DIY Custom Curtain Rods

The curtain rods in our new house looked like something out of a 1960 Sears catalog and they had to go.  Knowing I had 16 windows to buy for, I realized the cost would add up fast for something so simple.  Since I wanted to spend more money on curtains, paint and accessories, I decided to figure out a way to make my own rods.

We moved into our house a year ago knowing we had lots of projects ahead.  Every room was crying out for a makeover, but honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Making curtain rods was another opportunity to put our own touch on a house we love so much.

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What You Will Need:

Electrical Conduit (I used ½ inch which is actually ¾ in. in diameter)

Cabinet Knobs

Pipe Cutter

Spray Paint (I used Rustoleum Universal in Oil Rubbed Bronze)

Curtain Brackets

Electrical Tape

Super Glue (Gel is best for this)

4” screws with a Flat Head

Hot Glue (optional)

Rod Connectors for Bay Window Rods (optional)

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First, go to the electrical section in your favorite home improvement store for electrical conduit.  I had thought about using wood dowels, but you would see the wood grain when it was spray painted.  PVC was another option, but it was too flexible, which is why electrical conduit was the perfect choice.

Electrical conduit is my new best friend.  Not only is it durable, and easy to cut, but it is also extremely cheap.  An 8’ piece of 1/2” electrical conduit will run you less than $3.00!  Be sure to pick conduit that is straight as some can be a little bent.

The best deal I found on curtain rod brackets were at Home Depot.  Make sure your bracket will fit your rod diameter.  These worked nicely with the ½” conduit.

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Assuming you already have curtains, measure for your brackets to match your curtain length (don’t forget to account for the height of the rings and clips if you use them).   I needed new curtains in the whole house so I put the brackets where I wanted the rods before even making the curtains.  I bought 110” curtains at Target because I decided that re-hemming Target curtains was cheaper and easier than making new ones from scratch.

Measure the desired width of your rod and add at least 4 to 6 inches so it extends a couple inches past your window on both sides.  In several cases, I extended my rods over a foot on each side of my windows.  I did this to make the window look larger than it actually is.

Notice how small this window is but it looks much larger when I extended the curtains out as far as they would go.  It also lets more light in which is always a good thing!

Mark the new rod size with a pencil so you know where to cut.  To cut the rod, you simply tighten the pipe cutter so the round blade is in line with the line you marked.  Tighten it just enough that you can still rotate it around the rod with some tension.  Keep rotating the pipe cutter around the rod until it gets loose again, tighten slightly and continue to spin it.  Do this until the groove in the rod is deep enough that the end pops off at the cut.

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Be sure to check around to see if you can borrow a pipe cutter.  They are not very expensive but I bought one for myself, only to find out my husband already has one and my dad has two.

Now it’s time to work on the knobs.  For the bay window in the kitchen, I wanted the look of these round glass finials at Restoration Hardware but wasn’t about to pay $50 a pair, especially when I would need so many.   So, I stumbled upon 30mm Glass Cabinet Knobs at Amazon for just over $1 each.  Jackpot!

Next, super glue the head of the screw to the bottom of the knob.  Trust me, it works!

I used an ample amount of super glue and used an egg carton to hold them in place as they dried.  As they dry, you will see some white residue from the glue on the base of the knob but the paint will cover that.   Let the finials dry 48 hours to be on the safe side.

Now it’s time to paint.  We saved this step until now so we didn’t ruin the paint finish when cutting the rod or gluing the knobs.

My favorite spray paint is Rustoleum Universal and I used Oil-Rubbed Bronze.    Read the directions on the can.  They are serious about those recoat times!

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At the same time you paint your rod, you will also want to spray paint your finials (cabinet knobs) and any other hardware.  If I had to do this over again, I would have painted the brackets too so they are exactly the same color.

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For the curtains in the dining room, I some orange knobs I found really cheap on Amazon.  Then, I just spray painted the entire knob.  For the glass knobs, I just taped off the glass sphere with blue painter’s tape before painting.

After the paint has have dried overnight, I wrapped electrical tape around the screw so it would fit snugly into the end of the conduit.  Be sure to wrap at least 2 rows of tape around screw.  This will take some trial and error as you find the right amount of tape so the finial end fits. I just kept adding tape until it was tight enough. Secure it with hot glue if that helps.

