I can say I am no longer embarrassed by my (lack of real) curtains.
Please excuse the rest of the mess, but hey it’s a start.
As I showed in a previous post I just used conduit as a metal rod and found finials on clearance. I ended up using a wood dowel that I drilled a hole into to hold the finials – 5/8″ dowel fits perfectly into the 1/2″ conduit (which is almost 3/4″ in diameter… if you haven’t figured it out already, don’t assume measurements at the hardware store actually mean what you think they mean.)
The dowel was actually a great option because you could slide the finial on and off the rod after it was screwed to the dowel.
Note: Don’t be surprised if you leave the decorating up to a man and he choose to use old mini blind brackets to hold up curtains…
and now we have curtain rods!
I used the 5ft conduit which gave me about an foot on either side of the window, even with shorter curtains that fall to the base of my frame this helps create the illusion of a bigger room.
Things I learned: If you make hidden tab or back tab panels you may want to add buckram or some kind of stiffener at the top. These look fine but I think they would be even nicer. When I first hung them I did need to “dress” the tops by pulling out the sections of fabric and just making everything look nice. Just after a day this seem to help train the movement of the curtain so the tabs would create a nice cone shape (like a cartridge pleat) when pulled back.