• how to make a curtain rod from copper plumber’s pipe

    Hello! I’m currently buried 6 feet deep in upgrading my blog to WordPress, and I just realized I forgot to schedule this post.  Apologies, apologies!

    Remember that mystery project I hinted at last month?  This is it! This is probably one of my favorite projects to date.  It may not look like much, but this project incorporated a lot of planning, measuring, drilling and using that magical thing called a lever.  I spent significant amount of time in the plumbing aisle getting to know the crazy names of various plumbing fixtures.  It was fun.  And I still have a few windows to work on, which means there’s more fun to be had!

    I thought it would be a great idea to make a curtain rod out of copper plumber’s pipe.  Many people have done this, it’s not new, or special, or anything crazy.  I just have a thing for copper (and gold), and I thought it would pair perfectly with all the exposed beams in my apartment.



    Don’t you love this minimalist palette? Copper, black and white.  Ok, it’s probably not for everyone.  Who cares, shiny metals make me weak in the knees.



    It all started with a couple 11 foot 1/2″ copper plumbers pipes.  The longest wall of windows is in our bedroom, measuring about 16′, so I  knew I needed at least two 11ft pipes.  I also didn’t want to weld a thing, for fear I would melt my face off, so I grabbed the appropriate male adapters and elbow fittings to make the curtain rod hold up on it’s own.



    I also picked up a couple galvanized discs, shown above, to mount the curtain rod to the wall above my windows.  Yes, I know they are silver, but, I plan to remedy this with some liquid copper leaf!  My head’s not just a hat rack, my friend.

    I also picked up this junior tube cutter.  Side note – this junior tube cutter is genius.  You’ll see below, I used it to cut the cleanest piece of pipe ever, and I believe it only cost $6.  To heck with a hack saw!



    I had to cut 3 pieces of pipe to fit into the elbow fitting and male adapter.  I wanted the curtain rod to hang out at least 2 inches from the wall, so I cut three 1″ pieces of pipe using the junior pipe cutter. (The second inch is added by the length of the male adapter and elbow fitting).

    Using the pipe cutter is really simple.  First, mark where you want to cut.  Then, place the pipe through the cutter, and tighten the cutter so that it’s just slightly snug against the pipe.  Turn the cutter a full 360 degrees.  You’ll notice the blade made the slightest cut in the pipe.  Next, tighten the cutter a little bit more, and turn the cutter again a full 360 degrees.  You’ll know once your done because the piece of pipe will just pop right off! Easy!



    Next, I measured where I wanted to place the support discs.  I determined I needed 3 support discs, one on each end, and one in the middle to keep the pipe from bowing.  I marked where I needed to drill the holes, then grabbed my step-dad’s manly Bulldog drill to drill some pilot holes into the walls.  If you have normal walls, made of studs and drywall, a regular 18V drill will do.  In our case, our walls are cement and require a much heavier duty drill.

    Lastly, I fit all the pieces together, screwed in the male adapters and pieces of copper piping, and voila!



    I would say this curtain rod cost me ~$50.  $20 for the copper pipe, $18 for the galvanized discs, $6 for the Junior pipe cutter, and $6 for the misc copper fittings and adapters.  I’m sure you could find a curtain rod for cheaper, but think – $50 covered 3 windows, that’s less than $17/window.  Not the most economical project, but it’s about par if you were to shop retail for a curtain rod!  My favorite part was drilling holes in cement with the Bulldog drill! I felt so burly and strong.



    1. When choosing the type of plumbing you want in your home, some of your options will include steel, plastic, and copper. Copper pipe plumbing has numerous advantages and disadvantages when compared to other materials. Copper is a relatively soft metal, so it can bend rather easily. Therefore, copper pipe plumbing can be installed using less fasteners and connectors. Copper is easy to work and has excellent thermal conductivity, corrosion resistance and durability.

    2. great Ideal…I would use a L type copper pipe at 3/4″ or 1/2″ … they are heavier duty them the M type that is used in the home…Love the look of copper specially for a kitchen. And the cost is pretty cheap….last curtain rod I bought cost me just over $35.00. and that was for 1 window.
      keep the ideas coming.

    3. Does the copper rub off on your curtain fabric and stain the fabric? I will be opening and closing mine several times a day. Plan to use copper rings, or maybe wood rings if I am really going to keep my nice fabric from staining.

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