How to Make Your Own Swing Arm Curtain Rod

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Swing arm curtain rods are versatile, decorative and functional. You can use them on windows or doors, or as coverings for bookcases and closets, and typically require only a small space for mounting. The drawback to these rods is that they are difficult to find for odd-sized openings and they can be expensive. Unless they are custom made of high-grade material, they tend to bend under the substantial weight of a lined curtain. However, the savvy homeowner who is comfortable using tools, knows her way around the big-box hardware store and is armed with a swing-arm design from a drapery workroom, can make swing arms that function, can be painted to match her decor, and are much less expensive than custom-made.

Things You'll Need

  • 1/2-inch pipe cut to the required rod length
  • 1 pipe T-connector for 1/2-inch pipe
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Two 2-5/8-inch eye-screws, interior diameter 5/8-inch
  • 1 piece of 1/2-inch pipe, 2 inches long
  • 1 piece of 1/2-inch pipe, 1 inch long
  • 2 end caps for 1/2-inch pipe
  • Finial to fit the 1/12-inch rod
  • Insert the curtain rod section of pipe into the right angle opening of the T-connector.

  • Mark on the wall the required location of the curtain rod, at the position of the center of the rod. The rod is 1/2-inch in diameter. If the desired top-of-curtain measurement is 80 inches from the floor, the wall mark must be at 79-3/4 inches from the floor.

  • Measure, and mark, 1-3/8 inch above and below this rod location.

  • Insert the eye-screws at these marks, finishing with the eyes parallel to the floor.

  • Insert the T-connector into the space between the eye-screws; the curtain rod extends into the room between the eye-screws. The open ends of the T-connector are oriented vertically.

  • Insert the 2-inch piece of pipe through the top eye-screw and into the top opening of the T-connector. Top with an end cap.

  • Insert the 1-inch piece of pipe through the bottom eye-screw and into the bottom opening of the T-connector and top with an end cap.

  • Feed the curtain onto the curtain rod and fasten the chosen finial to the end.

Tips & Warnings

  • Rough the pipe with sandpaper, and spray paint to match the other metals in the room.
  • Finials are available to fit 1/2-inch pipe, and they can also be painted. Buy them online or in most home-decor hardware sections of large hardware stores.
  • Copper pipe is easy to cut, and the fittings are available in any hardware store. Galvanized conduit is less expensive than copper, but it is more difficult to cut. A hand-held pipe-cutter is a worthwhile investment for this project.

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  • Photo Credit David De Lossy/Photodisc/Getty Images
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