Making a curtain rod on the cheap

The boss, er, fiancee, is redecorating. Among the casualties: the curtains that came with the house when I bought it. Along with them, the curtain rods are going, since the new curtains don’t fit on the old rods.

New curtain rods cost $25 or more. Here’s how I made one for her for around $10.First, I scored some 7/8-inch dowels at Hobby Lobby on sale for 50% off. I got four dowels. Three seem to do the trick but I didn’t want to go back. I also bought a single dowel the same measurement as my biggest drill bit. This is for making pegs to hold the dowels together. We also bought a couple of decorative wood turnings to put on the ends. We used the size of the opening on the turnings we liked to determine the size dowel to buy. The total damage was about $4.50.

Next we went to Lowe’s and bought a pair of hangers. Those were 6 bucks.

I measured the center of the large dowels and then punched a small hole. This is just to guide the drill bit. Then I found a small bit and drilled a pilot hole. Then I drilled a larger hole with my biggest drill bit. Then I inserted the small dowel and cut it off to make a peg.

I repeated for three dowels, since that was roughly the length I needed. Of course my measurements ended up drifting a bit. No problem, I just rotated the dowels until they lined up. Then I glued it all together, put it on my sawhorse, which has a grooved end, and set a couple of big pieces of oak plywood on the top to hold it straight and together. Then I set the heaviest thing I could find–in this case, my drill press–on top and let it sit.

After I repeat the process, I’ll have a 9-foot curtain rod. Just cut it to length, put the turnings on the end, stain the rod and the hangers (or you could paint them), put the hangers on the wall, and then put up the curtains. Cheap and easy, attractive and functional. Can’t beat that.

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