...because home doesn't happen overnight.

My transformation of a canvas dropcloth into matching twin headboards turned out nice enough that I looked to the dropcloth fabric again when I found myself at a loss for window treatments in the boys’ bedroom.  I had planned on hanging striped panels on either side of the single bedroom window (seen below). 

I envisioned wide, horizontal stripes…something like this…

(courtesy of Apartment Therapy)

It wasn’t the first time I knew exactly what I wanted but couldn’t find it – at a reasonable price.  So, I did what I normally do when I’m in need of budget decor…I made the curtains myself.  You guessed it.  I used 2 of the same dropcloths that I had employed for the headboards.  I washed the 6’x9′ pieces of fabric to preshrink them.  They shrunk to about 5’x8′ each but that was still plenty wide and long enough for a hefty curtain panel on each side of the bedroom window.  Next, I sewed a curtain rod pocket (kinda like a tunnel for the rod to go through) into the top of my dropcloths and instantly I had curtains!  (The nice thing about the dropcloths are that the edges are already finished so all you have to do is make a rod pocket and hem the length to your liking.  Mine didn’t need hemmed, woo hoo!)  But they weren’t striped…yet.  I hung them up to get a feel for where I wanted my stripes and taped off one panel at the edge.

As you can see, I decided to go with varying stripe widths and leave a large section in the middle blank.  I didn’t want it looking too Tigger-ish.  Then down to our dungeon of a basement where I taped off each panel completely using the first tape marks as my guide.  I had originally planned on using fabric paint to paint navy stripes but I quickly cursed myself realized that would require all the fabric paint in the Midwest.  This is how far one bottle of $5 fabric paint got me…

Good thing I saved my receipt for the other 2 bottles.  For some inspiration and a much needed break, I headed to my local Lowe’s store.  I hit up the paint department manager and explained to him my dilemma.  I could tell he had never heard of anyone meaning to paint a dropcloth.  After the initial shock, he gathered himself and scrunched his face in thought.  I told him I’d like something eco-friendly if possible that wouldn’t make the curtains terribly stiff when it dried.  Then it was the Oprah “Aha!” moment I’d been waiting for.  The paint department manager said that Olympic’s line of NO VOC paint might work…its acrylic content is more than that of regular latex paint…and acrylic makes the paint a little more flexible when it dries.  AND…they were offering a $5 mail-in rebate for a gallon!  I picked my color swatch and he had me fixed up in no time.  Over the next few days, I made several trips down to the basement to finish off the stripes.

The good news?  They turned out great and only cost me $30!! ($35 counting the one bottle of fabric paint that didn’t get me very far) The bad news?  You have to wait to see them in action.

12 Comments

28.June.2010

I’ve never done this myself but I have read on various blogs that you can get fabric medium (not sure what it is) and mix it with acrylic craft paint and it will do the job. Maybe someone that has done this before will weigh in….

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replied on June 29th, 2010

Danielle – Hmmm, I hadn’t heard of that! I would love for someone who has tried it to comment on how well it worked. Thanks!

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28.June.2010

They are looking great!
I also made dropcloth curtains for my living room, a cushion for my husbands toy bench, and a crate cover for my dog. I love the fabric and nobody believes it is so inexpensive!

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[…] dropcloth curtains that I painted turned out great!  Sorry, this picture makes them look much darker than they are […]

04.June.2011

So love this. I need to get me some drop cloth. I have so many projects that would be great with that. I loved your “You make me happy drop cloth project” I did one but used canvas and am just posting about it and your blog now!

thanks so much,

I love your blog so much!
Megan

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17.August.2011

If you used acrylic paint, would it be washable?? I’m thinking about using dropcloth for a DIY growth chart, but don’t know what kind of paint to use!!

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29.October.2011

Looks great! I am going to be painting some stripes on duckcloth curtains and have a few questions:

1) Did you add a fabric painting medium to the paint?
2) Did you do anything to help prevent the paint from seeping under the tape?

Thanks!

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replied on November 1st, 2011

Marcie – 1) Nope. Didn’t add anything. Just went with the NO VOC paint which has a little more acrylic content, making it a tad more flexible on fabric. 2) Nope. Didn’t add anything under the tape. I was going for an old, worn, imperfect look so it worked out great with just painter’s tape.

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23.January.2012

hi I wanted to know if the curtains turned out stiff.

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12.July.2012

I think the fabric medium makes it so it is washable and the color doesn’t fade

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[…] there.  I did lots of research online before I began this project and suggest checking out this blog and this blog and this blog for more […]

[…] there.  I did lots of research online before I began this project and suggest checking out this blog and this blog and this blog for more […]




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