How To Make A Curtain Rod and Finials with a Tennis Ball
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Here is a budget friendly window treatment that is easy to complete. In this post you will learn one way to make a curtain rod using PVC pipe along with two different ways to make decorative finials for the curtain rod.
The first curtain rod and final idea uses an actual wood finial and a creative hack, the other a tennis ball. Yes, a tennis ball! Keep reading to learn how to make these cost saving decorating ideas.
For the window in my guest room, I wanted a large diameter curtain rod. To keep the cost down, I opted to use a PVC pipe that cost me only $4.00 instead of a pre-made wood rod that would have costs much more.
How to Make a Curtain Rod Using a PVC Pipe
You can find white PVC pipes at any home improvement store in the plumbing dept. They come in many different diameters and lengths.
There are two types of PVC rods – lightweight and heavyweight. If you have a very long window span – get the heavier pipe. A heavier pipe will stay straight across the window and won’t bow down so no need to add a center support, otherwise the lightweight pipe will be fine.
The pipe I bought is a 1-1/4” diameter pipe. Cutting the pipe is easy with a simple hand saw.
If you know the exact length rod you need, have the home improvement store cut it for you – one less step for you to do.
I used wood rod hanging brackets that I bought a thrift store to hang my PVC pipe curtain rod.
PVC pipe has writing on it. Depending on the manufacturer you may be able to remove the writing with nail polish remover.
You can spray some white primer over the pipe and then paint it any color you wish. I chose to keep my rods white and just turned the writing to the back so no one wold see it.
Clean any home improvement warehouse grime off using hot water and dish detergent.
How to Attach Ready Made Finials to PVC Pipe Curtain Rod
Finials known as the decorative ends of a curtain rod are where you can add your own personal style to the decor. I had leftover gilded finials in my basement from a past window treatment.
My finials had 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. Glue the corks together, then push it into the end of the PVC pipe.
No one will ever know how you faked it out – except you.
How to Make a Curtain Rod Finial With a Tennis Ball
To make a curtain rod finial using a tennis ball, you will need 2 tennis balls – old ones that have lost their pep are much easier to cut than the brand new balls.
- Carefully jab the tennis ball with the closed tip of a pair 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.
2. You want to make the hole a tiny bit larger than the diameter of the pipe.
3. Choose a fabric that will coordinate with your drapes.
4. 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.
Then push the fabric covered tennis ball onto the end of the PVC pipe curtain rod.
More DIY Curtain Rod & Finial Ideas
Tennis balls and PVC pipe are not the only things you can use to make a affordable decorative finials and curtain rods.
I used glass door knobs to make these rod finials. You can read how do to is in this post, Doorknob Finials on an Industrial Pipe Curtain Rod. I liked how these doorknob curtain rod finials turned out that I made them again for another room, but using a store bought curtain rod.
Look around your house to see what you may have laying around that you could use as a finial?
There are many options – old door knobs for bigger rods – cabinet knobs for thin rods.
For more window treatment ideas check out my Window Treatment Project Gallery
I love all of your ideas , thank you for sharing them !!
Did you see your rings to the curtain?? Is the heavy pvc strong enough to use on sliding glass door?
Hi Toni – I think you are asking – Did I seal the rings I used to hang my curtains? Is this correct? If so, no I didn’t seal them. If I read your comment wrong, please clarify. :-) If you want the PVC pipe to extend across a wide door, just make sure the PVC pipe you buy is rigid. Some that have a wider diameter are not as rigid as ones that have a smaller diameter. If you are at the home improvement store and pick up a few to test you will see the difference. Some also have more red print on them. Using nail polish remover, lemon essential oil or even Goo Gone usually will remove this print.
I have used pvc on my sliding doors for heavy drapery for yrs now I am considering changing to electrical conduit Because I have changed to draperies that have grommets
These are GREAT ideas. I moved to Portugal, and had to furnish a large house on peanuts. I bought the white Ikea Rakka curtain rods for heavy velvet drapes (required with drafty, old, wood windows) but hated the Ikea finials and found them both common and overpriced. I bought what I thought were foam balls covered in beige paper, but they torned out to be hollow and melted when I tried superglue. Love your tennis ball idea and your brilliant PVC pipe idea. Really sensible ideas to save money where spending it would never be appreciated.
The cork tip is genius!
Thanks for the idea. This solves the problem for our 3 season room that is on the back of our house that we are in the process of building. You are a life and budget saver. I could kiss you!
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.
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!
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.
You can cover the pvc pipe with strips of black contact paper. No painting.
The cork trick is brilliant! Thank you for sharing!
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.
I love, love, love your site. :O)
Thanks Mary. It is always nice to hear. Happy Weekend!
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.
