How to Make Your Own Swing Arm Curtain Rod

Linda Erlam

Swing arm curtain rods are versatile, decorative and functional. You can use them on windows or doors, or as coverings for bookcases and closets, and typically require only a small space for mounting. The drawback to these rods is that they are difficult to find for odd-sized openings and they can be expensive.

Swing arm curtain rods provide the fabric equivalent of shutters.

Unless they are custom made of high-grade material, they tend to bend under the substantial weight of a lined curtain. However, the savvy homeowner who is comfortable using tools, knows her way around the big-box hardware store and is armed with a swing-arm design from a drapery workroom, can make swing arms that function, can be painted to match her decor, and are much less expensive than custom-made.


Rough the pipe with sandpaper, and spray paint to match the other metals in the room. Finials are available to fit 1/2-inch pipe, and they can also be painted. Buy them online or in most home-decor hardware sections of large hardware stores. Copper pipe is easy to cut, and the fittings are available in any hardware store. Galvanized conduit is less expensive than copper, but it is more difficult to cut. A hand-held pipe-cutter is a worthwhile investment for this project.

  1. Insert the curtain rod section of pipe into the right angle opening of the T-connector.

  2. Mark on the wall the required location of the curtain rod, at the position of the center of the rod. The rod is 1/2-inch in diameter. If the desired top-of-curtain measurement is 80 inches from the floor, the wall mark must be at 79-3/4 inches from the floor.

  3. Measure, and mark, 1-3/8 inch above and below this rod location.

  4. Insert the eye-screws at these marks, finishing with the eyes parallel to the floor.

  5. Insert the T-connector into the space between the eye-screws; the curtain rod extends into the room between the eye-screws. The open ends of the T-connector are oriented vertically.

  6. Insert the 2-inch piece of pipe through the top eye-screw and into the top opening of the T-connector. Top with an end cap.

  7. Insert the 1-inch piece of pipe through the bottom eye-screw and into the bottom opening of the T-connector and top with an end cap.

  8. Feed the curtain onto the curtain rod and fasten the chosen finial to the end.