It was a SUPER hot weekend here in Austin, TX. My car’s temperature readings were above 100 every day, and I had the sweat stains to prove it. Which is why I decided it was time to work outside! 🙃 I sure know how to pick winning projects and schedule them at great times, don’t I? Anyway, I got it done so without further ado, scroll down to see how I upgraded our backyard with IKEA curtains for super cheap!
As a reminder, this is wha our backyard looked like before:
My back porch is much more cluttered now than this lovely, clean picture when moving in, but hey…life is a work in progress, right? Basically all that’s changed here is that I slapped an indoor/outdoor rug down, Craigslisted those planters, changed the locks on the door, and threw some party lights up on the beam.
Inspiration and a Problem
I’ve always wanted to hang curtains and layer them with some lovely lights, and even had some leftover from IKEA! I was inspired by basically every backyard pin on Pinterest, but specifically this post. That porch is awesome, ya’ll, and I love the look of the crisp white curtains and the pretty lanterns.
So what did I plan to do about it? Hang some curtains! Only one problem. That’s a big porch, guys. So off to Lowe’s (seriously I should buy stock…I spend so much money there). The expanse in between each post is almost 10 feet, and I didn’t want to pay for a custom curtain rod. So off to the electrical department, where I found some 10 ft galvanized conduit that worked just fine. I also picked up some two sided fasteners, and called it a day and came home. Seriously, the materials were $11.00 even. How can you beat that price?
If you didn’t already have the curtains like I did, you could pick them up from IKEA for cheap. I don’t know about you, but I live an hour and 15 minutes away from the nearest one, which is WAY closer than a lot of people, but still kind of a drive. It’s at least a two-hour trip if I want to pick something up. It’s a little bit more expensive, but IKEA has recently started selling some of their stuff on Amazon. Sometimes the extra cost is worth not having to waste time driving there for one little item! If that doesn’t work out for you, there’s always these from Target, as well as this lovely set that we own in a bunch of colors, and this pair.
Hanging the Conduit
It was a super easy project, but it did require an extra set of hands for a moment or two since I was working up above my head. I first measured where each bracket would go, making sure everything was in alignment. Then I drilled pilot holes using some drill bits and my absolute favorite workhorse electric drill in the whole world and started hanging the brackets. I just used some screws I had laying around, but you can use pretty much any galvanized wood screw you have on hand, as long as the screw head is larger than the opening you’re sending it through.
I put one bracket on each end column, and three fasteners in the middle. Since the two pieces of conduit were meeting in the middle, I knew they would need a little extra support. It looks like one continuous piece now, but it’s actually two. The middle fastener holds both rods, but the ones on either side are what is actually supporting each side.
Once I had my brackets almost all the way in, I asked handy dandy hubby to come help my thread the conduit into the openings. This part was definitely a two man job, but it took all of about three minutes. I could probably have done it by myself, but it would have taken significantly longer. After the conduit was pretty much in the right place, I tightened down all the screws and called the construction part of the project complete.
Here’s how things were looking after I fastened the conduit to the existing columns. I’ll admit, it could use some extra support in the middle, but I’ll get to that if I need to later. This was a quick way to get some prettiness in the backyard, and I’m not too worried about it. There’s no sag, and they seem pretty sturdy.
Hanging the Curtains
Since this is outside, I didn’t want to splurge on pretty hardware. Instead, I looked for something that I knew would be able to take the elements. Cue Target’s bath department. These shower curtain hooks are super inexpensive and easy to use!
The Results: Our Backyard with IKEA Curtains
I snapped the Target shower curtain hooks through the sleeve on the curtains, placed them around the conduit pipe, and hung them. They were a little long (which I knew going into it), so I found some burlap string from a package recently arrived, and tied it around the posts. Just a little tug on the fabric made it bunch up around the string and held it in place. The fact that the curtains were too long worked in my favor! I had plenty of extra fabric to create the look I was going for.
It added a surprising amount of charm to the backyard. I’m going to be hunting for some cheap patio chairs, since we’re nearing the end of the season. I think they would be a nice addition to go around the black metal table we already have. There won’t be a ton of upgrades out here for a little while, but I have dreams. I want to power wash the entire patio, take the rocks from the planters around it and move them to the side yard, plant some greenery, and re-seed the grass. All in due time!
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