{DIY} Another Galvanized Pipe Curtain Rod

Hey there, friends, and happy November! Yikes…that means the holidays are practically upon us! It’s time to start baking with pumpkin (like my favorite 2-ingredient pumpkin cake!), and watching the sale ads for Christmas gift ideas. I’m determined to stay ahead of the game this year, so I can actually savor the days. Yeah, I like to dream big.

A few weeks ago, I showed you the new curtains in our Breakfast Room, which we’re totally and completely smitten with. Part of the adoration has to do with the curtain rod we whipped out for them. The previous rod (used for the original  pink curtains) was being held together by classy electrical tape, because we had it stretched wider than it’s intended use. So when it came time to hang the new curtains, we needed to address the rod situation, too.

Hi Sugarplum | Breakfast Room West Elm drapes

I know it’s hard to gauge scale in photos, but this window required a
whopping 110-inch rod…not exactly cheap or easy to find. TWSS The window itself is 71-inches, but I like the curtains hung high-and-wide. So I pulled an old trick out of my hat, and made them with galvanized pipe.

Hi Sugarplum | Galvanized Pipe Curtain Rod

I know, you’re thinking, “Dude, didn’t you just do those in your son’s room? Nice recycled post.” But don’t be hating yet! While the original style of galvanized pipe curtain rods worked well in his room, I wasn’t going for the industrial look in the Kitchen. But it’s hard to beat the sturdiness and price of galvanized pipe, so I switched up the parts and assembly for a more traditional rod.

1 ~ 1/2″ wide pipe, longer than your window (Home Depot will cut and re-thread pipe free!)
2 ~ 3/4″ Floor Flanges
 (the 3/4″ represents the diameter of the opening)
2 ~ 3/4″ x 2 1/2″ nipples (the 2 1/2 represents the distance from the wall to the rod, so that’s at your discretion)
2 ~ 3/4″ tee joints
2 ~ 1/2″ end caps

Yep, the rod is a different size than the parts…we’ll get to that. 

Hi Sugarplum | Galvanized Pipe Curtain Rod

I didn’t really want these to look like galvanized pipe, so I sprayed everything with oil-rubbed bronzefirst (pipe included).

Hi Sugarplum | Galvanized Pipe Curtain Rod

You’ll want the rod to extend a few inches beyond the brackets, so consider that when determining your flange placement.

Tip: use anchors to hang flanges because the pipe + curtains are pretty heavy.

Hi Sugarplum | Galvanized Pipe Curtain Rod

I hate to spring this picture on you, but you need to see that the next step is screwing the nipple in to the flange. Proceed with snickering.

Hi Sugarplum | Galvanized Pipe Curtain Rod

Next screw on the tee fairly tight, but the final position should be parallel to the floor.

Hi Sugarplum | Galvanized Pipe Curtain Rod

It took too many hands for this next step, so I wasn’t able to photograph it. Basically you need to thread the pipe through the tees…so hold the pipe in the middle and place one end through a tee, sliding it through until the other end is able to go in the opposite tee. This is why our pipe is skinner than the mounting hardware. I may or may not have figured this out the hard way. Proceed with your blonde joke. End caps give it a more finished look, and keep the pipe from sliding out of the bracket.

Hi Sugarplum | Galvanized Pipe Curtain Rod

The threads are sharp, so you have to be careful with the pipe to keep the paint from scraping. I used a black Sharpie to darken the screws in the flange, too.

Tip: make sure your curtains are on the rod before threading it through the tees.

Hi Sugarplum | Galvanized Pipe Curtain Rod

Hi Sugarplum | Breakfast Room West Elm drapes

The pipe is so sturdy, no middle brace is needed, giving it a really clean line. I think they look pretty similar to these, but longer, and at a fraction of the price tag. I’ll proceed with patting myself on the back.

Update: Some have asked about the cost of supplies…a 10-foot pole was $14, and the remaining parts were around $25. Not too shabby, right?!

Hi Sugarplum | Breakfast Room West Elm drapes
(Planter and Dining Chairs from HomeGoods)
Hi Sugarplum | Breakfast Room West Elm drapes

What do you think of our new curtain rods? Would you have guessed they were galvanized pipe? Fifty points goes to the person with the best nipple comment or blonde joke.


The Befores & Evolution

* Do something to the Fig basket so it’s not so matchy with the bar chairs
(moved it to a new room)
* Consider amping up the drum shade
(oops, did this, forgot to blog about it)

Leave a Comment


  1. In love with this! I have on my blog schedule to give alternative options to traditional drapery hardware & I am totally going to link this post on it. I am going to keep this one in my design arsenal.

    Posted 11.4.13 Reply
  2. What a great idea! We are going for the "urban hipster" look in our sons' room, so this will be awesome. Do you mind giving a ballpark $$ estimate for the curtain-pipe, etc? Thanks!

