Drop Cloth Connoisseur?
(Yes, I had to google “connoisseur” to find out the correct spelling!)
Could I be a drop cloth connoisseur?
The definition is…
A connoisseur (Fr. connaisseur, from Middle-French connoistre, then connaître meaning “to be acquainted with” or “to know somebody/something.”
Well, when I was making curtains for my house this summer, I have to admit that I became REAL ACQUAINTED with drop cloths.
And after I slip covered my chair with a drop cloth, I decided that I definitely KNOW more about drop cloths than a person should.
So I want to share some of my knowledge with you. (Cause I know you are dying to be a drop cloth connoisseur too!)
First of all, Home Depot has the best drop cloths.
Ouch! That hurt’s, cause I’m a Lowe’s girl at heart. But it is true.
All of the 6×9 foot drop cloths at Lowe’s had a big seam running down the middle. Sometimes horizontally, and sometimes vertically.
How do I know?
Because I bought and returned over 10 different drop cloths trying to find ones without seams!
Let’s just say Lowe’s loves me.
The drop cloths at Home Depot are SEAMLESS! (I hope they are where you live too!)
Secondly, not all of the drop cloths are made of the same material, even at Home Depot.
How do I know that?
Because I bought six from Home Depot, brought them home, then noticed they were made of two different types of material. One I liked, and one I didn’t.
(You can see the different types of material in the picture below. I liked the material on the bottom half of the picture better.)
So I returned them to Home Depot and got 6 drop cloths that were made of the same material.
Yes, Home Depot loves me too.
Thirdly, be sure to wash them before you use them to get out the “drop cloth smell.”
When you wash them, they instantly turn super soft, like a totally different material.
It’s also important to wash them to shrink the material a little, especially if you are using it to slip cover a chair.
After making my curtains, I ironed the material before hanging them up.
See…I told you I knew more than I should!
In the coming days, I will be posting about how I made my drop cloth curtains and slipcover.
Stay tuned, all you drop cloth lovers….
I have always wanted to try this! Thanks for the tips.
ooo, i am so excited! I have been waiting since you first mentioned it.
I recently bought two 6×9 drop cloths from Home Depot with the intention of using them for curtains, too. Actually, I need more than two but that's what I got first. I opened one and washed and dried it. I was a little upset to see the wrinkles, but they came out after ironing. Whew! So now after we paint the living room I'll be making new curtains. But I'll wait til your tutorial cuz I need all the help I can get!! Thanks for your tips!
Your drapes and seat cover look great. I will be looking forward to your post on making them.
I am also keeping up with how your mom's doing and praying for you both.
You never cease to amaze me… I want to hire you to decorate my new house!
Traci, your curtains and slipcover look wonderful. I have bought several drop cloths, but usually just for painting. What a great idea, I will definitely have to check them out. I want to make curtains for the patio, so that would work perfectly. I can't wait to hear all your tips. Hugs, Marty
Traci – I can't wait for your next drop cloth post…I really need it to try and finish my curtains in the loft…was looking for something different and I think you have found it! I'll be waiting!
ps. still praying for you and yours :)
This will fun and interesting to see how you do this.
d from HomeHaven
Another wonderful project… who would have thought curtains from drop cloths I like the idea.
Awesome post! Thanks so much for the info! So, just to be sure…you don't like the ones that say "Workforce" as the brand name?? Thanks again for the awesome info!!!
So did you get the item number bar code thingy so we can go get the right ones?
I LOVE this, Traci!! Thanks for all the tips. I think there will be a lot of great uses for drop cloths soon enough, but shhhhh, don't let The H.D. know. They will jack up the prices!!
Can't wait for your tutorial!!
Thanks for the drop cloth info. I've been wanting to try making a slip cover, but keep stalling. Did you make the piping too? Also, did it take 6 drop cloths for the chair OR for the chair and draperies? Would love to know how much for each project. Linda
You are so right. I started to puchase mine at Walmart and they are totally different too. I like a good drop cloth; the creativity is endless and much less expensive. I'm praying for you and your mom today.
