April 14, 2014

How to Make Drop Cloth Curtains

Jan26

(Kim’s Drop Cloth Curtains)

While I am away, my sweet friend Lynn is sharing one of her frugal successes – How to make drop cloth curtains. I remember when she first asked my advice about making them, and I told her to “go for it.” (Of course, I wasn’t the one doing the work.) Well, they turned out fabulously.

Since my advice is being dished out in baby steps, we’ve concurred the next decorating step will be to add some pops of color to the room, and then remove the ceiling fan, but again, it’s all about baby steps, and her first decorating step was a ginormous one.

Take it away, Lynn…

I am Lynn from Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures. I love to share recipes and kitchen tips with my readers.

I usually stick to writing about food and kitchen life, but today I wanted to share a frugal decorating idea that I recently completed with the help of Jen.

Well, okay I did all the hard work, but Jen was my online/skype decorating consultant. I asked her advice about what she thought of DIY Drop Cloth Curtains, and she loved the idea.

I have a long wall of windows in my kitchen/eating/living room area. It is one big room, and one complete wall is all windows.

I love having all these windows. They let in so much light and provide a beautiful view all year long. The problem though with this many windows is covering them.

We live on 43 acres, so window coverings are actually an option at our house. No one can really see in our windows, because we have no close neighbors.

However, window coverings do help keep heat in during the winter and the bright sun out during the hot summer afternoons. Plus, window coverings add warmth and décor to a room. They make a room homier. So, I like to have something on the windows.

This is how my windows have been covered for the last six years. I have not been happy with them for the last six years, but I had no idea what I wanted to do. When we moved into the house the windows were covered with mini blinds and valances and that is the way they had stayed.

The main reason they stayed this way was due to the high cost. The row of windows is really long and each window is spaced a little bit apart, but not spaced enough apart to put a curtain rod on each window.

The second issue was the windows in my eating area. There are four of them, and two of them are at an angle. The angle makes a normal curtain rod impossible to use.

I have priced curtain rods several times over the years and the cost has always been high. Even on sale, the rods alone for these windows would cost over $500, plus the cost of the curtains. I just could not bring myself to spend that much money for window coverings.

One day, I was discussing, okay well maybe complaining, to my dad about my problem. My dad worked in construction for years, and I was hoping he would have some ideas for my windows.

My dad’s suggestion was to use PVC pipe. He thought it would work great. At first, I was skeptical of this idea, but once I did some online searching, I realized that this was actually a pretty common solution for odd shaped windows.

I decided it was worth trying and made a trip to Lowe’s.

I started in the window covering section to pick out brackets and finials that I liked. I could not find one that I liked, so I decided to buy white ones and paint them. I was going to have to paint the PVC pipe anyway, so why not paint the other pieces to match as well?

Once I found brackets, finials, and curtain rings that I liked, I moved on to the paint department. I choose a paint that looked like metal, but you could really use just about anything here.

I then found the PVC pipe that I needed, along with the joints that would work in the corners of my angled windows.

I came home and lightly sanded all the wooden brackets, and parts. I also lightly sanded the PVC pipe and pieces.


I then spray painted everything.


We then hung the curtain brackets and rods up. And I loved the look of the rods.

I knew that I did not want to spend a lot of money on curtains to hang on my new rods. I had read a post by Kimba, from A Soft Place To Land, about drop cloth curtains. I loved the idea and thought they would work perfectly for my windows.

Here is the final result of my frugal window treatments.

I Love it!


I would like to find some trim to use on my curtains, but have not been able to find something I like yet, but besides that I think they are perfect.

The one thing I would do different, and that I may still do, is coat the rods and brackets better. I should have used a clear coat or finish of some sort as a final coat. In a few places the paint is chipping off, but I think I am the only one that notices.

We also had to add a couple of wooden dowels to the inside of the PVC pipe on the really long window, because the rod started to sag from the weight of the drop cloth curtains, but that was an easy fix.
Now I just need to skype a few more times with Jen and get some help on adding some color to my living room. :)

– Lynn loves to cook and try new recipes. She lives in Oklahoma on 43 acres with her husband and three children. She blogs at Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures, sharing recipes, tips, and ideas to help you blend a love of cooking with a busy life.


