How To Make A Curtain Rod and Finials with a Tennis Ball

Window treatment time for my guest room.  So far I have been keeping within my budget and this project will keep me in check as it is very budget friendly.  I had two ideas on how to make a curtain rod and finials. I will show you both.

I like lots of light and have a big window in my guest room.  I wanted drapery panels, but I don’t want them to cover the window at all so I needed a very long rod. This way the panels frame the window, but don’t cover it at all.  To buy a decorative rod in the length I needed I would have had to spend  $30.00 and up.  That would wipe out my budget so I opted to use a PVC pipe.

You can find PVC pipes at any home improvement store in the plumbing dept. They come in many different diameters and lengths.  There are two types – lightweight and heavyweight. If you have a very long span  – get the heavier pipe, as it will stay straight and won’t bow down and you won’t need to add a center support, otherwise the lightweight pipe will be fine. The pipe I bought cost me under $4.00.  It is a 1 1/4” diameter pipe.  Cutting the pipe is easy with a saw. If you know the exact length you need, have them cut it at the home improvement store – one less step for you to do.


I used wood rod brackets from Lowes to hang my PVC pipe curtain rod. PVC pipe has writing on it.  You can spray some white primer over the pipe and then paint it any color you wish. I chose to keep mine white and just turned the writing to the back.   I did have to clean it up a bit with dish detergent to get the warehouse grime off of it.



The finials are where you can add your style. I had leftover gilded ones in my basement from a past treatment. I wasn’t planning on using them until I got really great looking mottled gold and black metal rings from one of my greatest resources – my friend Karen . She has a professional sewing workroom in her home and lots of cool stuff.  Recently she stumbled upon a manufacturer who was going out of business and got lots of good deals and free goodies.  I was the lucky recipient of these rings. Thanks Karen.


My finials have screws that are meant to screw into the end of wood rods. Since a PVC pipe is basically a hollow tube there was nothing to screw the finials into – time to come up with a way to make the finials work – corks and hot glue to the rescue.

1.  Screw the cork on the finial.

2. The opening on my PVC pipe is 1 1/4” so I needed to cut another cork in half.  Depending on the size of the pipe you use  – you may not have to add more corks.  I used a very sharp bread knife and laid the cork in a channel on my kitchen cutting board to cut the cork in half.


3. I then hollowed each half out with a nut pick. ( I was in my kitchen and it was handy – it worked well.)  You could use a craft knife – a Dremel drill with a bit that hollows out would work well also.


4.  Hot glue the cut sides of the cork to the center cork on the finial.


5.  Push it into the end of the PVC pipe.


6. No one will ever know how you faked it out – except you.





When I was thinking about what type of finials I wanted to use – I played around with a few options. The traditional gilded ones I used above and a more modern look – using tennis balls and fabric – yep tennis balls – it is an old trick that I have used many times.

1.  You will need 2 tennis balls – old ones that have lost their pep are much easier to cut than the brand new ones I used.


2.  Carefully jab the tennis ball with the closed tip of sharp scissors.  Make another jab about 1-inch away from the first.  Cut in between the two holes.  Once you have that cut line you kind of keep digging your scissors in and cutting off more of the ball.


3. You want to make the hole a tiny bit larger than the diameter of the pipe.



4.  Choose a fabric that will coordinate with your drapes. I chose the Houndstooth.


5.  Cut a 12-inch square of fabric and wrap it around the ball. Use your fingers to make sure the fabric pleats around the ball evenly. Push the excess fabric into the ball.


and then push it onto the end of the PVC pipe rod.  It will look like this.


Presto-Change –o a fun and very inexpensive finial for a curtain rod.



What do you have laying around your house that you could use as a finial?

Lots of options – old door knobs for bigger rods – cabinet knobs for thin rods.


For more window treatment ideas check out my Sew and No-Sew Window Treatment Project Gallery


  1. Faye says

    Awesome!, I never would of come up with a clever idea like that. THNX, Diane for the tidbit. I’ll remember next time when i get creative.

    • says

      Hi Angie -One of the many things I learned when I worked as a display designer. We had to be resourceful since we had a teeny tiny budget to work with.

  2. Pat says

    A quick wipe with some mineral spirits will clean the printing off the PVC pipe. You can also use steel electrical conduit that you can also find in home improvement stores’ electrical section. It sells for about $2 for a 10′ section of 1/2″ pipe. They’ll often cut if for you for free, or a cheap pipe cutter tool will cut it easily and not leave a sharp edge. Then you can prime and paint it any color you want and add finials in a similar manner.

  3. Mary Beth says

    Thank you for solving my decorating dilemma!! I did not want a bracket in the middle of my large window. I am motivated to make the draperies now! Thanks!

  4. says

    Thank you, thank you. This is exactly what I am looking for. I’m building a home in Florida, and my windows are the arch brown single hung, (arch and single hung window all together) This is very difficult to find shutters or blinds without costing a fortune for my budget. I have a ton of wine corks, and a very handy husband. I also have gorgeous beach shells that I could use and paint them white, black or a color to use for finials. Can’t wait to see more on your site.


  1. […] be simple or elegant, antique or modern and go a long way toward dressing up your window treatments.Tips to Choose Drapery Hardware Choosing drapery hardware is just as much fun as choosing the curtai…ware" width="298" height="300" /> Choosing drapery hardware is just as much fun as choosing the […]

  2. […] I also made the curtain rod. I was concerned about the lack of selection for basic curtain rods out there and the fancier rods that fit my style were pricey. To solve my problem, I ran to my local hardware store, purchased some ½ in. metal conduit and some conduit mounting brackets. You can trim the conduit with a hack saw or the hardware store can cut it for you (I opted for the husband cutting method and discovered that 10 ft of metal conduit JUST fits in a Scion Xb). You can also add some drawer pulls as finials using this tutorial.  […]

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