DIY Tutorial: Acrylic/Lucite Drapery Rods With Plumbing Hardware

**Thank you so much for all of the kind comments on my Home Depot Style Challenge reveal yesterday!  If you are new here, welcome!  Would you like to receive my daily post in your inbox?  Just enter your email address in the “Subscribe” box in the sidebar.**

I have always loved outdoor drapery.  There’s just something about seeing the fabric move in the breeze that instantly relaxes me.  When Home Depot told me about their project, I knew I had to incorporate outdoor curtains somehow, and I felt a revamp of my DIY Acrylic Rods coming on.

It may be weird, but I love walking around home improvement stores.   I really enjoy looking around and thinking of new ways to use regular items.  Regular items like galvanized steel plumbing pipe.

With a few galvanized steel plumbing components, you can create really nice looking hardware for your curtains!  Note:  Home Depot also sells a black version of the galvanized steel plumbing pieces, but make sure you only get the silver.  The black is covered in oil, and the paint will not adhere as well if you are painting or spraying them.  To make one rod, all you need are two 90 degree elbows, one tee, three nipples (buy the smallest length you can, which at my store, was two inches I think), and three floor flanges.  If you have a rod less than four feet, you may not need the center support, so you could take out step two in the drawing below.

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To begin making your hardware, screw the nipple to the floor flange.  Tip:  Use gloves for this part of the project, my hands had little cuts on them for a couple of weeks after screwing these on.  

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Then attach your elbow making sure your nipple is screwed as far into the 90 degree elbow and floor flange as possible.

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Repeat these steps again for the other elbow and once for the tee.

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Paint adheres really well to these steel parts so no need to prime.  I wanted a shiny deep brass look for this project so I used the metallic Rustoleum spray paint.

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It took me a little less than two cans to make sure all of the parts had good coverage.  I sprayed each of them lightly three times.

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Make sure you get the inside of the opening where the rod goes in since that will be seen.

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I used an inch and a quarter rods from my buddy Kip (all of the information on ordering acrylic rods is in this post), and I used an inch and a quarter steel plumbing parts from Home Depot.  Since the rod is a bit narrower than the plumbing pieces, I put one layer of rubber tape around the end of each rod and where my tee was going to go for support.  Doing this helped the rod fit more securely inside the elbows and the tee.

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I picked up these brass wood screws to mount my rods.  They look great against the gold paint!

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It’s a good idea to pre-drill your holes for this project (don’t drill too deep, just enough to get the screw started).  We installed the rods assembled, meaning we placed the rod in one of the elbows, inserted it through the support tee, and into the other elbow.  After we had everything together, we lifted the whole rod and screwed it into the wood.

And voila, it looks beautiful!  Inside or out, acrylic rods are sparkly and beautiful.

Image by Kat Phillips, TheGrayAttic.com

Image by Kat Phillips, TheGrayAttic.com

I frequently get asked about what to do if you need a rod over eight feet (the longest the acrylic comes is eight feet).  I think this project is a great way to connect two rods since the support is so strong and wide.  For example, if you need a ten foot rod, get Kip to cut you two five feet lengths, wrap rubber tape around the seam, insert the acrylic into the support, and install.

Image by Kat Phillips, TheGrayAttic.com

Image by Kat Phillips, TheGrayAttic.com

This project looks sooooo much more expensive than it actually is, and I have had several people ask me where I bought my “expensive brass hardware”.  Boom!  Music to this little blogger’s ears.

Image by Kat Phillips, TheGrayAttic.com

Image by Kat Phillips, TheGrayAttic.com

I’m loving this look and just bought all of the pieces to change up my entryway curtain hardware.  I will be joining rods here since I need 20 feet so stay tuned!

Come back tomorrow for my hand stamped fabric tutorial!

Written by Grace

22 Responses to “DIY Tutorial: Acrylic/Lucite Drapery Rods With Plumbing Hardware”

  1. Cathy April 30, 2013 at 7:26 am #

    You win…hands down!!
    Front porch is stunning!!

    • Grace May 1, 2013 at 4:48 am #

      Cathy and CJ, thank you so much! I’m grateful for your kind words! G

  2. CJ Harris April 30, 2013 at 9:25 am #

    Bravo Grace!

