Drop Cloth Curtains for my Patio

Ladies, I am very pleased that I have finally made some progress on my back patio!

dropcloth patio curtains

Are you tired of hearing about it yet?

I am so laughing that it has taken me all summer to work on my back patio.  Back in the “before working full time” days, I would have knocked this patio out in a couple of weeks!

But noooooo…it’s only taken me about 10 weeks to finally get ‘er done!

I have affectionately labeled this projects as, “The patio that has kicked my tail!”

I was close to raising the white flag, but I didn’t give in.

Thankfully, I am finally lovin’ the almost-finished project.

I am hoping to share the final “reveal” on Friday.

Today I am going to show you the curtains I made for my patio from drop cloths.

No, big surprise there!  If you have read my blog for any time at all,  you know my love affair with drop cloths.  I even wrote a post about me being a “drop cloth connoisseur”.

Why do I like drop cloths? They are cheap, durable, already hemmed, and pretty!

I have drop cloth curtains in my kitchen….

drop cloth curtains

Drop cloth curtains in my den…

A chair with a drop cloth slipcover…

And now drop cloth curtains on my back patio!…

Somebody stop me!  :)

To hang my curtains, I purchased 1/2 inch metal poles from Lowe’s.  A five foot pole cost only about $1.37 or so.  I had to buy two 10 foot poles that were less than two dollars a piece.  I cut the 10 foot pieces into two 7 foot pieces for both sides of the patio.

I think it was less than 10 dollars for all 6 of these poles…

I spray painted the poles with KILZ spray primer (which is already white) and then put a final coat of white spray paint on top.

I also bought some little hooks to hold up the poles.  They were .67 cents a piece.  I bought 8.

My hubby helped me screw the hooks in the wood and put the poles up.  I spray painted the hooks white so they wouldn’t show up as much.  (Please pay no attention to the dirty spider webs.)  :)

I washed and ironed the curtains before hanging them with black ring clips from Lowe’s…

I have a total of 5 of these curtains on my patio!  The drop cloths were less than 10 dollars a piece at Home Depot.  (Remember, Home Depot drop cloths do NOT have seams down the middle, Lowe’s drop cloths do.)

Here’s a run down of the price of my patio curtains:

5 drop cloths -$50.00

5 sets of ring clips – $25.00

metal poles – $10.00

hooks – $6.00

primer and paint $6.00

Grand Total:  $97.00

That sounds like a LOT of money to me, and if I wasn’t working full time, I may not have been able to afford these.

But compared to the Ballard Designs curtains that I love…

(that would have cost over $500.00 for 5 panels), I am thinking I did pretty good!

Now I can pull the curtains out for some extra shade on the patio…

Or I can tie them back…

I will show you the rest of the curtains on Friday.

Tuesday, I will show you a furniture re-do I finished this weekend for the patio.

If you want to see all of my posts about drop cloths, just click on “drop cloths” in the labels in my side bar.

Have a blessed day!


  1. I love it!! I helped my mom redecorate her kitchen while we were back in the States- the first thing to go were the 1984 (yes! and UGH!) vertical blinds and up went drop cloth curtains over the patio door. The difference was immediate and the room looks so much cleaner, prettier, and up to date!

  2. You go girl! I love it. I just wish I would have read your post about Home Depot drop cloths, (but, I don’t have a Home Depot) :( before I tore open three packages of drop cloths from Lowes. But, one of the packs did not have a seam, the very first package! (Go figure that.) I can’t wait to see the Big Reveal.
    Have a wonderful week.

  3. I love them! Great job! One question though… can you leave then up when it rains, or do you bring them in? I’ve always wondered that when people have fabric outdoors.

    1. You could spray them with an aerosol waterproofer. I use it on my outdoor pillows and fabrics as well as the outside of my horse blankets, since washing the blankets can remove some of the origional waterproofing. I get the waterproofing product from Tractor Supply Company in the boot care area, though you may find it at other horse related stores/websites and possibly shoe stores. It’s the same type of product you would use to waterproof/protect leather or canvas boots. It works great and I apply it before using the items outside (if it’s not already intended for outdoor use) and then reapply after a couple washes. The product protects the fabrics so well that I usually only wash them once in the spring and maybe once in the fall. Use as directed, but the product is safe on most fabrics/materials and is undetectable to the touch and eyes. I have some Pottery Barn outdoor pillows on my back deck that is not under roof and gets harsh sunlight; I have left these pillows outside for three entire years and they seriously look as new as the day I bought them! I also have some pillows on my covered porch that my mother-in-law had made for me. They have a light weight canvas covered insert and a slip type pillow cover in a different design/color, but the same type of fabric which makes them easier to slip off to wash. I didn’t use the waterproofing on these pillows the first season and they faded and mildewed some, so I used hydrogen peroxide to spot treat the mildewed areas and washed and dried as usual, then applied the waterproofing – they look the same as the day I used the protectant! It seems to protect the fabrics from fading too!

