Two and a half years ago, when we bought our house, we needed to put curtains up in all the windows. As most new homeowners, our finances were limited, so we bought some white tab topped curtains for all our windows.
That worked for a while, but I wanted a warmer, homier feel to our living room. I borrowed an idea that’s not so new to bloggy land, and I put my own spin on it.
About Drop Cloth Curtains
Let’s face it. Fabric is expensive. Great curtains are expensive. While searching the internet for new curtain ideas, I came across Drop Cloth Curtains. These curtains are made from canvas painter’s drop cloths. I bought mine at Walmart. I picked up four 6′x12′ curtains for under $40. That’s a lot of fabric for the price! (Note: the picture shows a 9×12 foot drop cloth. I changed my mind and used the 6×12 foot cloth).
The beauty of canvas drop cloths is that they’re already hemmed. That means I didn’t have to sew very much. And since I’m not an accomplished seamstress, that was good news for me!
I was thrilled to give drop cloth curtains a try, but I didn’t want plain, beige curtains in my living room. That seemed too drab. So when I saw these great Better Homes and Gardens sheets at Walmart, I decided to use the flat sheet fabric to put a band of color on my drop cloth curtains. Don’t worry. I have plans for the rest of the sheet set, so there will be no fabric waste.
Since the drop cloths were 6 feet across, I bought the full sized sheet set. The full sized flat sheet was wide enough to cut bands for the curtains without having to sew seams.
How to Make Drop Cloth Curtains
When you first take your drop cloths out of the bag, you’ll notice the awful smell. Don’t worry. You can get rid of it. Just wash and dry the drop cloths several times. Use lots of fabric softener. I think I used about 5 sheets each time I dried them.
When your drop cloths are washed, dried, and smelling great, iron them really well. After ironing, they almost take on the look of linen. Set your drop cloths aside, and pull out your bed sheets.
Wash and dry your sheets. Then iron the flat sheet. If you’ll only be using the sheets for four curtains, one full sized flat sheet is plenty of fabric. You don’t need to buy a whole set like I did.
Decide how thick you want your band of fabric to be. Then carefully measure and cut. Or you can do what I did. Since my sheet set has a big regular pattern on it, I used the pattern to make sure I cut straight strips. No measuring necessary. I just cut right through the middle of the diamond pattern. Did I mention I’m lazy about measuring?
When you have your strips cut, fold the edges over about 1/4 inch and iron them. Again, I used the pattern as a guide, but it’s probably best to measure. Set your fabric strips aside.
Pull out your drop cloths and figure out how long you want your curtains to be. In my case, 12 feet was way too long. Instead of cutting and hemming them, I folded the top back 14 inches and ironed a really great crease. That’s the top of the curtain.
Then I measured 6 inches down from the crease and pinned the strip of fabric to the drop cloth. It’s easiest to work on a large surface, like the floor.
I sewed the fabric strips to the drop cloths.
Then I trimmed the ends, folded them around the back side of the drop cloths, and sewed them into place.
Finally, I clipped some Better Homes and Gardens curtain rings to the creased tops of my new drop cloth curtains and hung them on my existing rod. I used the “turn the corner” trick I found at A Soft Place to Land to make my curtains hang correctly.
It only took me one afternoon to make my drop cloth curtains after I had washed the drop cloths. I think they really make my living room look great!
And what am I going to do with the rest of the sheet fabric? You’ll have to wait and see!