m definitely not the first to make curtain rods from plumbing parts, and after this tutorial, I’m hoping there will be some of you who will also tackle this DIY project.

How to make a galvanized curtain rod from plumbing parts
Here are the supplies that you will need:

  1. Galvanized floor flanges with a 1/2″ opening
  2. Galvanized Steel Pipe Nipple 1/2″ diameter x 2″ long (these are threaded on both ends)
  3. 1/2″ Galvanized 90 degree elbow
  4. Metal conduit pipe
  5. Screws
  6. Curtain ring clips (you’ll thank me later when you have to take the curtains down to wash them)

I’ll forewarn you, the floor flanges are expensive at the home improvement store. I bought mine much cheaper through Amazon.com! I saved $7/flange this way.
 >Here is the link for the flanges on Amazon for $3.50 each after shipping<. 

If you don’t need a pack of 5 like I did, these 1/2″ flanges are also available. Free shipping is always a plus.


You might be able to find the parts cheaper at a plumbing supply store, but I didn’t check.
First, you will need to order your 1/2″ galvanized flanges from Amazon since it takes about a week for them to be shipped. Here’s another money saver. Use metal conduit from the electrical section instead of galvanized plumbing pipe. It is also called 1/2″ EMT conduit. The item number at our local Lowes was #118909. The length of metal conduit should be the distance between the elbows plus a 1/2″ on each side so your conduit will fit inside the elbows.

To make things easier, pre-drill your holes for the flanges and install one side of the assembled rod holders. I chose to install my flanges into the studs. Have the other rod holder assembled and slip the pipe on both sides.  Have a 2nd person hold things up while you screw in the other side. This is where is helps to have a 6’1″ son. Learn from my mistake…put your curtain ring clips on the pipe before you proceed to hang it! *hits palm to forehead*
For the closet rods, you can hang them this way.

How to make a galvanized curtain rod from plumbing parts

Here are some updated pictures from when I reorganized his closet that give you a better idea how the rods are hung.

Organized office in a closet by Simplicity In The South
 
 
 
Organized-office-in-a-closet-by-Simplicity-In-The-South.

For our back porch, I used the real plumbing pipe in black that had to be threaded. They can do this for you in the store, also. Here is a close up of how it is put together.

How to make a galvanized curtain rod from plumbing parts. String lights for the patio and drop cloth curtains.

I had to hang the rods this way because of the string lights. If you would like the link to the string lights, just leave a comment. I adore them!

This picture gives you a better idea of what I had to work around.
How to make a galvanized curtain rod from plumbing parts. String lights for the patio and drop cloth curtains.

The galvanized flanges, elbows and nipples on the porch had to be primed and spray painted with Rust-oleum’s Hammered Metal in black to match the black pipe. This also has kept it from rusting. By the way, the curtains are drop cloths and have really held up well during this summer’s humidity. I’ve had to wash them once, so far.Leave me a comment if you have made or are planning on making any projects from galvanized plumbing parts!

 

 

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Comments

  1. Thank you! These are great tips. I’m going to give it a shot! I hadn’t really thought about doing the closet but I love the way that looks so I think I’ll do that, too. And your outdoor ones are fab!!

    • Glad I could help! You’ll have to let me know how it goes!

    • patricia says:

      Hello and good morning, i bought drop cloth the other day and i knew i wanted to make curtains in the kitchen with them, what a perfect curtain rod to go with the them of my kitchen. I just moved and been having the pleasure and challenge of making this place mine, i moved from the beach too the mountains. thank you for showing us {me} how to make these rods, have a good day

  2. I love this! Would love to have the link for the lights! Thanks so much :)

  3. Love it! Your blog is fantastic, can’t wait to follow you along the way!

  4. I have been wanting to remove my 1980′s mirrored, sliding closet doors in my bedroom and hang curtains to “soften” the look. I saw an episode on HGTV where plumbing materials were used for this purpose. I’ve been too afraid to try until now…..you have inspired me! Jana in Texas

  5. Can you tell me what size metal conduit pipe you used? I got 1/2 inch and it won’t fit in the 1/2 inch elbow. Thanks, and your son’s room is awesome!

