Pair of Drapery Panels for $25

As I mentioned in a previous post we have been busy, I have completed a lot of projects, just have to make the time to sit down and write about them. I completed one of the best and biggest bangs for our buck projects, thus far, in our home renovation. It’s even ahead of our Mason jar wall vase and our reclaimed lumber coat hook, shown below (I apologize for the awful picture.) We made that from scrap wood, leftover stain, 2 cheap metal brackets spray painted black and 7 hooks for $2 each from Hobby Lobby.


This is big people…like the super real deal!

When I began our dining room transformation back, here, here and here, oh and here and here, I had these dramatic, Restoration Hardware-esqe floor-to-ceiling drapes swirling around in my head. I searched high and low and brainstormed how I could get a custom-looking pair of 108” drapery panels on a dime?

Each promising solution, turned into a dead-end because of price or length. I felt quite discouraged. I came across a list of online fabric stores from Centsational Girl and I thought, “This is the ticket, I will sew my own curtains!”

That was short-lived.

Not because I wasn’t up for the challenge, but because the fabrics were narrower in width and thinner in weight than I was hoping and the fabrics I liked were quite pricey for the 7-ish yards I would have needed.

Then it all changed.

I came across this article on curtains made out of a painter’s canvas drop cloth and the rest was history.

I seen bold painted drapes…

Ribbon-trimmed drapes…

And basic canvas draperies… and I was smitten.

Here is where I ended up…IN LOVE.

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How did I make them? Well, I will give you a quick tutorial, although I’m sure there are plenty better ones out there.

I started with a 9′ x 12′ canvas drop cloth from Home Depot, I settled on this one because I liked the coloring and texture the best.

Draperies 002I then unfolded it to a sweet surprise, which I didn’t think was so sweet at first. The drop cloth was seamed together at the 4.5′ mark, which made it very simple to divide the drop cloth in half to make 2 drapery panels. That was the sweet part. The seam happened to be exactly where I needed to cut, so I used it as a guide to cut the cloth into 2 panels.

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I discovered that seam ripping them was going to be a big mess, as you can see above. Too much fraying and unraveling. To prevent them from unraveling I thought I would save myself some work by cutting up the seam edge, then I would only have one side to hem, as the other panel would be hemmed on all sides. I’m a smart one.

Draperies 006After reading this tutorial on drop cloth drapes, I learned from Erin of Meadow Lake Road that pre-washing your drop cloth before hemming would be best. Sounds simple enough, but I am one to jump the gun and get the project done without thinking about the consequences. I knew I would need to have all sides hemmed before washing so that they didn’t fray and unravel. I enlisted in the help of my mother-in-law to quickly hem up the one side of the panel that I cut. Thanks Kathy!

I then washed each panel separately, because they were so bulky. I hung them to dry from the clips on the actual drapery rod. I chose the clips after reading this post from Young House Love.

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I purchased 2 sets of 7 drapery clips in a oil-rubbed bronze finish from Wal-Mart. They match the drapery rod I purchased from the Home Depot and chandelier I got from Joss & Main. Aside from the clips allowing you to go the sew-free route, they also have a few other benefits. If the drapes ever get tugged on, stuck under a chair leg or even climbed by a rug rat, they will release out of the clips and fall to the ground. That relieves the tension from the screws in the drapery rod, which could result in tearing through the dry-wall or plaster. In our case, we were not able to hit a stud where we need to the brackets to be and wall anchors that were provided made the plaster crumble, so the drapery clips were a win-win for us.

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In that same post, by Young House Love they recommended using Heat n’ Bond hem tape.

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I purchased 4 rolls of the ultrahold hem tape from Wal-Mart, however, once I hung them to dry, they actually hung at floor length. 12′ drapes hung at floor length! That means they shrunk considerably in the wash.

Then came the steaming, pressing, ironing etc. Canvas/linen blends are notoriously  known for their wrinkles. I used the hottest and steamiest (yes, that’s a word) setting on my iron, making sure I had enough water in it at all times. It took me about 45 minutes to iron each panel and in the end, they weren’t 100% wrinkle-free. However, being the careless spirit I am, that doesn’t seem to bother me. I always like things a little out of place.

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And here is where I ended up and I couldn’t be more pleased. Who knows I may just stencil a pattern on them with fabric paint down the line, but for right now I am in love with their simplicity. Anyone else tackling any design projects using unconventional materials?


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