Shower rods, or tension rods, may not come to mind as a DIY tool, but you shouldn’t underestimate their power; there are few things that are more versatile than a shower rod. Not only can you use shower rods in multiply ways, but they are also cheap, install quickly, and are completely removable. There are some great ideas for using shower rods in those awkward, hard-to-fit areas where nothing else seems to work. In addition, they won’t damage walls, cabinets, or closets. Like most people, you probably only thought of using shower rods for their intended purpose, or perhaps for hanging curtains in a pinch, so most of these ideas you may never even thought to consider. Shower rods can do so much more than just hold up your shower curtain! You’ll be surprised at just how many interesting decor tricks and home hacks there are. Here’s 20 ways you never thought of using a shower rod.
1. Window Treatment
We’ll start with the most obvious, which is using a shower rod as a window treatment. However, that is where the obvious ends. You don’t have to use it just as a make-shift curtain rod, although they are perfect for hanging or laying curtains when you don’t want to make holes in your walls or windows. If you want to completely black out your windows or keep curtains from moving, mount another shower rod at the bottom for holding curtains in place. This works best with the smaller shower rods atleast a half an inch in diameter. Remember, the pots, plants, dirt, and water will all combine for a fair amount of weight.
2. Herb Garden
While we’re on the subject of windows, the next idea is a hanging herb garden. Hang a small shower rod mid-way in your window and hang small pots of your favorite herbs. If you have a tall window, you can layer rows. Not only will they provide you with fresh herbs, but they’re make your home smell scrumptious! If you don’t want to grow herbs, however, you can hang any type of plant that loves light. Vines are cool because you can wrap them around the rod at intervals, creating a jungle vibe.
3. Cleaning Supplies
Not only can under-sink storage get messy, but it’s also limited in space, especially in the kitchen if you add in water filtration and garbage disposal parts as well. It’s no wondered just a small space can turn into a cluttered mess in which you can never find what you’re looking for. Here’s a simple solution using a short tension rod: brace the rod across the top of the cabinet, just low enough for clearance. Now you can elevate cleaning supplies such as spray bottles, brushes, and rags. In addition, you’ll know have extra space below the hanging cleaning supplies for whatever can’t be hung like sponges, cans, or whatever you need to place there.
4. Shoe Rack
If you love shoes and are running out of room to store them, use a few shower curtain rods to get the high heels off the floor while making a display for them as well. This is a great trick for using inside your closet and you can hang any shoe with a heel big enough to hook over the rod. It not only looks great, but it also gets shoes off the floor, making much more room, and it makes so much easier to see what you have when it comes time to get dressed and choose a pair.
5. Litter Box Coverage
This idea seems to be quite popular and surely shows someone was “thinking outside the box”!. Give your pet some privacy by putting up a curtain around his/her litter box area. This will hide the litter box while also giving your little guy some privacy. Either under a shelf in the bathroom or remove a panel from a cabinet door and hang a tension rode with something to match the room it’s in or just something plain. Either way, you or your houseguests will never have to see the litter box again (except for changing it, of course!)
6. Vertical Storage
Don’t just consider where you can use a shower rod horizontally, but also vertically! Install one from floor to bottom of shelf, from a table top to the ceiling, or from counter to cabinet bottom. One clever idea is to spray paint the rod (this particular person used copper) and attach drilled plates for holding things. However, you can use any type of container, such as baskets, bowls, or whatever you decide to use. This shower rod idea can be used just about anywhere, such as showers, garages, and pantries. We like the idea of using it on cabinet tops for storing fruit and vegetables.
7. Craft Organization
These adjustable bars are great for those who have lots of craft supplies. Use a shower rod to hang ribbon, tape, wrapping paper, and other such materials. You can also use a combination of a couple of tension rods, using one up high for holding ribbons and tape and one down lower (or two) for placing wrapping paper behind. Then you can place another one in front of the wrapping paper row for gift bags, cards, and tissue paper. This keeps everything nice and organized and craft supplies are where you can find them when you need them. This idea can be used for craft junkies as well as for gift wrapping stations!
