I was desperate for a project and our windows have been looking plain for months. The main reason they had no curtains is because last year the living room was painted, and we added a bookshelf wall.
In doing so, we removed the old blinds and knew there would eventually be a replacement. In this post, I am going to share how I made DIY Drop Cloth Curtains for our living room and dining room for under $100.
Published September 27, 2022
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Why did we need new curtains?
Sometimes I just cannot decide on a style. Or color. Or design. Designing a room is hard when you also have the voices of your loving husband and vocal sons giving their opinions. In the last three years since we moved into our home, there have been many styles of curtains that were used in the living room just to have something on the walls. The boys didn’t like many of them, which I get, but when we took down the old battery guzzling blinds and accidents waiting to happen, we did need something so the family would not get blinded by the sun every time we sat down for dinner.
When we first moved into our new home in 2019, the windows in the living room had battery powered blinds. These were nice, if you liked to buy 24 batteries every four months just to satisfy the blinds. These blinds were also a pale brown, not yet a cream, and more like a greige and that didn’t sit well with my design style. As much as it pained me to do so, they had to be removed as we never used them anyway.
Last year, Tyler built a living room bookshelf where we had to remove the trim around one window to fully install the shelves. Click the link below to see the process on how Tyler used reclaimed materials to make the living room wall into a bookshelf! During that project, the walls were also finally painted to get rid of the greige dirty walls.
If you love DIY, and you have a 90’s brick fireplace that needs an update, check out how I used paint to whitewash our outdated fireplace. This was such a fun project that literally transformed the room! Click the link below to read my blog on how I Updated the 90’s Brick Fireplace.
In the dining room, a set of vertical panel blinds were set over the sliding glass door that leads out to the patio. We have four kids and no desire for them to start living a life of hanging and pulling, thus making giant holes in the wall, so these blinds also had to go. Little did we know, until Tyler removed the hanging rack, that the entire blind system was hung with the pelmet upside down. Go figure.
As it were, it would be another two years before a design was decided on for blinds or curtains in the living room and dining room.
How to pick the right size Drop Cloth
How do you know what length to buy your curtains?
Where do you put the curtain rod?
How high from the window trim should the curtain rod be?
Where should the curtain panels fall by the window?
These were all questions that went through mine and Tyler’s minds as we tried to decide on the placement, and length, of the curtains. I grew up in the 90’s, which didn’t help my design and style. However, as a teen in the early 2000’s, I grew up watching shows that explained how to DIY, home design, and decoration. There is a “general rule” to have curtain rods hung just a few inches above the window trim.
However, we have8-foot ceilings and a semi-vault in the living room and dining room. Because of the ceiling height and style, I decided to place the curtains a few inches below the ceiling and not above the trim. This not only helps to give more height to the room, but also elongates the windows.
We ended up buying Drop Cloths that were 6-foot X 9-foot as the height for the desired poles would rest at 92-inches.
Where did my inspiration come from? I have been seeing these drop cloth curtains on Pinterest and other various social media pages. When I looked at the cost for one panel to buy from Kohl’s, it was $54.99. For one panel. There was no way we could afford this needing four panels with also needing rods. Mind you, the majority of images I have found online had “linen” curtains that were supposed to look like canvas with curtain rings that have clips to clip onto the curtains. Tyler did not want these clips, so I personalized our curtains and sewed them specific to each window. I for sure like this style much better than using clips.
Had I purchased 4 curtain panels that were needed, it would have then cost $183.96, not including the curtain rods.
With the curtain rods, it would be a grand total of $222.60 without taxes included.
Cost for DIY Drop Cloth Curtains
As far as cost go, using drop cloths for curtain panels have to be the cheapest curtains I have ever purchased. Honestly! Unless you want to count the $1/yard fabric curtain panels that I made myself at our old house, then these honestly are still cheaper. In our old house, I made curtains for four windows and a larger bay-style window near the stairs. Each of these had two panels and had custom made rods. Still, these curtains were mainly for style and $1/yard. Even then, I put the rods down from the ceiling and not above the window trim.
6′ X 9′ Drop Cloth $11.64 (X2) Total $23.28
Curtain Rod $12.88 (X3) Total $38.64
The total cost to make curtains for two windows and the sliding patio door was $61.92 (no tax included).
Each panel was 6′ X 9′, and one was cut in half for the two windows. The second panel was left whole.
These Medium Duty Canvas DropCloth by Everbilt were just the right thing for this project. Get your own on Amazon and make your own Drop Cloth Curtains! You can also find these Drop Cloths at Home Depot.
Drill with drill bit and Philips bits
Plastic Bag (to collect the dust)
Steps to minimally sew DIY Drop Cloth Curtains
The first thing I did was wash the drop cloths. They didn’t need to dry completely, so I left them just slightly damp from the dryer. Once they were out, I cut one full panel in half the long way leaving the panel 3-foot by 9-foot. The second panel was left as it was being used for the patio door. Most importantly, I washed the DIY Drop Cloth Curtains in my homemade laundry detergent. Click the link for my blog on how you can also make 5-gallons of liquid laundry detergent for under $6!!
Next, I got out the iron and ironing board and made a quick hem from the cut edges. I set the iron to “linen” and ironed to make sure the hem stays still while I sew.
Now, don’t get me wrong here, I love to sew, but this will not be a sewing blog. I am by no means a professional and I cannot and will not do a “how to sew” demonstration. However, if you do have a sewing machine and have been dying to use it, today is the day! Bust that baby out and just do it!
Once the panels were done, it was then time to put up the rods. Tyler did the patio door one to show me how to do it myself. When we stood back to see where the rods would go, we wanted the rods to be just short of the ceiling with leaving a little above. Tyler found the right amount and length from the trim and then also found the right distance from the ceiling.
Here is a Pro-Tip from Tyler, use a plastic bag and tape it to the wall right below where you are going to drill into drywall. The bag will collect all of the dust thus cutting down on the amount of cleanup! This guy, you all, is brilliant.
Once all of the holes are drilled, then screw in the brackets and attach the rods. Make sure to measure, level and use the proper tools to hang the brackets.
Then, I was able to lay the curtains over the rods to mark where they needed to be sewed. I literally just did one horizontal line across the panel that left room for the curtain rod to go into. That’s it! One single line and the panels were then ready to go onto the rods.
Final DIY Drop Cloth Curtains Result
Finally, placing the DIY Drop Cloth Curtains onto the curtain rods after being sewn was quite a rewarding experience. If you have never done DIY, I highly recommend making something that you can visually see how your skills can grow.
Not too shabby for only $62! Comment below if you have tried to make these DIY Drop Cloth Curtains for yourself.
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