  3. Shelley Vidrine April 30, 2013 at 9:27 am #

    Grace,
    This is fabulous! I saw your post yesterday and really like that you are explaining step by step! I might drive by & take a look at it in person. No, I’m not a stalker!!

    • Grace May 1, 2013 at 4:49 am #

      Shelley, no prob! I’m happy for you to! 🙂 Thanks so much for reading, G

  4. Mary Claire April 30, 2013 at 11:03 am #

    These are lovely. It is my favorite combo of glam/rustic. I wish I could switch out all my rods right now! I love the porch it is beautiful! I’ve just discovered your blog recently and I’m a huge fan. Thanks for sharing!

    • Grace May 1, 2013 at 4:52 am #

      Hi Mary Claire, thank you so much! I know, the juxtaposition of those rods is really spectacular! Hope you get to switch out all your rods. 😉 G

  5. nancy April 30, 2013 at 11:27 am #

    you did a great job explaining and showing the steps. this is a great project. thank you so much.

    • Grace May 1, 2013 at 4:53 am #

      Nancy, oh I’m so glad! I definitely try to focus on making it clear and concise. I didn’t photograph one of the steps (wrapping the rubber tape around the rod), and I hope I explained it clearly. If you try this, let me know what you think! Thanks so much for reading and commenting, G

  6. Caitlin @ Desert Domicile April 30, 2013 at 1:01 pm #

    Gorgeous! They look like a million bucks! Pinning 🙂

  7. Caitlin @ Desert Domicile April 30, 2013 at 1:12 pm #

    Me again 🙂 I saw in your original DIY acrylic rods post that you used ring clips to hang the drapes from. Do they scratch the acrylic at all when you open and close the drapes? Would it be better to go with grommeted curtains instead?

    • Grace May 1, 2013 at 4:55 am #

      Thanks Caitlin! No, so far, they have not scratched, but I did think about that when purchasing my rings. The cellcast acrylic is super durable so unless you have some kind of weird spikey curtain ring :), I think it should be okay. Thanks for reading and commenting! G

  8. Sarah Wolfe April 30, 2013 at 4:49 pm #

    Am I the only one who chuckled that there is a part called a nipple?

    • Grace May 1, 2013 at 5:05 am #

      Sarah, this made me laugh. You have no idea how close I was to mentioning this. No idea. I decided it put me too much at risk of sounding like a thirteen year old boy, but I guess I kind of am since I too think it is funny/it makes me slightly uncomfortable. I have to say, I don’t like the word “nipple” very much. It’s weird. Plus I have always felt strange when the plumber has been at my house and said the word nipple a million times when describing whatever problem. I wonder if he secretly thinks it’s funny, too, and is channeling his inner thirteen year old boy. Like he can just walk in ladies houses and say the word nipple a million times because he’s the plumber, and that’s what they do. They get to talk about nipples. And it’s somehow appropriate. This may be my longest comment reply ever, and it’s about nipples. Not sure what this says about me. It’s also funny how I said I don’t like the word nipple and just used it about 55 times in this comment. Maybe I love it deep down inside. My blog may have just gone from G rated to PG-13 on some strange Google filter, but I do greatly appreciate your question, and must have needed to air all of my thoughts on the subject. G

  9. Andrea May 21, 2013 at 8:29 am #

    I love this idea! Also where did you get your outdoor rugs? Thanks

  10. reading plumber May 22, 2013 at 10:50 am #

    I am impressed! Very useful information. I have been reading your blog for some time and I find it to be very useful. Thanks.

  11. Jeanette June 22, 2013 at 9:06 am #

    Love the plumbing pipe idea. It is perfect for my living room ( once I get new flooring) because I made some shelving units with pipes. Thanks for sharing!

    • Grace June 26, 2013 at 2:39 am #

      Jeanette, so cool! Send me a photo when you are done, I would love to see! Thanks so much for your comment, G

  12. daniela July 11, 2013 at 6:27 pm #

    Beautiful! I think I am going to try this. I have one concern though. Are you noticing any scratching of the acrylic from the grommets? I was thinking about doing a tab back curtain instead because of this but I like the grommet look better.

    • daniela July 11, 2013 at 6:30 pm #

      Duh! I just read the comment someone else left… I see you have not had any scratching so far 🙂 but how often do you open and close yours? I would be opening and closing on a daily basis for sure.

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