I threw blinds out of the pool of options because they just got too expensive and after some looking, blackout curtains did too. Then after searching some blogs I follow, I came across ChrisLovesJulia's post on drop cloth curtains and coupled it with YoungHouseLove's clip ring method, and something just clicked in my mind. I loved the texture and darkness of the canvas drop cloths and the hidden look the clip rings give them. Long story short, a whole window with two curtains and a curtain rod cost $26. This could get expensive if you put two curtains on every single window, but we chose to do two in the bedroom and one every where else (except for the big living room window). So here is what you need and how to get these DIY curtains in your space in just 5 easy steps.
WHAT YOU NEED
6' x 9' Canvas Drop Cloth (2x if you want 2 panels)
Curtain Rod (Another Cute One)
Clip rings (2x)
You will want to wash your drop cloths with an extra dose of fabric softener at least once, I did mine twice. When you take the cloths out of the package, they are stiff and wrinkly and the fabric softener will loosen up the fibers and give you the billowy curtain look.
1. Hang curtain rod. The golden rule on this one: high and wide. Say it with me, "high and wide." You want to hang your curtains high and wide on the window frame so it doesn't cover up the window and make it seem smaller than it is. Here's the most frequently re-pinned image I found on Pinterest from Honey & Fitz showing how big of a difference it makes. Ours ended up being about 63" across and 7.5' tall.
2. Measure how long you want your curtains to be - hem if necessary. I thought I liked mine pooled at the bottom, but once we got them up I liked them better when they were just barely touching the floor so I hemmed them a good 12".
3. IRON. One of the most crucial steps in this process. Running a hot and steamy iron over the washed canvas drop cloths magically turns them into curtains that look like they came from West Elm. These guys are thick, so you'll want to turn your iron up to its highest setting and steam press them when necessary. There is something about a wrinkle free curtain that amps up its expensive looking factor. I also folded and partially ironed where I was going to place the clips, just so I got a nice straight line.
4. Place circle clip rings evenly spaced across each panel. I used 7 clips per panel and just eyeballed the spacing. If they are not perfectly even you won't even be able to tell.
5. Put the rings on the rod and hang those bad boys up!
We are so happy with how awesome they look and how well they keep out the sun. For our un-insulated house, they also keep out a lot of the cold air! The night before we put them up, we had to turn the heater on because it was so cold overnight. But the night after we hung them up we both woke up sweating! So not only are these DIY curtains cheap and good looking, they also might help you save a dime on your heating bill, and Lord knows we could use that after our leak last week. We are still getting the bedroom setup, so excuse the ugly night stands that aren't tall enough for the bed.
Give this DIY a try and share your pictures! We love seeing and hearing that you guys like reading what we're doing in our home. The blogging world is a place where we like to inspire and encourage each other to try things that could make our lives a little more beautiful, I just like it when those things are not wallet killers. Let us know what you think of our new addition to the bedroom!