DIY Industrial Curtain Rods and No-sew Curtains: An Ari’s Room Update

Back in the old days, like the day before yesterday, the curtains in Ari’s room looked like this:

The colors were nice in there, but I wasn’t crazy about the cafe length thing, and they weren’t in the best condition thanks to some naughty kitties (he’s had them for quite awhile–they were around for a few years at the old house, too). Plus, I mean, we’re redoing everything else, so why not the curtains, right? Sure. I’ve mentioned my tendency to get a little carried away, yes? Or maybe you’ve just noticed it on your own. Dave has.

I found some gray canvas at for $7.98 a yard and bought enough for 4 panels. I was surprised by how light (in color) it was when it got here, although when I go back and look at the picture on my monitor, it looks pretty accurate. So. There you go. Don’t order the fabric and expect it to get darker in the mail, like I did!

I’m not unhappy with the color; it’s just a little different than what I pictured. I found a coupon code, and shipping was free on orders over $35, so I spent $36.28, including tax, on 5 yards of fabric. It’s a nice, heavy weight, by the way, and seems to do a pretty good job of blocking some light.
So the problem with ordering fabric and making no-sew curtains is that you have to make a terrible choice between just cutting down the middle and making two pretty skimpy panels or using the whole width of the fabric for each panel and spending twice as much on fabric. Both times (here and in Abe’s nursery) I’ve opted to go cheap. I think it’s fine for a kid bedroom, but I suspect it would drive me crazy in a more formal, public room (like my curtainless dining room, particularly because the window mouldings are a lot wider in there). The panels are wide enough to cover the windows, but they’re stretched pretty much all the way out when they do. 
There’s no shortage of tutorials on no-sew curtains online (I used this one from Young House Love as my primary guide when I made my first set). It’s also fairly self-explanatory (you cut out your panels, then you take your heavy duty Heat n’Bond, and you make a big ol’ hemmed rectangle. Times 4 if you have 2 windows to cover). So I’ll spare you all the details of the whole curtain making process.

I intended for the curtain rods to be the main stars here, anyway. 
I found these West Elm knock-off curtain rods at Lovely, Etc.
….and I knew this was exactly what I wanted. You can head over there to get a very helpful list of exactly what you need to buy at Home Depot or some such place. I didn’t save my receipt, but Carrie says each curtain rod costs $23 to make, and that sounds about right to me. By far the most expensive parts are those floor flanges. But they’re also the coolest looking part, so I guess that makes sense. That’s how they price plumbing supplies, right? By how cool they look? 
The only drawback to these rods (over spending $90 or so for the West Elm version) is that they’re not adjustable, and you can’t take them down easily. Our curtains are on clips, though, so we can take them down to wash them (Dave: when’s the last time we washed curtains? Me: but we know we should).
Let’s see….other things that popped up: They sell the conduit in 5 and 10 foot sections. It’s a little more cost effective to buy the 10 foot (it’s actually a lot more cost effective, as a percentage, but the stuff is so cheap to start with that it’s not enough to worry about), but we decided to buy the 5 foot so we wouldn’t have to cut it. Only then we got home and realized that one of Ari’s windows is so close to the wall that 5 foot rods wouldn’t work at all. So we did have to cut it. But! It turns out we own a pipe-cutter. Who knew? Dave knew, but he didn’t think he’d be able to find it. But then he did. So that was cool, because I guess that’s probably easier than a hacksaw would have been and also he didn’t know where the hacksaw was.
So, yeah….you put all the pieces together and attach them to the wall. Make sure you put your clips on before you attach the second end of the pipe.

Then I hung the curtains up, fought with the backlighting to get a decent picture, and swore to paint every room in the house white in the future to facilitate photography.

I think the picture up top with the words on it probably give the most accurate representation of the wall and curtain color (and has that big ol’ loose thread in it that I noticed too late). But here are my other attempts:

This one’s pretty good, since it doesn’t have the window in it:

But if you want to see the entire length of the curtains, you have to pick between all natural light (from behind the curtains) and then brightening the hell out of them when you edit:

Or turning on the ugly flourescent overhead bulbs and having everything look kind of yellow and weird. And by “you” have to, I mean I have to, because I don’t really know what I’m doing. Perhaps someone has a backlit curtains in a room with dark walls photography tutorial to offer me?

We’re getting kind of close to finished in here! Let me make a list:

*make headboard
*move bigger bed in (oh, this is new! he wants a bigger bed. We have a rarely used queen size bed in the guest room. So we made a deal with him that he can have that bed, but he’ll have to give up his room and sleep elsewhere on an air mattress when we need a guest bed).
*buy lamps and duvet cover at Ikea
*hang stuff on walls
*wall hanging project #1
*wall hanging project #2
*talk Ari into letting me change out the curtain in front of his closet to something less…shiny

Linking with:
Sunday Showcase Party at Under the Table and Dreaming
Tutorials and Tips at Home Stories A to Z
Stone Gable’s Tutorials, Tips, and Tidbits
Hookin’ Up With House of Hepworths
The Inspiration Gallery
The Shabby Nest’s Frugal Friday
Tatertots and Jello Weekend Wrap-Up Party
Monday Funday


DIY Industrial Curtain Rods and No-sew Curtains: An Ari’s Room Update — 32 Comments

  1. These look great! I really like those curtain rods. Perfect for a boy’s room. I think I get what you mean about the color – based on that swatch I would also have expected them to be a bit darker. BUT the color looks great in his room. I love everything you’ve done in here so far! Can’t wait to see the rest. Sarah

  2. That looks so industrial and cool. Love it. I made rods for our outdoor area with these. They do rust a bit in the weather, but only around the threads. Our Lowe’s cuts and threads the rods for free btw…

    Love the look!

    • The rust probably just makes them look better…people post whole tutorials about how to “age” your galvanized metal; easier to let the weather do it for you ;). I think the post I linked to mentioned getting them cut at Lowe’s….we thought about asking at Home Depot, but then we were thinking we wouldn’t need them cut at all. But I think Dave liked having an excuse to use the pipe cutter again anyway–I guess he’s only used it once before, for whatever he originally bought it for.

  3. Love the curtains and their lighter colour against the dark walls. The curtain rods tie nicely into the hardware on his other pieces as well. Nicely done!

  4. This solves a problem for me. We recently bought a home with vertical blinds. I am taking them down and make drapes instead. They need to slide to just one side of the window to gain access outside. So I can’t use a support bracket in the middle. I needed a heavy rod because I plan on lining them. My son did something similar only he used an iron rod because it went the entire width of the room. Thanks for the suggestion!

  5. Love the curtains and rods, looks awesome! Can you link to or let us know the fabric type and color? I painted the walls grey already and not sure if this will color will go but hoping…

    • Thanks, Adrienne! There’s a link to the site where I bought the fabric right below the close-up picture of the fabric. It’s from and they just call it “Canvas Gray” HTH!

    • Thanks, Dennis…there’s really not much to say about the neglected clips :). We just picked them up from Home Depot–I think they’re right next to the curtain rods. HTH!

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