Drop Cloth Curtains

Although we adore the huge windows in our living room, they look a little boring without any kind of curtain softening them up.

Actually, that photo is totally misleading, if only that beautiful fall view outside was current.  Here’s how it looked as we rang in 2011, complete with snow and Christmas tree.

Since we spend the majority of our waking time at home in this room, we decided to get right to work on one of our new years housalutions and get some curtains up on these windows on January 1st.  We were a little worried about the cost though, because that set of three windows is 12′ x 8.5′.  That’s a lot of fabric if we wanted to make the curtains ourselves, and probably even more money if we wanted to buy ready-made curtains.

Luckily the blogosphere came to my rescue and through a little blog surfing I ended up at Beneath My Heart reading about her curtains made of canvas painter’s drop cloths! Here you can see the gorgeous curtains she made for her den.


And the best part?  The drop cloths are less than $10 each at Home Depot!  We headed out to JCPenney to pick up a curtain rod – it was slim pickings in the 12′ length but luckily they were all on sale.  Then we swung by Home Depot and picked up four 6’x9′ drop cloths.

I figured since the ceilings were roughly 9.5′, the 9′ drop cloths would just brush the floor once you factored in hanging the rod not quite at the ceiling and using clips to hang the cloth a little lower than the rod.  We started by installing the curtain rod and putting one of the panels up to see where it hit, just to confirm my assumption.  Sadly, this is where we hit our first snag, due to the following issues:

  1. The ceilings are actually closer to 10′
  2. The drop cloths were not actually 9’x6′ right out of the package.

Photo evidence of the drop cloth ridiculousness below.  And yes, this snag could have been avoided if I had just read the package in Home Depot.

My dreams of floor skimming curtains were dashed.  We had to wash them to soften up the texture, so we decided to move forward, see what size they ended up after washing, and decide what we wanted to do from there.  The washing took off another few inches, but vastly improved the texture. After two loads of laundry and way too much ironing for my tastes, this is what we had.

All the snow had melted since it was in the 50’s that day, and the curtains now hit the bottom of the windowsill perfectly.  You can see the fabulous texture of the drop cloth pretty well in this photo.

So here is where I ask you readers for some advice.  If you were us, would you leave the curtains as is, taking into account that the sill is close to 10″ wide, so curtains that hit the floor might not flow smoothly over this ledge?

Or would you attempt to get curtains that covered that extra 8-10″ of baseboard heater below the window, either by buying new, bigger drop cloths and hemming them to the correct length or sewing on a contrasting band of fabric to the existing curtains?  Here’s one more shot of the curtains as they are right now.

Help!  I’ve changed my mind a few times on this already, so I’d love to hear what other people think.

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14 Responses to Drop Cloth Curtains

  1. Betty says:

    I’ll play devil’s advocate! I like both ideas, but your curtains are beautiful as they are right at sill length. If you make them floor length, you will be heating your windows, not your room. What would you use to make them floor length? More drop cloths or a contrasting fabric? Dye the drop cloth to have the same fabric? Sorry, I probably just gave you more questions than answers.

  2. stacey says:

    I would leave them just as they are. I love that length and I would not like to block the heater vent. Am loving your blog

  3. Elizabeth says:

    My first instinct was sew on some more fabric, but then I thought it looks okay. Ask your mom!!!

  4. Kendall says:

    Keep them how they are more length will just attract pet fur and dust

  5. Jennifer Miller says:

    I would leave them like they are. I used to sew custom home furnishings (window treatments, bed treatments, pillows, etc.). I think that if you wanted to spend a lot more money and time you could certainly take a panel to the floor (if you had enough width on your fabric to create lots of fullness to easily cover the sill) and it would look gorgeous; however, it’s probably not worth all that until you are much further along in your remodel process. Plus, as others have said, this length is very practical for not blocking your heaters and avoiding pet fur!

  6. whitney says:

    I think it looks great as is. But if you *were* to add a contrast hem to it, wouldn’t that be a fire hazard with your baseboard heaters?

    • Stephanie says:

      Thanks for weighing in Whitney! My understanding is that since we have hot water baseboard heaters, there would not be a combustion risk, as they don’t get hot enough. Electric baseboard heaters would be a whole other story though, definitely would not want to mess around with those.

  7. Dolores Mont says:

    I am reading up in order to make these type of curtains myself – I love the look and texture as well. But with those fabulous windows and view, I would eliminate the middle curtains and just have them hanging at the outer edges. My 2 cents.

  8. BizzyMom says:

    I am with Dolores Mont.. I have windows similar to yours and I change out from time to time.. Sometimes I pull all the fabric to the 2 sides and sometimes I have them just the way you do. Easy, inexpensive PRESTO change whenever you want a change :)

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