I just finished the drapery project for our master bedroom. I wanted a linen-looking drape to finish off the window and doors that have custom roman shades on them, so my inspiration came from lots of bloggers who have done this before with painter's drop cloths!
I purchased the drop cloths at Duron. They have a lot of sizes and weights to choose from. The color choices are beige and gray. I bought two 9' x 12' beige drop cloths in the 6 ounce weight for around $16 each. I needed four 54" wide x 84" long panels (like the ones you would buy in a store) but my panels ended up being 46" x 84" because but they are just meant to frame the window and door, not meant to be drawn.
The process of bleaching these drop cloths was the lengthiest part. Here's how I did it:
1. Fill the washing machine with water and add 2 cups of bleach
2. Soak the drop cloth for several hours ( I did 4 hrs.), then run it through the cycle.
3. Then wash the drop cloth with 1 cup bleach and regular detergent and run it through the entire cycle.
4. Next wash the drop cloth with detergent only.
5. Dry it in the dryer and hold it up to see if it is white enough or if it is "splotchy".
Mine was unevenly bleached and not white enough, so I repeated the entire 3 steps again! So that was 6 washings for each drop cloth.
Here is a comparison of the 6th wash on the left, and 3 washes on the right:
They are Ivory in color now, just perfect for my room. You can't get them perfectly white, though.
I split each drop cloth down the middle and had to make a clean cut edge, since I made the mistake of rolling a hem from a torn edge, and boy were they wavy! So I took it apart and cut a straight line. I put 3" of Interfacing under the header hem so add stiffness to support the drapery hooks…
I already had the pole mounted from a previous window treatment, so I used the drapery hooks and rings and ironed the panels, then hung them.
If you want them to look more substantial, you could line them, but I wanted them a bit transparent, to show off the texture of the fabric in the light. For full closure, you would want to double your width, so use an entire 9 x 12 drop cloth per panel.
I also purchased a 16' x 20' gray drop cloth (8 oz. weight) for less than $40.00 (for 20 yds!!!!) to make a slipcover for my sofa in the sunroom. But that is a huge future project . I have only slipcovered a Parsons chair before, so this should be a challenge! Oh, and roman shade valances in the kitchen are also on my list.
Lesson learned: they're inexpensive and fun to experiment with, so give it a try!
We also want to try to block print some of these bleached drop cloths for a headboard or another project... oh the possibilities!!!
PS - Please contact us if you are interested in consigning any decor bloopers you have lying around your home. We're running low on our own design mistakes in our basements, and are actively looking for new items to offer on our FOR SALE page!!