I had been thinking along the PVC line since rods are expensive and I have no money. How about connecting each end of the PVC to the wall with this idea. First, buy 2 PVC end-caps with the same diameter of your “rod”, and glue or screw them to the wall. Next, use 2, 90 degree PVC elbow connectors to attach the PVC rod to the PVC end-cap which is already fastened to the wall. I’m going to try that today. My Big question is about fabric. I don’t sew and hear that it’s expensive. I’ve got some large plastic/vinyl table clothes from the 99 cent store (where’s the cent symbol?), but they’re pretty shear and kind of cheesy looking. In other words, can I get drapes for 99 cents?
Your web site is cool. I did not know that imagination and IT talent were compatible in one person. You prove they are. Thanks for the proof of concept and pictures. I’m sure to be back!
Kevin in Dallas
Hi Kevin – I love the way you think. How did it turn out? I would love to see your photos to share here on IMOS
Great tutorial! I featured your blog on my blog. Check it out http://www.lulustangledyarns.blogspot.com Thanks again for the great tutorial!
Well Done! You can also wrap and glue gun fabic over the pvc…same with oversized styrofoam balls. A solid looks good and is not too distracting in a close match or contrasting color. Good job.
I have been sewing for over 60 years, but still enjoy good ideas and you have a lot of them. I used to have good ideas like these, but at my age they sort of disappeared so it’s nice to find a website like yours to bring them back to me. Thanks and keep up the good work!
Thank you so much. Many of my ideas have come from the past – I like them the best as they are tried and true, plus easy and very affordable. That is what I strive for- to find simple stylish ways to get a designer look on a dime.
Love this. Thanks for the inspiration.
Any clever suggestion on what I can use for brackets? I spray painted a 10′ long heavyweight pvc pipe, possibly 2″ wide, and it doesn’t fit into any of the brackets at Lowe’s.
Hi Diane! Love these ideas, I have a question? Where can I get the finials with the screws inside?
I have some large round dowels from Lowes and I just painted them black, need the screw end finial. I just adore the door knob finial.
Thanks for the info
How does the PVC “rod” attach to the brackets? Do they just sit in there? Does the PVC rod stay in place when you open and close the curtains? I have a large window to do and this is a great idea. I am just afraid that when I go to pull the curtains opened or closed that the rod will come off the bracket.
The PVC pipe sits in the brackets.They curve up – the pipe won’t come out unless you pull it up and over the bracket. They are the perfect size for the pipe. I used wood ones that I bought at Lowes. The finials on each end will stop the rod from moving too much side to side. If your window is large you can add another wood bracket to the center for stability. If you are still afraid the rod will move – you can place a strip of Velco in the bracket and the other side of the Velcro around the rod where it will sit in the bracket. This will add some extra rod security if needed.
I am wondering if you could screw/hot glue store bought finials (I got mine super cheap) into home-made Styrofoam ‘plugs’ (cut to size) hot-glued into the ends of the PVC pipe? Or would this method be too weak to keep the finials in place? Great ideas by the way!!
re: 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.
You can buy a small metal container of “pvc cleaner” and it takes all the lettering off, I promise
Thank you so much for great tip about the PVC pipe cleaner. I am going to have to go and check it out.
Beautiful post. My kind of decorating. Thanks!
I’m your newest follower.
I have a whole bag of antique glass doorknobs I bought to use as finials and I see that you have suggested this as another idea. Have you actually done this? I’m not sure how I should go about attaching them to the rods. I thought about appoxying a screw into the hole on the bottom, but I’m not sure how well that would work and I also hate to do something so permanent to them in case it doesn’t work out or something…
Thanks and all of your ideas are really cute!
Thanks and what a great find. It is getting very hard to find glass knobs anymore. Yes, I have made doorknobs into rod finials. I have even made them into curtain tiebacks – they were a project in my book. I will have to redo them. For the rod finials – I just filled the hole in the knob with hot glue and then while the glue was still hot, I put a very large nail 5 – inches long into the hole. When the glue was cool I used a mallet to tap it into the wood pole. If you have a PVC pipe pole, then you can stuff the end with Styrofoam about as long as the nail. Hot glue it in- right in the end of the pipe so when it dries it won’t move. Then push the nail into the rod and Styrofoam until the nail is hidden.
If you want to use the doorknob again, then you can cut cork or Styrofoam into long slivers to create a plug for the hole in the doorknob. You can then push in a large nail. I have worked with a few doorknobs where the square shaft that goes into the door was still attached. I just pushed that into Styrofoam plug.
I hope this helps.
Really Creative idea…!!! And the idea has the right output as well. It looks AWESOME…Love this curtains…!!!
Love what you did with the fabric ones. I recently did a guest room with a rustic mountain theme. I hotglued pinecones in each end. Adorable. I’ve gotten lots of nice comments. The only preparation was to wash in hot water and dry thoroughly in the sun. ( I didn’t want to take any little pests in my guest room.)
