Industrial Curtain Rods- Tutorial

There are a handful of tutorials out there for these unique industrial pipe curtain rods, but I have found they are not as black and white as most people prefer their online tutorials. Well I took a crack at this project with some personal modifications. I made a curtain rod with little extra clearance for my living room window and I made a curtain rod with a lot of extra clearance for my sliding glass door in my dining space. I absolutely hated the vertical blinds covering my sliding door and since the door and window are so close to one another, I decided to do a matching scheme for the two.

I spent about $60 on materials at Lowes all together (not including the spray paint and screws/wall anchors.) Which is pretty incredible seeing as the West Elm version that has inspired this project costs $99 for one rod (they are on sale right now though if you don’t want to bother with the diy.)

Finished Result

Click the picture for a bigger/better view!

Before we get started, here are some things I learned while completing this project.

-The pipe is pretty heavy and you definitely need the wall anchors to keep it on the wall. I thought about using PVC instead (to make it lighter) because you can find all of these materials in PVC, but you would have to have a hook or supporting piece to keep the middle from sagging. Regardless of the weight, they are safely hung on my wall and sturdy.

-I needed a lot of clearance space for the sliding door curtain so I bought a 3” nipple piece. You’ll notice a regular elbow cannot thread into the floor flange because they’re both female adapters. Since I did not need any extra clearance for the window coverings, I bought a “street elbow” which has a female adapter on one side (your pipe will thread into this) and a male adapter on the other (which will thread into the floor flange). See pictures in the tutorial for a visual of this. It was just my way of saving money by not buying a small nipple for the window rod.

-These curtain rods are assembles as a full piece and you will have to decide how you will put your curtains on them before hanging the rod on the wall. I personally love seeing curtains hung with the round hooks that have clips on them. Unfortunately, the curtains I liked had grommets so I had to get creative. Of course you could hang grommet curtains directly on the rod as intended before hanging the last floor flange, but then you hide most of the rod. I found some shower curtain hooks that were perfect to hang my grommet curtains and still show off the industrial style rod. I may change it later. I would just use a pair of channel locks to unthread one side so I can slide different curtain rings on.

First, the rod I made for the window:

Materials needed:

Materials

  • One ½” by 10’ Black Iron Pipe
  • Two ½” Black 90-degree Street Elbow
  • Two ½” Black Floor Flange
  • Spray paint
  • All purpose wall anchors and screws
  • Drill, hammer, screwdriver
  • Drop cloth
  • Curtain Hooks (Optional)
  1. When I measured my window, I found that I would end up wanting a 7ft long pipe but these black pipes do not come in that length. No worries though! I had a 10ft pipe cut and rethreaded to the 7ft length I wanted (easy peasy and it’s a free cut)
  2. Connect the 90-degree street elbows to the end of the pipe by gently threading it on. Next, thread the floor flange to the other end of the street elbow. Repeat on the other side of the pipe making sure each end is even with each other. (Be aware that there will still be quite a bit of threading visible)2
  3. Lay your drop cloth out and spray paint the assembled rod the color of your choice. You may also want to spray paint the screw heads and curtain hooks (if using). I sprayed mine with a Rustoleum Hammered paint. There’s a few different shades but I tried to go with one that is “industrial looking”, but not too silver so it wouldn’t look tacky. The result was not as textured as I was hoping but still looks great. 5
  4. To hang the rod, choose the spot you want them to go and make sure it is level. I usually mark the hole spots on the wall with a pencil. Then to use the wall anchors, use a drill with the specific diameter bit to drill a hole into the wall, insert the anchor. You may be able to just push it in. If not, gently tap it with a hammer or the end of a screwdriver until it is flush with the wall. Place the floor flange with corresponding hole over the anchor, insert a screw and tighten with screwdriver or drill.

Next, the rod I made for my sliding glass door:

Materials

Materials needed:

  • One ½” by 72” Black Iron Pipe
  • Two ½” Black 90-degree Elbow
  • Two ½” by 3” Galvanized Steel Pipe Nipple (length may vary depending on the extra space you want)
  • Two ½” Black Floor Flange
  • Spray paint
  • All purpose anchors and wall screws
  • Drill, hammer, screwdriver
  • Drop cloth
  • Curtain Hooks (Optional)
  1. Make sure your pipe is the correct length needed. I got lucky to find that the 72” long option was the perfect length for my sliding glass door and I did not need to get another one cut.
  2. Connect the 90-degree elbows to the ends on the pipe. Then connect the nipples to the elbows and then the floor flanges to the nipples. Make sure each end is even with the other.1
  3. Lay your drop cloth out and spray paint your assembled rod the color of your choice. You may also want to paint your screw heads and curtain hooks (if using).
  4. To hang the rod, choose the spot you want them to go and make sure it is level. I usually mark the hole spots on the wall with a pencil. Then to use the wall anchors, use a drill with the specific diameter bit to drill a hole into the wall, insert the anchor and gently tap it with a hammer or the end of the screwdriver until it is flush with the wall. Place the floor flange with corresponding hole over the anchor, insert a screw and tighten with screwdriver or drill.

Curtains

As you can see, I still need to paint the screw heads but I love how the floor flanges look on the wall!

As you can see, I still need to paint the screw heads but I love how the floor flanges look on the wall!

Finished Result

The finished result was awesome! (Again, I apologize for my camera’s picture quality- one day I will be able to buy a nice camera and really give you the full effect of these projects!) I still need to paint the screws but that will come whenever I have time. It has been a crazy week! I’d also like to go back and buy another pair of curtains to get more coverage but it definitely makes the entire space feel so much “home-ier.” My new home still lacks a lot of decor and I have a long way to go before I get it where I want it. Next project: refinish my dining table to make it look for farmhouse chic!

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