A DIY Lead-Pipe Curtain Rod

Let me tell you a dirty little secret: I hate D.I.Y. Even typing those three little letters—pregnant with so much earnest, elbow-greasing potential as they are—has me exhausted. That's why I turned to Deputy Editor Jen Fernandez's husband Rich (our resident handyman) to help me tackle this project. It's still a D.I.Y.—the 'yourself' in question just happens to not be myself. Click here to see the slideshow version of this article.

The project? My bedroom window, a skinny, unimpressive afterthought in a newly constructed building with little-to-no character. And it looks out on an auto repair garage. Score! I simply had to have drapery installed for a few practical reasons: 

1. To block the view (and at other times frame it beautifully)
2. To filter the light
3. To provide privacy from gawping neighbors

Drapery install | Lonny.com
Exhibit A: Bareus Windowcus. The inspiration (or lack thereof) for this whole undertaking. Beacon Hill graciously donated fabric for the project, a gorgeous linen called Soo Locks in the nuanced, evocative colorway Frost. It's a mesmerizing print that brings to mind watercolor camouflage; you may have seen me mulling it over here. I then took my yardage to the wizards at Bettertex to have the drapery made—84" split draw panels with a European pinch pleat—and hit up Home Depot to select the steel pipe I'd be using in lieu of traditional drapery hardware. Here's how we made this window work for my space.

Drapery install | Lonny.com
1. First, we measured to see where to place the hardware. I had the pipe cut to the exact size I wanted—about eight inches wider than the pane to help give the illusion of a larger window. We also placed it closer to the ceiling than usual to add height to the room.

 Next, we marked the placement of each bracket with a pencil.  

 Then, we drilled holes where the screws will go (no turning back now!) and hammered wall anchors into the holes. (This will prevent the heavier hardware from ripping through your walls.) We screwed in the first bracket.

We screwed the pipe (our drapery rod) into the first bracket and slid the drapery rings—Dakota in Soft Iron from Restoration Hardware, a good match for the blackened steel pipe—onto it.

We screwed the other end of the pipe into the second bracket as much as possible so that the second bracket would align with the pre-drawn holes. Once they matched up, we screwed in the second bracket and tightened the pipe a little more. Last, we attached our drapery to the rings and voila! (To hang the curtains, you'll need drapery pins that you can secure in between the pleats.)

Drapery install | Lonny.comDrapery install | Lonny.com
(All photos © Sean Santiago / Lonny)
Follow Us Everywhere