DIY Drop Cloth Curtains with a Twist

by Kimba on June 24, 2010

in Do it yourself

If you read blogs, then you know that drop cloth drapes have been in vogue for well over a year. Now that I’ve jumped on the band-wagon, they’re probably about to go the way of legwarmers, jelly bracelets and giant belts. Oh wait. Those are back in again.

Regardless, I wanted to freshen up the family room for summer and I decided to try out drop cloth curtains because they have a linen-look that’s perfect for the summer. My good-enough silk curtains from last fall felt too heavy.

In case you don’t already know, drop cloths are awesome because they’re already hemmed on all 4 sides. No sewing! It was ridiculously easy to take a pair of 6’x9′ drop cloths from Home Depot ($10 for the pair!), add some trim and turn them into a pair of custom-looking drapes for the family room.

Please forgive the poor photo quality in this post. The pictures were all taken as my old camera was biting the dust. And I’m way too lazy to take them again.

OK friends, the first thing you want to do is wash and partially dry your panels to get out the big creases. Then you need to iron them until you think your arm will fall off. If you can find someone to do this part for you, even better. Thanks mom!

This next part is so easy. Have you tried Heat’n Bond Hem Tape? It’s my not-so-secret DIY weapon. I use it for hemming, or in this case, attaching trim to my drop cloth curtains. I found this trim in the clearance section of the fabric store. Love it!

All I did was use the hem tape and iron the trim right to the top edge of the drop cloth.

Hanging my new drapes was easy too. I folded over the top edge of the curtain (the edge with the trim on it) so that the trim faces into the room. Then I used my trusty ring clips to just grab the folded edge of the fabric. The pictures make more sense.

The folding over technique serves 2 purposes. It makes the curtains look all custom and expensive-like with the trim showing. And it lets you customize the length. If I had higher ceilings, I would have folded over less fabric. Lower ceilings gets you a bigger fold. Make sense?

And that’s it! So crazy easy! The whole thing took less than an hour.

Check out my Good Enough Curtains post to learn about the “Turn the corner trick” so that you’re curtains don’t hang away from the wall too far. A simple trick that makes a big difference.

GAH! The mothership is landing outside my window! #photographyfail

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1 JenT June 24, 2010 at 1:42 pm

I LOVE your trim!! You are so much better than I am b/c when I hung a dropcloth in my bathroom I didn’t iron it! I figured eventually, within a year or two, the wrinkles would steam out! Beautiful job!! Jen

2 Carrie June 24, 2010 at 1:43 pm

If I weren’t making my own curtain rods, curtain rod brackets, and curtain clip rings – my dadjim drop cloth curtains would be up by now! Too bad I’m bound & determined… I’m a glutton for punishment! By the time mine go up, they surely will be “out”! Yours are fab-u-lous!
.-= Carrie´s last blog ..My 100th post… an accomplishment! 🙂 =-.

3 anh June 24, 2010 at 1:46 pm

looks awesome!
.-= anh´s last blog the mood =-.

4 Becca's Dirt June 24, 2010 at 1:52 pm

Girl that is so neat. I never would have thought about drop cloths for curtains. Brilliant. Yours look fabulous. Becca

5 Joy June 24, 2010 at 1:54 pm

What’s not to love about drop cloth curtians, I made a pair for my masterbedroom. I like how you’ve added the trim. They look great and add some summer cheer!
.-= Joy´s last blog ..Create Your Own Wedding Candy Buffet =-.

6 Carmen June 24, 2010 at 1:56 pm

Love these! The trim adds such a nice touch.
.-= Carmen´s last blog ..Veggie Garden & Flowers =-.

7 Kacey June 24, 2010 at 2:18 pm

So pretty and fun! I have drop cloth curtains, but mine aren’t nearly as cool as yours. 🙂

.-= Kacey´s last blog ..Today =-.