    Posted 11.4.13 Reply
    • Hi Molly! The 10-foot pipe was $14, and the rest of the parts were around $25. Not bad, eh?! πŸ™‚

      Posted 11.4.13 Reply
    • Waaaay better than West Elm's prices. Super idea!

      Posted 11.5.13 Reply
  3. I can't help it, I snickered. I'm childish like that. πŸ™‚ I wouldn't have ever guessed that used galvanized piping. Such a brilliant idea. We have two HUGE picture windows in our living room…I might have to copy your idea.

    Posted 11.4.13 Reply
  4. I love this! And I love the extra excited galvanized tube. He's so excited to be part of your post πŸ˜‰

    Posted 11.4.13 Reply
  5. Alexa wrote:

    Beautiful. Love how it looks with that fantastic curtain!

    Posted 11.4.13 Reply
  6. Wow! That looks really nice!

    Posted 11.4.13 Reply
  7. Nikki wrote:

    Haha! Nipple! Yes, I am that person. That is all I have.

    But seriously, these curtains looks so good in this room. They totally change the whole look. I'm also a fan of the new curtain rod. Nicely done.

    Posted 11.4.13 Reply
  8. Chris wrote:

    You wrote nipple. I have no idea what you said in the rest of the post.

    Posted 11.4.13 Reply
  9. Great DIY! I love how stable that would be…no sagging!

    Posted 11.4.13 Reply
  10. LOVE this industrial look! pinning it for our future house πŸ™‚ xo jillian – cornflake dreams

    Posted 11.5.13 Reply
  11. To answer your question, no i would NEVER have guessed they were galvanized pipe (I mean MAYBE from the title of the post not gunna lie…) but I really just wanted to comment because–"I hate to spring this picture on you," -you're too funny! πŸ™‚
    Way to go on the cheap-love it!


    Posted 11.5.13 Reply
  12. So great, love how the rod came out. And the nipple…it's just too easy…well except I am exhausted and can't come up with a joke…so maybe not easy after all…but still funny πŸ™‚ xo

    Posted 11.5.13 Reply
  13. Love this! I swoon every time I see that kitchen area of yours!

    Posted 11.5.13 Reply
  14. I am SERIOUSLY impressed with you lady. SERIOUSLY impressed. It looks AWESOME!

    Posted 11.5.13 Reply
  15. Who needs to address the nipple issue when there's the sentence, "The rod is a different size from the parts."!!! πŸ˜‰

    Posted 11.5.13 Reply
  16. These look great!!! I am in LOVE with those curtains too- ooooh la la!!

    Posted 11.5.13 Reply
  17. This is so clever, Cassie! And the fabric! Swoon…

    Annie XO

    Posted 11.6.13 Reply
  18. Such a clever idea Cassie! I love the curtains too!

    Posted 11.8.13 Reply
  19. jill wrote:

    Hi, I love this idea! I'm doing it. Curious, how did the paint bond to the metal? Any tips? I also saw a pipe for $7 that's just galvanized pipe not galvanized steel pipe. Is there a reason you didn't use the cheaper one?

    Posted 12.11.13 Reply
  20. jill wrote:

    Love this! I'm doing these rods tomorrow! Thank you for the idea. Did the spray paint have any trouble adhering to the metal? Did you use multiple coats? Is galvanized pipe as specific as it gets or is there a certain type I need to stick with? Thank you thank you!

    Posted 12.11.13 Reply
    • Jill — you'll love this project! The paint adhered no problem, but be careful with the clips and sliding it in the bases…rubbing against the other metal pieces can scrape the paint off. And Galvanized is just the kind of steel, so it's really solid and strong. The difference in price comes from how thick your pole is, and how long.

      Hope this helps!

      Posted 12.11.13 Reply
  21. Brenda wrote:

    Have you had any paint scrape off from the pole moving around within the tee? Or did you put foam or something in the tee to keep that from happening? I'm in the middle of this project and I"m pretty sure my husband thinks I'm nuts. πŸ˜›

    Posted 12.28.13 Reply
    • Hi Brenda! The paint did chip a bit when I was sliding the pole through the end pieces, but I don't open and close the drapes, so not sure if that's an issue. And I have no reinforcer in the middle, and there's no bowing! I hope this helps…and it wouldn't be a good project if the hubs didn't think we ere crazy! πŸ˜‰

      Posted 12.29.13 Reply
    • Maria wrote:

      Beautiful!!! I've been looking for curtains similar to those. I love the texture. Where did you find them? Nice work!!

      Posted 1.5.14 Reply
    • Thank you Maria — the drapes are from West Elm, and are linked in the post!

