{DIY} Galvanized Pipe Curtain Rod

This Summer our son turned 12, and just like that, he was practically a teenager. (Don’t worry, you didn’t miss the post…the party is scheduled for this month.) Which meant it was time for some room upgrades, or in his words, ‘Moooooooooom, take the baby stuff out of my room. Please?’

You’ll recall the purpose of his room makeover a few years ago was to welcome him in to tween-dom, so I’m a little confused as to why it no longer makes the ‘cool kid’ cut. But I’m all for making a space he’s happy and comfortable in, so we’ve been making some tweaks here and there.

The first thing he wanted, was to block the sun from streaming in early every morning. (Teenagers = Sleepers, apparently) The DIY Drop Cloth Drapes still looked great, but didn’t offer a lot of darkness, and his old curtain rod was barely anchored to the wall after a few rowdy sleepovers. For only a few bucks, we were able to solve both problems!

Hi Sugarplum | DIY Galvanized Pipe Curtain Rod

First thing we needed was a solid, sturdy rod…not only to support the heavier drapes, but to withstand boys who open-and-close said drapes with extra ‘flair’. I thought an industrial aesthetic would be perfect for his room, and the internet had no shortage for these pipe curtain rod tutorials. (West Elm sells them, if you’re not interested in DIYing your own.)

1 ~ 1/2″ wide pipe, longer than your window
2 ~ 1/2″ floor flanges (the 1/2″ represents the diameter of the opening)
2 ~ 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ nipples
(Really?! They couldn’t think of another name for this part?!
I don’t know who snickered more…me, or my 12-year-old son!)
2 ~ 1/2″ 90-degree elbows

Hi Sugarplum | DIY Galvanized Pipe Curtain Rod

Our window is 70-inches wide, so we bought a 10-foot long pipe…and the wizards in the orange aprons cut it down to 90-inches, and re-threaded it for us. For free!


Since it’s true galvanized piping, I cleaned everything with a wet rag first to limit the black smudges on our hands and curtains while working with it. Then assemble the flange, nipple and elbow like this:

Hi Sugarplum | DIY Galvanized Pipe Curtain Rod
Some thread edges are sharp, so be careful!

You need to screw the pipe into both ends, and hang the rod fully-assembled, so it’s definitely a two-person job. If you’re using curtain rings, put them on before assembling the rod!! I recruited Mr. Sugarplum who busted out his signature lunge to get the anchors and brackets in place. (Remember the wardrobe choice of this lunge?)


He held the rod in place while I marked the holes, then he placed heavy-duty anchors in the drywall for added security (the rod is fairly heavy, even without drapes). Then I held the rod while he screwed it in the anchors. Try not to bump the wall with the metal because it will leave a mark. 

Hi Sugarplum | DIY Galvanized Pipe Curtain Rod

 I used these silver curtain rings and clipped the curtains on after the rod was hung.

Hi Sugarplum | DIY Galvanized Pipe Curtain Rod

Now, for the brightness issue…I wasn’t interested in dropping a bunch of cash
for 10 yards of blackout fabric. So I went back to my original penny-saver idea, and bought another pair of 6×9 drop cloths for $10, and
sewed them on as liners. Yes, you read that right…I sewed them! (It went moderately better than this sewing attempt.)

Hi Sugarplum | DIY Galvanized Pipe Curtain Rod

The extra layer made the drapes look fuller and more substantial (see the before here), and his room is quite a bit darker now when they’re closed.

Hi Sugarplum | DIY Galvanized Pipe Curtain Rod

Hi Sugarplum | DIY Galvanized Pipe Curtain Rod

Now he has a cool new industrial rod, and prime sleeping conditions…all for less than $40! Success! Next on his radar, is the ‘baby stuff’ on the gallery wall.

Check out how Natasha used these rods in her son’s adorable room. And my girl, Courtney, just glammed up a set for her gorgeous new living room drapes! I have seriously clever friends!

Leave a Comment


  1. Ummmmmmm…..I'm searching for a nipple joke…..but I'm coming up empty. For shame.

    Posted 8.6.13 Reply
  2. pam wrote:

    hubby and i used them for our outdoor curtains http://pixelimpress.blogspot.com/search/label/pool
    it is the one thing that folks comment on consistently when they visit our outdoor space. they love the look, as do we. you were smart to put your curtains on rings. my curtains have grommets, so if i want to take down a panel (we had a damaged panel and had to replace it) i have to unscrew the rod from the patio overhang and risk stripping screw holes. (the "lunge" is too funny!)

    Posted 8.6.13 Reply
  3. Simply LKJ wrote:

    Love this look!

    Posted 8.6.13 Reply
  4. Lynn W wrote:

    Galvanized piping is perfect for a 12 year old boy. Great idea doubling up the drop clothes! I did drop cloth curtains in the living room and add a stripe of ribbon (painted to match my pillows). I get compliments on them all the time. No one knows they are drop clothes!

    Posted 8.6.13 Reply
  5. I'm with Shaeffer…there has to be a nipple joke there somewhere…
    These look perfect for a rising teen's room!

    Posted 8.6.13 Reply
  6. Cassie, you are brilliant! I've loved the galvanized curtain rods for a while now, but keep putting it off. No longer!

    Posted 8.6.13 Reply
  7. Woot woot! Looks great, girl. Perfect for those heavy drapes, too!

    Posted 8.6.13 Reply
  8. Love the galvanized piping! That is such a cool look!

    Posted 8.6.13 Reply
  9. This is an awesome and industrial addition. I love that Home Depot will cut things for me. I am terrified of saws, but many of my projects require them. They truly are wizards!