8 Amanda @ Serenity Now June 24, 2010 at 2:20 pm

They look great, Kimba! 🙂 I did The Nester’s “Pouf” with my drop cloth curtains, and I loved how they turned out. I ended up buying a 9×12 drop cloth, and I cut them down the center seam to make two panels…so I did have to sew a hem down one very long side, but it was super easy. I bought an extra drop cloth to do some more fun stuff with. 🙂

9 Sarah June 24, 2010 at 2:24 pm

The trim totally makes the curtains super cute! It’s so special. I love that you found it on clearance!

10 Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions June 24, 2010 at 2:29 pm

Love the trim, KImba, and it’s not wimpy either! Great way to add something a little different to the drop cloth curtain look.
.-= Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions´s last blog ..Decorating With ~ Mannequins =-.

11 Kristin June 24, 2010 at 2:29 pm

LOVE this idea!! I think I will try it for my home office!

12 heidi @ wonder woman wannabe June 24, 2010 at 2:32 pm

Looks great – what a nifty idea with the trim and fold combo – it really does liven it up!

I wish my furniture was not the EXACT same color as these drop cloths so I could jump on this bandwagon!

13 Richella June 24, 2010 at 3:07 pm

These are great, Kimba! A wonderful look–and I just LOVE that trim!
.-= Richella´s last blog ..Silver =-.

14 Trish @TheOldPostRoad June 24, 2010 at 3:10 pm

Those look great – the trim is gorgeous!
.-= Trish @TheOldPostRoad´s last blog ..Painted Furniture – Before and After =-.

15 MomLife Today June 24, 2010 at 3:31 pm

This is fabulous! I have been staring at my heavy drapes this week wishing I could afford to change them. With this idea I think I can! Thank you! Blessings, Katie

16 Katie June 24, 2010 at 3:46 pm

Such a great idea!!! All of my windows are looking a little bare — I definitely need some curtains. Will have to try this!

17 Heidi - Heart and Home June 24, 2010 at 3:49 pm

Great job on those curtains. Drop cloths are the best, I’ve used them for roman shades and a slipcover, and curtains to cover storage in our catch-all room. I love how your trim fancies the fabric up! A quick and easy project, perfect for summer.
.-= Heidi – Heart and Home´s last blog ..Heart and Home and A Tuscany Inspired Tablescape =-.

18 randee June 24, 2010 at 3:53 pm

beautiful! i’m working on new toppers for my diy drop cloth curtains for the dining room window. thanks to you, i’ll have to step it up a notch!
(oh, i just remembered. it’s not a competition!, hah!) thanks for sharing such great ideas & keep’em comin’!

19 Pati @ A Crafty Escape June 24, 2010 at 4:15 pm

I absolutely LOVE those! And the last line of your most made me LOL… funny.
.-= Pati @ A Crafty Escape´s last blog ..Bead Crafts =-.

20 kristy Chuhaloff June 24, 2010 at 4:17 pm

Excuse me while I run to Home Depot to get some drop cloth. I am in love with these!!!!!
.-= kristy Chuhaloff´s last blog ..’59 Ford Galaxie Cake =-.

21 Julie June 24, 2010 at 4:23 pm

How do you get them to pleat so nicely? Looks VERY professional. Even with ironing I fear mine would look like, well, dropclothes because I don’t know how to get them to pleat. Do you iron in the pleats? What’s your trick? Looks great!

22 Kimba June 24, 2010 at 4:29 pm

Nope. Didn’t iron the pleats. Just hung them and arranged them so they folded nicely. They definitely looked better after a couple of days and the fabric relaxed a little.

23 Audra June 24, 2010 at 4:48 pm

I love your curtains! The trim is a fabulous idea. I am in the process of making drop cloth curtains for all of the windows throughout my home this summer. Great inspiration-thanks!

24 Melinda June 24, 2010 at 4:53 pm

I think I’m going to have to steal this idea….but where do I find curtain clips? I know nothing about this kind of stuff!

25 Gayle June 24, 2010 at 5:35 pm

Love the drop cloth curtains. I’ve made a few pair myself but never thought of using the curtain itself for the valance and adding trim. ‘Really nice.
.-= Gayle´s last blog ..Breaking Free Recap – Session Three =-.

