Drop Cloth Curtains

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Before and After: Drop Cloth Curtains

My problem: ugly sheer curtains, made even uglier by our cat Kitten, who likes eating them.  (Seriously, you can see the hole to the far left about halfway up, where he’d sit on the arm of the chair and chew the curtains.)  I didn’t care for the look of the sheers, but they were left by the previous owners of our house and keeping them up was just the easiest thing.  Shame on me.

But then, you know — Pinterest: eye candy everywhere, and solutions to all household problems!  I saw so many different posts about drop cloths used as curtains, I just had to try it.  I went to Home Depot and bought two 6′ x 9′ drop cloths for less than $11 each.  Colors vary slightly, so if you try this yourself, flip the packs over in the store so that you can see more of the fabric and find two that closely match.  They come already hemmed along all edges and are one big seamless piece of fabric.

Drop Cloths from Home Depot for Curtains

Since I haven’t yet decided whether I’d like to paint them, add ribbon trim, dye them or what — so many ideas on Pinterest — I decided to just wash them, run them through the dryer, iron them and then hang them up.  I didn’t even want to hem then yet, so I just folded them over at the top and used curtain clips to hold them to the curtain rod.  So easy.

They iron beautifully and in person they almost look like linen.  I certainly prefer them over the awful sheers, and I’ll have fun trying to decide how I might want to personalize them.  For now though, I’m enjoying them as they are!

Drop Cloth Curtains

(Sorry about the overly bright window.  It’s not quite so bad in person.)

Jelly Roll Curtains

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Circa 1934 Jelly Roll Curtains

A “jelly roll” is a roll of fabrics that contains at least one print of each fabric in a collection, cut into long skinny strips, 2.5″ x 44″.  There are usually 40 different prints in a roll, but often some prints will be duplicated.  When I saw the Circa 1934 fabrics, I instantly wanted to use them in my kitchen.  Well, I wanted to use them in my future kitchen.  The one where I’ve already painted the cabinets quilter’s white, the counter tops are NOT cracked tile, and the backsplash is jewel-like, shimmery tiles … or maybe they’re pressed tin.  Or something I haven’t thought of yet.  Anyway, in my mind this fabric is a perfect fit for what will be.  Since it was the easiest, most affordable part of the planned changes, I went for it even though it’s not the best fit for my kitchen today.

The pre-cut jelly roll strips made this a very quick project.  I measured the window, figured out how many strips I needed for the width on each side, then cut the strips long enough to hem at the top and the bottom.  (My window is 36″ tall.  I cut the strips 40″ long to allow for neatening up the ends and hemming.)

Then, sew.

Circa 1934 Jelly Roll Curtains

After I had the strips sewn together, I ironed the seams flat and top stitched along them.

Circa 1934 Jelly Roll Curtains

This makes the fronts look nice and neat, and it also cleaned up the backs.  Since I decided not to line the curtains, this seemed important to me.  (I love the way the colors glow when the early morning sun shines through the window.)

Circa 1934 Jelly Roll Curtains

The top and bottom are just turned under and hemmed, then held up with clip-style curtain rings.  With the little clips, you don’t have to fuss with making a rod pocket — just sew a plain rectangle for your curtain and you’re good to go.  How easy is that?

Circa 1934 Jelly Roll Curtains

Bonus: I have plenty of fabrics left in the roll to make a few kitchen accessories, too!