First, let me say I love your blog. I'm a fairly new reader, but your site is right up my alley – so-to-speak! I also purchased a drop cloth early this summer. My intention was to use it to recover my patio cushions, instead I used for new valances in my son's room. When I saw you covered the chair, I was surprised! I thought "isn't that scratchy?". Well, after reading your entry further, and seeing the difference in all the different cloths you "researched", I may have found the fabric to recover my reclining chair-and-a-half (that thing needs roughly 10 yards of fabric – cha ching!). Thanks so much for sharing your work on this project, it's really helped me a lot!
Is the bottom fabric the same as the bottom package in the dropcloth photo? Or did you actually say and I'm a goof and didn't get it? (very possible)
I too have always wanted to attempt a drop cloth repurposing!!! ;)Look forward to your posts!
Love your slipcover and draperies!!
You are totally right about the differences in them. I have returned a couple myself!
Thanks for all the good tips.
The chair looks fabulous. Look forward to seeing how you did the slipcovers. My sil has two wing back chairs that need to be recovered. Maybe this would be a good option for her.
Now I know where I have to go. I picked some up at Lowes and they had two different seams, one horizontal and one vertical. Very annoying. Thanks for the tip!! :)
I love dropcloths too! I have yet to use as curtains (I'm not sure that's the look I'm going for). But, I was thinking of adding a more elegant trim too them….not sure yet though!
Thoughts are w/you, your family and your mom!
Wow, thanks for such a useful post… I bought one to use as a drop cloth (so unimaginative) and I thought it was such nice fabric that I should do some kind of project with it sometime… now I don't have to do the experimenting… you did it for me. (:
Hi Traci! Love your drapes and the slip cover is wonderful. Did you make the slip cover? You're giving drop cloths a good name!
Be a sweetie,
Can not wait to see your advice on making these. Love your blog and hope you mom is doing okay today.
I've contemplated covering my old couch with drop cloths. I had no idea there were so many variations – I'll have to keep that in mind! Thanks for all the great ideas your blog has given me – I'll be praying for your Mom & your family.
This past weekend I purchased some from Menards in preperation for sewing a few curtains of my own. What a perfectly timed post for me. Looking forward to seeing how you made your curtains in the days to come. Thanks Robin
Wow. You sure do know a lot. I can't wait to hear how you made both of these. I've seen drop cloth curtain ideas before and have wanted to know how it's really done.
You rock! I've been looking for a suitable material for car curtains, so my poor boys won't be blinded by the sun during car trips – Home Depot, here I come!
OMG! I have been living with really ugly curtains in my living room for a long time now. I haven't really found any curtains that just called to me…until now!!! I LOVE this idea! I can't wait for the instructions! I wanna do this :)
I hope you share which drop cloths were your favorite (the packaging so we can see) because I really like the fabric of the ones you used.
Oh….I can hardly WAIT!!!
I have been following your blog for several months and find your ideas and project fantastic! I am excited to see your guest house couch redo…. I have also been waiting to hear how your did your curtains, how excited to see today's posting! I have two very large dogs and they have all but ruined my living room curtains, this will be the perfect project for that room! Thank you also for passing on the washing tip, I have a chait and love seat that I want to slip cover, but was unsure of the out of the package scratchy feel. I am lifting you and your mom up in prayer. Dee Dee
LOL at your being a connoisseur of drop cloths. I was actually glad to read your post because I stood in front of a section of drop cloths at Sherwin Williams one day and wondered which one people buy to use for curtains and slipcovers.
I am a Lowes girl too, but I'll have head to Home Depot to find the ones without seams.
I cannot wait to hear about the slipcover. I am thinking about attempting one of my own and would love to get any and all advice.
Prayed for your Mom tonight…I actually was rocking my daughter and thought about how you said she disliked her name until she found out what it meant. So I was thinking and praying for Wanda!