26 mindy@FromHouseToHome June 24, 2010 at 6:22 pm

I’ve been a long time lurker and this is my first time commenting, but I am in LOVE with your curtains! What a clever idea! I think I’ll have to copy that or try something close to it, they look perfect!
.-= mindy@FromHouseToHome´s last blog ..mantle: walnut-ified. =-.

27 Mrs. S. June 24, 2010 at 7:23 pm

How fabulous!!
.-= Mrs. S.´s last blog ..Fabulous Thursday Five!! =-.

28 Becca June 24, 2010 at 7:42 pm

Yep, these are going in my family room.


29 rebecca June 24, 2010 at 9:07 pm

In a word…BRILLIANT!
.-= rebecca´s last blog ..June 27th EVENT IS CANCELLED…. =-.

30 Donna Grier June 24, 2010 at 9:23 pm

Sweet mercy, these are gorgeous!!!!!!!

31 Nancy June 24, 2010 at 11:00 pm

Thank you. This trick makes me feel better about hanging mine. I don’t have high ceilings and was going to be forced to fold mine over at the top, too. I’ve been hesitant because I thought it would look dorky. Now, with your trim trick, it won’t look goofy. Thanks!

.-= Nancy´s last blog ..Seeing Is Believing =-.

32 Sarah @ Thriftydecorchick June 24, 2010 at 11:20 pm

Kimba, I love them! That trim totally makes them too — love how they hang over. Brilliant!!

33 Emily@decorchick June 24, 2010 at 11:25 pm

Those look great! I need to get on the drop cloth wagon soon. 🙂

34 Maureen@Cottage 960 June 25, 2010 at 12:19 am

Love the trim you used on your curtains. I used drop cloths in my living room, and did the fold over (but without the trim). However, mine have a seam runnng horizontally through them at almost the middle. blech, I hate it. And to add insult to injury, the seams don’t even line up from one panel to the next. I could deal w/a seam running vertically, but the horizontal seam looks terrible. Do your panels have a seam? Are all drop cloths created equally? Help!

35 homesteader @ Little Apartment On The Prairie June 25, 2010 at 1:07 am

I’ve been eyeballing the drop cloth curtain idea. I love this twist.
Such a great & affordable way to make your living space softer.
.-= homesteader @ Little Apartment On The Prairie´s last blog ..What I Found When I Stumbled =-.

36 shelly@familyblt June 25, 2010 at 1:29 am

They came out loverly–think your mom might drop by my humble abode with her iron 😉

37 robyn June 25, 2010 at 8:22 am

GORGEOUS!!!!! I just discovered the fabulousness of drop cloths myself and upholstered a BENCH with a 5 buck plastic back drop cloth! I ADORE your TRIM, it makes it look VERY EXCLUSIVE AND EXPENSIVE! YAY!

38 Jennifer June 25, 2010 at 10:25 am

I’m going to Home Depot today! I’ve been in this house TWO years and still don’t have curtains…don’t have the $$$! This I can do! Thanks for the inspiration!

39 Kim June 25, 2010 at 12:44 pm

Are you freakin’ kidding me? This is awesome….I hope that Home Depot doesn’t run out of drop cloths before I get there……

40 Julia @ Hooked on Houses June 25, 2010 at 12:46 pm

Ooh, these are fabulous! You’d never know they started life as a drop cloth.

Have a great weekend, Kimba! 🙂
.-= Julia @ Hooked on Houses´s last blog ..Jane Fonda’s Loft For Sale in Atlanta =-.

41 Traci June 25, 2010 at 4:30 pm

I absolutely love the way your curtains turned out! The trim detail is perfect! I have drop cloth curtains in my kitchen and den and get compliments on them all the time. I love them. 🙂
I am working this summer and haven’t had much time to blog. Hope you are doing well.
I have a new blog home (compliments of the great Darcy), would love for you to come by and see it. 🙂

42 Heathahlee June 25, 2010 at 5:15 pm

I LOVE THOSE!!! I have had leftover drop cloth material since I did my DIY bedskirt for my then-new bedspread (um…that you have, too. : ) ). This might just inspire me to get it out and iron until my arm falls off. Unless I can convince Sound Man to do it. Heh.
.-= Heathahlee´s last blog ..Hello? Hello? Is this thing on? =-.

