How to make curtain rods from wooden dowels

Written by leah james
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How to make curtain rods from wooden dowels
(Chris Clinton/Lifesize/Getty Images)

By the time you add the rod, brackets, finials and rings, window treatment hardware can cost hundreds of dollars per window with department store pricing. You can reduce your total cost by making your curtain rods from wooden dowels.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Measuring tape
  • Wooden dowel rod
  • 2 finials
  • Pencil
  • Hacksaw
  • Medium-grit sandpaper
  • Drill
  • Drill bits
  • 2 dowel screws, if needed
  • Paint or stain
  • Paintbrush
  • 2 curtain rod brackets
  • Center support, if needed

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  1. 1

    Measure your window to determine the rod length. For most windows, it looks best when the rod extends 2 to 4 inches past the window frame on each side.

  2. 2

    Purchase a dowel rod at a hardware store. Choose a diameter based on your finials. Excluding any finial lip, measure the diameter of the finial base. Make sure your dowel rod diameter isn’t larger than the finial measurement and no more than 1/4" smaller.

  3. 3

    Mark your length with a pencil and cut your wooden dowel to size with a hacksaw. Sand the sawn end of the dowel rod with medium-grit sandpaper until smooth.

  4. 4

    Drill finial holes on each end of your dowel. Choose a bit size based on the screw ends protruding from the base of your finials. Should your finials not have screws, purchase two dowel screws--double-ended wood screws--and drill holes in the ends of the rods and finials.

  5. 5

    Paint or stain the dowel rod and let it dry. Paint or stain your brackets and finials too, if needed.

  6. 6

    Install your brackets according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Slide any rings or rod-pocket curtains onto your rod and mount the rod on the brackets. Screw your finials clockwise into the holes you drilled on the ends of your rod.

Tips and warnings

  • If you can’t find a wooden dowel rod long enough for your window, connect two short ones with a dowel screw. Since you’ll need a centre support for long rods anyway, use it to hide the joint.
  • Ask if you can cut your dowel at the hardware store when you buy it or if an employee can cut it for you.
  • Use a centre support for any curtain rod longer than 60 inches.
  • Don’t try to save money by purchasing a dowel rod too narrow to support your curtains. You’ll end up needing extra brackets for support, so you’ll spend the money regardless.

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