Create swappable car finials with hook-and-loop tape.

How to Make a Hot Wheels Curtain Rod

by Kathy Adams

When it comes to decor in a child or young adult's bedroom, the curtain rod is often overlooked, or may be just a basic rod that does little to add to the room's style. Rather than settling for dull or drab, deck that curtain rod out in Hot Wheels for the toy car enthusiast, young or old. The toy cars need not be the prized pieces from a collection; cars with missing or damaged wheels are ideal, as the pieces will be permanently adhered to the rod finials.

Remove the finals from a curtain rod that fits over the project window.

Push the narrowest end of a wine cork into each end of the curtain rod just far enough to ensure a fit. If the corks are too wide, thin them by carving them slightly with a craft knife. Press each cork into the rod opening after every few cuts to avoid cutting the corks down too much. Set the corks aside once they fit securely in the rod openings.

Sand the curtain rod gently with fine-grit sandpaper to scuff up the existing surface. This will make it more receptive to paint. Wipe the dust away with a soft cloth.

Cover a work area, preferably outdoors, with newspaper. Set the curtain rod and wine corks atop the newspaper.

Shake a can of spray paint as recommended by the instructions on the side of the can. Hold one end of the curtain rod up while spray painting the rest of the rod using smooth, slow sprays from the paint can, rotating the rod slightly as you work. Aim for a thin coat rather than a thick coat that covers completely, as the paint may run if too thick. Use a pencil as support in either end of the rod to paint the ends without painting your hand. Allow paint to dry completely, then paint another coat, if desired.

Press a pencil tip or nail into the narrow end of each cork. Spray paint the corks to match the curtain rod, rotating the pencil or nail to cover the cork without spraying yourself. Allow paint to dry completely, then remove the nails or pencils.

Cut a piece of hook-and-loop tape to fit the wide flat end of each cork using scissors. Trim it a little smaller than the cork so it won't be visible from afar.

Remove the sticky backing and adhere the hook portion of the tape to the flat cork top. Stick the fuzzy piece onto the bottom of a Hot Wheels car, centering it. Repeat the process with the remaining cork and car.

Press the corks and car finials into the open ends of the curtain rod. Remove the cars first if this proves difficult with the cars intact.

Paint a white or glow-in-the-dark dotted line along the length of the curtain rod on the side visible from the room, creating the look of a road. If you prefer the look of a Hot Wheels racetrack, skip the dotted line, as the tracks typically hold one car's width at a time. Set the curtain rod back up over the window once the paint dries.

Items you will need

  • Curtain rod with removable finials
  • Wine corks
  • Craft knife
  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Soft cloth
  • Newspaper
  • Pencils
  • Spray paint in asphalt color, or in shade of your favorite Hot Wheels track
  • 2 nails (optional)
  • 2 or more Hot Wheels cars
  • Hook-and-loop tape with adhesive backing
  • Scissors
  • Acrylic craft paint in bright white, or a glow-in-the-dark white paint (optional)
  • Artist's brush


  • For an over-the-top Hot Wheels window display, attach sticky-backed hook-and-loop tape to the back of flexible Hot Wheels track, then adhere the other portion of the hook-and-loop tape to the windowsill, horizontally, or vertically up the wall, with cars stuck on with additional hook-and-loop tape.
  • Using hook-and-loop tape to secure cars to finial corks means that the cars can be swapped out at any time for a new look.
  • Clip-on curtain rings with large clips can be added to the curtain rod to house additional Hot Wheels cars. Hold the cars to the clips with floral wire and hot glue or with adhesive hooks.


  • Wear a dust mask while spray painting to avoid breathing in the fumes. Spray paint on a non-windy day if painting outdoors for best results.

About the Author

Kathy Adams is an award-winning journalist and freelance writer who traveled the world handling numerous duties for music artists. She writes travel and budgeting tips and destination guides for USA Today, Travelocity and ForRent, among others. She enjoys exploring foreign locales and hiking off the beaten path stateside, snapping pics of wildlife and nature instead of selfies.

Photo Credits

  • Rob Loud/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images