I LOVE the curtains and the chair looks great! I go through a lot of plastic drop cloths for painting projects (cause I'm cheap) but I have never thought of all the different non painting ways to use their classier canvas counterparts. Fabulous ideas!
Traci, so how do you tell by looking at the packages of drop cloths, which is the best? I've been wanting to make curtains with them.
I NEEDED this post–I'm looking to make curtains and reupholster two chairs for my parents on the cheap. Thanks.
Thanks for sharing this–love what you have done and can't wait to hear more! I was curious if you have ever bleached these to make them whiter? I just keep wishing they were a little lighter whenever I look at them.
Thanks so much for sharing your "drop cloth knowledge." I have one I bought at Home Depot that I plan to make curtains for the dining room with. I also plan on doing a slipcover to a chair similiar to yours. So, looking forward to that post. I am so worried I will mess up the wing area on the chair. Ah, but it will be okay, right? It's not like it's some expensive material. It's just drop cloth.
Thanks for sharing your drop cloth knowedge. I didn't realize that Home Depot had two different kinds of drop cloth fabric going. I will have to look more close when I get more to make the rest of my curtains.
Looking forward to your chair slipcover. I have a similiar chair I want to slipcover. Curious to know how hard it was to do the wings on the chair.
Wow! Can you dye these as well?! I think that I officially love you…
Thank you for this info!I am bookmarking this page for when I use dropcloth! I'm excited to start. Those curtains are some of the most beautiful ones I've seen! You hung them perfectly.
PS You are very pretty :)
Hi there, can you tell us which brand of drop cloth you finally decided on? Thanks!!
Getting ready to drop cloth my couch! Do you remember what brand of drop cloth material was the bottom one from your picture at home depot? I have do drive an hour to get to the nearest home depot and I want to get the right one!
I have been reading about drop cloth curtains on several blogs and made a last minute trip to Lowe's today because I couldn't wait. Well, you guessed it … I got home. washed the first one and started to hang when I noticed the bog seam. I immediately Googled the problem and up came your post. THANKS for the info! I will be making many friends at Lowe's as well–returning all the cloths I bought to adorn my four large living room windows:)
People…over the last 10 years, 90% of drop cloths are imported from China and India. They used to be made in the USA from remnant and over-run material fromthe US textile companies. When the textile companies trimmed manufacturing, everything went off shore, and drop cloths went as well. Drop Cloths are sold in Home Depot, Lowes, Sherwin-Williams and other paint and hardware stores and are made to be sold and used for protection while painting. You are saving tons of money by buying at Home Depot or Lowes and not a fabric store, and using them for drapes or slip covers. However, don't expect to find more than a few that "match" because they come in on hundreds of different containers every month and the yarn can differ daily. It is not chosen for its pretty appearance.
I am offended that you buy a bunch of drop cloths, go through them to see what matches or looks pretty, and then return those you don't like to the store. You actually think that is a great way to do business. You should be ashamed of yourselves. All you do is drive the cost up of everything else. Those stores can't repackage those drops, they call them defectives and chargeback the supplier. The supplier intended them to be used as drop cloths, and ends up taking the shaft because they were being used for curtains? Doesn't make sense to me. Besides, you don't know where that fabric has been. I'm sorry, but think about it.
Dear Anonymous from May 20th,
I'm sure from all the blogs about decorating with drop cloths, the sales of this item have sky rocketed, which I'm sure makes the suppliers very, very happy! Think about that!
I just referenced your article on my blog! I’ll post pictures tomorrow! Thanks for the great info!
Just found you … great article and I am off to Homie Depot!!
I covered my sofa in drop cloth material. I love it!! And boy you are so right about it being soft. My mom has even made aprons out of it. I plan on making curtains too someday….. I wish I could send you a pic of my sofa cover. Maybe you can find me on fb.
I shared your blog on my fb page. I really enjoyed it!!!
