November 27, 2017

How-To: $11 Dyed No-Sew Dropcloth Curtains

Thank you for so much love for our One Room Challenge Office reveal! Even though the ORC is fun to participate in, I can't wait to participate in the January season of the $100 Room Challenge. I took the entire week of Thanksgiving off of blogging to concentrate on getting all the houses ready and spending time with all the family that came down. Over that week we got so many questions on how we dyed the dropcloth curtains - so we wrote down every step!

Fabric dye (for 2 curtains, 2 8oz. bottles at $4.98 each)
Sewing pins (or seweing machine)
Rubber gloves
Metal rod (or something you don't mind stirring the dye with)

Step 1. I had a few choices when it came to the exact color, but you may skip this step. Between the three colors I went with the completely denim blue. If you're going to mix colors, RIT has a great guide on how to do it and it would be good to test a small swatch before you dye the entire curtain.


Step 2. Wash the dropcloths. Since drop cloths are meant to repel paint/water, you need to run them through the washer to loosen up the fibers. I put mine through twice with an extra dose of fabric softner.  

Step 3. Fill the plastic bin with warm/hot water from the bath tub or shower until 1/3 of the bin is full. You don't want to put too much water in it because it will dilute the dye and you may not get the color you want. The dye bottle has specific directions on the back if you want a specific amount to use. Like an idiot, I tried to use a hose and the sink for whatever reason and made a mess, so just use the gigantic bathtub you probably have. You fill it with warm/hot water so the fibers loosen up and take the dye more evenly.

Step 4. Pour the entire bottle into the warm water, mix thoroughly. Depending on how dark or saturated you want the curtains, you may use two bottles for just one curtain, this is when you're testing swatches will come in handy. I used one 1 whole bottle for the first and second soak of the first curtain and one whole bottle for the second curtain.

Step 5. Soak. I let the first panel soak overnight (12 hours) making sure every part of the curatin was submerged in the dye.

Step 6. Dry and repeat. In the morning I wrung out the curtain over the bin until I couldn't squeeze any excess dye out. Then place it somewhere flat to dry, like a clothes line or a railing. Depending on how dark or saturated you want the curatin, you may need to do a second soak. Once completely dry, I put mine in the dye for the second coat and repeated the process. 

Step 7. Make sure they are completely dry! You don't want to bring in any dye, so you may stick them in the dryer for a few minutes to be sure.

Step 8. Hang them up. Hang them the exact length you want them and ignore the excess fabric on the bottom. 

Step 9. Fold and pin. Next, you'll pull the excess fabric up on the back side of the curtain and pin it to the length you want. If you're handy, run it through a sewing machine to get them just right, if not, just pin and voila!

Step 10. Repeat with the other panel!

These are a simple and budget friendly way to get high priced looking curtains for low cost. Even though I'd like to get some high quality curtains in here one day, these do the job until then. Be sure to share how your's turn out!


  1. Elizabeth, I recently found your post about dyeing dropcloths. How do you like the curtains now and have you washed them since initial dyeing? Did the dropcloths come out blotchy at all? Could I possibly dye in the washing machine? Thanks for your help. Your drapes are beautiful and the perfect color -- blue, of course.

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