Comments

  1. What an excellent solution to your curtain/curtain rod dilemma! I love how it turned out! :)

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  2. How neat! I love how they turned out! I am a huge fan of using PVC pipe and things like it to make pretty, but cheap, fixes for our house too! I am so glad that you were able to find a solution that really works for you and looks so nice!!!

    Nice to meet you!!!!

    Building Home with Him,

    Mary Joy

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  3. What a fantastic change! And those rods do look wonderful. With a finishing coat, I’m sure they would last quite a while.

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  4. I love, love, love these!! What I wonderful idea!! I think I may have just found a new project for myself. Yippee :)

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  5. I have a drop cloth that I made into a bed skirt (which I love, love, LOVE) and have so much left over I can make curtains…thanks for the info on the PVC! That’s a great idea!

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  6. What a great change! I am hoping to make some drop cloth curtains someday, too.

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  7. So pretty-&thrifty &last 4ever! I sooo love canvas dropcloths! I try to hit Harbor Freight (&similar plcs) whenever they have a load of new&on sale! I’ll always need them for something (slips,curtains,u name it) so I keep em “in stock”. ;) And PVC is so cool! I am building trellises for my climbers this spring,cpl arbors for the looong front steps/decking,etc. I was going to spray paint in hammered copper&then a cpl clear coats–do y’all think that would hold up outside? Best part is I can “plant” em in 5gal buckets w/quikcrete & not have to mess w digging below the OH frostline & deal w treated wood&curing crete &…y’know. Build raised beds around the buckets w treated 5/4 & done. But again, love the curtains&PVC rods. Grrrreat!

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  8. I love to have those curtains in my house. It has a simple look but it is such a beauty.

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  9. Oh, I love it, Lynn! I never would have thought to use PVC pipe for curtain rods! I might have to do that in my dining area. And now that I think about it, those drop cloth curtains would look fab in there, too!

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  10. I popped over here and said “HEY! Those my drop cloths!” I’m so glad the provided your inspiration.

    Lynn, I love how yours came out. They look beautiful and you had a great idea for dealing with your curtain rod issue. Brillliant!

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    Lynn Reply:

    Thanks! And thank you for the inspiration to give the drop cloth curtains a try. I love them!

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  11. Lynn~ Love them! I hung the same dropclothes in our home a few years ago for the same reasons. At the time, I hoped they would be temporary, but I loved them so much, and got so many compliments on them, that I kept them. They work great for insulating. I got tired of the clips in our living room, so I sewed a quick pocket in the top for the rod. Love ‘em still, but they don’t slide as well. I got a great deal on hot pressed iron rods, cut to size at the plant. They are cheaper then cold pressed, and they only charged me an extra $5 to cut them all to size. If the paint doesn’t hold, it might be another alternative. I love mine. We have a lot of windows, and have the clips on the rest. I was thinking of the 3 to 4″ burlap with stripes on it for a trim. I don’t know what it’s called, and don’t know how it’d wash…so I haven’t tried it yet, but it seemed bold like the curtains…yet understated at the same time. Does that sound crazy?…I also saw on robomargo.com…that someone had done them with doilies stitched along the bottom. That looked kinda cool too…haven’t tackled the trimming project, though…just some thoughts.

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  12. Beautiful, Lynn! I love all the windows and your country view. :D Enjoy your new curtains!

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    Lynn Reply:

    Thank you! That is the view I see from my kitchen sink and I love it.

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  13. Thanks for writing this up! I too have a PVC pipe curtain rod. My husband thought I was nuts when I was spray-painting it, but then he hadn’t been looking at the prices on extra-long curtain rods. My finials were 75% off at Target, painted to match the pipe and brackets. My first set of curtains on this rod was a set of Pottery Barn panels I bought on Craigslist, but I got tired of the color, resold them on Craigslist, and purchased a different, used set of Pottery Barn panels on Ebay. You are right – dressing windows is awfully expensive. Now my quest is for plantation shutters for that window, to match all the other windows in my house. I’m still trying to understand why the previous homeowners put plantation shutters everywhere except the most visible window. . . . . Has anyone here ever adapted used shutters to a window? I’ve seen blog posts about cutting down 2 inch wood blinds to fit windows , but nothing about plantation shutters.

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  14. pretty neat Job Jen and Lynn….m really glad it came out so well. ….good idea!

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