Thank you for being the first to point out that the Lowe’s drop cloths have huge, unpredictable seams in them! That was a huge (unpleasant) surprise I ran across while washing 7 of these bad boys. Especially considering that some seams are horizontal and some are vertical. Arg! Thankfully after a few more drop cloth purchases I found 7 with an identical seam running down the middle horizontally. It actually doesn’t look bad once hanging, especially if I use a tie-back, which I may do now.. Wish someone could have warned me about this beforehand, though!!
Now it’s back to Lowe’s for some returning. . .
Hi Traci! I just found your blog via Donna’s at Funky Junk Interiors. Love that you used drop cloths!!! I’m seeing that more and more out in blogland. Not only it is frugal, but the material is very heavy duty! May I ask which brand you like the best? I want to be sure to purchase the right one. Thanks!!! :)
I was so excited to try this after reading your blog. I got my first drop cloth (the exact one you did from Home Depot) and washed and dried it. When I went to iron it, I was really disappointed to see all of the snags and seams that had unraveled. Did that happen to you? Do I just trim the threads and not worry about it? Not sure if I should have washed it on gentle and hung it to dry, or if I just got a bad one. Would love your input! Thanks for your amazing blog-love it!
The first slipcover I ever made, 13 years ago was with a drop cloth. We had an ancient sofa and I needed something cheap to cover it. I’m now wanting to make another one and had all but forgotten this idea. Off tomorrow to buy a couple. It is the perfect off white colour!
What a GREAT idea!! Your fantastic!!! PLEASE let us know which ones to buy that have the same fabric. I’m with you, I like the fabric in the bottom part of the pic to! They were anything but perfect – which I love!
I just found you through Life Began in a Garden and I’m so excited because I have always loved dropcloths! I wanted to make curtains and do slip covers with them and my husband thought I had lost it! So I didn’t make them. But I going to show him your success and maybe he will come around. Thanks for sharing!
I bought a drop cloth with the intention of making a teepee for my 4 year old. It had so many seams and I was so disappointed that it wasn’t going to work. I stumbled upon your blog and thank you so much for the info on drop cloths! Now I know exactly what to buy. Thank you! Love the chair redo too!
Can you tell me which brand you ended up liking? I like the look of those drop cloths as well and would like to get those. Thanks for this post, I’m so excited to do these curtains in my living room!!
I have a wing back chair in my daughters room that is covered in a nasty red and yellow plaid fabric, this would be prefect for her room. Is it possible that you could post on how you made the slipcover?
I am eagerly waiting for the tutorials for slip covers etc. with drop cloths….love all your work. Please share.
I have just cancelled my $150 fabric order for sewing curtains and am going with the drop cloth idea!
I already bought fabric twice now and both times, it did not work out. I was defintely NOT looking forward to buying again….so this is a wonderful idea!
I almost bought cotton twill for $10/yd last night…almost bought $13/yd cotton duck or $8/yd cotton canvas this morning. ha! i do wish i had thought of this long ago.
Found you on pinterest. I’m also curious as to which brand of the 2 pictured you chose. Please respond. Thanks.
Does anyone know if you can dye the drop clothes to the color you like? Thanks!
I wondered that too. I like the natural for my living room, but wondered how they would look in a dark grey. I would think it would depend on the fabric content of the individual drop cloth you’ve chosen. I’m pretty sure that natural fabrics, like cotton take dye well, and synthetics don’t. If you try it, post your results, would you? At only $11 a pop, plus a box of dye, it wouldn’t be a horribly expensive mistake if they don’t go well.
There is NOT a brand that I like better than the other. The point I was making in this post is that every package of drop cloths can be different. You may pick up two packages, both from
the “workforce” brand, and they STILL may look differently. That is why I am encouraging you to compare the drop cloths with the other ones from the same brand. They vary from package to package. Chose which “look” of drop cloths you like best and buy them.
I hope this helps,
Thanks but to start which ones turned wrinkly like the bottom picture. Thank you.