    Posted 8.6.13 Reply
  10. How cool and industrial

    Posted 8.6.13 Reply
  11. These turned out great!! Such a great detail for a boy's room {obvi!}. And thanks for the shout out!! XO

    Posted 8.6.13 Reply
  12. Hi Cassie! This is just a great post on sooo many levels! Love the nipple comment! I can think of some other names for what they look like! And, the mr. sugarplum shot was priceless! My {first} husband has an identical ladder shot! I love that you don't have blinds on the window? my kids have the best views in the house and I have blinds on them! I might just have to get up there on their first day back to school (less protests) and do some changes! Love, Love, Love! laura

    Posted 8.6.13 Reply
  13. Ida wrote:

    These look awesome. I never thought for a kids room, I have a similar look in the bathroom. Also, I am nervous to get to the "get the baby stuff out!" phase! Good luck!

    Posted 8.6.13 Reply
  14. I find it funny that everyone is leaving a comment about your creativity (and I do think you are creative & love the idea) however I can't get over how hilariuos your freaking husband is! What is with that pose!!!!! Too funny & love his outfit choices:)

    Posted 8.6.13 Reply
  15. I wish I had seen this about a month ago before I put a new rod up in my son's room, but this is so cool I might have to switch it out!

    Posted 8.6.13 Reply
  16. Such a cool look. Good job!

    Posted 8.6.13 Reply
  17. What a great idea for a boys' room! It would be great in an industrial-style loft too!

    You put me to shame, Cassie!

    Annie XO

    Posted 8.7.13 Reply
  18. Okay, this is a FANTASTIC idea for curtain rods! Bravo!

    Kristen from The Road to Domestication

    Posted 8.7.13 Reply
  19. Allison wrote:

    Looks great Cassie! And, look at all of those trophies!!

    Posted 8.7.13 Reply
  20. Amazing! What a brilliant idea…yet pretty simple. Now you have my head spinning.

    Posted 8.7.13 Reply
  21. What a great masculine/industrial touch for his room! I'm sure he's loving it–lucky him to have such a cool mom. 🙂 Hope you're having a great week, Cassie!

    ~Abby =)

    Posted 8.7.13 Reply
  22. Go girl…I have used the same stuff for rods and they are dang sturdy. Love your husbands sexy lunge……he's got some skilz……

    Posted 8.7.13 Reply
  23. Love the industrial look! I'm so glad you posted this, because I always wanted to do the same thing, but never would have imagined it could be that cheap/easy! Keep them coming!

    Posted 8.8.13 Reply
  24. Genius. These are so cool, your nipples look great. 😉 Sarah

    Posted 8.8.13 Reply
  25. We have these rods in our bedrooms and living room, but we used chain link fencing rods. love, love, love the look and the painter's drop cloth material!

    Posted 8.11.13 Reply
  26. Leigh wrote:

    Those are some large nipples. They will go great with the builder grade boob lights. 🙂

    I have loved this idea since I first read Natasha's post on it. Man I am behind! My 2 year old son totally needs this done in his room. Of course I also need to copy Natasha's and Megan's idea of using the West Elm striped shower curtain as drapes. He definitely needs some navy striped drapes.

    Posted 8.13.13 Reply
  27. Megan wrote:

    Those lunges! 😉

    Posted 8.18.13 Reply
  28. Lauren wrote:

    Yay!! I am so happy to have found this post (how did I not see it before?). I planned on doing this in my son's room when we update it, and thought oh boy how am I going to figure this one out (my hubby is less than handy – although a nipple expert, LOL!!!!). So I will be following your steps for sure. Thank you!!

    Posted 11.20.13 Reply
  29. Lauren wrote:

    Well my comment disappeared. So hopefully it went away forever and I won't be posting the same thing twice …… I wanted to say YAY, I am so happy to have found this post, and don't know how I missed it before! I am totally doing this in my son's room when we update it. He wants a Supercross inspired room and I thought using pipe for a curtain rod would be super cool, but wondered how in the world I could do it, and my husband (who is not handy at all but IS a nipple expert, LOL!) had no pipe advice either. Haha .. I'm cracking myself up. Anyway, I will definitely be referring back to this post when we update my guy's room! Thank you!!

    Posted 11.20.13 Reply
  30. Leslie wrote:

    Your room looks great. We moved into an older house with large energy-inefficient windows and I need to get curtains up asap. These look great and seem to be pretty thrifty too. I do have a question for you about yours, did you use a support or bracket in the center of the rod? In the photo it looks like there's something there (screw holes?) but no bracket. I'm concerned with a 120" pole that we'd have sagging or a floppy pole(?) I'd appreciate your response. Thanks so much!

    Posted 11.22.13 Reply
  31. Great idea! I had actually done something similar in my guest bathroom for the towel rack an toilet paper holder! http://www.lovesthefind.com

    Posted 10.22.15 Reply
  32. Amanda wrote:

    Hello!! Thanks for the tutorial! Any idea how you would get the curtains off , if you needed to wash them for instance, without having to uninstall??

    Posted 6.1.16 Reply
  33. We used a standard retractable curtain rod on ours and added a "T" fitting at the center of the rod. This eliminates the issue of getting the curtains on and off and adds extra stability to the rod, not to mention cuts down the overall weight. The standard rod fits nicely into each fitting.

    Posted 6.5.16 Reply
  34. Natalie wrote:

    Love Love Love, EXCELLENT job & tutorial!!! Quick ?; Roughly how much was spent on all of the materials=how much did it cost?


    Posted 1.6.19 Reply