    • Thanks! I went by Lowes this morning just to check on the sizes of the conduit. With the 1/2 inch 90 degree elbow, the 1/2 galvanized electrical conduit fit inside. Below the 5′ electrical conduit, there is a label that says 1/2″ EMT Conduit. But I have no clue what EMT stands for! Lol! The item number is 118909. The first time I bought the elbows, I accidentally picked one up that was a 90 degree “reduction” elbow that is 1/2″ on one end and smaller on the other. The best thing to do is to take the elbows over to where the conduit is and see what fits best. It may be that your store stocks a different diameter. They also sell 5/8″ conduit. Hope that helps!

    • Oh, I forgot to mention that if you use the real plumbing pipe (which is more expensive than conduit), it will only fit inside the elbow if it is threaded. They can do that for you for free in the store. You will buy 1/2″ diameter of that also.

  6. It’s a fantastic Idea! I would love to make one for my home. Thank you so much for sharing it!!!

    plumbing services australia

  7. Its really great idea.The way of creating the blog is so attractive.You share here the most valuable information.Thanks a lot.

    Curtains Melbourne

  8. Thanks for the amazon floor flange link. It saved me about $20.

  9. I’m DEFINITELY going to try this when I move into my new apartment. I’d like to have copper pipes though, I think to save on costs I’m going to try to find a decent copper spray paint… if you have any recommendations on a good one lemme know!!

  10. You can make galvanized curtain rods with plumbing products with guidance from the producst here

  11. Awesome idea! I just went out and bought all the supplies for my picture window in the living room. I won’t need to cut the pipe so I will be using the whole 10-foot span. Did you need to put brackets up halfway down to support the rod or are they strong enough on their own?

    • Hey Katie! You’ll have to email me a picture when you get them up! With the conduit in Taylor’s room, there is a little bit of play in the pipe if I wiggle it, but as long as the curtains are not heavy weight, you should be fine. For aesthetic reasons, it may look nicer with a center bracket. Since his curtains are open most of the time, the majority of the weight is on the outside of the rods. Hope that helps!

  12. Very nice article. You described each and every part very well. Thanks for sharing the good news.
    Great Post.
    We are from Plumb Right Plumbing Services offer best and cheap services in Texas, visit us Plumbing Services in Houston

  13. What a great idea! I really love the lighting too, could I get the link? That way when I compliment you by trying your look on MY back deck, the look will be complete! =) Thanks!!

  14. I am absolutely thrilled to find your blog this morning! It is an amazing blessed answer to my nagging thoughts, “Surely, I could do that myself!” and, “Why can’t I find exactly what I’m looking for? I wish I could just do it myself.” Thank you so much. In the first five minutes, you have already equipped me with the knowledge to tackle three of my current decorating dilemmas. Bless you!

    • May I please have the string light instructions? They’re fabulous!

      • Sure, are you wanting to know how we have them hung up? I actually have to replace the clips that we used because the ones we have now are plastic and they keep breaking. I’ve bought new one that are metal. If you want, I can post a picture in the comments section how they are hung. The link to where I bought the string lights is in the comments section. This Spring, we will be finishing things up and do a reveal of the porch.

    • Wonderful! Truly, the best thing about having a blog is knowing that I’ve helped someone else. Good luck with your projects and if there’s any thing I’ve left out, just email me. :)

  15. Great tutorial and thanks for the note about the flanges on Amazon.
    Eryn recently posted..Pallet FurnitureMy Profile

  16. Thanks for the tutorial – It’s great!!
    Any ideas on what to do with a window span that is just a bit longer then 10′ . It is almost 12′ from one end to the other. Do you know if the pipe could be threaded together?

    • Hey Karen! Yes, you could do a 12′ span using a 1/2″ T-adapter like this one in the middle span of the window: http://compare.ebay.com/like/370772966650?var=lv&ltyp=AllFixedPriceItemTypes&var=sbar This would mean you would have to buy a third flange and another straight nipple adaptor, but the nipple adaptor would have to be longer than the ones that you use on the ends of the curtain rod with the elbows. I’m just not sure how long it would have to be. You could still use the EMT conduit pipe. I just called our local home improvement to see what length they keep in stock. Their 10 foot 1/2″ galvanized conduit runs $1.95. You could have them cut two of those down to (2) 6 foot lenghts.