I can’t thank you enough for this post! I have been coveting Restoration Hardware’s Textured Belgian Linen panels, but at $167 per panel and 3 windows, they were WAY out of my league. I checked the outlet too. Still out of my price range. I’ve had a swatch of the fabric in the linen color that has been tucked into my purse for about 2 months now, looking for something to substitute on a reasonable budget. I saw a Pin yesterday that linked to your blog post and I was all sorts of excited. I went today to check them out at Home Depot with my swatch in hand, and their drop cloths were almost a dead on match. I had to go to 2 different stores to get a total of 6, but I brought them home, washed ’em, ironed them and hung them up on the clip rings I already had. ***LOVE***. The fabric is even heavier than my swatch, and they’re such a nice width. Thanks a TON!
Hi I love this post and am going to make some drop sheets curtains – I am in Australia and am having a hard time finding seam free drop sheets – with the Home Depot drop sheets what is the biggest size you can get that is seam free?
Any info would be fantastic please?
I’m also in Australia looking for seam free drop sheets, were you successful? Any info would be greatly appreciated
I just bought 3 drop cloths from Home Depot and they all have seams horizontally! They’ve been washed and dried, so I’m not returning…will just use them for another project.
How did you return them after you tore the package open? Just wouldn’t occur to me that they would take them back…
Well, shoot! I am sorry they had seams! I haven’t bought drop cloths from Home Depot for a couple of years, so maybe they have seams now. Not sure? They will take the drop cloths back if they haven’t been used and you have the packaging.
I am getting ready to do a drop cloth project and am torn between the natural oatmeal color they already are or dying them. I’ve been trying to read other’s experiences with dying them and they seem mixed. I don’t want to ruin the fabric (I know it’s cheap, but still, it’s not free!). Some people have said it came out blotchy while others said the color you end up with isn’t quite on par with what you’re going for since you’re not starting with pure white. Do you have any tips or suggestions on these issues? I’m thinking a very, very soft ballet pink. Not a bright pink, just something soft and a barely there pink.
This is a wonderful idea! Do you have any advise on dying them or does that work? I would like a deep brick red. Is that unrealistic?
I have never tried dying them. Sorry.
Looks fantastic! Home Depot’s now also have seams either the length or width. Also, yes two types of fabric. The stiffer I must return and also try to get seam going lengthwise for my second window. Thanks for your post!
Just wanted to share with you the drop cloths I purchased had the seam in the middle. They are from the brand everbilt and the size I purchased was 9ft x12ft. Not sure if that was the issue but at Home Depot I could not find any other brand….just wanted to share that with you! By the way you have done an awesome job with all your drop cloth ideas…
Thank you for letting me know. Yes, that post was written four years ago I think. I’m not sure if HD still carries seamless drop cloths.
I’ve made drop cloth curtains for 3 rooms and have covered all of my dining room chairs in drop cloth, all purchased seamless at Home Depot. This past week I decided to make 1 more pair of curtains and bought drop cloth from Home Depot. So disappointed that it now has a seam down the middle (in the 9×12 size). Took it back thinking that surely the 6×9 size wouldn’t. Got home with the 6×9 & it has a seam going across the middle!!! I’ve searched online and can’t find any that aren’t seamless :(. Thanks for always inspiring us with your great ideas!!!
Do you know if the 9×12 drop cloths at home depot have seems down the middle? Thank you, Tina
Do you know the brand name of the drop cloths you were happy with at home depot? What size? Thank you.
Hello….Did you wash the drop cloths in hot water and then tumble dry or line dry?
