Monday, January 7, 2013

Drop Cloth Curtain Fail

Sometimes, projects don't go as planned. I usually don't write about the failures, but I'm going to start.

This failed project should have been an easy one. I read on another blog how to use canvas drop cloths as curtains. All I had to do was paint them with medium and paint and they could be any color I wanted! And the nine foot length the naturally come in would be perfect.

The current curtains in Baby B's room came from the house in Florida's room I used as an office. (The house we no longer own as of 12/31/12!)

Den / Office in Florida 2008

Same Curtains in Baby B's room

The curtains in Baby B's room have always been too short.

And not my favorite at the top.

I didn't do a whole lot of planning with this project. I assumed nine feet would be enough to go ceiling to floor. Yet, I knew my living room curtains needed to be 108 inches to get the ceiling to floor look, but I wasn't paying attention.

I found a drop cloth that was six feet by nine feet for $10. Perfect! Just cut it in half, and I'd have two panels. All my other curtain panels are only three feet wide.

I had read to wash them in fabric softener a couple times to get them softer.

This is where I messed up. I cut the panels in half.

THEN I put them in the washer for two cycles. Thank goodness I didn't use my nice, favorite detergent on these. After the first wash, they were fine. After the second wash, I pulled them out to see this...

I was so frustrated. I shouldn't have cut them before washing them. I was going to sew them, but my brain was NOT thinking.

I told Mr. JCrew I ruined my drop cloth curtains. While we were out running errands I just looked at curtains knowing I wouldn't find any in the 96" length I needed. The standard is 84 inches and I think that's what I had in there currently.

I was surprised to find a 95 inch white panel that could work. I really liked the offwhite color best, but they didn't have it in the right length. Plus, Mr. JCrew reminded me I could paint it just like I was going to do with the drop cloth.

So, we bought the white curtains along with a wider curtain rod. When I got my curtain rods when we moved in, I made a rookie mistake. I bought the adjustable rods that had their maximum width just a few inches wider than my window. I should have bought the rod where the minimum length was my window width.

We get home to put the new curtains up. Whoa, were they bad! They weren't even at the bottom! (it wasn't because of the wrinkles!)

I put both up and hoped the other panel was even and put the uneven one where you couldn't see it behind the chest of drawers. Nope, both panels were cut at a slant! And I wanted them to at least touch the floor slightly.

The pure white color didn't go in that room, but I wasn't about to paint uneven curtains. Back to the store they went.

The only good thing was the new curtain rod. It allowed the curtain to not cover as much of the window. It makes the window look larger. I think I'll be getting those larger ones for the living room.

We are back to square one. On the hunt for some curtains that are 108 inches. Since the drop cloth was only 96 inches, I am not going to try it again. Still undecided on color. Should I be bold or stick with the off-white? We'll see what I find.


  1. Oh-oh! Washing drop clothes in a washing machine is actually a delicate process. You need to set it on gentle cycle, use warm water, and a mild detergent. Then, let the canvas to air-dry to avoid unnecessary damage. Anyway, I hope you find the right size of curtain next time! Keep us posted once you have! =D Thank you!

    Roxie Tenner


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