May 21, 2014

I really wanted the back deck to have the feeling of a comfortable room.  It needed a shade source, and I wanted to create an intimate and private setting, if desired.  Drapes were the perfect solution.

deck 1

But how do you hang drapes from a pergola?  I was worried about the durability of regular curtain rods, and where would I find one that looooong?  I needed to think outside the box, so I started walking the isles at Home Depot for inspiration.

My first thought was a really strong wire, strung across the beams to hang the drapes.  I nixed that idea as soon as I walked down the sprinkler idea and a light went off.  Galvanized pipe was the perfect solution.

It’s relatively inexpensive, it’s durable, rust proof, and had exactly the industrial look I was going for.  And the attachment possibilities were endless!  I started making plans and they turned out even better than I had hoped!  I also found the material for the drapes at Home Depot, and it was super cheap.  Here’s exactly how we made galvanized pipe curtain rods and drop cloth drapes.   (video/editing by James Young, and I did some shooting as well)

A bit more information:

I didn’t do anything to treat the fabric.  We’ve had multiple rain storms and the drop cloths have held up beautifully.  I tied them back with twine.

I definitely think you could use galvanized piping for indoor curtain rods.  I think they would be awesome in a playroom or boy’s room for that industrial look and feel.

I’m just dying to use galvanized piping for rods again!


Jen Signature photo JenSignature_zpse63747c4.jpg

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  1. Kristen says:

    this is so great! you and your home are such an inspiration! Can you give more details about how you did the drapes? thanks!

    • Jen says:

      Thank you so much, Kristen! They really were so simple! Just bought the drop cloths, measured the length I needed, folded over the top and sewed a rod pocket, then hemmed the bottom. That’s it! No need to treat the fabric! Let me know if you have additional questions!

  2. Tisha says:

    Love the tutorial. We are spending our first summer in our new house and it has a pergola on the deck. I plan to use your DIY curtain rod idea and lighting to make the space more comfortable. I wanted to let you know that you CAN used galvanized pipe as indoor curtain rods. When we moved in I struggled with how to handle our dining room bay window. I wanted to keep my old curtains, but couldn’t afford to buy custom curtain rods. So I made them out of pipe, black spray paint, old curtain rod hardware and some end finials. The whole project was less then $15 and looks great! Would love to share some pics with you.

  3. […] rod system using galvanized piping and hung drapes made from paint drop cloths. I’ve posted a video tutorial for the curtain rod system on my […]

  4. Nicole says:

    I was just wondering if your pergola was slanted at all, or if it was straight across. We have one also but it’s slanting down from where it is attached to the house and the gutter is just below. I’m trying to figure out where exactly to attached the rod for curtains. Thanks!

  5. […] rod system using galvanized piping and hung drapes made from paint drop cloths. I’ve posted a video tutorial for the curtain rod system on my […]

  6. Alexa says:

    Questions but what happens when it rain?curtain will get wet every time?

    • Administrator says:

      Hi Alexa, yes that just got wet then dried. Because they are drop cloths, they were just fine to do that.

      • Alizée Savaria says:

        I’ve always loved the idea of a pergola and the one you built is exactly the look I was going for. It looks amazing!

        For the curtains, I was wondering what exactly is the material you used and in what section of the hardware store I can find it.

        Thank you so much!

  7. Becky says:

    Curious if the drop cloth curtains are still holding up? Thanks

    • Jen says:

      Hi there! We have moved from this home so I can’t tell you what they look like today, but when we moved they were in great shape.

  8. Carly says:

    Hello, do you remember where you found those lanterns? I absolute love them!

  9. Sarah says:

    This is beautiful! We’re you able to take the curtains off? Say….if you wanted to wash them?

    • Administrator says:

      Hi there! You could take them off by just disassembling everything, but honestly because they are drop cloths I was kind of like I’ll just toss them and make new when they start to get dirty and gross.

  10. Deb H says:

    Hello! I’m also wondering about durability. I read in an earlier comment that you’re no longer at that home and you said they held up until you left, but how many years was that? And did you leave the curtains out year round? Not sure where you live or what your winters are like, but I’m in Ottawa, Canada, and we have super harsh winters. I’m guessing I would have to bring the fabric in every winter? And perhaps even the piping, too? what do you think? Thanks! I absolutely LOVE this deck/pergola/curtain idea! Hope to recreate it this summer!

    • Administrator says:

      Hi there! Yes, we’ve moved from that home, but I wouldn’t recommend keeping the drapery up during winter. It’s simple to remove. Also, it’s so inexpensive to make new drop cloth drapes, it’s not a big deal to replace them every couple of years to keep them looking fresh. The piping should hold up during winter just fine. Hope that is helpful!

  11. Alesia Page says:

    How did you make the pergola ? I would love to try that

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