 

For the bay window rod, I used these connectors which happened to fit my curtain rods.

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Below is our master bedroom curtain rod, the tie-backs for the breakfast area bay window and the rod for my daughter’s room.

 

After attaching the finials to the rods, I hung my curtains.  I repeated this project for all 16 windows in our house and estimate that I saved a minimum of $500 if I bought all Target curtain rods.  Each rod with finials and hardware cost me about $5.

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Soon on the blog, I will share my secret on how I faked pinch-pleat curtains with pleater tape, binder rings and paper clips.

If you like this post, please share it on social media.  You might also like:

Made Over, Inside and Out – China Cabinet Makeover

DIY Vanity Transformation

‘Til Next Time,

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How To Be A Woman God Uses, Part 2: Worship

Worship is more than singing on Sunday.  It’s the life we live the rest of the week.” As 20th Century Christians in the Western world, offering sacrifices on an altar is not exactly on our daily to-do list.  The  thought of preparing for the grain offering by spending hours a day stone-grinding grain is completely foreign to me.  However, the Levitical law gives us a visual representation of how our lives are to be living sacrifices.  As it says in Romans 12, our lives are to be holy and pleasing to God – this is our true spiritual act of worship.

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In addition to seeing God as our Provider, the grain offering illustrates how we should worship Him.  Even as New Testament believers, God is particular about how we approach Him. In the time of Moses, the Israelites “accessed” God through the tabernacles, sacrifices and the priests.

Since then, the veil in the Holy of Holies has been torn from top to bottom (Matthew 27:51).  Upon knowing Christ, the Holy Spirit lives in our hearts for eternity.  Not only is there no more separation between us and the Father, but the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob actually lives within us!  The mere thought of God actually residing in the hearts of His people would have blown the mind of any Israelite in Moses’ day.

Unlike the Israelites, we are under the New Covenant, however, God is the same yesterday, today and forever.  Although the Levitical offerings are obsolete, He is still the object of our worship.  Today, worship is using our God-given gifts to honor Him and to serve others on a daily basis, not just Sundays, because our lives are a living sacrifice unto God.  The grain offering gives us several clues as to what our worship should look like.

Consistency in Worship

The grain offering was given after every burnt offering, which would have been every morning, every evening and three times on the Sabbath.  As He did with the Israelites, God wants our worship to be consistent, a regular part of our lives.  Going to church on Sunday is great but we should spend time each day in the Word in order to know Him better.  Jen Wilkin said, “The heart cannot love what the mind does not know.”  In studying His Word, we have a greater glimpse into the character and greatness of our God, who is so worthy of our praise.

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In John 6:48, Jesus declared He was the bread (grain) of life.  Just like we need daily physical nourishment, we need daily spiritual nourishment as well.  We get that nourishment by spending time in His Word.

Imagine owning a car that requires gas every day.  When we don’t fill up our tanks daily, we are simply running on fumes.  I learned the hard way that I cannot worship God effectively if I am not spending consistent time in His Word and in prayer.  Consistent worship requires a consistent relationship. 

Our Participation

The grain offering differed from the burnt offering in that the Israelite making the sacrifice could actually play a role in offering the grain on the altar.   (With the burnt offering, only the priests were allowed to place the animal on the altar.)  The sacrificer could not add to the grain offering but was encouraged to participate in it.  In other words, God never saw the efforts of the offerer as part of the actual sacrifice.  The offering was the grain itself and that was a pleasing aroma to God.   However, God wanted the individual to participate in the offering.

God reminds us in this special distinction that although we have nothing to give God of ourselves, He wants us to participate in worship.  He gave the sacrificer freedom to offer the grain cooked, uncooked, in flour with oil, plain, etc.  In today’s terms, you could offer the grain in the form of donuts, cookies, cinnamon rolls, etc.

God gave us freedom in worship, as we don’t all worship the same way or possess the same gifts.  God takes joy in seeing us use our particular gifts and resources to praise Him.

