Tuesday, August 10, 2010

$20 Drop Cloth Drapes

While Dan was installing light fixtures this weekend, I decided to tackle my Lowe's drop cloths drape project.

I didn't realize the drop cloths had horizontal seams halfway down — but I don't mind them so bad.

The look I was trying to replicate:

This particular photos is from The Lettered Cottage.

The process:
  • Iron the drop cloth (using steam) to eliminate deep wrinkles that could impact cutting or measuring.
  • Cut to desired width and length, keeping in mind that your hem will reduce your final length and width by about an inch. I made each panel about 27 inches wide* by 7 feet, 2 inches tall.
  • Fold over hem twice (ironing each time), about 3/4 inch (pin if you're an amateur like I am).
  • Use your sewing machine (regular stitch) to hem the edge, removing the pins before you get to them so you don't break your needle.
  • Hand sew the really thick folds so you don't break your needle (or your sewing machine).
  • Total time for two windows: about 3.5 to 4 hours (maybe 1.25 hours for the first one, then 30 minutes per "panel" after I got the hang of it).
What went well:
  • Only having to sew on two sides! The drop cloths come pre-hemmed but I had to make mine narrower and shorter than the original drop cloth (6 by 9 feet) because the windows I was working with were 36 inches wide — and about 7 feet off the ground.
  • The price. How can you beat $10 per package? I used two packages, cutting out two 27-inch panels per package. (Curtain rods were about $21 each plus shipping on eBay. Seller is Browns Linens).
  • Using curtain hooks — so easy.
  • The clean finished look. Dan commented that he likes the minimalist look of the new drapes.
  • In general, this is a great first project for someone who's never done drapes before (inexpensive materials, simple sewing). I would recommend giving it a shot. I know my learnings here will help me with sewing our master bedroom curtains.
If I were to do it all over again (which I might since the materials are less than $20)
  • Get needles made for sewing heavy duty fabric (I broke two needles over the course of my sewing).
  • Be more cautious about the lenth. These ended up about 1.5 inches off the floor. I wish they were a half inch off the floor.
  • *Think deeply about the width. See how The Lettered Cottage's curtains have nice pleats and folds? It's because the panels are wider than the curtain rod. I made mine just as wide as the curtain rod (which I regret).
  • Consider getting a double curtain rod so you can hang an airy/light fabric behind the drop cloth curtains (like what's shown in the Lettered Cottage photo above)
Any other questions? E-mail me at lifefulfilledatl@gmail.com.


Vica said...

They look great! Can't beat cost effective window treatments.

Erica said...

What a great idea, mami. I feel like those would make good shower curtains, too (with a liner obviously). Couldn't you get some pleat action by adding another panel to the rod?


Kb_Mal said...

Thanks, Vica!

E - I will have to think about that! Sewing another panel per window may be quicker than sewing two panels per window. :)

Anonymous said...

It looks great! Ever since your first post about the drop cloth curtains I've been anxiously awaiting your project! And I must admit I may have to copy you :)

Kb_Mal said...

PLT, you should definitely try out this project. Simple and inexpensive!

Lindsay said...

I bought a set of drop cloths to do this for our bedroom after you first posted this, and these directions will help a lot! Thanks! Also you could sew/glue some ribbon of a coordinated color across the seam.