The cheapest DIY curtain rods ever

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Curtains have been hung in the dining room and living room! Progress!

inexpensive curtains

A few weeks ago I shared that I was wanting to hang curtains in the living room and dining room I have been slowly working away at.  I was appalled by the price of extra long curtain rods, so I went in search of some inexpensive DIY options and found tons of inspiration.

Using lots of tips from the inspiration I had pinned, I headed to the hardware store and left with the supplies for 3 curtain rods.

the cheapest DIY curtain rods ever


  • 1/2 inch Electrical Conduit – $2 for a 10 foot length
  • Corner braces – $3 for a pack of 4
  • 1/2 inch One hole straps – $3 for a pack of 25
  • Nuts and bolts to attach the straps to the braces – $1.50 for a pack of 5

The conduit and straps were found with the electrical supplies, the corner braces were near the cabinet hardware.

All of the necessary materials for my 3 curtain rods (including one that was extra long) came to $14.50.  That is totally amazing in my opinion.


Tip:  They will cut the electrical conduit to length for you at the store.  But be sure you ask very nicely.  When I bought mine, the man told me they do not cut it there…but he cut it as he was speaking.  If you would rather just cut it at home, a simple hacksaw should do the job.

I decided to spray paint all of my hardware to get the look I wanted. Be sure to use spray primer first to help the paint adhere.  I used spray paint I had on hand – Rustoleum Metallic in the color charcoal.

Attach a strap to each corner bracket using a nut and bolt.

diy curtain hardware cheap curtain hardware

Simply use the screws that came with the corner brackets to attach the hardware to the wall.  (You may also need to use anchors depending on what type of walls you have and how heavy your curtains are).

DIY curtain rod

Then attach your curtains or curtain rings to your rod and pop it into the brackets.

I also found another option if you want inexpensive curtain rods but you don’t want to deal with putting the pieces together yourself.  In the curtain section at Lowes, they sell individual curtain brackets for around $5 each.  If you pair these with electrical conduit you will still save a fair amount of money over store packaged curtain rods, though they won’t be as inexpensive as they are when you gather the pieces yourself.

The curtains I chose to use are bleached Lenda panels from Ikea – again beautiful but frugal at only $20 for two 96 inch panels.  I have to make a confession though – I have had these curtains ready to hang in the living room for almost a year. Talk about putting things off.

I did (hopefully) learn my lesson though because when I went to hang them, I found that one set was clearly off.  They were extremely wrinkled and nowhere near as long as the others.  The two panels that came in the package weren’t even the same length as each other.

highwater curtains

Since I had procrastinated so long, returning them was pretty much out of the question. And unfortunately the closest Ikea is three and a half hours away.  Luckily, I take a roadtrip there every fall with girlfriends and I discovered the problem right before our annual trip last Saturday.  So I was able to pick up a replacement pair easily. And I’m sure that I will find some other use for the wonky pair. If nothing else, they are the perfect candidates to dye and use for fabric.


These curtains are a tab-top style, something I have never been a fan of, but I wasn’t quite ready to take away the tab-top option forever.  So I simply folded the tabs behind the curtains and used curtain rings to attach them to the rods.

living room update

Even though they are simple white curtains, they make a world of difference as far as softening the room.  I also finally added an end table to disguise the modem and router.

dining room curtains

The next step is to get some furniture in the dining room.  Those curtains are looking mighty lonely.

I am sharing this project at Get Your DIY On.

So what do you you think of these crazy cheap curtain rods?  What other super cheap DIY projects have you tried lately?  I’d love to see them.

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  1. says

    Oh, I love this tip! I was just starting to look for rods and curtains for our dining room and kitchen the other day and couldn’t stop complaining about how expensive they are! Thanks for sharing this. :)

    (Visiting from the Link Party at Simple Home Life)

  2. Debbie B says

    I am planning to replicate the curtain rods. I can email photos when it is complete, but I want to note that I needed 3/4″ one hole straps to accommodate the outer circumference of my 1/2″ conduit. Also, from another blog, someone suggested creating end finials from knobs (available in my garage stash). I plan to screw them into a 5″ legnth of 1/2″ wood dowel and then wedge that into the end of the curtain rod/conduit. I plan to paint the entire thing.

  3. DebbieB says

    I am trying to replicate the inexpensive rods. So far, I noticed that I need to buy the 3/4″ straps to accommodate the 1/2″ conduit. I also plan to use some cabinet knobs in a wooden dowel on each end as finials.

  4. Becky says

    I love this idea! I need a 150″ curtain rod, so I’m definitely on the look out for cheap. I’m just wondering, did you do anything to the ends? I don’t see a clear picture of them on here.

    • Carrie says

      I didn’t do anything to the ends – just left them plain. I have thought about adding some type of finials using drawer pulls but haven’t actually done it yet. I kind of like the simplicity of the plain rods.

    • Carrie says

      The conduit really is pretty sturdy. I wouldn’t do pullups on it or anything but it should be able to handle pretty substantial curtains. And if you have an extra long window and are worried you can just add an extra support in the middle like real extra long curtain rods have. Good luck!

  5. says

    Hello! Someone in my Facebook group shared this site with us so I came to look it over.

    I’m definitely loving the information. I’m bookmarking and will be tweeting this to my followers!
    Outstanding blog and outstanding design.
    homepath recently posted…homepathMy Profile

  6. Gael says

    Like the cheap curtain rods! Pinning this! We just moved and need curtain rods.You could fix the wonky curtains by sewing an accent fabric to the bottom of each panel (after cutting them to the same length).

  7. Sharon says

    Unfortunately, with all the scrapping, I think they hocked the prices of the conduits to a rediculous amount. My Home Depot had them for $14. So I went to Walmart and got a rod set that extends to 120″ for $15. Which didn’t come with a 2nd rod. So I got another one the day later bc the rods are soooo pricy and with the two purchases…I got a set and they match. Sigh.

    • Carrie says

      Wow, that stinks! I will have to check out the prices of our conduit next time I am at the home improvement store and see if they have gone up that much here!

  8. says

    I have to have a 6 inch clearance on 96 inch wide x 96 inch long curtains — and need them to wrap around the ends – does that make sense?

    Any ideas?

  9. says

    OH! I have had the amazing fortune of having a Habitat for Humanity resale store near us! Builders donate things that they pull out of homes they remodel, home improvement store donate their overstocks… I have remodeled 2 bathrooms with the most expensive thing being a shelf I bought from a neighborhood facebook yard sale site the week before I found the store!
    Anna recently posted…There Goes My Life..My Profile

    • Carrie says

      Wow! I would love to remodel my bathrooms but get so intimidated by the huge project it would be. Way to go with your thrifty remodels! The Restore really is amazing.

  10. Colbee Snyder says

    Hi! I used your hardware bracket idea to make my own double brackets! I just added another 1 hole strap to the second hole in the bracket and it worked great! Thanks for the inspiration!

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