As 1 Corinthians 10:31 states, “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of the Lord.”  Worship can be anything we do to bring honor to Him.  I love painting furniture and writing and experience joy when I do these things for His glory.

My husband is a civil engineer and loves what he does.  He actually enjoys listening to podcasts about new developments within his field.  God wired Jeremy to enjoy His work and God takes pleasure in seeing that.  How amazing is it that God takes joy in watching His children do the things He was created us to enjoy.

A Loose Grip

The Israelites knew that once they reached the hot, dry climate of Canaan, any crops would have been a result of God’s blessings, not the Israelites farming ability (or lack thereof).  He was teaching them that there was nothing they could give God that didn’t first come from His Hand.  Isn’t that the case with every blessing in life?

Everything that we own is ultimately from the Father and as it says in James 1:17 that “Every good and perfect gift comes from above.”  Knowing that our every blessing comes from above, we have to hold our hands loosely, not clutching our talents, time and resources as to save for ourselves.  Instead, we must willingly offer them to the Lord as an offering to Him.

In realizing our resources are ultimately God’s, we should give Him our best.  Often we give our worn out old things to God while keeping the best for ourselves.  True disciples are willing to sacrifice in order to follow Christ by becoming a living sacrifice.

Sacrificial worship is costly as represented by the expensive frankincense added to the grain offering.  It’s true that while most Christians give, not all Christians give sacrificially, in such a way that we rely daily on Him to provide for our needs – for our “daily bread.”

As 20th Century Americans, this is not a familiar concept to us as we are surrounded by contingency plans.  The Israelite farmers had to look to God for protection from drought, pests and so forth.  From insurance policies to apps to find your phone, we are confined by margins of safety.  There is nothing wrong with this lifestyle, but I believe we don’t trust in God, because often we don’t see our real need.

Being a woman God uses means worshiping in a way that honors Him.  We learn most about sacrificial worship by the woman who cheerfully gave her last coins (Mk 12:42) and the woman who broke her alabaster jar of expensive perfume at the feet of Jesus.   They saw the big picture – not only that the sacrifice they paid was well worth the price, but that God faithfully provides for His own.

 

I’d love any comments or feedback on today’s post about worship!  Don’t miss the other two posts on Leviticus 1 and 2:

What Are You Consumed With?

How To Be A Woman God Uses, Part 1

Next week will be quite a departure from Leviticus!  I will show you how I made DIY curtain rods for every room in our home.  🙂

‘Til Next Time,

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How To Be A Woman God Uses, Part 1

Unfortunately, it seems that I seek God most when life is difficult.  When life eases up, so does my faith. I realized recently that I follow the Lord most faithfully when trials come but my dependence on the Lord quickly slips below mediocrity when life is going my way.

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I read an article last week that described Beth Moore as a woman “who God uses”, not because she is well-known or has written a lot of books but she is faithful to seek Him and does what He says.  I thought about this description and how much I want it to be true of me one day.  A woman God uses is one that follows Him faithfully.

God reminded the Israelites of their regular need for Him through the grain offering:

“When anyone brings a grain offering as an offering to the Lord, his offering shall be of fine flour.  He shall pour oil on it and put frankincense on it and bring it to Aaron’s sons the priests. And he shall take from it a handful of the fine flour and oil, with all of its frankincense, and the priest shall burn this as its memorial portion on the altar, a food offering with a pleasing aroma to the Lord.  But the rest of the grain offering shall be for Aaron and his sons; it is a most holy part of the Lord’s food offerings.”  Leviticus 2:1-3

The grain offering was always performed right after the burnt offering that we learned about in “What Are You Consumed With?”  Unlike the burnt offering, the grain sacrifice had to be grain and it went through a strenuous process to become finely ground.  Imagine  taking hours to grind grain finely with a stone on a daily basis.

Also, there was no blood involved in the sacrifice because while the burnt offering related to remission from sin, the grain offering was symbolic of God as their Sustainer.  The burnt offering had to be offered first because man’s contribution to God is only acceptable on the basis of atonement.  Man has nothing to give God until He has received atonement from the Lamb of God.

