Saturday, June 16, 2012

DIY: Canvas Dropcloth Curtains

I have been thinking of replacing the short ugly drapes in our guest bedroom for a while now, and there was no better time to do it than now, when my Dad was visiting. I looked at all sorts of fabrics for it. But whatever I liked, cost so much. The length I wanted was the main factor contributing to the high cost. So after weeks of deciding, my husband finally put this question to me one night: Do you really want to spend so much($$$$) on drapes for a room that would be used occasionally?  He knows better than to say an absolute ‘No’, so he puts forward such questions from time to time and lets me come to a decision(the decision which he prefers).

Well, that got me thinking and I started doing some research on the web on some other cheap ways to come up with a fabric for drapes. And voila.. I found people making drapes from canvas dropcloth. And I love the natural look of canvas. So, in less than an hour, the plans of making drapes from expensive fabric, were out of the window. There was so much more I could do with dropcloth.. it was all on me on how to decorate it. I took inspiration from the curtains here, but as I started with a different size of dropcloth, and wanted to minimize the cutting and hemming, I followed the below directions.

I loved the fact that one drop cloth of size 6' x 9' was long enough to cover the 9 feet windows. 

So, here are the steps I followed for making grommet style drop cloth curtains.

Stuff you need:

1) 4 of 6’ x 9’ canvas drop cloths from Home Depot : $9.97 ea
2) 4 sets of grommet. I got mine from Hobby Lobby. This was the place selling it for the cheapest :$6.99 ea. Further applied a 40% off coupon
3) 2 yards of Matching fabric pattern (I used the damask pattern I already had at home)
4) Grosgrain Ribbon

Step 1: Wash and rewash the drop cloths to get rid of the stiffness. I washed it with soap once, and without it the second time. Added some fabric softener as well. My drapes shrunk after washing.

Step 2: Skip the dryer. Steam Iron the drop cloth right out of washer. Don’t let it sit too long as it would be difficult to get rid of the wrinkles. My arms were ready to fall off after I was done ironing 4 of these.

Step 3: As the drop cloth is already hemmed on all sides, you do not need to hem it unless you want different length than what it comes in. I would suggest to measure the length anyway, as the length of all 4 dropcloths I had, were different after washing.

Cut or Fold the dropcloth to the length you need. Depending on where you are adding the pattern fabric, you can make the cut/fold. I added the pattern fabric to the top, so, I folded the extra from the top of dropcloth, to avoid any extra hemming.

Step 4: Cut 4 strips of pattern fabric of the length you decide, and the width 2 inches more than the width of dropcloth.

Step 5: I sew the pattern fabric over the dropcloth. If you want you can add it on the top as well(remember to adjust the length of canvas if doing this). But I decided to go over the dropcloth so that when my grommets go in, there is a canvas layer under the pattern to make it more sturdy. I was worried that damask fabric would tear up holding all the weight of canvas.

While sewing, fold the pattern fabric 1 inch on both sides of the canvas, and ½ inch on top of it. I did not fold the bottom part, as I was planning to add ribbon on top of it. Just sew it straight to the canvas.

Step 6: Where the pattern fabric meets the canvas, sew or paste the ribbon(with fabric adhesive). The ribbon hides the uneven stitch and the unfolded fabric.

Step 7: Follow the directions on the grommets to add it to the top. 

Step 8: Hang your drapes.

Step 9: Step back and Enjoy what you created on a dime.

As an afternote: Canvas is very thick. So be careful of your sewing machine where there are thick folds. I broke the motor of my machine in the middle of this project. I thought, while going over the thick parts(where pattern fabric is folded over the canvas on the sides), maximum that would happen is that my needle would break. But no, it was the motor that went kaput. Luckily, my machine was in the warranty period, and I could get it replaced.
Happy Sewing!


Yamini Kaur said...

Lovely project and a great idea !! Time to visit your house and the guest room :)

poonam said...

Hi Tania
for little while i was also thinking whether i should go for the ready made curtains but than i thought the same as u did. thanks for aspiring poeple like me. To do Diy rather than buying every time. love your curtains. jyoti

Nitika said...

So proud of you, Tania. I need a set too - for my 2 story windows. Shall I send you the measurements? :-P

Tania Tangri said...

@Mini Didi: Thanks. Our guest room is waiting for you.
@Jyoti: Thanks. I am happy that my work could inspire you.
@Nitika: Thanks... I especially put up the instructions so you could make your own curtains.. lol :)

Curtains said...

The DIY canvas dropcloth curtains are beautiful. Learn how to do it from here

Beth said...

Great job...love em!

ABCDMomma said...

How much shrinking would you say occurred? I've already made mine and while they could stand to shrink some- I'd hate to have to start over! They are just SO stiff to work with right now. Thoughts?

Tania Tangri said...

@ABCDMomma: The problem was that each shrunk to a different length. Shrunk from 3 inches to 7 ''. Not sure if the length was different to start with, even though the packing gave the same measurement for each.
For the stiffness, did you try washing it with a softener? They will , however never be as soft as other fabric.

Anonymous said...

What is the length of the damask compared to the drop cloth? My curtains will be approx. 130" long and I'm trying to figure out what is a good length for the fabric I put at the top, also what is grosgrain ribbon?

Micheal Alexander said...

Your website is very beautiful or Articles. I love it thank you for sharing for everyone. Short curtains

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