I washed on cold water, and then tumbled dried. Sometimes, they need a little ironing. :)
Hi. I recently made some pillow slip covers from drop cloths. My final “test run” was to wash them to see how they hold up. They frayed horribly to the point there were holes. I tried a second one. Same thing. I then thought maybe it was the stitching on the machine so I adjusted that. Same thing. I then used the same stitching on a pillow cover I made from duck cloth, washed it. No fraying. So it’s obviously the fabric. With all the love going on for curtains on blogs, has anyone washed their finished projects to see how they hold up? I know all drop cloths are not created equal, but are drop cloths, in general just not woven to hold up to washing? If anyone has had this experience let me know. I can’t afford to go hunting for different brands of drop cloths if they are just going to fray apart at the seams when washed. Thanks!
Hmmm…I only washed my drop cloths before I hung them as curtains, and I didn’t cut or sew them. I left the hems that are already on the drop clothes. But I did wash and cut my drop cloths to use as a slipcover on a wing back chair, and I didn’t have any trouble with them fraying. I got my drop cloths at Home Depot.
Thanks for responding. I think I may have discovered the problem, as well as a solution. I read on another blog that all canvas, regardless of whether it’s a drop cloth or canvas off the bolt at a fabric department, will shrink……a LOT….when washed. The first pillow slip I made, was from a drop cloth that I did not wash, at all, first. It went horribly frayed and torn. The second pillow slip, from a drop cloth that I prewashed but in cold water. It still frayed to the point the slip couldn’t be used, but not as badly as the one that I did not prewash. I had a third drop cloth that I wanted to be red, so I tossed it in the wash with RIT red dye, straight out of the package. That requires washing in HOT water, twice. So on a hunch, I made another slip cover from the red dyed drop cloth then washed it………….and no fraying. I washed it a second time just to be sure, and only a small fray on the edge tips of the seams, which is normal for just about any fabric. So I think what happened was, because canvas shrinks dramatically when washed, the seam I made in the pillows, the thread provided resistance it caused the weaves in the material to fray during the shrinking process. So I think the solution would be BEFORE ever making anything with canvas, regardless of the project, wash the canvas straight out of the package in HOT water. Even a second washing because it will still shrink a little more during a second wash. No blog or site ever mentions that, that I have read. Only that they washed their fabric first…..but mostly they mentioned they did so to get the smell or to soften the material. No one mentioned anything about preventing the fraying during wash. I was afraid I was going to have to start using the more expensive canvas off the bolts, because someone did bring up a good point about drop cloths. They were not made to hold up under wear and tear, they were made by sewing a bunch of junk clothes and threads together for the purpose of catching paint. But at least I can pre-treat the drop cloth now and take the next steps in my “durability testing” on the pillow slips I made for people. Enjoyed reading your blog, btw. And thanks again for the response.
Thank you for mentioning this. I was about a quarter of the way through making a slipcover when I realized I hadn’t ever seen it either. As it happens I washed my drop cloths twice in hot water but that’s just to get the smell of bleach out. Lucky me! I plan on using bunch of Fray Check as well.
Hi I’m looking for a dropcloth with a gray tint to it – all the ones I’ve seen have been yellowish in tint. This is for a gray room, otherwise it wouldn’t matter. Have you seen any? It seems I’ve looked everywhere….
Hi Tracey, I have not seen gray tint ones, although the ones I bought years ago are definitely “less yellow” than most. It’s really just hit and miss as far as what the home stores have in stock. Hope you find some!! :)
I know this was a year ago, but you can use RIT dye on the drop cloth and it comes out great! I’m not sure what hue of grey you need, but you can use pearl grey and add a bit of blue jean for the most gorgeous grey! I would check the RIT website. It will show you how to make every shade of grey ;)
Hi Traci, I’m going to attempt drop cloth sheets I’ve already made a drop cloth duvet cover that turned out great, and pillow cases, they’e soft enough to sleep on, so, why not sheets, faux linen, if you will. I too, am a pro at ways to use “home depot” drop cloths. I’ve made curtains, slipcovers, pillow cases, tableclothes, tree skirts, and now, like i meentioned, am going to try sheets-wish me luck-
When washing and bleaching drop cloths ( I need them white ) from HD, do you put them in the dryer too? Thanks!
Yes, I did. :)