My love for Lucite can be traced back even to my younger days when I convinced my mom I needed an acrylic handbag, desk accessories, and beyond. As an adult, I love the sophisticated meets eclectic look it can bring to the home and even my wardrobe (I have a Lucite clutch!). I have seen Lucite or acrylic curtain rods in several showcase homes lately and wanted to bring the same level of clarity to our home. The price tag for an acrylic rod, however, is pretty hefty, as in $1,500+! The window in our dining room is 8 ft. long, which makes shopping for a lower cost acrylic option even pricier. When I have something in mind and I want it, there is no stopping me. I just figured if I wanted an acrylic curtain rod at a cheap price it would have to be a DIY. And so, I decided to make our own Lucite curtain rod. And just to be clear, I thought of it and asked my husband to implement…how’s that for a honey to do?
With a quick Google search, I found dozens of manufacturers of acrylic rods, but the most affordable is Nationwide Plastics based in Dallas, TX. They carry several types of acrylic rods, a variety of sizes, and can cut the rod to the length you want before they ship off to you. Although they specialize in mass volume sales, they are happy to help a blogger/interior stylist find her perfect acrylic for a DIY curtain rod project.
I selected cellcast acrylic rod, which is the clearest acrylic and better quality, at 1.5 inch diameter. I think anything smaller might be a bit flimsy but I think you can go down to 1.25 or even 1 and be fine. The cellcast rod comes in an 8-ft length, which meant I needed two rods. I asked Nationwide to cut each rod to 5-ft so that the rod extends beyond the window 1 foot on each side. I wanted to balance out the femininity of the Lucite so I opted for something more industrial to help bring my vintage love together with my husband’s modern affinity. Brass flanges and fittings were the perfect choice. You can easily switch this up by sticking to traditional steel flanges and fittings or try it in copper too. Although steel flanges are a bit cheaper, I wanted to forgo spray painting all of the pieces and found brass flanges and fittings for almost the same price as the steel.
The acrylic rods cost about $130 and the flanges and fittings cost about $30 from the local hardware shop. I found my linen curtains at Ikea for $20 a panel so this whole project cost about 10% of the pricier versions I had dreamt of owning.
I must admit, these pictures don’t do this project justice. Every single person who comes into our home stops when they see the curtain rod and asks where we bought it and how much it cost. I mean, who stops to ask about a curtain rod? The project takes about 2 hours to put together and is worth every minute of it.
*check sizes and measurements when ordering. I’ve linked to similar products*
Step One: Dry assemble everything on the floor to make sure all the parts fit, and measure out the spacing between each of the three wall brackets. (Tip: make sure the spacing between the brackets leaves some slack so the Lucite tubes can be slid in after all the plumbing hardware is mounted on the wall.).
Step Two: Measure out the locations for the wall brackets on the wall (Tip: start with the center location).
Step Three: Install the wall anchors and screw in the wall brackets with the nipples pre-installed.
Step Four: Screw in the two elbows and the T-bracket (Tip: Make sure each of the three pieces sticks out from the wall the same distance – even if there might be still be some ability to screw the elbows or brackets in more).
Step Five: Slide in the Lucite tubes – you should be able to butt them all the way into the elbows, but still have slack in the center bracket.
Step Six: Remove the Lucite tubes to add the curtains.