I know drop cloth curtains have been all the rage for some time in the DIY world, but I had my first experience with them last summer when I decided I needed to dress my three tall living room windows. Six 9′ panels don’t come cheap, though, so I began looking for affordable yet unique options.
The result? Smocked drop cloth curtains.
These curtains actually emboldened me to try my DIY ruffled curtains. I must say that both turned out better than I could have imagined; they were time-consuming, but totally worth it. Now I only wish I’d discovered my $5 “reclaimed” wood curtain rods before I hung these!
The smocking makes them so…. scrumptious. No. other. word. for. it.
I made these over the course of a month or so right after my son was born, so no process pictures… sorry! Before I give instructions, though, I will tell you a little secret.
Are you ready for it…..??
You can hang these half finished and no one will know. I mean, I imagine you could… I wouldn’t know from experience, of course. 😉
Ok, enough confessions suggestions. Step one is to buy drop cloth material at a home improvement store (mine came from Lowe’s). Tip: make your curtains the height of your walls (mine are 9′ tall, so I was able to buy 9′ drop cloths which saved me some hemming!). Then hang your bar 4-8″ below the ceiling and it gives you some pooling on the floor.
Note: Smocking the material cuts its width in half. So before you begin cutting your individual panels, make sure you take that into account. If you want your panel to end up 3′ wide, you’ll need 6′ of material. Capiche?
Now hem all four sides (hopefully some of that was done for you since the drop cloths are pre-hemmed!). [And if you are me, here is where you hang them all up using little curtain clips and take them down one at a time to smock them over a few days weeks.]
Finally, read this fabulous tutorial on honeycomb smocking. It seems daunting, but once you get rolling, it’s fairly mindless. I had never smocked before, and I managed without any major hiccups! Start your smocking a few inches from the top (to provide a ruffle for the curtain clips). I chose to make my grid on 3/4″ (this will make sense once you’ve read the smocking tutorial).
And voila! I love them in our living room because the drop cloth material provides a casual, comfortable backdrop, but the smocking dresses them up a bit and adds that hint of texture.
Just so you know, I’m purposefully not photographing the full room for you because I’m creating suspense for my upcoming reveal in the interest of full disclosure, my son happened to be watching Curious George when I took the pictures. 🙂 But for a full tour of the living room, you’ll have to come back soon. I shared the entryway last week, and this room is next on the home tour.
I love questions and comments, so please feel free!