DIY galvanized pipe curtain rod

I have been itching to make a curtain rod out of galvanized pipe.  So when our client agreed to let us try it out in her living room, I was more than excited!

She is uber thrilled with the way it turned out, and so are we!

The part that made me nervous was getting the measurements right.  We literally measured her wall of windows 3 or 4 times, just to make sure we had everything planned out correctly.

We wanted the look of one long continuous rod, so that it looks like the windows go on forever.

From the outside of the left-most window frame to the outside of the right-most window frame is 174 inches.   The distance between each window is 32 inches.  We added an additional 16″ of rod on each side so that the curtains could hang without covering much of the window.   So the total rod we needed came to 206 inches.  That is a LONG curtain rod!  Hopefully my little drawing below will help explain what I’m talking about!

We made our way to Lowe’s, and had two pieces of galvanized plumbing pipe cut to 103″ each.  We even got to see how they thread a pipe.  BTW, Lowe’s will cut and thread the pipe for you at no charge.  They put oil all over the end of the pipe so the threader can do it’s thing.  It’s a messy job.

We also picked up the other pieces needed.  (Scroll down to see a picture of all the pieces.)  Then we took everything home and cleaned them up with some Goo Gone and a little all-purpose cleaner.

Spray the pipes with cleaner to get the oil and residue off.

I gave everything a coat of spray primer followed by chrome spray paint to offset some of the natural industrial vibe that comes with plumbing pipe. If you want the full blown industrial vibe, no need to paint them!

We also chose chrome paint to tie in with the detail on her couch….

To put it together, it’s pretty simple.  It reminds me of my younger days, playing with our Marble Run game….did any of you have one?!!  These things are awesome.  Anyway, it’s the same idea of connecting the pieces, but without the marble of course!  For your reminiscing pleasure, does this ring any bells?!


You get the idea. :)

To hang it on the wall:

1.  We strung all the curtains on the poles first, then screwed on all of our connector pieces, so that it was completely put together before we hung it.

2.  We picked it up and held it in place then used a pencil to mark the holes in the flanges where the screws needed to go.  (hello, arm and shoulder workout)  We decided to hang them so that the top of the flange is 1.5″ below the crown molding.

3.  We set it back down while John screwed in the drywall anchors, using our pencil markings from step 3.

4.  Then we picked it back up and I supported one end while John held the other (both of us on ladders) and he screwed in one flange, then the other (the end I was holding), and finally the middle came last.

Middle flange with a T connector joining the two rods.

5.  We situated the curtains and BAM!   All done!!

This is totally my kinda’ project…a little calculation, throw in some paint, and a lot of my handy man to help execute the whole idea!  Voila!  I am so in love with the unique rod as well as the way the curtains make her living room look so airy and fresh!

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30 responses to DIY galvanized pipe curtain rod

  1. Tara J. Brady

    LOVE your post!!! Just wondering what imch round pipe you used. I am doing an industrial manlier design and not sure if 1/2 or 1 inch would be best (or bigger!) for 10 foot ceilings in a loft. Beautiful work absolutely stunning!!

  2. Marcia

    I would love to have opinions on whether I could do this look. My ceilings are 9′ and the distance between my rightmost right and rightmost left windows is 200″. I have three windows and there is 5′ between them. My drapes are Emory linen from Pottery Barn, which are 50″ wide x 108″ long.

    My dimensions are longer than your example but would it still look great? If so could two 50″ drapes work between the windows without looking skimpy? Thank you, appreciate all comments!

  3. How many flanges or brackets did you use? I have a wall of windows that is a bit longer

  4. Jason Crespo

    Hi! This is a GREAT post, thank you for sharing it.

    I’m wondering you can provide some assistance.

    I have a pair of sliding glass doors I want to cover with a blackout curtains and I’d really like to do it with ONE curtain 120″ long with grommets. My rod needs to be 106″. My concern is this: can I handg 106″ of galvanized pipe or electrical conduit AND a heavy curtain withOUT a center bracket? I see you guys used 103″. What was your experience like?

    Any advice would really help as I’ve been stalled on this for months.

    Thank you!

  5. John Benjamin

    just wondering we have a patio door with a window on each side. Total run is 15 feet. The curtains will not be sheer but material weight. Do you see any problem with this long of a run?

  6. Chris

    I am looking to do this same set up to go across my 3 living room windows with a total rod length of 180″. Just wondering, how tall are the ceilings in this room and what length curtain panels did you use?
    My panels are 98″ long and I have 9 foot ceilings, so I don’t think I will be able to hang them as high and close to my crown moulding as you did on these. The next longest length curtains were 118″ which would be way too long even if I hung them right below the crown moulding. My curtains also do not have the grommets on top, so hopefully that will allow them to hang a little lower than the rod if I use curtain rings.

  7. Matt

    I love this, but am curious to know… is it possible to do a double curtain this way? Maybe with a thinner or different rod for sheer, inner curtains, and the galvanized pipe for thicker, bolder curtains on the outside?

    • Thanks Matt! I believe this could be done by using a flange on wall, followed by connector, T piece, connector, then elbow. With this configuration, you’d have the inner curtains hanging on the rod that is fitting into the T piece, and the outer rod would fit into the elbow piece. Since this would be pretty heavy, I think I’d use 1/2″ pipe instead of 3/4″. I hope that makes sense!! Let me know if you try it!

  8. Cara

    Hello! Love your design and the final look! Just wondering, can you easily remove the pole portions for cleaning/switching out curtains? It looks like one of the end cylindrical fasteners can be removed without taking out the screws from the flanges – is that the case? Thanks!

    • Thanks for your sweet compliment, Cara! Actually, you would need to take the screws out of the flanges and unscrew the flange from the pole to slide off the curtains. It would definitely be a little more time consuming than if you were to use a normal curtain rod, but I think it may be worth it to have such a unique look! And if you only swap out or clean them a couple times a year, it wouldn’t be too bad. Hope that helps!!

      xo, Whitney

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  10. This looks awesome! It really goes well in the space. Nice job!

  11. I love that curtain rod…you two did a terrific job and again, the room looks gorgeous! Happy New Year!!!

  12. I never in my life would have thought to use pipe as a curtain rod and it looks AWESOME!!

  13. RACHEL B

    Wow! What a transformation, really love the end results here for your window treatments

  14. Love the end results… we are doing this for our screen porch at the lake this summer!

  15. Hey Whitney, love the curtain rod!! It looks perfect, especially since it’s such a long run. Do tell, if you don’t mind, how much did the pipe and connectors cost?

    • Hey Kris! The materials for the rod itself cost about $70!

    • Hey Kris!! Thank you for the compliment! Sure thing, the everything including the connectors cost about $80 after tax. We priced out a rod (or rather– two rods because we’d have to buy a custom one to get one that long) and the cheapest (but still stylish) one we found for the length needed was about $200.

  16. Love the how much light this brings in!! I wish I had a space with an entire wall of windows. Color me jealous :)