House Project – Shannon from Shannon Berrey Design

Today we have Shannon from Shannon Berrey Design showing how to make custom curtain rods for less.  She’s an interior designer in NC and is one of my favorites!


Hi everyone! I am excited to be visiting with you today–thanks Kristy for having me over!

I am all about creating high design on a small budget. With a little elbow grease, I made curtain rods with one visit to the hardware store.

In my previous home, I had a big formal dining room with soaring ceilings and a huge window. Because of the scale of the room, I felt that the curtains needed an equally heavy curtain rod. If you have priced custom curtain hardware, you know that it can be extremely pricey. When I priced an oversized rod, finials, brackets and rings it was in excess of $460! And this wasn’t even including the fabric!! So, instead, I headed to Lowe’s to create my own.


The PVC aisle specifically. You know that hard synthetic resin pipe that is made out of polymerizing vinyl chloride {I totally had to google that, fyi}. It comes in tons of widths and lengths and it is easily cut to a specific length. Bingo. I chose the 2″ x 10′ pipe which cost me $7.

The pipes do have numbers on them.


The print is easily covered up by lightly sanding and then spraying several coats with a gray primer {gray covers the dark letters better than the white primer} Outside, I put 2 chairs covered with dropcloths 8′ apart and balanced the PVC on the backs of the chairs. I continued to rotate the pipe after each spray. After the primer dried, I sprayed the pipe with a walnut brown paint. I wanted the end result to look like a rich dark stained wood. Once the paint dried, I rubbed on several layers of mahogany stain.


Then I headed to the fence aisle. ‘What?’ you ask {I heard you} That’s where I found my finials, also know as fence post caps. They were pineappley shaped and the perfect {big} size for the 2″ pipe. And, they were just over $6 for the pair. They were a little rough, so, I sanded them really well, primed them, painted them walnut brown and then stained them to match the poles.


Then came time to attach the finial to the rod {I didn’t know this then, but they make a PVC glue} The pipe is hollow so I tried using wood glue to attach the finial but the pvc is so thin, it didn’t hold. Plan B–I found a piece of scrap wood. I cut the 2″x 2″ piece of scrap wood 7″ long. I rounded the corners a bit so that it would fit snugly down into the pipe.


Then I screwed a dowel screw into the center of the base of the finial and then into the middle of the end of the 2″x 2″. The piece of wood then slid inside the pvc pipe.



Because 2″ curtain rings were more than $12 A PIECE, they were out of the question. Instead, I decided to make a 3″ pocket and just shirred the curtains onto the ‘rod’. Not my favorite look, but it saved me $350, so I got over it. {If you decide that you want to use rings, they have to be put on at this point}



2 cans of primer $5.00

2 double threaded screws $1.50

2 fence post caps $6.50

10’ PVC $7.00

Stain already had

Brown paint already had

Scrap wood already had

= $20 !!!!

For a savings of 440 smackers!


I failed to include how I hung my PVC rods, so I wanted to do a little follow-up. I don’t have these curtains hanging any longer. When I went to ‘reenact’ the hardware set-up, I realized I had become fuzzy on exactly how I did it. But, my husband and I put our heads together and we have the details.

Just remember that these were stationary panels. I never intended for them to move. That is why the hardware solution we came up with worked.

Because the PVC is much bigger than a normal store-stocked rod, normal curtain hardware isn’t equipped to work. We used {2} 6″ L-brackets, {2} 2 1/4 bolts, and 4 screws {type depends on if you are screwing into sheetrock or studs} Let’s pretend that my hardwood floor is actually the wall:

The L-brackets are placed with the base down and screwed into the wall. I placed them about 1′ in from the finials on both ends. I placed the bolt in the last outside hole, bottom up.

You could put a washer on top to hold the bolt from falling out, but I didn’t. I found that when I placed the rod with the curtain panels shirred on, onto the L-brackets, just the pressure of the rod against the bolts kept them in place. The curtains and rod don’t have any desire to roll off. They are real happy just sitting still. :)  By the way… this is a 2-person job.

Use your imagination and pretend that there are curtains in the above picture. The screw just gets hidden inside the shirring and you don’t see it at all.

I am pretty confident that there are much better ways to hang these, but, this worked for me.

Hope this helped!!

Wow, Shannon, I’m totally using this method the next time I need custom rods.  I know first hand how much custom rods can cost!  I left some behind in the home I just sold!  I hope they appreciate them.  Thanks so much for sharing.

Be sure to check out her blog!



  1. Ok really random I was sitting on my couch last night looking at my curtain rods and wising I could afford some that were chunky, now I can! Thanks for sharing, great idea! :)

  2. Oooooo…. That’s a GREAT idea!

  3. These look great! I think the pocket rod is probably better anyway…in my experience, painted pvc is much more likely to “chip” when things like curtain rings or hangers slide over them. :-/ Longer rods can be SO expensive – yikes! Thanks for sharing!!!

  4. Seriously??? This a great idea!

  5. Great post! I need a curtain rod for my sliding door, I think I know where to find one now.

  6. Brilliant idea! Thank you for sharing!

  7. Love this idea! Kristy, I hope you are getting settled in.

  8. Excellent! But how did you attach it to the wall?

    • Great question! One that I failed to answer–sorry! I wish I had pictures to explain, but I will do my best. The panels I made were not intended to operate–just sit there and look pretty. So the way I attached them were fine. I,f however, you want them to operate, then this idea may not work. I used {2} 4″ l-brackets that I screwed into the wall about 1 foot in from the finials. The l-brackets have holes in both sides. On the side of the bracket that sticks out into the room, I used a 2″ screw with a tight fit and threaded it from the bottom up. This created a ‘u’ that the pvc and fabric could sit inside–the screw kept the rod from rolling off. The screw just became embedded in the gathers of fabric and you didn’t see it at all. I hope this makes sense???

  9. Just wondering how you hung the rods from the wall? Thanks!

  10. Melissa Whatley

    This is very awesome and my daughter and I plan to make some for her ‘dorm’ room. How did you attach them to the wall?–melissa

  11. What a great idea! I used the wooden dowels (from the wood aisle) for rods before – Never thought of the fence finials! Mine were just plain on the end – I know, boring! I will be standing in the PVC aisle next time!

  12. Love the tutorial..just pinned it making sure to credit both of you.

  13. Thought about doing something very similar, but need 12″. How in the world would I get something that long from the store to my house?

    • Haha, wanna know what I did with 15′? Had my contractor go get it with his trailer. hehe. I don’t know another way…

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