Tag Archives: outdoor drapes

Post-Derby DIY: Outdoor Drop Cloth Curtains

The mint julep fog has finally lifted from my brain from Kentucky Derby weekend, so I’m back at it, cleaning up the yard and sprucing up our back screened-porch for the season.

kentucky oaks pic

First up in a long line of projects: replace the curtain panels we have hanging on both ends of the porch. The moldy, turned-yellowish panels from Ikea still do a great job in providing privacy for us and our close neighbors, but they’re not so pretty anymore. We’ve had them up for nearly six years and they’re just now starting to get funky, so for only costing $7.99 a piece, they had a pretty good run I’d say.

drop cloth porch pic

Since free time is tight lately, I went online first to see if I could find a deal on buying some outdoor drapes instead of making them myself.  We needed six panels which came out to be: oh-my-I-can’t-afford-that. Yeah, curtains are expensive.  Especially the outdoor ones for some reason, and there’s not much to them.

drop cloth curtains pottery barn

Outdoor Banded Drape, Pottery Barn

I remembered that a few months back, I had bought some canvas drop cloths from Home Depot with the intention of making drapes for the living room.  Of course that never happened, so I went digging in the basement to find those suckers.  Have you all seen people making curtains from drop cloths?  I’ve seen a few different ones on Pinterest, like these here.

drop cloth curtains diy

I went back to get four more drop cloths and just my luck, they didn’t have the Home Depot brand anymore.  I found this other one in the 6 x 9 dimensions I needed, brought it home and thankfully they’re exactly the same.  They’re $9.95 each for the 8 oz. version.  Not a bad price considering one outdoor curtain panel averages 75 bucks.  Not to mention, drop cloths are already hemmed on all sides, and less sewing = one happy momma.

I wanted to add a little color, but something dark because the last curtains would get really dirty on the bottoms from dragging across the deck.  I bought this navy canvas at Joann’s to sew on for a bold band.  If the drop cloth color is too neutral for you, you can get totally crazy and dye the entire thing like this blogger did.  If you decide to do this, make sure you fully read her tutorial because she talks about washing them first to get even color.  Tutorial here.

drop cloth curtains 7

drop cloth curtains 8

I’m a total amateur when comes to this sewing thing, so I apologize for not having the correct terminology, exact measurements for seams, etc.  If you have any questions, feel free to drop me a line.

Supply List

6 x 9 canvas drop cloths – I used these from Home Depot (except mine were the cheaper 8 oz. They weren’t listed on the website when this post was published, but I found them in the store.)

Canvas fabric in contrasting color, (for optional bottom band).

Sewing machine, (or you could use hem tape for a no-sew version without the stripe).


Fabric glue or pinking shears, (to prevent unraveling).

We have these curtain wire things from Ikea that you can buy in the store, or here and here.


Measure the height and width of your opening.  I wanted it to look more like panels and not drape-like, if you know what I mean, so I cut a few inches off the side of the drop cloth to take some of the bulk out.  Next, I hemmed that side and then I took some fabric glue and ran a line of it along the outside of the hem because it was already unraveling a bit.

I wanted my band to be about 20″ tall, so I cut 20″ off of the bottom of the drop cloth.

NO-SEW VERSION: If you don’t have a sewing machine, you could use hem tape or a glue gun like Shanty-2-chic did here, and then use fabric paint to add some color if you want, like this roundup of drop cloth DIY curtains here .


drop cloth curtains sewing hem

I cut the navy canvas into 21″ (height plus an inch for seam allowance) x 53″ (the width of my panel) pieces and sewed three sides with a 1/2 ” hem.


drop cloth curtains 4

Pin the cut side of the navy panel to the cut bottom of the drop cloth, right sides together.  Sew the pieces together.  I trimmed the fabric outside of the seam, so that the pieces lay flat together.

Iron your new panels, (including/especially the seam where color canvas and drop cloth come together), and install.

drop cloth curtain pic


After I had them installed, of course Jeff asks, “how will you protect them against moisture and fading from UV rays?”

He told me to go to the automotive store and see if they have a spray for canvas, you know like for convertible tops and such.  I haven’t had time to do that, but I’ll update you all as soon as I find out.

If I take them down to spray them, I’ll probably add a horizontal stripe or two with fabric paint, right above the navy stripe.  I definitely think they need something else.

Until then, I’m making some throw pillows and adding some more color this week. This porch is brown, brown and brown, and I can’t handle it.