    • I meant to add that you could use the same t-piece adaptor with the threaded rods also. They would be less likely to sag under the weight of heavy curtains in the long run, but you would want to make sure there is a stud in the middle of the window to screw the middle flange. The threaded pipe (found in the plumbing section) is much heavier than the EMT conduit found in the electrical section. You would want to make sure it is all assembled before you hang it.

  17. Thanks so much for response. I am excited to give this a try. So glad I found your blog.

  18. Hi Tricia! I recently purchase my little house and I have a covered patio. The roof is rotting and I need to replace it. Would you mind telling me what you are using (materials) for your porch roof (the one that is shown with the plumbing materials used to make a curtain rod)? I LOVE this look but I can’t tell if this is a tin roof? Thanks! Jamie
    Jamie Arens recently posted..DIY Gallery Wall Shelves That Even a Beginner Carpenter Could MakeMy Profile

  19. Thanks for the tips. I was wondering if it is easy to take apart for washing curtains. I want to thread my curtains directly on the pipe without hooks.

  20. Hi there,
    I’m wondering where you buy your curtain hooks?? Thanks! We are doing this treatment to our window and our shower in the bathroom and are starting next week. Just ordered the floor flanges via your link to the cheaper version on amazon! THANKS AGAIN!!!

  21. So this is where all of my plumbing parts go when I throw them away lol. This actually gives me some ideas now when I am done with jobs. I have a lot of these extra parts left over all the time. I shouldn’t just toss them and could give them to the wife to use ha.

    Great post BTW I am a DIY type person and love to read about everything hence the reason I made it here.

  22. These industrial rods are so unique and cool! Just bought all the parts to make a shower curtain rod!! New follower!
    Selene @ Restoration Beauty

  23. thanks so much for these instructions!! we have a 1920s brick home, and it’s pretty much impossible to hang curtain rods [or anything else] on the walls [in our bedrooms they're screwed into the woodwork]. we have huge living room windows which i love, but cafe curtains just aren’t doing the trick, especially in the winter, so i think i’m going to try the way you did your porch curtains from the ceiling and see if that works! thanks again!! SO excited!

  24. I actually found this blog and that is amazing thing I enjoy reading this easy to understand stuff. Keep it up.

  25. Saved as a favorite, I like your blog!|

  26. AHH! So excited that I found this! I’ve made these rods before (with plumbers pipe) but the electrical pipe IS so much cheaper than the plumbing pipe! The other day I bought some electrical, thinking I would just use regular brackets to mount, but it just wasn’t as cool looking! I was sad because I thought that the electrical was sure to go to waste! THANK YOU!

  27. Question, do you think that the electric conduit would hold up with a corner bookshelf unit made out of the same supplies (no wood)? Being that the electrical is just not as stout as the plumbers pipe? What’re your thoughts??

  28. My dear goodness! a terrific article man.
    Thanks for sharing it.
    acne cure recently posted..acne cureMy Profile

Trackbacks

  1. [...] did a tutorial on how to make curtain rods out of galvanized plumbing parts that I used in his room and on our covered back [...]

  2. [...] that extra piping – curtains rods! Yes curtain rods. Below we show how blogger Tricia from Simplicity in the South made her curtain rods from galvanized [...]

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  4. […] One of the big improvements I made in the room was simply raising the shower curtain rod.  By raising the curtain, I was able to give the shower space more visual height, so that the eye didn’t wander to the expanse of ceiling space above our really tall walls.  I think most every bathtub/shower combo can benefit from a high-as-possible shower curtain. I got rid of the plastic builder’s grade rod and installed one made of EMT piping and floor flanges from the plumbing section of Home Depot (there’s a great tutorial here). […]

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  6. […] tutorial since there are already so many out there. You can see some tutorials here: Hi Sugarplum, Simplicity in the South, or Imperfectly […]

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