Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Drop Cloth Curtains/Drapes-Does This Cherub Make Me Look Tacky-French Country Junk Chic

I live in New Orleans where most of the houses have high ceilings, and hence over size windows too. You cannot buy an off-the-rack curtain to fit a window. My ceilings are 11 feet tall (they have been dropped by a previous owner from the original 14 feet tall). Do the math: 11 X 12 = 132 inches. No curtain panel comes that long (unless you are fortunate enough to get expensive custom drapes made). So I have to make my curtains, and even fabric at a cheap price of $5. -$10. a yard gets costly when each panel needs to be at least 3.5 yards long.
So for years I have been buying canvas drop cloths and making curtain panels out of them. I don't need to sew, because they are hemmed all the way around. I just use those rings with the clips. If I needed a more finished look, I would sew those big wood rings onto them.

Canvas drop cloth curtain panel
Valorie Hart Designs

The canvas is heavy enough, and is a great natural fiber, just as nice as a heavy natural linen. A beautiful diffused light comes through, so if you need both privacy and light, you can leave your curtains closed. The only nit pick is that there is usually a seam somewhere on the drop cloth. It doesn't bother me. I use the 9 X 12 or 9 X 15 for one curtain panel.
There is a a book called French Country Junk Chic that also shows you how to use canvas drop cloths as curtain or drapery panels HERE. Written by Kathryrn Elliot, who does faux painting (as her profession) and is a design consultant, it is a book filled with lots of ideas and DYI projects.

The drop cloth curtain panels in French Country Junk Chic are more elaborate than mine. It's another great way to use canvas drop cloths. The book tells you how to do it - it's pretty easy!
Kathryrn makes a clever fringe by folding over the top of the drop cloth, hemming it to make a rod pocket. She leaves an extra 6 inch flap of excess to hang below the hemmed pocket. She makes fringe by marking off the fabric every two inches, and then cutting strips that become the fringe. She knots each strip as near to the bottom of the rod pocket as possible.
What person isn't on a budget? French Country Junk Chic has a zillion good ideas that you can modify to your own taste. Some of the rooms are a little too jam packed even for me! (But don't let this steer you away from this useful and upbeat book). And some of it looks too much like a 50% off sale at Stein Mart or TJ Maxx or Tuesday Morning. A little of that stuff is great, and goes a long way. Otherwise you might be asking the question: "Does this cherub make me look tacky?"
And now for something truly exciting! There is the Chimney Sweep Drop Cloth! Don't you just love using the words chimney sweep in a sentence? This drop cloth comes in basic black, and I think it might make a great set of curtains. You can get it HERE
Remember, depending on where you shop, you can buy canvas drop cloths for as little as $10. each - do the math - that's less than $3. per yard for some very nice pre-hemmed fabric. And if you don't like the way it looks, or screw up the project, you always have a drop cloth on hand.


Mary Kay said...

Drop cloth curtains? They look GREAT. How cool. Glad I'm out of the window treatment business. It was tough enough selling people overpriced fabric!

Visual Vamp said...

Oh MK I would kill to be able to buy a beautiful curtain panel that costs $300. each - I only need 10 to 12 pairs LOL! So I guess it's drop cloths for my big ass windows LOL.