Grains comprised most of the Israelites’ meals while they had been in Egypt, but now grain was a very rare commodity.   What’s important to keep in mind is that while in Egypt the Israelites were primarily semi-nomadic herders.  Farming was not their primary livelihood and the small amount of grain they farmed grew very easily in the moist, rich Egyptian soil.  It would always lead to a bountiful harvest with little effort on their part.

They realized that when they get to Canaan, they will no longer live in tents, but in houses and they would be tied to the land.  Farming would be their main source of revenue.   Therefore, their grain crops were necessary for their survival.

As they were making their way through the desert, they had no way to buy or grow grain, so what grain were they to use?   God was faithfully supplying them with manna to eat, but the law specifically called for grain, not manna.  The grain the Israelites used for their grain offering was the precious grain they brought over from Egypt to use as seed for their new crops in Canaan. 

God’s people were accustomed to the humid climate and rich soil of Egypt.  Imagine kneeling down to scoop up some moist rich soil and seeing the hole fill with water.  This was not the case in Canaan.  The climate in Canaan was much like Texas in the summer – hot, dry and rain was unpredictable.  They knew the seed they were sacrificing for the grain offering was the seed set aside to ensure their survival in Canaan.

This was a huge act of faith.

Their only hope of survival was to rely on God.  The grain offering was a reminder that God was not only Israel’s Creator but their Sustainer.  The great danger was that they would arrive in Canaan and forget where they came from and why.  The daily provision of Israel’s physical need and their prosperity was tied to their obedience.  God was teaching them that He is their Provider and Sustainer by forcing them to rely on Him.

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God’s involvement doesn’t stop there.  He wanted them to remain faithful in the Promised Land as well.  They would have to learn that although the rains of Canaan were unreliable, God would always be faithful to supply their every need.

The same applies to me.

I so often pull close to God during my desert times in life as I am thirsty for relief that only He can give.  When I am in the midst of a trial, I am most aware of my need for Him and huddle up under His Wing through prayer, the study of His Word and an overall reliance on Him.  These are the times I lean into Him the hardest.

What about the times when life’s pressures ease up and things go our way?  Does our need for God lessen in these times?  I’ve found I am less aware of my need for him in the “good times” when in reality my need for Him is unchanged.  He is just as essential to me today as any other day.

God promises His faithful blessings to Israel if they obey Him.  “If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth.  All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God…” – Deuteronomy 21:1-2

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Once again, the burnt offering reminds us of God’s once-for-all atonement for our sin in Jesus, the Lamb of God.  After our sin is atoned for, the grain offering reminds us of God’s desire to provide for us on a daily basis.  John 6:35 states, “Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty’.”

As I type, there is a sticky note on my laptop that says “Pray First”. I have such a bent towards doing things without relying on Him that it is my reminder to always pray before I write my blog posts.  Without constant dependence on Him, I have nothing to write…or at least nothing worth reading.

The times of dependence on myself instead of Him come most often when things are going well in my life.  God wants us to seek Him with the same veracity when things go well, as when we are in turmoil.  In order to position ourselves to hear God and be used by Him, we have to rely on Him …not just in the bad times, not just in the good times but for all time.

You don’t miss this song from Lauren Daigle – “Lord, I Need You”.  Also, I’d love to hear any comments or ways God has been faithful to you!

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What Are You Consumed With?

Nothing would put me to sleep faster than reading through Leviticus.  Every New Year, I would start my “Read Through the Bible in a Year” plan and was pretty consistent for the first couple months.  However, it never failed that once I reached Leviticus, I got bogged down with the rules, ceremonies and offerings that seem all too foreign to my lifestyle.

Fortunately, this year was different.  To hopefully pique my interest in Leviticus, I decided to do a little research online and surprisingly, I got far more than I bargained for.

As I tried to envision life as a 30-something Israelite woman, the first couple chapters came to life for me.  Her morning started very differently from mine….

“This morning my husband rose at dawn to choose the morning’s sacrifice – unfortunately this particular lamb was one of my daughter’s favorites.  We own lots of livestock but we strive to select only animals that are perfect, or as close as possible, because that is what the burnt offering requires.

