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Drop Cloth Curtains – Reviewed | Part 2 |

Today we’re talking about how to make those fresh-outta-the-package drop cloths into gorgeous curtains. Plus, my experience bleaching drop cloths!

UPDATED 4/30/2020

I plan to write up a full update for this post, but until then, check out my very thorough and extensive post on bleaching drop cloths. If you are looking to make snowy white curtains, you will need the 100% cotton drop cloths that I suggest in that post. HOWEVER, with 100% cotton comes inevitable shrinkage through the washing/bleaching/drying process. If you don’t mind having off-white curtains, the large cotton/polyester drop cloths (that won’t bleach really at all) can be helpful as they will not shrink like the cotton ones do, and thus make for some lovely large curtains.Ā 

Read My Post on How to Bleach Drop Cloths Successfully

Find part 1 of this review, here.

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First off, a couple of tips for your drop cloth DIY:

  • I suggest purchasing 6’x9′ drop cloths (I bought these). This size generally does not have a seam (check reviews before buying, especially online!), which is nice to avoid.
  • Wash & dry the drop cloths to pre-shrink them. Especially if you plan to paint the fabric or sew on ribbon etc.
  • I measured out the fold-over ruffle and pinned it in place before hanging. You can just eye-ball the measuring step, but I did like having the pins in place while I was hanging these!
  • Ironing is totally optional. I didn’t! And, if you end up bleaching your fabric, the curtains will soften up quite a bit, making the drape even better (so even less need to iron!).

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So now, to bleach or not to bleach?

These are the resources I consulted before bleaching:

The latter link shows a really stark difference between the before and after, but I got more mild results. This is important to be aware if you are really looking for a bright white. I think the results that Miss Mustard Seed showed are most accurate to what I experienced.

Heads up: The curtains in the pics you see here are NOT bleached. I bleached drop cloths for some other projects I have going, which is where the comparison photos came from. Just wanted to make that clear as you look through the photos!

Another note, the lighter fabric will make the odd threads of different colors running throughout (I have plenty of black threads and even some orange ones in mine) even more apparent. Totally not a big deal, but again, these are rustic!

I soaked my bleached example here in two loads (letting it soak for 12-18 hours each time) with about 32 fluid ounces of bleach per load. After two times through the process of soaking, washing, and drying, these are the results:

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The biggest change I noticed was not the color, but the change in the fabric makeup. These are a TON softer after bleaching for that long, and they were way easier to run through my sewing machine (for a different project!). All things considered, my before and after certainly isn’t showstopping.

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I do love the creamy look of the bleached version however, and I think if you wanted to use this fabric for slip covers the change in texture would be an asset. I definitely encourage you to experiment with this if you want to lighten up your drop cloths. Just know that results may vary!

We are so happy with the way these curtains turned out, and they add a lot of farmhouse-charm to our home while we’re waiting to make some bigger changes. Let me know if you give these a try in your home and what you think!

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10 Comments

  1. Can you tell me if using drop cloth curtains are see-through or do they block the sun out? I’m thinking of using these in my sunroom but I would like to block the sun at times because it’s so bright. Curious to see what you think. Thank you so much !

    1. Hi Annie! Thanks for stopping by! They definitely aren’t black-out curtains, but part of the reason we put ours up was to minimize the heat/light flooding through our windows. I probably would say they block about 40-50% of the light. Before I put these up I had tried some from Target and TJMaxx and the drop cloth curtains do a MUCH better job of blocking light in my opinion. I think they would work well in a sun room personally. Let me know if you give them a try!

    1. Good question! I honestly have never checked from the outdoors to see how much (if anything) could be seen through the curtains, but I would say these are generally opaque. I had previously tried several other curtains from Target/TJMaxx and this thick drop cloth fabric provides FAR more privacy in my opinion. If you sew, it would also be really easy to add a simple lining for “blackout” curtains.
      I highly recommend trying out drop cloths though. We absolutely love ours! If/when the “farmhouse” trend goes out of style, I am keeping my curtains! šŸ˜‰

    1. I haven’t tried that myself, but I would think it would be pretty straightforward! It should be similar to adding them to any other kind of fabric/curtain. I did a quick google search for how to attach grommets to curtains and it looked like there were some good examples. I think the look would be really cute with the drop cloth fabric! Would love to see it if you give it a try! šŸ™‚

  2. Hello – I just found you and am enjoying very much Bellewood Cottage! I have been in the process of making drop cloth curtains – glad I have procrastinated, I mean (ahem) waited for your tutorial as I love the way you hung yours. Would you be so kind as to tell me about your hardware and how you hung everything? Thank you! Have a wonderful day. šŸ˜˜

    1. Thanks so much Audrey!
      Here’s the scoop on everything I used:
      Curtain panels: 6’x9′ drop cloths (2) from Home Depot (the ones I bought are since discontinued, but I think the following link is their update: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Everbilt-5-ft-9-in-x-8-ft-9-in-10-oz-Canvas-Drop-Cloth-6910OZ/203878370)
      Curtain rods: I used the French Pipe Drapery rods (in Oil Rubbed Bronze) from Target: https://www.target.com/p/french-pipe-drapery-rod-threshold-153/-/A-51598145?preselect=50984029#lnk=sametab
      Curtain rings: Threshold Oil Rubbed Bronze from Target: https://www.target.com/p/curtain-clip-rings-set-oil-rubbed-bronze-threshold-153/-/A-14101350

      Thanks again for stopping by! šŸ™‚
      Ellen

  3. Thanks for the helpful tips and links. I made a cabin full of drop cloth curtains. Looks perfect with the weathered gray ship lap walls Everyone wants to know where I bought them. On the overlap I added a ruffle of lace. Got a few panels at the thrift store, cut them up to make a ruffle. These curtain do block the sun and are not see through at night. I did not bleach or even wash those. Drop cloths were bought at Harbor Freight. Several seams were in the wrong place. This time I bought at Home Depot 9×12 size. The only seam was down the center. Not a problem. I am using your technique to bleach. But, now I understand it may have polyester and won’t bleach! Ugh as they are in the washer. I will know in a few hours, I guess. Thanks again for the ideas, yours turned out beautiful.

    1. Hi Kristina! Thanks for stopping by. Your cabin sounds absolutely beautiful! I love the idea of the ruffle.
      Ah yes, the Home Depot ones still are polyester to my knowledge. šŸ™ I wish there were more 100% cotton options available as the snowy white color that bleaching leaves behind is so lovely for curtains.
      Thanks again!
      Ellen

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