Curtains like the ones in my inspiration photo, can cost hundreds of dollars per panel. Possibly even closer to a thousand. Considering our whole budget for our family room is $4000, I needed to get creative with my execution.
Now, I am not the first person, and definitely not the first blogger to use drop cloths for curtains–besides popular, they happen to be incredibly thick, durable and inexpensive. I picked up 4-6’x9′ canvas drop cloths from Home Depot for around $11 a pop.
Although they are all a natural, canvas color, the color can vary from cloth to cloth. I remember sorting through the stacks they had to find four that matched the most. I washed them all–twice (!) and loaded up on the fabric softener to get rid of any stiffness and smell that was present when I unwrapped them. And then I ironed them. I don’t have a special, high-tech, expensive iron–which could be why this part took me some time, but I really think this is a crucial step. I blasted them with steam and took my time smoothing out any wrinkles or creases. I think the better they are ironed, the more expensive they look.
The great thing about these drop cloths (besides the price, thickness, size, yadda) is they come hemmed on all four sides. I still broke out my sewing machine because I didn’t need my curtains to be 9ft long. So I cut off the excess and re-hemmed the bottom and tucked my sewing machine away again. I suppose you could use hem tape for that part, but I didn’t have that and I had already had enough ironing.
And then it was time to attach the ribbon. Before I decided to do this, I was worried about where I was going to find 60 yards of grosgrain for a reasonable price. The Ribbon Retreat came to my rescue! They have every kind of ribbon in every color imaginable. Here’s a small sampling of some of the 111 different colors of grosgrain ribbons they have:
And they have multiple sizes of each, too. In the end, I went the safe way–black in 1.5″ wide. They were so excited about my project, they sent me the ribbon for free, but 60 yards would have only set me back around $25 normally–which is a steal.
The high-quality ribbon arrived in a long spool and I was ready to attach it. I used my glue gun–which turned out to be the best for me–a girl with no hem tape, little sewing skills and a loaded glue gun handy.
Adhering the ribbon took so long because I wanted make sure everything was spaced evenly and glued well, and then, of course, there is the fact that a double row of trim around 4 extra large canvases just takes time. I scooted our level around with me to serve as a guide, lining up the edge of the level with the edge of the canvas and securing my ribbon right next to it. And when one row was done, I moved the level-turned-spacer in and repeated the whole process.
When it came to bordering the corners, I knew I didn’t want to cut the ribbon and have to worry about frayed edges, so I folded, creased and glued to make it look like two pieces came together.
Nice, crisp, corners:
I used curtain clips from Ikea, $3.99 for 10, on each panel. Once the ribbon was on, while the curtain was still laid out, I placed each clip 7 inches apart to make a handsome fold once they were hung.
Speaking of hanging, with our blinds in place, we needed our curtain rod to come out from the wall a little farther to clear the blinds and allow them to hang freely. We picked up the brackets from Ikea, that were extra long and held our rod a good 6 inches from the wall.
There you have it (I hope I covered everything)–Our double-trimmed drop cloth curtains for less than $50. If we paid for the ribbon, it would be right around $70….for FOUR curtain panels. Still an amazing price and far less than one panel would cost to purchase.
Here’s the best shot I could get to show off the softness of the canvas panels. I love the juxtaposition of the blinds and the drop cloth and the ribbon. Mmmm.
And a wider shot of the room (I think Greta is hiding behind the right curtain on the far side of the room).
We both love the curtains. Really, really love them–even if I did complain a few times during the process. Anyone else making curtains lately? Or maybe you are ready to try these–did I skip over an important detail you are wondering about? Are you as stoked as I am to find a site with such a huge array of ribbon colors!?