DIY Bamboo Curtain Rods

Since we are running headlong into seasons of warmer weather, I am going to be turning my attention from the inside of my home to the outside where I can play in the sun, breeze and dirt!

We've got our work cut out for us with projects ranging from a new terraced veggie patch out front to installing a slate walkway to designing an outdoor potting area, not to mention the fact that we will be "farming" over in a friend's full-sun yard this summer because of my 'mostly shade' one.

While the mornings are still a chilly 40˚ and the soil in the new garden bed is resting after last weeks tilling and while the sweet potato slips are sunning in the window yet to be submerged in earth, I have a few indoor tasks left to tackle.

Indoor Task Area #1: The Living Room

     1. Revamp window dressings
     2. Lay new area rug + restyle room
     3. Make/Purchase new art
     4. Hang new art
     5. Create wood shelf for radiator

Let's just take a stab at #1 shall we? That, below, is what my current window dressings look like: ivory scrim fabric draped over a found birch branch, hung via mono-filament.

Creative, sure. Inexpensive, you bet (Total cost $0). But this is just not cutting it for me anymore. I actually like the curtain material and the price. I even like the rustic feel of the rod, but I have to get onto a step stool to open or close the curtains. I never hemmed them, so I'm afraid to wash them in fear of shredding them to bits. Naturally they are covered in years of dust! YUCK.

I am not ashamed at my ill attempt at decorating on a shoestring. I've actually received compliments on the use of found materials in my decor style. In honesty, this was just a quick and super cheap alternative when I moved in five years ago, when I was self-employed and just getting by. But, I'll admit, it is time for my window dressings to grow up! I just don't want to pay an arm and a leg and another arm for good style...And you don't have to!

A few weeks back I purchased some curtain tie-backs and clips from Tuesday Morning which were priced 66% below retail. This week I found a thick piece of previously foraged and cut bamboo lying around (It seems to grow everywhere around here) and stained it a mix of Bombay Mahogany and black acrylic paint to match (Thanks Lynn!). I hung the tiebacks as the rod supports on one of the windows just to try it out and voila!

I think that is a vast improvement, don't you? Total cost? A real bargain at only $25 per window and it rivals any pottery barn look. See detailed breakdown at the end of this post.

(Now for all you interior decorators out there, let me just give a slight disclaimer. I am a renter; I am not allowed to paint or put screws of any kind into the plaster walls. I know how to hang curtains the right way; I'm just limited by 1. my lease and protective landlord, and 2. the height of my step ladder.)

The rest of the bamboo is curing and won't be ready for several months (bummer). In the meantime I did, however, wash the curtains and lay out the new rug. This handmade jute beauty I bought from RugsUSA.com for a mere $99 fits much better in the space than my smaller estate-sale oriental. And to my surprise, the curtains did not shred in the laundry machine, or knot together, but came out much softer with a tighter weave! I'll hem them eventually...

Tasks #1 (part 1 of 3) and #2 complete!

Total cost breakdown per window (x 3 windows):
bamboo - free
stain, borrowed from neighbor - free
paint, on hand - free
curtains - free
tiebacks - $9.99 for 2 ($30)
clip rings - $14.99 for 14 ($45)
Total project cost - $75
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