      Posted 1.6.14 Reply
  22. Brenda wrote:

    Have you had any problems with the paint on the pole scaping off from opening/closing curtains with the little bit of play in the pole? Or did you put foam or something in the tee to keep that from happening? I'm in the middle of this project now and my husband thinks I'm nuts.

    Posted 12.28.13 Reply
  23. Erin wrote:

    LOVE the variation on using the galvanized pipe this way! I have 3 big windows close together in a row I want to hang 4 panels on(on the outsides and in between) and would love one long clean line of a rod…do you think I could hang a 195 inch piece?:) maybe I can't even buy it that long…

    Posted 2.3.14 Reply
    • If you can find a pipe that long, then you could! πŸ™‚ Even if there's not a single pipe that length, you can connect multiple pipes with a tee…then use that same tee as a way to anchor the pipe to the wall a few times in the middle. I didn't need a middle anchor, but my pipe wasn't near as long as what you need. πŸ™‚

      Hope this helps!

      Posted 2.4.14 Reply
  24. So, I want to do a curtain like this for a shower rod in a bathroom. Do you think painting it and the possibility of water droplets and the shower hooks going back and forth would cause an issue? (Paint chipping off, etc)

    Posted 8.28.16 Reply
    • Hmmm, I think the constant rubbing of the shower rings would probably wear the paint off…but likely only on the top where no one can see it. Sounds like a fun project…good luck!

      Posted 8.29.16 Reply
  25. Okay, so I just got home from Home Depot and am SOOO dissapointed. 80 inches of pipe was going to cost me apron $46! I'm not sure who you got to help you ag HD but you got lucky as the pricing for the pipe is actually opposite of how it is posted. It's more expensive and you have to pay more by the door if you have it cut to a specific size and threaded in store. It would in fact cost $14 or so if you bought the whole 10 foot pope without threading. πŸ™

    Posted 10.16.16 Reply
    • Maybe you got a grouchy employee…my pipe was priced as listed in the post, and thee was no charge to cut and rethread. But I only had one pipe, so maybe that's why? Also, I purchased a thin (1-inch I think) pipe, and those are significantly cheaper than the thicker ones. Hope this helps!

      Posted 10.16.16 Reply
  26. M'Lissa Swift wrote:

    LOVE this idea and am looking to use it in my house! I am buying my first house so am basically starting from scratch with EVERYTHING, so as you can imagine, it gets pretty pricey. Looking for ways to save money, but also look good. The house is craftsman style, but I am also incorporating industrial and rustic pieces, and I think this will be PERFECT! I have two types of windows I need rods for…the windows are all 3' wide, but some are single windows and some are two side by side with a 6" gap in between. How long would you suggest making the rod for each? I'm not sure how much past the window on each side I should put the mount and how much longer past that to make the rod? Please let me know your thoughts, thank you so much!!!

    Posted 11.8.16 Reply
    • Hi M'Lissa! Congrats on your new house! If I have the space, I like my rods to extend at least 6-8 inches from each side of the window…that way the drapes mostly cover wall, and not window. If you have two windows close together side-by-side, I'd consider treating them like one window, with a single rod and two panels. I hope this helps!! xo

      Posted 11.9.16 Reply
  27. Kristy wrote:

    hello. I love both sets of these galvanized pipe curtain rods. We have a series of what i call "wall of windows". Love the light but never considered the cost for curtain rods! Who knew!
    So my questions are- does the rod smell from the spray paint? 2- does it chip if you move it on the drapery hooks/rounds? We would open and close them at night/morning so was wondering how the paint withstands the movement? Thank you! Really love this look

    Posted 11.26.16 Reply
    • Hi Kristy! If you paint the rod outside, and let it cure for a day or two, there won't be any smell once you bring it back inside. As for the chipping, I guess over time the paint would wear from the rings sliding back and forth, but it would be on the top of the rod where you couldn't see anyway! Hope this helps!

      Posted 11.29.16 Reply
  28. Tina Estle wrote:

    That is a great price…I am going to look at the habitat for humanity store for the flange, tee, nipple and end caps to see if I can save even more.

    Posted 2.25.17 Reply
  29. J.R. wrote:

    Hi, Cassie. Good tutorial – it looks nice. This idea occurred to me, I Googled it, and sure enough, here it is. It’s been 3+ years since you installed it, so I’d like to ask: any sagging from that 1/2″ pipe? That’s the only thing that gives me pause. Thanks.

    Posted 4.3.17 Reply
    • Neeka wrote:

      It’s a metal rod so it can’t possibly sag on it’s own

      Posted 7.17.18 Reply
  30. Dimitri wrote:

    How do you remove the drape to wash it when everything is screwed together? Do you need to dismount the entire assembly?

    Posted 7.20.18 Reply