What a great idea. I love decorating with natural elements and bet your window looks perfect in your rustic themed room. Do you have large pinecones in your area? When I lived in CA I used to collect huge ones. I wish I still had a few still. Here in Pa they are kinda wimpy. Glad no unwanted guests are going to show up. :)
Love the pvc pipe idea! So clever! The room looks really inviting and comfortable. Love that natural light.
these are all FANTASTIC ideas!!! you are so creative! I need to use the cork idea for some finials on a bed I’m redoing….they were missing, and just gluing the ball finials on isn’t working- so I like the idea of having something like this to secure it! fabulous! Thanks for linking this to Transformations and Treasures!
I’m feeling crafty today and looking to make DIY no-sew curtains, but wasn’t sure how to make rods (since I’m replacing hideous vertical blinds and have to rods). Thanks for a fun-looking, inexpensive solution! I can’t WAIT to make fabric-covered tennis ball finnials. How fun!
This drapery hardware solution is fabulous! I love the contrast of the gold rings against the white…Janell
I started to crack up when I saw the corks being glued together. Genius! I love the Tennis Ball idea too. You’re a clever gal. Thanks for Sharing. Katharine
Oh my…I love your ideas…I have done a few of them and have been really happy with the results. Hop over and share with all of us at NIFTY THRIFTY TUESDAYS…hope to see ya there:)
This entire room transformation has me shaking my head in delighted disbelief. Simply amazing, Diane. A friend who used to work in a high end furniture store recently said to me, “Anyone can redo a room with $5000. It takes creativity to do it on a small budget.” You are living proof!
Thanks – It is more fun too, to find creative ways to get the look you want for less.
Are you tired yet of hearing how brilliant you are? This is just great and I just love it!
XO You are so sweet. It is always uplifting to hear that what I post about is inspiring readers. Thanks
So glad I clicked on your pick on Miss Mustard Seed. You have some seriously great tips on your blog! The toothpick wedged in the drawers pulls took me over the edge!! How many times have I struggled with this one! Phew! Great idea.
I am going to follow your blog. The tips alone are awesome. Love the letter paper on the dresser and the mancala bead idea has got me thinking about something….. Thanks for the inspiration!
Me again, I must pass this on to my readers for kids bedrooms. Would you like to be a featured designer and I’ll re-write with links back? Email me what you’d prefer. I’ll also twitter this out!
Oh, Diane, you are amazing! I was intrigued by the title but you wowed me even more! You’ve just saved me potentially hundreds of dollars in rods & finials! If I have to re-stage our old house to sell (soon!) I was dreading spending more on rods. And I love that if you change your mind after a year or two you can just paint it!
You are so welcome Diane. Come “shopping” anytime. The cork idea is sooooo clever. I now have so many more ways to use all of the miscellaneous finials I have collected over the years.
What great ideas, Diane. I’ve used pvc before, but it’s been awhile. I appreciate the reminder. I’ve never tried the tennis ball idea, so cute and I like that it’s easy to customize.
I have only made the finials with tennis balls – but have a thin rod and was thinking it needs smaller balls – I am going to try a racquet ball. It will be easier to cut too.
You can find small tennis balls in the pet store (for smaller dogs)
Hi Carol – I had no idea they made tennis balls smaller for dogs. Thanks for taking the time to tell me – it is a great idea when you want a smaller rod finial.
Wow, I love those curtains and your ideas are great! Who’d a thunk it?
Clever! Love the doorknob idea especially! Right up my alley.
Great idea with the corks! I have done the tennis ball ones myself…I don’t know HOW you cut the new ones cuz even the old ones were hard to manage! Great ideas!!! Hugs-Diana
This post is just one example of why I L.O.V.E. your blog. You are so doggone resourceful!!!
Love this post! Never thought of using old tennis balls as a finial. I’ve have a gazillion old tennis balls! May just have to try this idea soon!
Yikes! PVC ~ never even thought of it and I absolutely love what you’ve done. It’s going to be the perfect solution for eliminating a center bracket over our picture window. Thanks for sharing your cool projects and the finials r.o.c.k……! – vicki xo
Very creative. I never would have thought of these ideas!!
Oh darlin’, you just made me soooooo happy! I totally forgot about this old trick!!I have double rod brackets I just installed and I’ve been putting off buying the back curtail rod for the same reason: cost!!! I know what I’ll be doing this week!! Thanks for the reminder!!! :o)
So creative…looks great!
great idea. I never would have thought to make my own. Great tutorial. :-) Have a terrific day.
what a great idea – all of it! The pvc, the wine corks, the tennis balls – pure genious! Looks really great in your room. I’m far more impressed than I can even say. Thanks so much for sharing. Totally brilliant :)
You are so clever to come up with this. I love the tennis ball idea! They both look really nice!
Wow Diane, that is just pure genius how you came up with the rod and finials. No one can ever say they can’t afford to dress up their windows now that you have shown these great inexpensive ideas. I love the tennis ball one, you are very creative.
Thanks for the brilliant idea!! You are so creative!! Can’t wait to try!!