July 17, 2012

Drop Cloth: An Affordable Alternative to Linen

A few months back, while reading Country Living Magazine, I came across a makeover that featured an incredible home designed on a budget. My kind of read. The homeowner used canvas drop cloth (from the hardware store!) to recover her living room furniture. Since then, I have been excited to try out drop cloth, and this past weekend I got my hands dirty. I picked up a huge piece of drop cloth for right around $30, with the intention of making curtain panels. I have read that Home Depot is a better fit than Lowe’s in the drop cloth selection, as Home Depot’s cloths do not have seams running through them and Lowe’s do. Mine did, but that didn’t really bother me. I also found that if you buy the smallest size, it is pre-hemmed at right about the size you would need for one curtain panel, so if sewing isn’t your thing, this would be the one for you. I don’t mind hemming edges, so I bought the big size to save some dough and maximize the fabric.

The first thing you want to do is wash and dry the fabric to remove the stuffy smell and preshrink the fabric. Trust me, do this step BEFORE making any cuts. This fabric frays very easily and I learned the hard way.

I started by laying the drop cloth out on the floor. I live in a small apartment, and this is a LARGE piece of fabric, so I had to fold mine in half to work with it. I already had preexisting curtains (that I made) hanging in my entry, so to make measurement easy, I just used those for pattern. I also have two thin floor to ceiling windows that flank my front door, so I didn’t want these to be too wide. I would suggest using measurements for standard panels for larger windows, however. To make this easy, I folded my fabric in half again, so that when making my cuts I would end up with four even panels. Next, I folded and pinned the edges to make my hem lines. It felt so good to bring my sewing machine back out. There is something so peaceful about sewing that I find myself looking for more fabric to run through my machine when I run out.

So there you have basic beige drop cloth panels that look just like linen. If you want to dress them up a bit, I suggest adding a ribbon border or painting a pattern on them. Stripes or a bold design such as chevrons or even an oversized stamp would look beautiful. I have plans for these curtains in a friend’s house, so check back in a few weeks to see what I do with them.

Have you guys ever attempted making your own curtains? It can be a little daunting at first, but it actually is really easy!

1 comment:

  1. Really enjoyed the lesson. Thanks for sharing--Sharon