We have french doors that have had no window covering for years! As usual I just couldn’t decide what I wanted if I was going to spend the kind of money that they cost. I had heard of drapes made of painter’s drop cloths and decided to try them myself.
My son hung the rod hangers and my curtain rod is made from a copper pipe that we got free at a garage sale. Simply shine it up and put end caps on it! You can use a painted dowel rod, a straight limb or any other alternative to expensive curtain rods in the store.
I bought two 6′ x 9′ painter’s drop cloths at Lowe’s. They are very stiff so they need to be washed twice. They will be VERY wrinkled after that so I had to do lots of ironing!
After ironing, I folded the top down about four inches and pressed the crease. I then clipped on curtain rings that I had also bought at Lowe’s, and hung it up. Now all I had to do was measure from the top of the drape down to where I wanted the bottom to be at the floor, or so I thought!
SO let me save you from my mistake! I knew the cloth had shrunk so I measured the length and measured how long I wanted them, and determined that I had to fold 4-1/2″ down on each end and it would be perfect! Remember I’m not sewing these, so just folding the correct amount on each end should work, right?
I folded each end the exact amount, pinned it in place then hung them again. You may see it coming, but I didn’t realize that the cloth would not shrink perfectly square. In fact it was more like a trapezoid!! Well, not that bad, but it definitely wasn’t even on all sides any more! So while my drape hung perfectly in the middle, the left side was way too long and the right side was way too short! Good thing I’m about easy and hadn’t cut anything, only folded!
I laid the cloth on the floor and had to measure from edge to edge now, that’s all. This just meant I had to refold and pin the hems and hang it one more time to make sure it was right.
While it was hanging I made some minor adjustments by creasing with my fingers and re-pinning until I had it just how I wanted it.
Now all I had to do was iron the hems down really well so they made a sharp crease. Yes, my hem on the bottom is uneven due to it not being square, and since I’m not cutting or sewing, it will stay that way.
You can see in the picture how the bottom hem gets more narrow. I was covering the front of this with ribbon so I was not worried about it.
You can choose to cut it and sew it evenly. My thought is that it already has a nice finished edge that won’t fray, so why mess that up? Simple, remember?
The top hem I left just folded over and creased. I didn’t secure it in anyway in case I ever wanted to change the length. It is creased really well and the curtain clips hold it.
Now comes the fun part – Hem Tape! Make sure you get the extra strong stuff!
Lay the curtain flat and follow the instructions on the Heat n Bond package. I ironed and fused together where the edge was folded up, not the crease. You may want to use two rows. If it doesn’t want to stick, just keep ironing, it eventually will.
After the hem was fused tightly, I hung the drapes up once again just to make sure the length was right.
Ready for ribbon! I wanted to add a little glitz, but not too much, so I added some ribbon to go with my new colors (look at the picture at the bottom of the page) in the room.
Not only would the ribbon add some color, it also covers the back with the uneven hem that was showing through when the sun was shining in the room.
I attached the ribbon with the Hem Tape just like I did the hem. I laid two layers of teal ribbon with a gap in between. Then added a ruffled brown ribbon on the top in the middle of those.
Since they ribbon isn’t sewn, I can remove it at any time if I change colors!
Total Cost: $60
- Drops Cloths – $10 each
- Ribbon – $15 (Buy 1 Get 1 free at Hobby Lobby)
- Hem Tape – $5
- Curtain Clips – $10
- Curtain Rod Brackets – $10
- Curtain Rod – Free
We have to do some repairs to the doors so the flooring is pulled up in front of the doors. However, you can see how they look!