How to Make a Flexible Curtain Rod for a Bow Window

Jonah Morrissey

Bow windows are made up of a series of windows connected together to form a graceful curve. While they're attractive to look at, they pose a unique decorating challenge. Standard curtain rods will not fit them properly, and a custom rod may be expensive or unattainable in your area.

Instead of buying one, you can make your own from PVC pipe. PVC pipe is an ideal material to make a bowed curtain rod to fit your nonstandard window. The rod is for a 60-inch curved window; modify the length of the pipe if your window is a different size.

  1. Lay the pipe flat on a work surface. Place one pipe cap on one end of the length of pipe.

  2. Hold the pipe with the open end facing you and the end with the pipe cap resting on the floor of your work area. Place a funnel on the open end and fill the pipe with sand. Slide the remaining cap over the open end.

  3. Center the pipe across the window opening. Put on a pair of welding gloves to protect your hands. Hold a heat gun approximately 1 1/2 inches away from the pipe, and slowly heat the pipe as you bend it to match the curve of the window.

  4. Remove the heat gun and hold the pipe in place once the pipe is consistently bent with the curve of the window. Once the pipe has cooled, it will retain the curve of the window. Place it on a work surface. Take off the welding gloves.

  5. Take off the pipe caps and empty the sand from inside the pipe. Apply PVC primer and cement onto the ends of the pipe and inside the pipe caps, using the built-in applicators. Press the pipe caps onto the ends of the pipe. The caps will give the curtain rod a finished appearance.

  6. Spray the pipe with two even coats of plastic spray paint. Allow the first coat to dry for at least four hours before applying the second coat. Wait at least 24 hours for the second coat to dry before hanging the rod over your curtain-rod brackets.


Sand the pipe to add texture, and stain it so that it resembles wood for an alternate option to painting. Top coat the stain with two coats of polyurethane.


Wear welding gloves when handling the hot pipe as you heat, bend and allow it to cool.