We have three large windows in our family room that required an 160 inch rod in order to hang drapes. However, 160 in is about 20 inches longer than the standard rod size. I looked up some custom rod options but when the $400 price tag popped up on the screen I just about lost it. So I started to think of other options. I could do two short rods on both sides of the window. I entertained it for a while but wasn’t satisfied. Then, my West Elm catalog came in the mail and I found the perfect rod – although too short, I fell in love with the idea. I went to the Depot where I met my new best friend Randy in the plumbing department. I explained what I wanted and he looked at me like I was crazy. But I had this vision and nothing was going to change my mind. We talked through the whole concept and I combed through several plumbing pieces before I knew exactly how I wanted it to fit together.
I went home and finalized all measurements (I decided I wanted matching hardware in the living room and dining room as well) and within a week I was back at the Depot with Randy. Within an hour and a half I had all my piping cut and threaded to my specifications, which they did for free.
Flange (large circle)
Coupler (Used to join two smaller rods in the center. Can be decorative or in our case functional as we couldn’t buy one piece of pipe long enough.)
Note: I used all one inch materials including the black piping (I believe black is used for gas piping, it was cheaper than the water piping). This is a very big and very heavy rod. If we didn’t have such a large room with high ceilings I would have definitely gone smaller.
I used Rustoleum Hammered spray paint in a charcoal gray (to match the rings on our drapes) and sprayed all pieces. I then assembled the whole rod and attached the curtain. Because I had grommet curtains I had to attach them before putting the whole thing together. They won’t be coming down unless I unscrew the rod from the wall! However, if you use curtain rings it will be a lot easier. (They must be screwed in with long screws to a stud preferably – if not, use some strong mollies, this is heavy!!)
Then the meticulous part of measuring and measuring and drilling and screwing took place. Of course after we hung the first rod I was so frustrated because although it was as level as could be, the drapes were hanging much too high off the ground. Steve patiently helped hold the rod as I determined a better length. The rest of the process went much smoother.
We’ve hung three of the four rods – the only one left is the really long rod, I haven’t finalized my drapes for that room yet!
As far as price is concerned: It was by far my cheapest option for the longer rods. However, the two shorter rods in the dining room could easily be purchased for about the same cost that it was to make. Each rod, no matter the length, cost for one inch piping (smaller piping would save quite a bit of money per rod): 2 flanges: $18.30, 2 nipples: $2.98, 2 elbows: $5.64 = $26.92. Add to that the cost of the rod:$19.76 for 10 feet (which can easily make several rods) and the price of a coupler if needed: $2.43.
I love how big the rod is, the room definitely needed it and I love how custom they are…you can make them exactly how you want them. I only wish I could’ve taken a picture of Steve’s face when I first brought all the materials home and he asked what I had bought. “These are going to be our curtain rods.” His look told an entire story – he was not convinced this project was going to work out. He’s now convinced!