You've just been to the store and got sticker
shock from pricing those fabulous wood
poles that you dream of hanging your tab-top
curtains from. Well, here are some tips to
duplicate the look without duplicating the
PVC Plumbing Pipes
These pipes are great for when you love an
oversized rod look or if the window is very wide.
If the window is wide, buy cpvc pipe which
has thicker pipe walls. To see if the pole will
bend under the weight of the fabric after
installation, check the pipe for 'flex' by
applying a tiny bit of pressure and watching
to see how much the pipe bends. These pipes can be hung on the walls using shelving brackets, angle brackets (also called L-brackets or angle irons), or wood pole brackets. These brackets are all found at your local home decorating center or department store.
If you want to use finials at each end of your pole, then use the drapery pole brackets (about $6 per pair). Spray paint the pvc pipe or cover it with a tube of fabric. (If using fabric, tuck the fabric's raw ends into the ends of the pipe.) Then insert a small scrap of wood that just fits inside the pvc pipe. Secure this with two screws, going thru the wall of the pipe and into the wood. Drill a hole thru the center of the wood scrap for the finial. Put your drapes up on the pole and then screw in a finial on each end of the pole. Hang the pole and window treatment up on your brackets.
If using oversized pvc pipe, then try using deck post finials instead of the drapery finials. These oversized balls complement the larger pvc pipes proportions. The deck post finials can be covered in fabric as well as the pvc rod. Again, use the scrap of wood inside the pvc pipe to support and secure the finial. When using oversized pvc pipe, make sure that you double check to see if the wood pole bracket's opening is large enough to accommodate the larger pvc pipe. You may need to use a jig saw and trim the bracket a tiny bit. The pvc pole will cover any cuts on the bracket after it is installed.
If you don't want finials on your pvc pole, then use plumbing pipe elbows and use the angle brackets or shelving brackets to hang your new pole. Just make sure to add enough brackets to support the whole length of the pole.
Prefer a painted or stained pole instead of a fabric covered one? Wood closet poles make great drapery rods. The store bought finials and brackets already fit these poles, offering you some great looks. These poles are found at your local lumber and home decorating/do-it-yourself centers. Make sure that you get a nice straight pole that has been well sanded. Add some stain or custom paint your pole. Remember to drill small holes for your finials on each end of your pole prior to installing. Then add your window treatment and finials and hang. A custom look for a fraction of the custom rod price.
Preview of upcoming rod ideas in Designer Tips:
*make a scrunchy valance from a dryer vent
*unique finials from rope
*half rods = whole style