When we planned our new sunroom, I knew I wanted lots of sheer drapery panels. To make this happen, we created our own DIY electrical pipe drapery rods.
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Our new mid century modern inspired sunroom has large windows that we planned for along two main walls of the room. I wanted lots of light and warmth in the room. However, I also wanted privacy when needed and a way to block the harsh sun off the TV screen as well during certain times of the day.
The best way to do that is with outdoor rated sheer drapery panels I purchased from Wayfair on the special Way Day Sale. However, I decided to add panels in front of the sliding doors to the kitchen as well and the ones on WayFair were on back order. I found similar outdoor sheer panels on Amazon for the second set. In all, I purchased 8 sheers that are 96 inches long.
I needed to cover two long walls, one door, one sliding door, and 5 windows.
The two walls of windows that needed the sheers were 14 and 18 feet wide respectively. I also would need a third drapery rod and 2 panels to cover the sliding doors to the kitchen on a third wall.
On the two longest walls, I would need 4 sheer panels on one side and 6 on the other. With the weight of this many sheer drapery panels and the long length of windows on each wall, it would take a very a strong drapery rod to hold them up. Or multiple heavy drapery rods.
I also wanted to be able to push the panels together in the corners to enjoy the windows as much as possible. Or to move the drapery panels to the middle of the wall without the drapery rod bending under the weight.
That was a lot to ask for most drapery rods available in stores and to afford it on a tight budget. I honestly didn’t have the budget to purchase the drapery rods needed for the room.
So we created our own drapery rods out of 1/2 inch electrical conduit pipes and connectors.
Metal electrical conduit pipes are strong and can hold the weight of several drapery panels pulled together without sagging in the middle of the pipe.
Since I wanted the drapery panels to hang floor to ceiling, the brackets needed to be installed close to the ceiling and could not be large brackets. My husband worked out the details of my vision for the drapery rods and purchased the supplies from Home Depot.
It was so hot that day!
To start the project, I removed all of the stickers from the conduit pipes and wiped them with mineral spirits to remove the dusty coating. Conduit pipes are not only dusty but also have markings and writings on them. The mineral spirits really helped to clean them up and make the pipes a bit more shiny like drapery rods should look.
I wanted to keep the silver color of the pipes because the grommets on the drapery panels were silver. We decided not to spray paint them black or even a brighter silver. Another thing I was worried about was that the spray paint would scrap off the pipes each time I moved the drapery panels. Not having to paint the electrical conduit pipes saved us some time and effort.
Since the electrical conduit pipes were available in 10 foot pieces, we had to cut two pipes for each long wall. Each wall would have two equal lengths of conduit pipes cut down to be connected together in the middle and hung by a metal rigid conduit hanger. This was done by using a Electric Metallic Tube (EMT) inserted in clamp style metal brackets in the middle of two equal sections of pipe for each wall. My husband cut the pipe to the needed lengths using a hand held conduit tubing cutter. Then we both had to tighten the screws on the metal tubes to keep the pipes from sliding out of the tubes and out of the hanger.
I wanted each length of drapery rod to touch the far walls and to wrap around the corner as well, so that it became part of the architecture of the room and the drapery rod and panels looked like a continuous loop around the perimeter of the room.
In the corner, my husband installed a 90 degree curved piece of electrical conduit to connect the two lengths of the walls sections together using the metal tubes and more hangers.
The picture above shows an up close view of the clamp style bracket that is screwed to the wall, then the electrical metal tube (EMT) with the screws that tighten around the two ends of the cut pipes, inserted in to the hanger and tightened down with a large screw.
It takes at least two people to hang the rods.
Even though my husband did the work of installing the metal hangers, it took both of us to hold the long lengths of the electrical pipe, slide the grommet style panels on each pipe, and then slide the pipe in to the metal hangers and tighten down the screws.
He would be on a ladder holding one end of the pipe and I would be on a ladder holding the other end of the pipe. Which explains why I don’t have pictures of this part of the process. We were both on ladders holding up the pipes to put them in place. If you try this same project at home, be aware it is a two person job.
Of course the panels can’t slide all the way around the room on the pipes, because of the necessary brackets. But it does make the pieces look like one long length of pipe. Just like I wanted it to look.
Thankfully, the electrical conduit pipe is strong enough not to need extra brackets to hold it up along the length of the pipe so the drapery panels still have more movement this way.
Now I can pull the drapery panels closed to cover all of the windows in the room, or bunch them together in different places in front of the windows. I can even hang one panel in front of each of the windows with a decorative tie back.
The look of the room can change with the placement of the panels whether open or closed.
These panels also give an added benefit of softening the room as well.
The best part, this DIY electrical pipe drapery rods cost less than $50 to make and install. Much less than I would have spent trying to find drapery rods to go the length of the two long walls.
This type of drapery rods may be too industrial for some rooms, but it blends nicely with the architecture and style of my mid century modern sunroom.
Until next time,
Psalm 130:5 “I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.”
I think these look fabulous. In fact, this would look so awesome in my eleven foot high ceiling rooms. Can’t wait to try it! Thanks for the inspiration!
Thanks so much for stopping by Diann. Good luck with your own project.
Thank you so much for this, we built an addition on the back of our house to expand the kitchen and so that we could see the back with the trees and the sunset . But I wasn’t sure what to put up because when the sun comes in it shines all the way across the room where we could be eating dinner or even further into the house to where we are watching tv. This will give us cover and also let us see outside. The other idea you have is the wall covering we have paneling in the rest of the house and this will make my house beautiful. I think my husband will go for this. I can’t wait to get started on this project. Thank you!!!
Hey Kathy. So glad you liked it. I wanted the drapery sheers for privacy and my husband came up with the idea of how to make it happen on such long walls. I will say the sheers are wonderful for blocking the sun on the TV at certain times of the day while allowing in light. Please share pictures if you finish your own project. I would love to see them. Thanks for stopping by.
The piping looks great! I like the rounded corner pieces too.
Thank you. I am so glad we decided to hang the sheers. It really helps to block out the sunlight and the neighbors when needed.