43 Dawn Camp June 25, 2010 at 7:38 pm

Kimba! This is awesome. We’ve lived in our house nearly five years, and I’ve never had the extra money for curtains. I think even I can do this. Where do you get the clip things you’re using to hang them?
.-= Dawn Camp´s last blog ..My Baby Isn’t a Baby Anymore =-.

44 Rach June 26, 2010 at 12:15 am

Hi from Dollar Store D’ecor. I am giving you an award. I hope you come over and check it out.
.-= Rach´s last blog ..I Won An Award!!! =-.

45 Becky Ransom June 26, 2010 at 1:00 am

I could not believe my eyes! The drop cloth curtains are drop dead gorgeous! I am going to try to make them this weekend. You have great projects! I’m new to the blogging world and this is my first comment on your blog, but I’m here because of post like yours. Keep up the creative work!

p.s. I’m an artist and drop cloth curtains would be so fitting in my studio!

46 Shilo June 26, 2010 at 5:59 am

Wow, Kimba, those are really beautiful!!

47 Lynn from For Love or Funny June 26, 2010 at 6:53 am

Ta da da ta DAAAAAAAAA! (That’s the mothership trying to communicate with you outside your living room window.) It’s saying, “Nice Curtains!”
.-= Lynn from For Love or Funny´s last blog ..Your embarrassing moment deserves a gift… =-.

48 Queen of the House June 26, 2010 at 10:14 am

I LOVE these!!!!! They look very similar to the muslin curtains that I have in my dining room (that my mother made for me). These are fabulous though, because there is NO sewing involved! Thanks for the great idea! 🙂

49 shay June 26, 2010 at 12:51 pm

They are just Beautiful! LOVE them!

50 Karen June 26, 2010 at 1:45 pm

What a GREAT idea! I actually had not heard of the drop cloth trend. I recently repainted my living room and washed the curtains. Oops – dry clean only. They now stop about three inches above the floor so I have to replace them. This is PERFECT! Off to Home Depot!

51 Nina June 26, 2010 at 7:37 pm

they look great! I have them in my house but never thought to do that

52 Holly June 27, 2010 at 2:13 pm

Hey Kimba! I am going TODAY to buy drop cloths! My husband is going to think I am totally nuts (maybe I am) but the light coming into our bedroom in the morning is dreadful!!! Who complains about a light filled room? Umm ME! =) But I can’t sleep with the sun beaming me in my eyes and I get migraines so I need dark! And I want dark! I am wondering how well these cut out the light???

.-= Holly´s last blog ..I Love You Craig =-.

53 RHoda @ Southern Hospitality June 27, 2010 at 6:44 pm

Hey, Kimba! I love your new drapes, those turned out great. And the trim is the total bomb, that makes them.

54 amanda June 27, 2010 at 11:52 pm

the trim really makes it! great job – they’re beautiful!

55 Jennifer June 28, 2010 at 8:48 am

Did it! Love it! Thanks! (Although I couldn’t find trim as wide as yours, but still LOVE it).

56 Lesley @ The Design File June 28, 2010 at 9:32 am

Hi. These curtains look amazing. I really love them.

I’d love to include them in my Sunday blog roundup next week with a couple photos. If that’s OK, please email me at

Thank you!
.-= Lesley @ The Design File´s last blog ..Elle Decor- All American chic style =-.

57 The Scooper June 29, 2010 at 10:14 am

Love that embellishment. I haven’t done drop cloth curtains yet but I’ve helped 3 neighbors with theirs…does that count? Super cute trim!

58 Amy June 30, 2010 at 9:55 am

I puffy heart love these! Any project that gets around breaking out a sewing machine is a project for me 🙂 xo
.-= Amy´s last blog ..Amy’s Notebook 063010 =-.

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