DIY Outdoor Curtains from Drop Cloths

Hi friends!  I’m super excited for this post today.  You know when you have an idea and it turns out exactly as you imagined?  It doesn’t happen every time, but this time it did!

If you are a regular here, you know I’ve been working on an outdoor living room and I’m so happy to say that it officially feels like a defined space to relax now that we have our outdoor furniture and these DIY Outdoor Curtains that I made from drop cloths.  And would you believe that I spent less than 10 per panel?

inexpensive outdoor curtains

I made 4 curtain panels for my patio.  I left 2 of the panels in the width they came because I am actually going to use these for privacy and to block the sun.  The other 2 I made with only one drop cloth that I cut in half.  These 2 are  just to complete the look, but don’t need to be pulled for privacy or sun blockage. This contains some affiliate links.  You can find the full disclosure here.

Supplies List and sources:

  • Drop cloths:  I got these medium weight drop cloths at Home Depot in the paint section.  They came in a 2 pack for 10 dollars.  I bought 2 packs and have 1 left over cause I actually cut one in half so that it wouldn’t be so bulky.  You will want to know your measurements so that you can buy the right size.  I cut some length off of mine.  (You can also find good deals on drop cloths on Amazon.)
  • Spray paint:  I found these fun colors at Home Deopt.  They are the same colors I used on my Plastic Adirondack chairs and turquoise garden stool. (The colors are Rust-Oleum Lagoon, Seaside, and Key Lime)
  • Painters Tape:  Don’t skimp here.  Get the Scotch blue painters tape.  It really does work the best.
  • Paper bags
  • Heavy washers to weight your curtains:  I used 4 per panel (2 in each pocket.)


Here is what I did:

First you will need to take measurements in your space.  I measured from my patio cover to about 2 inches from the ground to get my length.

DIY patio curtains

With that number I added 5 inches for my bottom hem, marked it all the way across my drop cloth and cut off the excess.

Then, I measured 2 inches up from the bottom, and made a mark, and then 3 inches from that mark and made a mark.

I folded the bottom of the drop cloth at my first mark so that I had a 2 inch fold.  (Your mark will be directly in the fold.)  Then I folded again using the next mark and pinned to hold it together.

burlap curtains for the patio

I ran my drop cloth through the sewing machine sewing along the top of the fold you just made starting about 3 inches in from the edge and leaving 3 inches at the other edge.  Then I sewed down the side to hold the hem in place and down again at the 3 inch mark.  This will leave a little pocket for washers to weight your curtains.

painters drop cloth curtains

Now for the fun part!  The spray paint!  I taped off where I wanted my stripes to go making sure to tape both sides of the drop cloth before you start to paint.

IMPORTANT:  You have to get the tape on either side of the curtain in the exact same spot otherwise your paint will show through.

Once you are ready, cut open some paper bags and tape them along the tape line so that when you spray one color it doesn’t go on the rest of the drop cloth.  I actually set up the bags so that I could fold them over and do the next color the second I was done with the first color.  I didn’t want to have to sit and wait for the paint to dry between each color.  I reused the same bags for each panel replacing the tape on the edge of the bags when necessary.

DIY Outdoor Curtains

When you first spray the drop cloths it is going to look like they have already faded, even with 2 coats.  Don’t fret!  Just be sure to apply two even coats and once you pull the tape they will look really vibrant.  Let side one dry before painting side 2.  I used 2 cans of each color.  Buy more than you think you will need.  You can always return what you don’t open and it will save you from having to stop in the middle.  Yes, I learned this the hard way :(

diy outdoor curtains tutorial

I’m thrilled with how my outdoor living room is coming together just in time to enjoy summer!

See the outdoor living room reveal!
outdoor living room tour

More projects from this room:

How to make an outdoor curtain rod

DIY outdoor candle chandelier

signature-2014Linking up at THESE GREAT PARTIES and Remodelahoic and Home Stories A to Z
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    • says

      Thank you so much Chelsea! I had no idea drop cloths were so inexpensive. These came in way under budget which is good cause the furniture was a bit of a splurge :) This hop has been so much fun! Thanks again for organizing it and including me.

    • says

      It is on it’s way Brandi! I can’t wait for it to be completely done. Just a few more little projects and then it will be time to relax there full time. We’ve already spent way more time outside this season, so I I just know it is going to be worth the effort to make it great. Hope you are having a great day!

    • says

      Oh yes my friend…it would not be complete without a chilled glass of wine! Hey…you live close to me. We should meet up sometime and have a glass!

    • says

      Thanks Liz. This was one of those projects that just went perfectly (which you probably know doesn’t always happen:) You should totally try it!

    • says

      I’m absolutely addicted to spray paint (not in the drug way, don’t worry :) You’re right it would have taken so long to brush it on. I have do say, I pretty much love them!

    • says

      Drop cloths would be a great idea for a bedroom. I used be be afraid to sew too. This is literally sewing in a straight line, so I say just go for it! You will only get better the more projects you do right?


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