DIY DROP CLOTH DRAPES
I'm SO EXCITED to share my most recent DIY project with you! If you're decorating on a budget, this is a post for you...
Home decor and serendipitous interior design has always been an obsession of mine. Funny enough, I remember getting home from school one afternoon to new curtains hanging in our living room. I didn't like them at all and was furious that my mom went shopping for our home without me, LOL! I was like, "how dare you, Mami!" I made her promise that she would never go shopping for home decor without me. Guys, I must've been 10 years old, LOL! It's no wonder I ended up getting my bachelors degree in Interior Architecture and Design, right?!
I got the idea to do drop cloth curtains from one of my favorite interior designers and home decor bloggers, Erin Kern, from The Cotton Stem Blog. I follow Erin on Instagram and just love her perspective on peaceful, comfy and affordable design. Last month, Erin blogged about her no-sew drop cloth curtains and I was hooked! Beautiful and they were SUPER cheap. I'm talking less than $40 for an entire wall of beautiful window treatments! You just can't beat that, friends! At this price, I was all in. However, what makes my drop cloth curtains better than Erin's is that I found seamless drop cloths on Amazon! Yay!
Our Los Angeles home was built in 1936 and is considered French Eclectic according to our neighborhood's historical society. Complete with turrets that resemble those of a French Chateau, and a beautiful rose garden courtyard, my husband and I immediately fell in love with the architecture and knew this would be 'home' for many years to come. I just love classic French architecture and interiors. In fact, after living in NYC for my hosting gig at MTV, we moved back to Los Angeles, purchased our first home in the West Hollywood neighborhood, we completely gutted it, knocked down some walls, and redesigned it in a lovely French Country aesthetic with modern amenities (I promise to write a post about our first home renovation in the near future! It was really pretty!).
I love sitting on our living room chaise, lounging with a cozy throw, a book, my pups snoozing on my lap, and looking out our giant French windows. When the white roses in our courtyard are in full bloom, which will be very soon, I open up the windows and let the rose-scented air into our home and there's nothing quite like it. It's heavenly!
In keeping with the French architecture and details of our home, I knew I wanted dramatic drapes that would puddle onto our hardwood floor and flank our French windows beautifully. Puddling silk drapes are a staple in French decor so I really wanted to include that in our home. The silk drapes I originally wanted from Pottery Barn, although gorgeous, would have cost me over $600 because the window is so large which meant paying the higher price for the longer panels.
Once I decided on trying my hand at DIY drop cloth curtains, I purchased two seamless 9x12, 100% cotton drop cloths on Amazon to ensure I would have plenty of fabric to puddle. The total cost? $18.95 each!!! Yep, I created these beautiful drapes for about $40 total, making this my proudest DIY home decor project ever!
STEP 1: BLEACH THE DROP CLOTHS
If you're not crazy about the original color after opening up the package (mine had a hint of grayish/blue that I didn't care for), fill your bathtub or top-loading washer with enough hot water to cover the drop cloths, pour in about 1/2 a gallon of bleach (it's a lot of bleach!) and let the drop cloths soak in the water for about 7 hours to get them a nice natural or white color. Be sure that every inch of the fabric is immersed in the water so you don't end up with spots. However, if you do end up with spots, you simply repeat the bleaching process to get rid of them.
Tips for this step:
- Use gloves to protect your skin! We have a front-loading washer which wasn't gonna work to bleach my drop cloths so I put on some old clothes just in case I got bleach on them, busted out my heavy-duty cleaning gloves, and used my bathtub. I used a metal rod to swish the drop cloths around every couple of hours. If using a top-loading washer, just let them soak in the water/bleach mixture and turn on the wash every couple of hours to swish the fabric around.
- Be sure that your bathtub will not get damaged from all that bleach. My bathtub is ceramic so I knew it could withstand the power of the bleach.
- Finally, purchasing 100% cotton drop cloths is a must in order to bleach them.
STEP 2: WASH AND DRY YOUR DROP CLOTHS
After bleaching, wash and dry the drop cloths to get the chlorine odor out. If you're using a top-loading washer, your job will be easier than mine since you already have the drop cloths in the washer.. Because my drop cloths were bleached in my bathtub, I put on my cleaning gloves to handle them, placed them in a bucket, and transferred them to my washer.
The cut edges will probably fray a lot but you can easily cut them before putting them in the dryer. I had to cut them more after taking them out of the dryer but it really wasn't that big of a deal.
STEP 3: IRON THE DROP CLOTHS
I ironed my drop cloths in the living room while binge watching the Netflix show, Grace & Frankie. Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin are hilariously funny!
STEP 4: CUT YOUR DROP CLOTHS TO CREATE YOUR PANELS
I cut each drop cloth in half the long way to create four panels. Be sure to measure your windows and decide if you want them to puddle like mine. Figure out what size drop cloth to purchase and decide where to cut them in accordance to your windows. I also liked the folded over look from Erin's blog and decided to add that to mine. As you can tell from the photos, I folded the drop cloth at the top to create another layer and extra detail to my drapes.
I finished off my new French window look with decorative tassled pullbacks and couldn't be happier with how they turned out! I think I'll make a bowl of my famous guacamole, my fav tortilla chips, and sit on my couch to admire them.
So, what do you think of my new living room drapes? I don't think anyone can tell that they are made from drop cloths, which is really cool. My husband and I love them and still can't believe it cost us $40! Have you ever DIY'd your own curtains before? Let me know in the comments below.
Happy DIYing, my friends!