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When we lived in an apartment we had two windows, one in each bedroom. We also had sliding glass patio doors, but the hardware for the vertical blinds was so obnoxious a curtain rod would not clear it.
When we moved to our house, complete with 15+ windows, I hardly had any curtains, and certainly not enough matching curtains to finish off a room.
I did a lot of online browsing to get an idea of what I wanted, and even splurged on some panels for my bedroom. But paying $60 per window is not in my budget for every room of the house. Plus, the previous tenants took every curtain rod in the house, so replacing them was also a huge added expense.
I have made curtains in the past, but our house is a bit of a construction zone right now, and adding a sewing project to the mix was the last thing I wanted to do.
One textile we have in spades around the house right now are painting drop cloths. Drop cloths are made out of canvas, neutral colored, and fairly sturdy. And, they don’t need to be hemmed. Perfect for curtains, right?
The room that I decided to use these in is a big, open, front room that I just painted a beautiful gray (Dolphin Fin by Behr). One end is the dining area, and the other is my office. The end that is the dining area has 4 windows, while the office end has none. There is a huge difference in the lighting, so I wanted textiles that were soft enough to pull both ends together.
Drop cloths come in a variety of sizes and shades of canvas, but Walmart is two blocks away from my house, so I bought the only canvas variety they had. They were 9′ x 12’, and I eyeballed the width of the panels I wanted, but you should be able to get 3-4 panels from a drop cloth that size.
I cut the panels with pinking shears to minimize fraying (there was no way I was dragging my sewing machine out to hem these). My final panels were about 83” long and 42” wide.
After I cut them out I got the bright idea to stamp some gold circles on them for some texture. If you lay this out on your table to paint, be aware that the paint may seep through the drop cloth onto the table. Don’t ask me how I know.
Once I got the gold curtain hung, I decided I didn’t like it in the room, so I am saving those for my daughter’s room. It took me about 5 minutes to measure and cut out the curtains, and (with some assistance from my much-taller husband) a few seconds to hang them on rods with drapery clips. It doesn’t get easier than that!
Overall, I am happy with how they turned out, and you can’t beat the price! One drop cloth was about $18, so I paid about the same price for all of the curtains in this room that I did one panel in my bedroom.
I prefer a rugged, shabby look so I didn’t iron my curtains (or even wash and dry them). If you want perfection, I wouldn’t recommend drop cloths. They are irregular, have seams here and there, variations in the fabric … perfect for the french farmhouse look that I love.
I still have a lot of finishes left in this room, like cleaning the fireplace up, adding rugs, oh, and dining chairs. I can’t wait to update you with the finished product in a couple of weeks!
Another plus from my drop cloth curtain project is that I have enough material left over to make a cafew curtain for my kitchen as well. I am going a totally different direction with that one, so stay tuned for a tutorial.
Have you gotten creative with your window coverings? If you try drop cloth curtains I would love to see your results on my Facebook page!