(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.