March 2, 2011

The Project is complete - and nobody cried

It was a "Project" that has been in the back of my mind for a while now.

A Project that I have been making tentative steps toward.  Tentative because a) usually when I try my hand at these kinds of things it doesn't always work out so well and sometimes, ends in tears; b) I was reluctant to spend the money not knowing if I'd be happy with the results (do you know how many times I've done projects only to throw them away because they didn't turn out the way I'd envisioned?); and c) because it's been far too cold to go outside and work on it anyway.

This past weekend the weather was wonderful - it almost reached the 80's here! (A true miracle, considering it was February)  So I decided to go for it.

I made drop cloth curtains.  Yes, out of drop cloth.  The stuff you use to protect your floors/furniture from paint.

Yes, I'm insane.

But hear me out.....I read on a random blog somewhere (sorry, can't remember where) about these.  Then I Googled them (check it out) they are really nice.  And easy!

So, I informed Hubby that this is THE solution to our issue with the back porch (the sun shines in at certain times of the day and is BLINDING).  He laughed hysterically.  Until I showed him the Google results.

Then he agreed to try it.

And for once??  My crazy notion actually panned out.

AND it turned out better than I thought it would.

The thing is - using drop cloths (from Home Depot - not Lowe's - apparently their's have seams in inappropriate places....) that only cost about $10.00 a piece is a good deal.  They are already hemmed and ready to go.  

All you need to do is iron them.  Hmmmm......I'm not much on ironing.

After about the second panel (I needed four) I learned that you need to start from the middle and go out.  I also discovered that laying it out in a large carpeted area works out well - although it isn't ideal for your back to be crawling around on the floor.  After the third panel, I almost decided that the wrinkles added "character" to the drapes.

We bought closet pole "cups" (I don't know what else to call them) and spray painted them.

prior to painting

We purchased something called "conduit pipe" (don't ask me, I wasn't involved in this part.  We tried PVC pipe; but because the opening was so large that didn't work) that we cut it to fit....

Then we spray painted it.....

Then; after all the ironing, measuring, etc. we were ready to hang.  I used curtain rings with clips on them and folded the top of the panel over, creating a valance, thus preventing the need to cut and hem the panels as they were too long.

And thus, my "no sew" curtains were ready.  Except, I needed a way to pull the curtains back when they weren't in use and to keep them from blowing all over the place when the wind blows.

This involved some "sewing."  I bought some beautiful upholstery fabric (on sale) and fabricated these tie-backs.  

The sewing totally involved the "stitch witch" stuff....

I am so excited with the results - 

Closed to block the sun

Even Hubby likes them (!!).  

This is the perfect, inexpensive way to put up curtains in a casual area.  Keep in mind that the fabric won't be perfect and the hems may not be perfectly straight - it is a drop cloth after all, but it is a quick and easy fix and most importantly - cheap.  Can you imagine how much I could have paid for real curtains for an opening that large?  I think the total was about $60 including the panels, all the hardware and the fabric for the tie-backs.

As I was crawling around on the floor ironing, I was thinking of all the different ways these could be dressed up.  You could stencil a design on them.  You could add a fabric trim.  The ideas are endless.

Of course, me being me, this Project spurred on another one.  Now I'm in the process of re-covering the faded pillows with fabric to match the tie-backs......

All I need now is for Spring to get here so I can get out there and enjoy them - once I finish those damn pillows.


  1. Oh I so need you to come help me fix up my bedroom ! they look great

  2. Wow! Those are more than perfect, and I think you have hit on a great way to "dress" that window. Plus it looks super when pulled back. Congratulations on your completed project.

  3. What a fabulous idea!! They turned out great. Oh and you had to brag about your weather didn't you? We are in for more snow today! lol

  4. Oh my land sakes negotiany Gigi. They look great! You're very creative to think of this! Good job you guys, curtains are expensive and you discovered an inexpensive way to get a some great looking curtains.

  5. You have done a Great job on these!! I can't wait to pass this idea on to friends. I love the fact that they are no sew!

  6. They look awesome!

    I don't iron but I could get my husband to do it I'm sure.

  7. I've done 4 sets for my living room- need to do 4 more (yes, I have 8 large windows). It's the only way I can afford to put so many panels up!!

  8. I'm seriously impressed Gigi - they may be "no sew" but your project still involved poles and valances and tie-backs...all scary words in Lottie's world!

    They look fab by the way...wanna come over to the Sussex, England and do a few pairs for my new house?

  9. Awesome! You're like the fourth person I've seen whose done this. What a view you guys have! Pretty awesome!

  10. What a great idea. Even with all the technical stuff like ironing and conduit pipe this might be something I could do. Yours turned out great.

  11. Gigi, you have a great mind. I think this idea is fabulous, and I love the step by step instructions. I am, however, a little jealous at the absence of snow on the ground. :)

  12. This idea is brilliant. I need new curtains in the living room. I am sort of leaning towards color though. How wonderful for $60!

  13. Wow - very nice. :)

  14. wow, they look fantastic! What a great idea.It sounds far too complicated for me but such a bargain. Well done, I bet you can't stop looking at them. X