Tuesday, May 22, 2012

DIY Drop Cloth Curtains

I was able to to make each panel for only $12!! Here's how I did it:

First, I purchased 6ft. x 9ft. drop cloths from a home improvement store. Here's what I learned about drop cloths: be sure to examine the colors of each cloth because they vary... some drop cloths were darker than others [which wouldn't matter at all if you were using them correctly!!]. Here's something else I learned: there are two different weights of drop cloths, the heavier fabric cost about $13 each for a 6x9, and the lighter one was $10. I didn't want really heavy curtains so I chose the lighter [and cheaper!] ones. And one more note: I chose to pre-wash and iron them before sewing... I've got three kids and a dog, so there is a really good chance that I'll need to wash these curtains so I didn't want to chance them shrinking after being completed.

Now, onto the actual process! I began with the hem [they are already sewn on the sides... so you can skip that... yea!!!]. I had to shorten mine quite a bit, so I just measured it out and ironed my bottom curtain line into the fabric [all of the material below that line is what needs to be hemmed up.

Because I didn't want a gi-normous hem, I double-folded it... simply take the bottom edge and make it meet your ironed line, then iron down the "new" bottom line [am I making any sense here? it's easy, I promise!].

Here's how it looks when you've got the fabric folded under...

*Sided note: make sure that your edges are lined-up... you don't want them hanging over and looking sloppy [plus that means that your hem is straight, which is a good thing...]

Here's how it looks when it's pinned and ready to sew...

Now, just sew straight across that top edge.

Now it's time to make the pleats for the top... purchase this stuff [I soooo wish I had a name for you, but it comes in a giant roll and you have to have it cut to size like fabric... and I didn't write down the name... sorry, I'm a terrible blogger lady]. Anyway, find it in the drapery section of the fabric store. There are several pleat options, so find the style that will provide your desired look. Purchase enough to span the width of your panel [these are 6ft x 9ft so I purchased 2 yards for each panel]. This stuff is magic... you'll see why soon...

It couldn't be easier to sew. Just line it up with the top of your curtain [another note: drop cloths aren't sewn perfectly... it's ok, I promise] and pin it on.

Then sew it on [top and bottom].

Here's where the magic happens... once it's all sewn on, just pull the little strings and...

Keep pulling... [note: I learned that you should secure the end strings, then begin pulling from the middle first, working your way to the edges.]

And just like that... you've made a pleated curtain!!!! Wow, right?! My sister [thanks Amy!] told me about this stiff, and it's amazing! [Seriously, if it makes ME look like a seamstress then it's a miracle product!]

Now, they are made to be used with rings and hooks, but I used clips [I'll explain why another day...] so apparently you can use either.

And that's what I did! I basically made a couple folds and sewed three straight lines :) Sew simple [I know, cheesy... but I had to!] 

26 comments:

  1. Fabulous job! They look great for being so easy and inexpensive!

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  2. Wow they look great!! I just purchased the $13 drop cloths at HD but didn't see the same size for cheaper. Where did you purchase them? I'm making curtains for my living room too! :)

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    1. Thanks! Hmmm, I purchased mine from HD too, but they had two different weights... Try Lowes as well, I know they have them as well! Good luck :-)

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  3. This is called drapery shirring tape. It comes usually on spools sold by the yard. Good stuff! Love your drapes!

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    1. Thank you, Connie! I didn't even think to ask what it was called... but I love it :-)

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    2. Connie do you think that part HAS to be sewed? I can't sew and was wondering if I could use fabric glue or seeing tape? Do u know if that would work?

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    3. Hmmm, fabric glue might work, I used it on my faux roman shades and it did a great job. My only concern is how well it will stand-up to the shirring tape... If I were you I'd ask someone at the fabric store where you purchase it. And find a grumpy old lady who works there to ask... In my experience I've found that even though they might not smile often they almost always know more than all the other employees :-)

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  4. This weekend HD is running a special on the drop cloths. They have them bundled up 2 for $10. They are the 8 oz weight.

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  5. Fantastic project and tutorial! I love using good ol' dropcloth!

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  6. These look awesome, Connie! I just made drop cloth drapes, too, and hope to post about it soon. Yours look beautiful in your room. Would be super delighted if you could link up with us over at Mop It Up Mondays: http://www.ishouldbemoppingthefloor.com/2012/07/mop-it-up-mondays-24.html.
    Thanks so much!

    {HUGS},
    kristi

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  7. So awesome!! DIYing curtains is the way to go for sure! I recently DIYed some Restoration Hardware knockoff curtains for my soon-to-be son's nursery: http://honeysuckleblog.blogspot.com/2012/06/restoration-hardware-knock-off-curtains.html

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  8. Love the drapes! Thanks for the super simple instructions. Jan

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  9. These turned out great, perfect price too!

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  10. They are gorgeous!! I did that with a drop cloth from Lowes, but yours look CUSTOM. I am sewing challenged, so I just used clip rings to hand them. If they were lined, they would look exactly like my Pottery Barn drapes! You are awesome! :)
    Thanks for showing these.

    Pam (non-blogger)
    pamela19paws@verizon.net

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  11. Looks great nice job! I love the texture in the curtains. I'm a new follower and would love if you followed back at www.iheartpears.blogspot.com

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  12. They look really fantastic! Do you remember how much they shrunk when you washed them? I just bought a couple of the 6' x 9' ones from HD and realized it says actual dimensions are 8'9" on the length. My wall is already about that tall, so too much shrinkage would mean hanging the rod lower than I really want to.

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    1. Thank you! I really don't recall exactly how much they shrank... but I don't think it was very much. If you are concerned about losing too much length, then you could always skip washing them & either do spot washing as needed [like I just did because my sweet little 1 year old used them as a napkin!] or dry clean them. Hope this helps & good luck with your project!!

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  13. Love this! I'm thinking these might be perfect for my office room....thanks for sharing :)

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  14. Perhaps it's because I'm a bit silly...but did the 6' by 9' provide you with enough fabric to make two panels or just the panel? I'm debating on whether to try this method or purchasing something similiar at Target.

    Thanks,
    Dawn

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    1. Hi Dawn! Each 6'x9' drop cloth made one curtain. Each pleat requires fabric, so the 6' width ended up being only around 3' wide... So you will certainly want to use the entire cloth or it would be really skinny!

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  15. OK this is CRAZY clever! and they look fabulous! I am having to make curtains for my entire house.. thinking this project with maybe some stenciling may be super cute in my living room :) I'd love for you to post this project on my new link party! Impatiently Crafted Sundays ;) http://impatientlycrafty.com/2012/10/13/craft-link-up-impatiently-crafted-sundays/

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  16. I love drop cloth, easy to sew and perfect for beginners who wants to sew their own curtains,just like me I guess:-). Thanks for sharing these tutorial.

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  17. I have enjoyed your demo with the shirring material to make your curtains and it appears this shirring would need hung high so not to show the hem in the window. I have used drop cloth to cover the twin mattress on my day bed that i have on my enclosed back porch. It holds up to all the kids and washing every year with no noticeable shrinkage after the first wash which was minimal. I also made pillow cases to match. I do need to add some graphic designs or decorations. I didn't realize there were different weights-good to know. TY for your suggestions.

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