If you're the type of person who prefers to zig when everyone else zags, chances are you're someone who appreciates creative or resourceful alternatives to even the most basic household fixture, such as curtain rods. Discovering nifty, thrifty curtain rod substitutes can make you the innovative member of your social circuit, enforcing your drive to "swim upstream" where the design "water" is full of new, conventional, interesting ideas.

Nice apartment, interior
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Take curtain rod cues from the drapery style; a branch rod goes with nature-inspired drapery, for example.

Artsy Wire Look

As long as cable, wire or monofilament, such as fishing line, is strong enough to hold up your curtain's weight, it can double as a curtain rod. The only other requirement is that you affix the eye hooks through drywall and at least an inch into wall studs to hold the "rod" taut for window treatments that don't sag. The look is artsy and modern, especially with drapes or curtains with grommets, like you'd expect to see in a gallery. Speaking of "gallery," hang your art from ceiling joists near the walls to bolster this hipster, urban-chic vibe.

Nature's Own Rod

A sturdy branch, supported securely on the wall by curtain-rod hardware or appropriate-sized hooks offers rustic elegance. Drape a simple window scarf over the branch, or hang tie-tab-style curtains from it as casual window dressing. Jazz up the branch with twinkle lights for an evening glow that showcases your ingenious style sense, and the fabric below. Mount short, stocky branches as tieback holders to tie into the woodsy look.

Salvage Straight Items

You can use practically any straight, durable item that even remotely resembles a curtain rod as said "rod." Venture out to the garden shed, garage or storage room for ideas. Antique cross-country or downhill skis, vintage rakes, shovels or hoes or old fishing poles, bamboo garden stakes or hockey sticks should get you thinking about whimsical ways to use standard curtain-hanging accessories, or simple lengths of rope as ties on which to hang drapery panels. Even an old snowshoe has curtain rod potential with its open weave ready for hooks or clips.

An Industrial Pipeline

Show your whimsical and ecological side by upcycling a length of old, copper plumbing pipe as a curtain rod, for recycling-idea starters. Alternatively, rigid, galvanized, electrical conduit pipe says, "industrially inspired," especially if you use its elbows to go around corners where two windows meet and its fittings in the wall mounts and as curtain-hanging accessories. Flexible conduit offers you the flexibility to snake the "rod" into a custom design -- hanging curtain loops or ties from the low, even points -- or to wind curtains around curved walls. Spray paint increases your color options, if metal isn't your thing.