Learn how to make dIY No-sew drop cloth curtains
Hi! We’re Jodie & Julie, The Design Twins. We’re so glad you’re here. In this DIY post we’re going to show you how to make no-sew drop cloth curtains that are easy, inexpensive and shockingly beautiful. They create a neutral, finished look to your windows.
Curtains are ALWAYS a great idea, but this is a great project if you want to dramatically change or impact the look of your room on a budget. For about $10 per panel, $20 per window, plus hardware you can have new curtains. And the best news? You don’t even need to sew. Read these simple steps, and we’ll show you how to make fabulous no sew drop cloth curtains.
- Drop Cloth Curtain Blog Update
- Materials to Make DIY Drop Cloth Curtains with a Twist
- 5 Easy Steps to Make No-Sew Drop Cloth Curtains
- Step 1. Iron or steam your drop cloth curtain panels.
- Step 2. Measure.
- Step 3. Hem your panels.
- Step 4: Attach your hanging clips.
- Step 5: Hang your panels.
- Should I wash my drop cloths before ironing?
- How sheer are the drop cloths? Do I need to add blackout liners to my drop cloth curtains?
- Make No-Sew Drop Cloth Curtains: The Results
Drop Cloth Curtain Blog Update
Well, It’s been about five years since we made our first drop cloth curtains. But, we’ve made more since then and learned a few things that we can’t wait to share with you.
Option 1 (below)
This option involves hemming with a glue gun.
Option 2 (new)
Option 2 allows you to SKIP the hemming and the glue gun step altogether. Instead of hemming the bottom we left the bottom alone and left the existing hem. We measured for the height of the panel but just folded the top over (fold on the inside) and clipped it.
Materials to Make DIY Drop Cloth Curtains with a Twist
Below you’ll find a few affiliate links for your shopping convenience. Simply click on the photos to be taken to shop/purchase options.
- Canvas Drop Cloth, 9′ x 12′(I cut this and made it into two 9’x5’ drop cloths per window). Optionally you can buy 9′ x 6′ drop cloths and you won’t have to cut. This will give you hemmed edges all around.
- Best Drop Cloth Brands for Curtains: Chicago Canvas & Supply
- Glue gun
- Measuring Tape
- Iron & Ironing board
- Rod, Brackets & Finials (we used 1.5” diameter)
- Hanging clips (approx. 10 per panel, 20 per window)
- Electric drill and electric screw driver will make things much easier
Love this reliable drill and perfect size set. It has everything you need and nothing you don’t.
And if you don’t have the time or energy to make your own drop cloth curtains, you can buy your own. You can find crop cloth curtains for sale on Etsy and Kohl’s.
5 Easy Steps to Make No-Sew Drop Cloth Curtains
Ok, so you’ve gathered all of your materials and tools and you’re ready to start. We hope you have a good movie or TV series you can watch because you are going to spend most of your time with this first step.
Step 1. Iron or steam your drop cloth curtain panels.
Ugh! Julie and I really hate to iron. But we just focused on the end result and made it through. Afterwards, lay them out carefully so they don’t wrinkle. Hate to iron? This might be a good time to invest in a quality steamer.
Our Favorite Steamer
We both had expensive large standing steamers but they were heavy, awkward, and needed a lot of descaling on a regular basis to maintain. This Rowenta hand-held steamer is a God-send. Julie found it first, and sold me on it. Now, we recommend it to all our friends, and that includes YOU.
Step 2. Measure.
Next, you’ll need to measure your window and determine how long you want your panel.
Designer Tip: To make your room appear bigger and your ceilings higher, hang your curtains above your windows closer to the ceiling.
Step 3. Hem your panels.
You will want to fold over the top edge at least three inches or so for a hem. Iron this hem. Once this hem is ironed, bring the panel back down and lay on the floor so you can hem using the glue gun. If you are using regular hot glue like we did you will want to use the smallest amount possible to minimize any visible glue seeping through and creating a mark on the other side. We used just a small dab every 5-8”. That was plenty to secure the hem without any problems.
The bottom hem of your drop cloth curtains is more critical because this has to be carefully measured to create the length of panel that you want for your window. We had a lot of trial and error getting the measurements accurate and ended up with the first couple of panels much shorter than we wanted. Luckily there was plenty of opportunity for practice, which eventually made perfect.
Note: You may notice that the drop cloth curtain panel are not always cut square and level on each edge so you will need to measure from top to bottom, not just from the hemming edge.
Step 4: Attach your hanging clips.
We used about 8-10 clips per panel spaced approximately 8-10″ apart.
Step 5: Hang your panels.
You have already decided the height of your panels. Now you need to determine how close you want to hang your curtains in relation to the actual window.
Note: If you have space you may want to hang your drop cloth curtains further outside the window so the panels can hang and not block the actual window. Something else to consider at this moment is how functional you want your panels to be. Do you need to be able to close them in order to block light or create privacy? I have blinds on all my windows already so my curtains were solely for decor.
First, double check the height of the curtains before marking the height on the wall. Then mark the horizontal spot so you know where you will be attaching your brackets. For this step we used an electric drill and electric screw driver.
Note: Here’s where you can learn from our mistake. If you are hanging your rod close to the wall, don’t forget to leave room for your finials. These will be going on the outside of your brackets.
Should I wash my drop cloths before ironing?
This is a personal preference. We did NOT wash ahead of time because we preferred the stiff, crisp texture of the drop cloth material.
If you want to wash them ahead of time note that the material will soften some. Some people want this look. We’ve heard that they are easier to iron after they have been washed. We have also heard mixed opinions on whether to dry them or not. If you do want to dry them maybe just damp dry them and remove promptly.
There is also an entirely different look that is more of a rustic-farmhouse look and this look involves washing and drying and no ironing at all. Think of it along the lines of how we have come to love chipped paint on a vintage dresser and rust on a vintage scale. As I said, it’s a personal preference.
Another reason to wash your drop cloths. Some people don’t like the smell. They don’t smell great when ironing but other than that I have never smelled anything.
How sheer are the drop cloths? Do I need to add blackout liners to my drop cloth curtains?
The drop cloth material is quite thick and blocks the light quite nicely. However, they are not 100% opaque. They are thicker than most retail curtains, but if you really need the light blackened you may need to add a blackout liner.
Make No-Sew Drop Cloth Curtains: The Results
There you go! Now you too know how to make easy no-sew drop cloth curtains.
These curtains TOTALLY transformed our home. Once we completed the “wall-o’curtains” as we affectionately refer to it, we just kept on going. We started with the wall in the great room which connects to the kitchen and our main living space. Because you can even see it from the front hall when you walk in the house it really changed the whole living space. My husband was so excited (with the look and the huge bang for your buck) that he gladly ok’d additional windows. From there, we headed to the dining room. And then the second living room. We still have the guest bedroom, so stay tuned.
Be sure to check out our other DIY projects and budget decorating tips for more easy and inexpensive ways to update your home. Here are just a few reader favorites: