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 our 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?

diy outdoor curtains from drop cloths

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 for your convenience.  You can find the full disclosure here.

**Link to the outdoor curtain rod tutorial can be found at the end of this post.

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:  Colors: 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 both sides 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 🙁

Once you are done you can hang them by creating an inexpensive outdoor curtain rod!

diy outdoor curtains tutorial

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

A few things to note…

  • I suggest that you spray your finished curtains with a water resistant spray, like Never Wet (by Rust-Oleum.)  If they get wet, over time they will get mold on them. I live in a pretty dry climate, so I leave mine up most of the year.
  • I’ve been asked if you can machine wash them.  I tested it, and the color of the paint was a little bit less vibrant, but they still looked good.

More projects from the outdoor living room…

HOW TO MAKE AN OUTDOOR CURTAIN ROD

DIY OUTDOOR CANDEL CHANDELIER

OUTDOOR LIVING ROOM REVEAL

This project was featured in the June 2015 issue of Better Homes and Gardens Magazine!

 

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About Corey

Corey is the creative behind Hey There, Home where she shares easy-to-follow and beautiful home decor and entertaining ideas. Her mission? To make home decor accessible to everyone, even if you don't consider yourself crafty, and to empower people to decorate their homes in a way that they can actually be lived in, not just looked at.

119 thoughts on “DIY Outdoor Curtains from Drop Cloths

  1. Peggy Ledesma says:

    Thanks for the Post!

    1. Corey Willis says:

      You’re so welcome, Peggy. Glad you stopped by!

    2. suzanne says:

      love this. Great idea. Curious where you got that throw pillow in the picture? I love the pattern.

    3. Corey Willis says:

      Hey Suzanne! I got the pillows from World Market; they may not have that exact style any longer but you may be able to find something you love!

  2. Angela Castro says:

    Thank you so much! I just ordered everything online. I had been trying to purchase in-store from Lowe’s and my results were just terrible. I am now waiting for my text to let me know my items are ready to pick up! So awesome 🙂

  3. Donna says:

    I made some panels for my gazebo last month. They had mildew on them shortly after several days of rainy weather. Maybe I didn’t saturate them enough with the water proofing. They look horrible. I will try to bleach them to get rid of the mildew.

  4. How did you get all the square folds out of the drop clothes? That would drive my OCD craaaaazy!!! Or did it soften up over time? I live in Florida… not wanted to foot over a $100 per panel so this option looks amazing!

    1. Hey Sheri. I ironed them and then hung them for a few days and the folds were gone. I know what you mean. They would have driven me crazy too.

  5. These are really amazing! I love the idea of using drop cloths for curtains. They are so inexpensive but the color is perfect for a vintage feel. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Your’e welcome Eileen. I agree, the color is perfect.

  6. Neet says:

    Looks great!But I’m concerned about the weather. What effect does rain have on these beautiful and thirty curtains? And are they mildew resistant? Thanks!

    1. Hello. I used neverwet spray on them and they’ve held up pretty well. I put them away during wet months though to have them last longer.

  7. Chanelle says:

    Love the colors! Where did you get the cushions and pillow??

  8. Great turotial, and super cost saving idea! Loe your brightly colored furniture!

    1. Thank you so much Virginia. It is definitely our favorite spot!

  9. I’m so glad you mentioned the washing. People ask me all the time if my office spray painted curtains can be washed, and I’ve never had a good answer for them!

  10. selma says:

    I purchased a 6×9 drop cloth and noticed that it had a bulky seam down the middle vertically. Is this common with all drop cloths? Your curtains look great by the way.

    1. Ugh Selma. What a bummer. It is rare, but does happen. You can definitely exchange them and get different ones.

  11. Amanda says:

    Thank you for sharing. I’ve been looking for ideas to make curtains/ privacy for our hot tub and seating area. Our lean-to is rather large so these cost effective curtains & rust proof rods will be perfect! I’m so excited, I’m going to place my order at Lowes and pick it up when I get off work.

  12. Ashley says:

    How did you attatch the curtains to the rod? I know using hanger clips but did you have to make holes in the curtains for the clips?

    1. Hi Ashley. The rings with the clips just clip onto the curtains so I didn’t have to use any holes in the fabric. It also makes them really easy to take up and down.

  13. Sheila says:

    What did you do for the top? Is that another 3 inches?

  14. Penny says:

    Do not skip the protective coating part, I did and mildew was a huge problem!

  15. […] Easy Peanut Butter Pie with Pretzel Crust || Carolina Vinegar BBQ Sauce {Art Fix} DIY Marble Art || The Secret to Painting Acrylic, Plastic, & Glass   March Printable Calendar   DIY Painted Globe | DIY Coffee Filter Garland Free Printable Wall Art  ||  The Trick to a Perfect Gallery Wall  ||  DIY Drop Cloth Outdoor Curtains […]

  16. Amy says:

    This was the inspiration for my pergola oasis! Unfortunately, my Home Depot did not sell the right-sized rod and wouldn’t have cut it for me anyway. 🙁 I used wood and hope it will hold up! Thank you for sharing and making this DIY novice and believer!

  17. Mary says:

    How did you attach the curtains to the clips?

  18. BarbieBean says:

    I used drop cloths to make curtains for our camper, but I washed & bleached them to whiten and to avoid shrinkage later. You mentioned you washed them, I assume you washed them in cold water to avoid shrinkage…… how did they do? I’d love to do this on our patio.

    1. Yes I did them in cold water and they did ok. They became softer, which I don’t love, but they still look good.

  19. rhonda says:

    Love the idea of using drop clothes for curtains. Planning to make some curtains to hang on my porch.

  20. Pat says:

    Oh, these colors! What a great project! Thank you so much for the tutorial for both the curtains and the rod. Blessings!

  21. […] if the sun was in their eyes. So we came up with an easy and budget-friendly solution with these DIY outdoor curtains that I made from drop […]

  22. eva Bryce says:

    I’m wondering how your curtains held up. Worried about putting the drop cloths up because I think over time they might show mold. Love the idea. Wanting to implement it at our house. Any info would be greatly appreciated!

    1. Hi Eva! That is a great question. I use a spray by Rust-Oleum called Never Wet and it helps to repel water. I live in a pretty dry climate and definitely take them down when it is going to rain. If they get really wet repeatedly mold will start showing up. Let me know if you have any more questions. Hope you are having a fantastic week!

  23. vicky says:

    Very pretty curtains. Did I miss how you did the top? I saw bottom hem but not top???

  24. Love these curtains! The colors are perfect for an outdoor space. Congrats on the BH&G Feature! That is so awesome! =)

  25. Virginia says:

    I read these directions through twice and will definitely give it an attempt. Where did I miss the seam for the rod pocket or did you use clips? I guess a seam for a rod would be easy enough, too.

    1. Hi Virginia. I used clips. You can see more about the curtain rod that I made and how they attached right here.

    2. Virginia says:

      Got it! Thank you!

  26. Corey, these curtains ARE awesome! Now I’m trying to come up with a place for them at my house. Gosh, I love electrical conduit. I’ve used it for curtain rods and an extra long towel bar and now there’s no going back!

  27. Becky says:

    What size drop cloth did you get? I bought some recently to make curtains for a very large window and there is a seam down the middle of it horizontally. So disappointed and trying to figure out a way to still make it work. Yours look fabulous!

    1. Hi Becky. That happened with one of mine too. I just returned it and got a different one. I think because they are used for spills it doesn’t usually matter, but for us crafty types it matters a whole lot. Mine were 9 ft x 6 ft I think.

  28. DEK says:

    Great idea! To avoid the dreaded mildew, I would add some fabic waterproofing spray – found at Lowes.

  29. Elaine says:

    Great job on making an outside room, it looks very inviting! I am looking for an inexpensive way to put curtains in our sunroom we constructed last year and I came across your idea on Pinterest. Would you mind letting me know if they actually block the sun? I have 12 windows and need to make sooooo many that I do not want to begin without knowing if they keep the sun out. Thanks for your info!

  30. I love the colors that you chose…so summery! Reminds me of summer evenings with margaritas in hand!

  31. Corey,
    I am loving drop cloths for so many fixes lately. They are a fordable and can be used for many different items. The colors you used are so fresh for your patio.
    Happy Creating,
    Karen Marie

  32. Dawn says:

    wondering how these held up in the weather, against rain and if you had any problems with mold/mildew??

  33. These are the CUTEST! I love those bright and colorful stripes. So clever using drop cloths! I need to make some for our backyard, we desperately need a little extra shade! Thanks for sharing!

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  35. Oh Corey, I love these. I’ve been trying to think of a way to make a curtain for our deck area as it has sliding doors leading into the garage, which isn’t exactly pretty. This would work. Great idea!

  36. […] out.  Part of what makes it so great is that it feels a lot like an indoor room thanks to these drop cloth curtains.  And one reader called the diy curtain rod that goes with it “ingenious.”  -Hey, […]

  37. […] two coats of my go to blue color (Lagoon by Rust-Oleum.)  You probably recognize it from my diy outdoor curtains and my spray painted plastic outdoor […]

  38. Angie says:

    Great idea! Do you let yours get wet?

  39. These are beautiful!! Love the colors and the price tag!!!!

  40. LOVE how your outdoor space is shaping up! Hopefully ours will be headed that way soon and I’m thinking curtains! 😀 Thanks for the fabulous tutorial!

  41. Very cute! Love the spraypaint colors you chose! I am in love with dropcloth curtains, so definitely pinned this one! 🙂

  42. Outdoor curtains has been on my list for a long time now! Thanks for sharing, pinning on the Hometalk DIY everything board too 🙂

  43. What a clever way to make outdoor curtains! I love the stripes, and the color.

  44. These turned out perfect! I love the colors that you used and the weights at the bottom are so smart. This whole space is so fun and colorful- love!

  45. Stacey says:

    Love this idea- especially the pop of color! Question, did you use Scotch Guard or any other product to prevent them from mildewing or weathering?

    1. Dorena says:

      I was wondering the same thing about using scotch guard to protect against mildew?(Outdoor curtains)

  46. Stacey says:

    Absolutely LOVE these!!! Especially the added touch of color- wonderful! Question, did you happen to use Scotch Guard or do anything to prevent the fabric from mildewing/ weathering?

  47. […] Spray Painted Plastic Outdoor Chairs {update: one year later} How to Paint Plastic Outdoor Chairs {summer spruce-up} DIY Outdoor Chandelier {progress in the outdoor living room} DIY Drop Cloth Outdoor Curtains & a Summer Celebration Hop […]

  48. […] and I got to add the exact colors I wanted.  If you haven’t already seen how I made these Drop Cloth Curtains and the Outdoor Curtain Rod you will want to check out this […]

  49. By now it should come as no surprise that you were featured at our Get Your DIY On party…we just love everything you do!! And of course I love a good sewing project. If the non-believers with there no-sew tape only knew how much you can do with a machine! Love these and going back to pin how you hung them, very clever! 🙂 XO

    1. Thanks so much Christy! I was so excited to be featured, but so bummed I never got the chance to talk with you at Haven 🙁 Thanks for your kind words and I agree about the sewing thing. I taught myself, and it has been the greatest thing!

  50. […] I’m not sure about the extra added moisture. We are also considering making – just saw a great tutorial on this – or buying curtains to hang along the outward edge of the porch both for shade and privacy.Since we […]

  51. Dorena says:

    Love this idea. I’m starting on my curtains at this very moment. I have one question for you. Did you have to spray any sealer over paint? Would love to add paint to mine but I will be using curtains as more of a privacy screen and they are outside.

    1. Hi there! I didn’t use a sealer. I live in a decently dry climate and plan to bring them in in the winter but the sprinklers hit my curtains and they are doing fine. The spray paint hasn’t smeared at all. I’m excited to hear how your project goes and I’d love to see photos of the end result! Please send them my way cause I’d love to use them in an upcoming reader spotlight post! And of course, let me know if you have more questions along the way.

  52. Taryn Cafferty says:

    I love what you’ve done with the drop cloths…the curtains look perfect! I’ve been looking for something to use on our screened-in porch and originally wanted bamboo shades. The cost of these shades is way more than I want to spend but then I found this post on a link party. I am so going to make drop cloth curtains…forget the bamboo shades! Thanks so much for sharing! P.S…Home Depot is my “go-to-toy-store”. I love that place and my local store has great employees.

    1. I’m so happy to have helped you find a more budget friendly solution Taryn! I love my home depot too. I have a favorite employee there that always spoils my kiddos with a little treat. Aren’t they the best! Be sure to send me photos of your finished project so I can use them in a reader’s spotlight post that will be coming up soon!

    2. Just popped back over and followed! Gald they are working now 🙂

  53. Another great find for my Summer projects round-up tomorrow! Your space is SO much fun Corey! I just love all of the lime and blue punches everywhere! You’ve really come up with some creative ideas for your space!!!

  54. […] I gave it a coat of paint using the leftover Rust-Oleum Key Lime spray paint that I had from the outdoor curtains I made. I let it dry between coats and turned it to get it sprayed from every […]

  55. MB says:

    Hello – I really love this and was wondering if you could link me to the exact drop cloths you used. I can’t seem to find them online. I want to do this project this weekend. So very cute!

  56. Wow, fantastic girl! Love the washer tip 😉
    hugs,
    Jamie

    1. Thanks Jamie! The washers make a huge difference!

  57. Fabulous idea….can’t wait to get started! Thank you

    1. Thanks Gail! The hubs and I were just sitting outside last night after the kids went to bed and I had the curtains drawn and it was like I was sitting in an open air tent. Fabulous on a warm summer evening!

  58. LindsayR says:

    If you don’t mind me asking where did you purchase the accent pillows from for you beautiful new conversation set? They compliment the set so well.

    1. I don’t mind at all! I got them at Cost Plus World Market. They are 50% off right now (which totally bums me out cause I paid full price!) I’ll be including my sources in the reveal post but you can be the first to know! Thanks for stopping by!

  59. Michelle says:

    These are GORGEOUS! Have they held up pretty good? I’m trying to find out if they start to mold or mildew from the rain?

  60. I can’t believe that these are originally dropcloths!!! I only wish I had a big deck at my house to need awesome outdoor curtains like yours. Wow. I would love it if you linked this up to my Motivate Me Monday linky party!

  61. I love your curtains, Corey! The colors are great and it looks so good with your patio furniture. I chose this as my featured pick for this week’s Thursday S.T.Y.L.E. Link Party. Thanks for linking up with us each week:)

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  63. I love everything about these curtains, from the colors to the dropcloths, to the curtain rods, to the washer/weights…. I have been wanting to make some so I am taking notes!!! 🙂 hugs x,
    Crystelle

  64. LOVE the drop curtains!! I may just make one for my back porch too! Thanks for the great tutorial Corey!

  65. Jamie says:

    How do you think they would work in a windy back yard? Maybe I could add tie backs for when not in use.

    1. I definitely think that tie backs are a good idea if you get a lot of wind so that they don’t get ruined. Also, with the clips that I used (you can see a photo in the outdoor curtain rod post) it is really easy to take them down, which I plan to do in the months that we aren’t outside that much. They have given my patio a vacation feel which I love, and I am sure you will too!

  66. […] our outdoor curtains with a really inexpensive solution for a DIY Outoor Curtain Rod.  I posted how I made these Outdoor Curtains for less than $10 the other day and the response from all of you has been overwhelming.  I’m so glad that you […]

  67. An outdoor living room? Wow Corey, I can’t even finish my indoor living room. Love this!

    1. Ha! My indoor living room isn’t done yet either. I pretty much have decorating ADD 🙂 But with summer here outside has to be a priority. We are loving it so far!

  68. I absolutely love this project! Gives me SO many ideas for some outdoor drapes!

    1. Thanks Sarah. The possibilities are endless with this and you definitely can’t beat the price. At first I thought curtains might be a bit much, but they do come in handy to block the sun in the evening, so we are using the space more than ever! Thanks for popping by. So fun to do this hop with you:)

    1. Thanks so much Bette! Outside is the perfect spot for these super bright colors. Just makes it feel so summery!

  69. These are truly incredible Corey- I absolutely love the bold stripes and the colors you chose. Such a great idea for privacy- the whole vignette is beautiful. Pinned and shared!!

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  71. Those are awesome!!!!!!! I may do something like that on my back deck. I had thought about adding bamboo blinds because it is awful bright when we sit out there after work while the sun is setting, but this is a really cool idea.

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  75. Love the colors you used, Corey! And your outdoor space looks great! I am sure you will enjoy lots of summer nights out there.! Pinning:-)

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  77. Corey! Those turned out beautifully! You did a great job and I love the colors you chose!

    1. Thank you so much Jen! I’m so excited for this space to be done. Living in So-Cal it will come in handy for sure 🙂 It has been so much fun doing this hop with all of you. Have a great day!

  78. I love the look of outdoor curtains and then with adding that pop of color, it’s perfection! Great job.

  79. Wow Corey!! Those turned out amazing!! The colors are perfect! And I love how budget friendly they are! Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. 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.

    1. Thank you so much Selene. Hope you are doing great!

  80. I must see more of this outdoor space! I love the color combination you decided to use in here! 🙂

    1. 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!

  81. Oh my gosh, Corey!! These are beautiful!!! Your patio in general looks gorgeous. Gotta love that wine ;).

    1. 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!

  82. I totally want to do this! Yours turned out absolutely beautiful and for a great price!!

    1. 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!

  83. They turned out great, Corey! So smart to add weights. And way to use spray paint, so much easier than brushing paint on!

    1. 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!

  84. Love, love, LOVE these!!! Our patio cover is finally done and I will be attempting to make these soon. Cheers!

    1. You took on quite the project with that patio cover! So impressed 🙂 Curtains are a must now!!

  85. I’m not very good at sewing, but I’m pretty sure I need to try these! I’ve been looking for some cheap, easy curtains for the bedrooms and I imagine drop-cloth will be good for blocking out light. Thanks for the tutorial!

    1. 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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  87. LOVE how that color just pops at the bottom!

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