When I decided to paint our office such a dark color, I knew that the rest of the elements in the room needed to be on the light and airy side. I pulled in the glass coffee table that we had used in our prior formal living room and I added a lot of white and glass elements to break up the bold green (almost black) wall color.
To further break up the wall color, I decided to hang ivory curtains and luckily found these from Pottery Barn that were on clearance at my local store.
I started searching for curtain rods to hang them and thought back to when I visited my sister’s house and she had acrylic curtain rods in her breakfast area that I loved. There were perfect for the office since they were so airy. They ARE see through so really curtain rods can’t much more airy than “invisible.”
Fast forward to trying to search for them online and I found exactly what I wanted on the Ballard Designs website, BUT they only carry standard dimensions and my window openings are not standard. However, you can order custom sizes on Etsy that are fully customizable to include the end caps but they are EXPENSIVE!
The good news is that they are a snap to make yourself at a fraction of the cost for custom made ones, so that’s what I did and here’s the step by step:
Acrylic Rods: I searched high and low for the best price on acrylic rods and found that including shipping charges, Canal Plastic has the best prices. Of course, that’s for shipping to Maryland so if you live closer to another shop that sells rods, you might get a better price elsewhere… I wanted my rods to be substantial so I ordered 1.5″ diameter rods and found that size to be perfect!
As far as measuring the width, I just measured the width of my widow and added extra on each side for the curtains to hang plus an additional 2 inches total for the end caps on either end. If you order them too long, no worries you can cut them down with a miter saw (more on that later). You definitely don’t want to order them too short so when in doubt, err on the side of too long and cut them down.
Also, don’t bother getting them polished on the ends. The end caps will cover the ends so it’s just wasted money.
Center Posts: The center posts are the curtain rod brackets. I ordered all my hardware in brass and got the center posts from Buy Railings. I initially ordered the center posts with a 1.5″ opening but they were too small so don’t make the same mistake and order the ones with the 2″ opening.
End Caps (also called finials): I ordered these from VanDykes. Be sure to order the 2″ caps because the 1.5″ will be too snug when you try to fit them on the ends of the rods. When you glue on the end caps, they will be a bit too big, but you won’t notice that when you put the entire rod together.
After assembling my rods, I found the prettiest end caps on Etsy. If you want to switch yours up and use different end caps, you can find them here.
Curtain Rings: I got my rings from West Elm. They are not as bright than the end caps and center posts, but unless you’re scrutinizing the rings, you won’t notice.
Silicone Sealant (or other type of strong glue): I recommend this one, but really any strong glue will work.
The assembly of the rods couldn’t be easier. First, make sure that when you receive the rods, they are the correct size. If they’re too long (which hopefully they won’t be), you’ll need to cut them down. Luckily, you can easily do that on a miter saw.
Just make sure that the saw blade has at least 80 teeth (I used 100 teeth) to ensure a clean cut. I also used painter’s tape to make sure that the plastic didn’t chip. Also, wear long sleeves and googles. The hot shards of plastic that fly up from the miter saw hurt! After you’re suited up, you can just cut right through them.
After cutting them (if needed), you just have to glue the end caps on the ends with the silicone glue and the rods are assembled!
To hang the rods, install the center posts and slide the rods right into posts.
To make the long curtain rods above my bay window, I just used two rods together (without the end caps on one end) and slid them into the center post. The center post hides the fact that the rods are really 2 rods so it looks like one long rod.
Then you just hang the curtains. It’s so easy! If you can install regular ole curtain rods, you can make acrylic rods.
So I said that the rods were a lot cheaper than buying them preassembled but they were still on the pricy side…
4 Acrylic Rods (256 inches total): $306.39
6 End Caps: $113.58
7 Center Posts: $193.61
24 Curtain Rings: $137.80
Glue: I had some on hand so I didn’t have to buy this but if I did it’d be $4.27
TOTAL for 3 rods: $755.65
Cost if I had them custom ordered, preassembled, and shipped: $1,005.88
So, with very little work, I saved a lot of money!
I hope this tutorial was helpful. Enjoy the rest of your week!