Things You'll Need
- Tape measure
- Self-erasing marking pencil
- PVC pipe
- Cup hooks
- Rod-pocket curtains
- Safety pins
Arched windows are lovely to look at, but they present a challenge when making coverings. Rods for these windows must typically be custom made to each arch and can be expensive. However, the knowledgeable home do-it-yourselfer can construct a rod by following a few drapery maker's tricks and by making a trip to the local big-box hardware store for some unlikely components. It is important to understand that curtains hanging on these arched rods will be stationary and are held open with tiebacks.
Draw a line on the wall, outside the arch of the window, equidistant to the arch, and 4 inches from the edge of the arch. Measure the length of this line.
Mark bracket positions every 6 inches on this line and 1 inch from each end. Place one bracket at the apex of the arch. Count the number of positions.
Purchase the rod components. The rod is 1/2-inch polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipe and the length required is equal to the drawn line measurement plus 2 inches. Purchase finials that will fit an inch over the end of the pipe. Purchase cup hooks as brackets. Ensure that they have an inside diameter of 1/2 inch. The pipe must fit tightly into the cup hook.
Screw a cup hook into each of the bracket positions. Orient the open section of the hook toward the ceiling.
Secure one finial to one end of the pipe. Thread the curtain onto the pipe and secure the remaining finial in place. Arrange the curtain gathers equally across the pipe.
Lay the curtain and pipe on a flat surface, wrong side up, with the top of the curtain toward you.
Mark the hook placements along the back of the curtain rod pocket every 6 inches. (The fabric is gathered between these marks.) Mark the end hook placements at the inside edge of the finials.
Make a 1/4-inch snip in the back of the curtain rod pocket at each of these marks. Make the snip at the bottom of the pocket along the bottom edge of the rod. Do not cut through to the front of the curtain. These snips are along the back edge of the pocket only.
Place a safety pin in the top edge of the curtain at the location of each snip to help find the snips later.
Place the rod on the cup hooks. Rest the rod on top of the hooks; don’t try to force it into the cup hooks yet. Start at the middle of the arch and slip the cup hook through the snip in the fabric and press the pipe into the cup hook. The hook sits inside the rod pocket. Remove the safety pin. Continue placing the rod and removing the safety pins across the arch.
If you want the rod to sit farther from the window than the distance the cup hook provides, use a small block of wood as a shim. Fasten a block to the wall at each hook position; then insert the cup hook into the shim.
- If you want the rod to sit farther from the window than the distance the cup hook provides, use a small block of wood as a shim. Fasten a block to the wall at each hook position; then insert the cup hook into the shim.
Linda Erlam started writing educational manuals in 1979. She also writes a biweekly newspaper column, "Design Dilemmas," in the "Lakeshore News" and has been published in "Design and Drapery Pro" magazine. Erlam is a graduate of the Sheffield School of Interior Design and is a practicing interior decorator and drapery workroom operator.