Modern Dowel Curtain Rod.

Saturday, May 27, 2023

modern dowel curtain rod
Look, I admit there's nothin' revolutionary about making a curtain rod out of a dowel, for sure.  Making a modern version?  Mmm, maybe?  So that's what I'm here with today, a modern dowel curtain rod.

Creating a curtain rod with dowels is super easy to do, especially as dowels are affordable, coming in oodles of diameters and lengths.  

FYI, when you're at the ol' home improvement store, you may have to wander to find the longer than four foot ones.  No biggie; you can envision more projects while there!

But I know.  Dowels.  Hey, they are darn cool, uber versatile, and little sticks of fun.

wood dowels for curtain rod
This curtain rod I assembled is for a narrower, single window on our stair landing.  The landing, ahhh yes, I must finish that project sometime in my lifetime then do a big fancy stair reveal.

Close.  I'm close.

stair window before
Aw, my sweet Hailey there.  *sniffle*
See, in general, I'm not a big window-covering person, as in, covering windows over.  I like the light and seeing out.  But ya know, I get it, privacy is kinda important sometimes.

Too, despite everything you've seen in this house to date to the contrary, I'm a minimalist at heart.  And have a rampant dust allergy.  Thank goodness for allergy shots.  Sooo, more things that collect dust are not high on my priority list.

I know, I know, decorative, layers, texture, finishing touches, frames windows, yep, gotcha.  Still.  Not really a curtain person.  Except maybe in the basement to contain visual clutter.  Still.

What prompted this lil' project though?

Well.  Our neighbors to the west moved out but have kept the building as a rental.  New neighbors have moved in which of course is not an issue.

What is?  Well.  Both floors of new neighbors leave their bathroom lights on twenty four/seven.  Yep.  Both.  24/7.  And those bathroom windows face our house.

During the day, eh, who cares, other than wasting massive amounts of electricity but at night, that's where the issue is for me.

I like to sleep, when I can, in full darkness.  Hence of course those blackout curtains I made once.  And the second round too.

Any tiny itty bitty seemingly insignificant light on some electronic gizmo or anywhere is too much for me to bear.  If I can, I tape over those lights with electrical tape.  Yeah, what can I say.

So if we have the bedroom door open at night which we are wont to do when it's toasty out, get those cross breezes going, let Finn wander off to his bed in Mike's office, this new light comes streaaamming through the window on the landing and straight into my brain.

parts and supplies for modern dowel curtain rod
Parts and supplies to save my brain.
In perusing the ol’ interwebs for inspiration, I came across quite a few cool ones on Etsy.*  

Ya know, Etsy is great, you can find a tremendous amount of really really cool stuff which is fantastic.  What gets me on occasion?  Pricing.  I get it, obviously of course handmade but, I mean….crazy easy things to DIY for excessive prices?   …yeah, no. 

So the idea I ran with,* they’re asking about a hundred and twenty.  Sorry.  Can't. 

Instead, I saved about a hundred and thirteen, built my own.  Yeah.  For seven bucks:
On hand, I had a hunk of inch and a quarter diameter dowel which I used for the off-the-wall posts. 

So first, easy peasy, measure a million times, cut once.  Solid rule. And I designed from there. 

I went with four inch long pieces for the posts and cut the rod piece at thirty two and a half. 

Next was drilling the itty holes in the post ends.  First, find center of the post dowel with a straight edge,* measuring across the full diameter width in two places and drawing a handy X.  Marks the spot!

I tried to be all carpenter-y and make my life easier as drilling straight holes here is kinda key. 

Took a piece of scrap wood, screwed it to my table, and with a Forstner bit,* drilled out an inch and a quarter hole using my portable drill guide.*

dowel holder for drill guide
Me trying to be clever.
This allowed me to plop one of the posts in there while I balanced the drill guide over it.  Yes, use larger scrap next time, now I know.

With a drill bit,* zip zip holes.  Were they straight and center?  Ehhh quite close enough.  Time to save for a drill press!

Tighten those hanger bolts into the holes and I was on a roll.  Ah...roll...dowel pun.

tightening in hanger bolt
Until, math.  Ahhh math.  Maaaaath

I spent a good several minutes standing at the workbench staring blankly.  As we had our chemo consult for Finn earlier in the day (who is doing soooo much better now, thank you!), I was not at my best.  

Turning to trusty AutoCAD,* I drew the wall placement which determined this whole modern dowel curtain rod’s assembly. 

See, I used CAD to dimension everything for me, no guessing, no muss, no fuss, no unreliable brain-powered math needed. 

Armed with information, I aligned the dowel rod piece over a post piece, measured measured measured then poking around, found some 1/4” dowel remnants to use as connecting pins so a 1/4” Forstner bit* it was. 

Trouble with dowels, heh, ya know, they're round, they roll, so I clamped* as best I could. 

clamping everything to the table to drill
Drilled* through the curtain rod piece into the post piece, did a big wipe-my-brow whew, it worked, then did the second one. 

drilling and pinning pieces together

Temporarily pinned it all together and hot damn, I was proud of myself!

ends pinned together

finished modern dowel curtain rod ready for installation

Now, time to install this modern dowel curtain rod!

A little freaky standing on a ladder with the entire stair trailing down to my left, but, focus focus. 

Holding the modern dowel curtain rod up on the wall, eyeballing for level (though I did check for real), I smacked the hanger bolts into the wall to make hole-drilling dents.

checking placement on wall
One into a stud and one into a metal screw-in wall anchor* after some minor trial and error, the posts are twisted in, the rod laid across the top, the dowel pins pounded in,* and wow, I did it!

modern dowel curtain rod installed
I had picked up two curtains from the thrift store, one that shockingly matches the wall color, layered them together and with some wired jute from the Dollar Tree,* up they went.  

wired jute cord
The green one is short which isn't horrible to me (yet) and the natural color one is very very long which also isn't horrible (yet) but we'll see how this works out when I get the landing done.

finished modern dowel curtain rod DIY
Ok!  There we have it!  A modern dowel curtain rod!  Sure, it's not total blackout but drawn, it is darker so I’m gonna go sleep now!

modern dowel curtain rod closer up

modern dowel curtain rod complete

ETA:  Figures.  This goes up and they finally turn the lights off!  Regardless, this actually made a bigger difference than anticipated so yay darker sleep!

modern dowel curtain rod detail view

*The Etsy links are Etsy affiliate links.  The dowels, drill bits, and mallets are Lowes affiliate links.  The hanger bolts, Forstner bits, portable drill guides, and cordless drills are Home Depot affiliate links.  The straight edges, Forstner bits, clamps, and metal screw-in wall anchors are Amazon affiliate links.  The AutoCAD link is an AutoDesk affiliate link.  The Dollar Tree link is an affiliate link for Dollar Tree.  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info.

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