Easy No Sew Drop Cloth Curtains WITH PLEATS!

Hello all,

I hope you had a great weekend.  I have an exciting project to share with you today that I finished right before our son's birthday party but haven't had time to share until now.

New drapes!!!

Along the back wall of our kitchen nook, we have 2 sets of double windows that face west.  So every afternoon around 4, the sun sets directly into our house and heats up the living room and kitchen several degrees.  In the summer time it gets VERY warm and even though we have blinds covering the windows, curtains are absolutely necessary to block the sun and heat.  I have tried several different drapery options on these windows, all of which I HATED.  The windows are such an awkward size!  They are too big for the traditional 96-108" pre-made curtains from my favorite stores (TJ MAXX, HomeGoods, Target, Pottery Barn) and it would be way too expensive to have custom drapes made to fit!  But FINALLY I found something that works perfectly, is very inexpensive, and super easy to install!   I haven't been this excited about window treatments ever in my life!!!!!!!!!!!
 I owe it all to my friend Bridget.  She showed me how to make the BEST looking and cheapest curtains I have ever owned, out of painters drop cloth!

I first saw them when I went over to her house one day because my husband needed to help her husband move something and I noticed she had new drapes in her living room.  They looked AMAZING, custom, and expensive...

I asked her where she bought them from and she said she made them.  I was immediately discouraged because I knew for sure that meant she sewed them herself because of the pleats at the top.  WRONG!  She told me she made them out of painter's drop cloth from Home Depot for $20 a panel and didn't have to sew one stitch!!!!!!  For those of you who have never seen drop cloth up close, it looks like raw linen fabric.  Drop cloth is sold in pre-made sheets of different sizes with a hem already sewn around all 4 sides.  Bridget bought 3 sheets of drop cloth to make 3 different panels for her windows.  She folded the fabric together at the top and secured them with curtain rod clips to make them look like custom pleats, then she stenciled each panel with an inexpensive stencil, some gold fabric paint, and a small roll brush!  I was in complete awe!  They were the best looking curtains I had seen in a long time and I coincidentally happened to be in the market for new drapes.
Here are some more pictures of her drop cloth drapes with sources...

See the pleats at the top? They look sewn together!

This is a close up of her stenciling work.
She purchased the stencil from Michael's.
The gold paint that she used is called  Elegant Finish Metallic Paint by Decor Art from Hobby Lobby and she applied it to the fabric using a small roll brush from Home Depot.   
She left the length extra long so she could make a "puddle" at the bottom.  They look so good like this on her wood floors!  The puddle gives each panel a much more dramatic look than a traditional hem that sits right at the base of the wall.  Again, she didn't have to sew a hem, she just tucked the already sewn hem under and kind of scrunched the bottom to sit nicely on the floor.  

You can see in this picture how she clipped the fabric together to look like it has pleats sewn at the top. 
LOVE the linen look of this drop cloth fabric!  It really looks great with gold! 

So, I immediately dropped everything and went to Home Depot to buy the right size drop cloth for my windows.  I came home with 4 sheets of the 9x12 sheets of canvas drop cloth by Everbilt for $20 each.

This would allow for 2 panels per window.  *sidenote-I am SO glad I got 4 sheets instead of 2 like I had originally planned because after folding the fabric to make the pleats, the width of the panel is pretty much cut in half.  So, if you decide to install drop cloth curtains and you want them to have pleats at the top, make sure you account for the fact that the pleats are going to cut your original drop cloth width in half.  

So when I first took them out of the package, they were very stiff and a little wrinkly, but after I got them hanging up on the clips the wrinkles started to straighten out.  It took a few weeks of them hanging up before all of the wrinkles went away.  To expedite this process you could probably iron, steam, or wash them but I didn't have time to even look into this.

Ok so for the fun part...

  To make the faux pleats in the top, I made 2 -2 1/2 inch folds like this and put them together...

 Then I secured the 2 folds with a curtain clip ...

My finished panel with no-sew pleats...

 I forgot to mention that this project was going on at the same time we were having the kitchen cabinets, all of our hallways, living room, dinning room, entry way, and kitchen nook repainted!  Things were very crazy and the last thing I needed to be doing was taking on another project but I had to get something on the windows because they looked so bare and awful!  I told myself that after the party I would stencil them like Bridget did, but now that our walls are a different color (Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore) and I have the new drop cloth drapes hanging, I kind of like them plain!?  They look like linen drapes without the stenciling...

I decided to go with the same "puddle" idea that Bridget used.  I cut off a few inches of remaining fabric at the bottom and then tucked it under to leave this puddle look.  

I may decide later to go back and paint a solid French Linen/gray or Paris Gray color below the seam you can see here in this picture.  Or maybe I'll do an ikat stencil in one of these 2 Annie Sloan colors?  I'm not sure but the good news is, I have drapes and if I mess them up, they were only $20 and totally replaceable because Home Depot keeps their drop cloth in stock all the time!  So I don't have to worry about the fabric being discontinued or not being able to find another matching panel!  Also, if something spills on them I can totally throw them in the washing machine!!!!

 And one last time...

Drop cloth curtains with no-sew pleats......easy, inexpensive, and custom looking!!!  I can't tell you how many people came up to me at our son's birthday party and asked me "where did you find curtains that long?" "did you have those custom made for the extra length?"  "where did you find your fabric for your curtains?" "who made your new curtains?"!!!!!!  It was funny to see the looks on people's faces when I told them they were made from painter's drop cloth from Home Depot!

If you make some drapes out of drop cloth send me a picture or post to our Lemons to Lovelys Facebook wall.  

Remember, when life hands you lemons, turn them into something lovely!

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,