8. Skirting the Issue
Sinks which don’t have cabinets underneath can sometimes be unsightly to the eye, showing all that under-sink plumbing and whatnot. Using small tension rods will allow you to add a sink skirt that will not only cover the under parts of the sink, but also add some color and style to your kitchen or bathroom.
This can also be used on pretty tables used as desks to cover all the electrical cords. Just hang curtains on tension rods under the table between the legs. It adds a homey touch and you can use colors to match the room. This also works on antique desks and other types of tables and desks you may use for a work and computer area.
Another way to “skirt the issue” is by using a shower rod to hang a curtain over a doorway that has no door, making impromptu closet doors, or simply screening off an area you want to be private. It’s much cheaper than installing a door and there’s so many options for a tension rod DIY door.
9. Bathtub Toy Organizer
We love this one! It’s so creative and makes cleaning up after bath time a breeze. Simply use a shower rod and rings for hanging small open-mesh or plastic bins or buckets. By placing them right on the side of the tub, it makes it easy for you (or your child) to clean up. You won’t be stepping around toys when it’s your turn and there’s always a place for them. This neat idea also keeps up the clutter, making your bathroom a lot neater. Once your child gets a bit older, you can get them to help put toys away as part of the end of bath time.
10. Photo Display
This is another favorite idea and, again, it’s just so creative. If you want an easy way to show off your photos and be able to switch them out easily whenever you want, all without taking up much needed desk room, simply use a painted tension rod to match your furniture or room. We like using brass paint for the old-timey look. Then add shower hooks with clips to the rod for pics to hang from and you’ve got an easy way of display pics that is also easily moved out of the way or switched out with newer pictures. In addition, the clips can also hold other types of mementos as well. (This idea is for desks with a top shelf, but you may be able to think of another way of using it.)
While we’re talking about desks, you may have an open desk that needs separators for folders or important papers you need to keep, such as the title to your car. Short, small tension rods are great for organizing your desk drawer by converting a regular drawer into file storage.
11. Pot Lids, Cookie Sheet, and Cutting Boards
If your have found you’re having trouble making your pot lids, cookie sheets, and cutting boards fit in your cabinets or you simply just want to free up more space, using shower rods in order for these items to sit up vertically will do the trick. If it always seems like the cookie sheet you need is at the bottom of the stack, change the stack to vertical! Remove shelves and replace them with several tension rods from cabinet ceiling to floor and you now have several vertical storage cubicles for items such as cookie sheets and cutting boards.
Another way to use tension rods for making extra space is by mounting them on the inside of your cabinet doors for holding pot lids. Not only does this free up more space, but you’ll also never have to search for a particular lid again. You can also use them in cabinets for storing plastic lids as well.
12. Custom Bedskirt
Whether you want a custom bedskirt or a matching dust ruffle, using shower rods to hang them under your bed frame is both quick and easy. Furthermore, if you decide to use different colors, this is easier to change than those that go under your mattress. Simply hang a valance, either one you buy or one you make, for a makeshift bedskirt.
These are also perfect for both kids’ rooms and dorms. Use tension rods to hang curtains on a bunk bed or high lofted bed to hide whatever is behind it.
Another way of using tension rods for the bed is for hanging a canopy if you have a bed with high posts or frame. This makes a bed so cozy and gives it that cottage-style feel.
13. Bookshelf Shades
The way curtains can be used for open storage solutions, they can also be used the same way on bookshelves. Simply use a tension rod with your choice of fabric, either something fun or that matches your furniture. It’s quick and easy and makes a decorating statement while hiding clutter behind them. Bookcases are great, but sometimes they get too cluttered. This clever idea keeps clutter to a minimum while make a decorative statement everyone will notice.
14. Added Clothing Storage
This generally works better in children’s room where you can place a small dresser or shelf inside their closet and hang a shower rod from the side of the dresser to the opposite wall, making another place for hanging clothes. However, as children grow, there may not be enough room. However, there are other ways to used tension rods for making extra clothing storage. Use a standard shelf or chest and bracket both sides with rods against the opposites walls if you don’t mind having your clothes hanging opening. If you have an old bookcase with missing shelves, take the rest of the shelves out and replace with shower rod(s) and you have a makeshift closet.
15. Table Art
A small shower rod mounted under a small art table or the kitchen table is perfect for holding a roll of art paper. When it’s time for painting or coloring, simply roll a piece of paper out and over the table. When it’s not in use, it stays hidden. This can give children (and adults) hours of entertainment. Keep a box of crayons, markers, and/or coloring pencils nearby so it’s always a handy distraction. If you have several children, mount one at each place seating or chair. Get the whole family in on it! This will give you the opportunity to spend time with your children while promoting their creativity.
16. Jewelry Hanger
If you don’t ever seem to have enough room for storing your jewelry, make more room by using tension rods. They’re perfect for hanging all kinds of jewelry on and you can paint them any color to match either your furniture or your bedding. In addition, this keeps all your necklaces and bracelets from becoming tangled. Plus, it allows you to easily find pieces instead of having to search several places when getting ready.
You can also use this idea for hanging scarves. We like to use several shower rods, one right under another, so we can loop the scarves back and forth to make a cool pattern when they’re not in use. Again, this keeps your scarves from getting lost; you can always find the one you’re looking for. It also helps to keep them in the best condition, preventing nicks and snags.
17. Show Your Holiday Spirit
A tension rod can be the perfect way to show your holiday spirit or support your favorite team. Simply use a shower rod to hang holiday decoration in your window(s). You can take them down easily and change them whenever you want to. Celebrate each holiday with a unique window hanging like a Fourth of July bunting or a sports team’s flag. There’s no end to how this creative trick can be used!
18. Paper Towel Holders
If you don’t want your paper towels hanging out on your kitchen counter or on top of the fridge, store them in a cabinet using a small tension rod. This will help take up less counter space while keeping it easily accessible.
Another cool kitchen hack for tension rods is installing one in your spice cabinet for elevating smaller bottles and cans so you can see them better! It also takes advantage of vertical space that is often wasted in spice cabinets because they do tend to be small containers. Utilizing a shower rod in your spice cabinet will add space you can keep your flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and other like products in for baking and cooking, having them all in the same place.
19. Outdoor Cafe
Give your kitchen outdoor cafe charm by adding a tension rode out in front of your original curtain rod, about a foot or so down, the length is up to you, and then drape an old valance over the second rod, giving your kitchen a whole new look with an old timey outdoor cafe feel. It’s little things like this that can actually give your kitchen a new feel and look.
20. Stain Drying Rack
This tip may actually save your life! In the DIY community, wiping stain is one of the most common types of wood stain. It’s easy and quick and they have great results. However, they do result in a bunch of stained rags which need to be disposed of properly. These rags need to be spread out to dry because the heat which is generated as they dry can cause them to catch on fire. If they are in a wadded up mess with no way for the heat to escape, the heat continues to rise, trapping oxygen in the rags, and before you know it, the whole pile goes up in flames, possibly taking your home with them.
We don’t want that to happen, so we including this neat hack in our list. Simply used a few shower rods to hang stained rags on to dry adequately before disposing of them properly. Be safe!
There are plenty more shower and tension rods ideas, but we’ve definitely given you an idea of all the ways they can be used. Now you can come up with your own ways of using them, such as a portable drying rod for when you’re away from home and/or weather doesn’t permit hanging clothing outside to dry. There’s just so many ways to use these handy rods. Be sure to try out some of our ideas and see how easy it is!