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Short Drapery Rods

 A very chilly Hello to everyone out there.  I hope you are all staying inside and warm today.  I ran all of my errands yesterday, so the twins and I are inside all day today.  We are deep cleaning, re-arranging, and working on blog projects all day.  What a great way to keep our minds off the sub-zero temps outside!

I have been wanting to hang curtains in the living room for a few months, and now seems like a safe time.  The twins are walking on their own – no longer holding on to anything within reach as they stumble around.  But here’s the challenge: my budget.  Under no circumstance was I willing to spend more than $60 on this project.

It started about 2 months ago when I found drapery panels for $25 at HomeGoods.  $25 for TWO!  Sold!  They are short drapery panels, which is perfect since I didn’t want to weigh down my large living room window with a long drapery rod and heavy curtains.  Plus, with our heavy-duty shades, I have no need to ever “draw the blinds.”  I just wanted to hang decorative curtains.  No need to be functional.

I was off to a great start.  Then I started looking for short drapery rods.  Either I was shopping at the wrong stores, or these simply do not exist.  Seriously.  The only short drapery rods I could find were 1/2-inch in diameter.  This was not the look I was going for.  I wanted something at least 1 inch in diameter.

Off to Home Depot.  They have a selection of “build your own” drapery rods from Martha Stewart.  1-3/8 inch end caps were $3.97 for a set of two, and brackets were $7.97 for a set of two.  I was willing to pay a bit more for heavy-duty wooden brackets since I knew I would have two toddlers pulling on the curtains and testing the strength of the brackets.

short drapery rods

Then I started looking at drapery rods – thinking I could just cut one into two shorter pieces.  But one drapery rod was $20.  This would be a budget breaker.  Then I asked myself, “What’s the difference between a drapery rod and a wooden dowel?”  Not much.  So I bought a 1-1/4 inch wooden dowel for $4.10.  That’s 1/5 the price of a regular drapery rod!

use painted wooden dowel instead of a drapery rod

I took the wooden dowel to work and had one of the guys in the shop cut it into two 17-inch pieces and drill a hole in each end.  I spray painted the dowels white, and I had two DIY drapery rods for a fraction of the price.  I took everything home, screwed the end caps into my dowels, and hung my drapes.  Done.

Now for the most important part.  Did I stick to my $60 budget?  Here’s my budget breakdown:

Short Drapery Rods - Budget

$58.58!  That’s a number I like – I like it almost as much as I like my new curtains.  They really brighten up my gray living room.  And R likes them too!

toddler-approved short drapery rods

I plan on incorporating more “ice blue” in my neutral living room, and can’t wait to share more projects with you.

Short Drapery Rods


  1. Awesome idea with the curtain ‘rods’ – I want to do this in our bedroom…………..soon…………

  2. Okay that is a great idea – been thinking about adding curtains to soften some windows here. Thanks for the idea!

  3. Love this!!! We’re getting ready to move, so we may try this out in our new house 😉

    Thanks for linking up with us at our Weekend Wind-Down Party!

  4. You did great! They look awesome. I’ve been thinking about this idea for my house – I have all sorts of crazy window treatments that need to be “fixed”. Thank you for sharing. I’m pinning. Julia (CUTEST helper you have there!)

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  6. Just ask a woman to do a job! Great job. And, oh those beautiful eyes peeking from behind the curtains even better.

  7. I have been looking high and low for short curtain rods. NEVER crossed my mind to make them. Thanks for sharing your tip!

  8. Thank you for writing about this! I too, just bought cheap drapery panels at Home Goods and have been searching for short drapery rods. Now I can build my own! They look awesome….and you’re name’s not too shabby either 😉

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  10. Thank you! I just started a search for “short curtain rods” and found your post. This just saved me a long search. 🙂 Clever solution.

  11. Hi there! Thank you for a great idea. Do you know where I can have my dowel cut? I don’t have the tools to cut. Thanks in advance.

  12. Question…….I had purchased some simply GORGEOUS short panels at Home Goods, in Scottsdale, Az for our new home in Prescott. I can not find anywhere, how wide I should place
    Them on the window. How much should the rod be placed on the outside of the window? Does that make sense?
    I have a handyman coming tomorrow to do some jobs and want him to hang them but my CPA hubby insists there should be a formula. LOL
    Much thanks,

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