Cheapest DIY Drop Cloth curtains EVER
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You might have seen these drop cloth curtains on your Pinterest feed like I see on mine almost every time I’m browsing. They have gained in popularity quickly and are a great alternative to the normal curtains you might usually put up.
For those of you that don’t know drop cloth is actually what painters use to cover the floors in the event of splattering or accidents. It’s a heavy thick material and can be found at pretty much any hardware store and online and comes in many different sizes.
Whoever first thought of using a drop cloth as a curtain was a genius. Drop cloth is a neutral color that can look great in a lot of different style homes. I tend to see them a lot in farmhouse style houses. There’s something about the heavy imperfect fabric that blends well with farmhouse styles and provides the perfect amount of rustic touch.
One of the main reasons why I think it gained in popularity so quickly is its cost in comparison to traditional curtains. In stores, a single panel can easily be $20 and that’s at places like target, where the quality isn’t spectacular to begin with, not bad but not great. Depending on how many windows you need to cover, it is easy to spend hundreds of dollars on some fabric with some holes on one side.
Even so, the panels are never very long. I like my curtains to hit the floor and gather a little too on the bottom, it gives it a classic look that I love, but it’s always been hard if not impossible for me to find panels that actually reach that length. Which is odd when you think about it because when looking through photos that I’ve saved in my Pinterest that inspire me the drapes in the photos always hit the floor. Every other length looks awkward to me but that’s just my opinion.
Needless to say, I absolutely fell in love with drop cloth curtains when they started to become a thing and I decided to give them a try in my own home.
I read several posts on making them and overall there wasn’t much of a process of creating this look, but I had a little problem…
At the time I was living in this adorable Victorian house with a ton of windows and 11+ high foot ceilings, this meant I needed to get some pretty long drop cloth and a lot of it if I were to cover all the window. I was also swimming in money at this point, so every purchase needed to be intentional. While drop cloth is a cheaper alternative, the cost can still add up.
I started looking through the different lengths online, and I realized that finding a size to cover the height was not really going to be a problem, but there was way more width than I needed, so I tried to think of how I could get the most bang for my buck and came up with a solution.
I’m going to share my method with you guys, it is by far the cheapest way to make drop cloth curtains that I have found compared to other posts and still covered all my windows. My curtains ended up costing around $70 and I had enough fabric to cover my living room dining room and bedroom.
- 3 9 x 12 All Purpose Canvas Cotton Drop Cloth
- 2 or 3 2-inch, Set of 30 Metal Curtain Rings with Clips and Eyelets – Black (Also known as Curtain clip rings / Drapery Rings / Curtain ring hooks with clips / Drapery Clip Rings)
- Clover 4031CV Fusible Bias Tape Web, 5mm (for no-sew option)
- Pen or Pencil
Like I said drop cloth comes in a range of sizes and what you’ll want to do is figure out how many panels you’ll need total and how much extra fabric you want to hit the floor and how long you want the top lip to be. I have the top lip of my curtains about 91/2 inches long.
I needed 12 panels total and I wanted each panel to be wide enough so that when the curtains were pulled out at night the fabric didn’t lay completely straight, but had a few waves in it. I figured out the width I needed by measuring the width of the window and dividing it by two and adding about 12 inches.
This calculation will be different for you because not all windows are the same size. Just remember it’s not at all a science, there’s no magic number just try to visualize what you think will look nice and go from there.
So after you calculate the height you’ll need to include the lip and the amount of gathering at the bottom in your calculation, then you need to calculate how wide you’ll need each panel to be. After that you can add how many inches wide in the fabric you’ll need in total. From there you can find what size drop cloth will get you the most panels and how many drop cloths you’ll need.
I ended up choosing an 11ft by 8ft 6in or something like that. It allowed me to get 4 panels from each one and I bought 3 drop cloths in total.
After you figure out how many panels you need to fold the drop cloth into as many panels you need, fold each crease and iron it down. From here you’re going to cut each one down every crease. When you’re done cutting you should be left with the number of panels you need for all windows. Fold over the top lip to the number of inches you have decided.
The Drop cloth will be pretty wrinkled, to smooth it out take a squirt bottle and dampen the panels and then iron each one as best you can.
You’ll now have exposed edges on each panel where you cut. If left alone the edges will fray over time and not look as clean. Don’t worry though there are two options to fix this. One is to pin and sew each frayed side. If you don’t know how to sew or don’t want to get to the trouble there is a lazy option. It’s called Fusible Bias Tape and all you have to do is place it along the side of your drop cloth half in an inch or so away from the edge and then fold the remaining edge over the tape and iron, super simple.
After this you’re almost done, take the clip on drapery rings and attach the clips evenly apart. There you have it, no-sew drop cloth curtains!!
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