Dropcloth Drapes: Designer looks on a Budget!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

We have lived in our house for nearly 4 years, and our master bedroom has always had bare windows.  Every time I would browse the usual suspects: Crate and Barrel, Pottery Barn, West Elm, Restoration Hardware - I got a knot in my stomach.  To do window treatments for all 5 large windows, would be a small fortune!  So there they sat, lonely and undressed.

Recently I ordered 10 panels of a nice modern grommeted drape from Overstock, along with a pewter colored rod and tiebacks.  Once they came, I realized that the choice I made would not fit the room...so I returned all but the rods. 

I continued to search sites, and came across several inspirational dropcloth window dressings.  I was Inspired! 

Here's why they're so great:

1.  CHEAP.  6x9 foot panels are under 10 dollars each
2.  HEMMED.  All edges are finished
3.  CHARACTER.  Oatmeal colored, but flecks of other threads make each panel slightly unique
4.  EASY.  No sewing required.  I used Stitch Witch and an iron for all modifications
5.  BIG.  Designer looks of puddled draperies for big effect

Here's what I bought:

I bought 12 6x9 foot Canvas Drop Cloths.  2 panels per window, and 4 panels for the large 3-casing window at the far end of the room.  You can find them here.  They also have similar dropcloths at Lowe's and Walmart, from what I have read.  I spent about 120.00 on dropcloths.

I also bought 12 yards of a coarse black linen, which had a similar grainy texture to the dropcloths.  I was able to come upon sales at Hancock Fabrics and Jo-Ann fabrics.  I got 12 yards (for 72" x 16" black stripes at the bottom of each drape).  At an average of 4.00 a yard, that was 48.00

I purchased 4 rolls of 13 yard Extra Stengh Stitch Witch, at 4.00 a roll, for a total of 16.00

I got 2" wide drapery rings with clips at Target on clearance for 6.00 each (7 rings per pack).  The total for the rings was 72.00.

My total for materials (less rods) was 256.00.  (The items I returned to Overstock totalled over 400.00).

I already had an iron, and the rods.  That's all you need!

Here's what I did:

First I washed all the panels in hot water.  I had to do this in two batches of 6 panels.  Then I dried them for just about 10-15 minutes, and then laid them all flat to decrease the wrinkles.

Next came the tedious task of ironing/steaming each panel until they were as flat and pressed as possible.  I added a 4" fold to the top of each drape, where the clip rings would attach, and to add some interest to the top portion of each panel.  And then attached the panels to the clip rings on the rods. 

I then divided the black linen into 3 yard sections, and cut each 3 yard block into three equal rectangles at about 3 yard x 18".  These would become my black color blocks at the bottom of each panel.

Using my Stitch Witch, I finished off one long side of each black linen strip, folding over about 1/3 to 1/2".  Then, while the panels were ALREADY hanging, I moved my ironing board under each panel, and using the Stitch Witch again, steamed/ironed each panel so that the finished edge of each black linen strip was 16" from the bottom (allowing about a 2" or more at the bottom and sides, to cleanly fold and adhere them behind the panel.

I have only finished 6 panels at the time of this posting.  But here is what they currently look like, to give you an idea.  I have not finished the bottom seam yet, I will do that at the end, so that I get the exact same break at the bottom of all the panels.

I love how they've turned out!! 


Nona Janet said...


We are really impressed. Can't wait to see these next week.

Martha Who????


Janet and Bill

CFO said...

Thanks! I'm really happy with how they turned out.

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