As my husband stands in line at the outer temple, Israelites from far and wide make their way to the end of the line at the tabernacle.   Surrounded by the site, smell and sounds of young animals led to slaughter, he dreads these trips, but he faithfully goes morning and evening.   When reaching the front of the line, each person must lay his hand on the head of the animal in order to identify with it – to help us remember the price of our sinfulness.  There is nothing more heart-wrenching than seeing a lamb innocently sacrificed for your own sinfulness.”

As I read through Leviticus 1 with fresh eyes, I came to realize that this was an everyday occurrence for a Jewish family as Moses led them through the wilderness.  The male in the family would not only go once a day to sacrifice an animal, but twice a day usually, and even three times on the Sabbath and special occasions.  There were various other kinds of sacrifices but the burnt offering was most common.

 “If the offering is a burnt offering from the herd, you are to offer a male without defect. You must present it at the entrance to the tent of meeting so that it will be acceptable to the Lord.  You are to lay your hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted on your behalf to make atonement for you.  You are to slaughter the young bull before the Lord, and then Aaron’s sons the priests shall bring the blood and splash it against the sides of the altar at the entrance to the tent of meeting. … It is a burnt offering, a food offering, an aroma pleasing to the Lord.” – Leviticus 1:3-5,9b

As grueling as these repeated trips to the tabernacle must have been, the Israelites knew the burnt offerings were a means to avoid God’s wrath and obtain favor as the offering itself was a fragrant offering to the Lord. Their sacrifice symbolized their faith in God and intention to love Him with all their heart, soul mind, and strength. They also served a reminder of the high cost of their sin and their constant need for forgiveness.

The Israelite of that day should have seen that a better method of atonement for their sin was coming.  They saw how the death of Isaac was prevented by the sacrifice of the ram, and could see their salvation would be carried out is some greater way in the future…but how?

It is written in John 1:29, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”  Now the animal sacrifice is obsolete because Jesus Christ was the ultimate unblemished sacrifice for our sin once for all.  We no longer need to make daily trips to the tabernacle because Jesus is the perfect sacrifice once we come into a saving relationship with Him.

The burnt offering is obsolete, but its application towards our worship is not.  The burnt offerings were unique from many of the other types of offering, because the whole animal was consumed on the altar as opposed to only the part of the sacrifice.

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Romans 12:1 states, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.”  Under the New covenant, Christian service in church and community is compared to a sacrifice as we focus to worship Him in how we live our lives.  As the burnt offering was a TOTAL sacrifice, our lives as a whole should be focused on Him.

God wants all of us.  He designed us to be consumed with Him.  When false idols compete with our time, resources and attention, we worship them in a sense.   The problem with false idols is that our hearts, minds and bodies were only designed to worship one thing – God.  When we put stock in the worship of false gods, it will damage us in one form or another.  Timothy Keller said in Every Good Endeavor, “Our bodies are not designed to handle sin.”

The “false god” I struggle with most is food.  Too often I go to food for comfort or to celebrate small personal victories – things I should go to God for.  So many times, instead of me consuming food, I allow it to consume me.   If I continued in this behavior, the repetitive nature of my sin would eventually lead to an unhealthy lifestyle not only physically but spiritually and emotionally.  God wants to be our “all in all” and that’s how He designed us – We are most fulfilled when we are consumed with Him.  To be consumed with God means that He is our source of strength, comfort and joy.

The Israelites struggled regularly with the sin of worshiping other gods.  Before Moses could even get down Mt. Sinai with the 10 commandments, they were already making offerings to their golden calf.  Time and time again they proved to be unfaithful to His law. He knew man would need constant reminders to keep them focused on Him, which is partly why the burnt offerings were required so frequently.

What are you worshiping?  What do you find your thoughts, time and attention consumed with?  Fortunately, we have complete access to the Holy Spirit who resides in us.  We can’t just resolve to be better, like an empty New Year’s Resolution, but we have the power of God Himself to call upon when we are struggling in order to avoid false idols in our lives.

We no longer make daily trips to sacrifice a perfect lamb from our flock, because the ultimate sacrifice is made.  Our debt was paid in Jesus Christ.  May we rest in knowing that He is the only one that is worthy of our praise as we were designed to be devoted to Him.  Nothing else can compare to the joy and fulfillment of living a life consumed with Him.

 

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