  4. LOVE love LOVE it!!! The patio looks fab! Can’t wait for the big reveal!

    (I have to ask, though — when it rains, will the curtains get wet?)

  5. love Love LOVE this!!!!!!! We have big plans to build a pergola over our patio and I am always drooling over the Pottery Barn outdoor curtains and wondering how on earth I could ever spend that money. Drop cloths are a fantastic idea! THANK YOU!!!!

  6. Wow Traci they look great. I love that people use curtains on their patio for shade. I wish I had a covered patio so I could hang some too. Great job.

  7. i love it! i really love the idea’s you have for your drop cloth’s. i am having trouble with finding cutains that i loke for my kitchen bay window . i might have to use this idea there. thanks for sharing.. you really inspire me to do more with what i have at home.

  8. Traci, as usual, they look fabulous! I really want to replicate this look . . . someday. We just have to get the patio in, and have the pergola built, and furnish it with lovely out door furniture . . . etc . . . ;o) I’ve done a few projects with d-cloth as well, and love it just as much. As far as the cost – what a steal! It probably didn’t even seem like that much, as I’m sure you probably purchased some of those items piecemeal, right?

    Give yourself a bit pat on the back! And thanks for more great inspiration.

  9. THanks for posting about these! I planned to do the same thing to my pergola this summer, but haven’t gotten around to it. I couldn’t decide on using poles, or wire, or what. You’ve done the guess work for me!

  10. Those drop cloth curtains on your patio are fabulous!! My husband plans to build us an outrageous deck off the back of our house next year. Right now we only have a patio the size of a postage stamp. We can’t even put a table and chairs out there with a nice umbrella because the patio is too small! I can hardly wait for our new deck because I know we’ll be out there using it every evening! Last night we discussed putting a roof over part of it. I wanted to come up with a way to soften it and make a more intimate area for seating. I think you have just given me an idea! I can imagine drop cloth curtains tied around it right now!! Thanks for the inspiration and thanks for your wonderful blog. Your story of your Mom previously brought a tear to my eye. She sounds like a very giving, selfless person! You were/are blessed!

  11. spider webs, what spider webs???? ; )
    Love the curtains on your porch with the sunset shining on them. Very cool photo. You did a great job staying on a budget.

  12. They are beautiful! I was also thinking of doing this to my pergola this summer but time is almost up. You always get them to hang so nicely. I have drop cloth curtains in my family room and I guess I will have to break down and iron them. Great job thanks for the inspiration:)

  13. Your porch looks great! I wish I would’ve known the tip about buying from Home Depot. Last year my sister brought me drop cloths for a couple of bedrooms and I was pretty disappointed that 3 had seams. I would’ve been ok with it if it would’ve been 4 instead of 3. But, since the closest Lowe’s or Home Depot is a short 5 hour plane ride away….we made do! I always enjoy reading your blog.

  14. GREAT IDEA!! I am wanting to do long curtains in my newly renovated diningroom… I have never heard of dropcloths… do i just go into Lowes and ask someone to direct me to the drop cloths aisle?? Will they look at my funny?? ARe there different colors??????? Lovely patio…. btw!!

  15. I just showed my husband this post. I thought he’d give it a cursory look…….he tends to glaze over when I tell him about the pergola and curtains i envision for our patio……but no, he exclaimed “NICE!”. with meaning. like he liked it. like he really checked it out & thought it was a good idea! no glazing over! i think i just witnessed a miracle! thank YOU!

  16. Your patio looks great! I love to see what you’ve been up to. I actually got the same (look-a-like to Ballards) grommet drapery at IKEA, $29 for a pair!!! so that’s another idea if anyone lives close to a store.

  17. Hey there! Love your drop cloth curtains on the patio. How are they holding up to the weather and rain? I have a pergola that I would love to hang curtains from, but there would be no cover from the rain. I wonder if they would get spotty and mildew-y.

  18. I came to your blog today for the first time through Just A Girl blog. I already spent way too much time this morning browsing through your blog. What a wonderful inspiration you are!! I had a quick question on the dropcloths outside. They are beautiful, however is this something you can easily take down and wash or clean somehow? I know mine would look grungy within a couple of months in our Texas weather. Thanks for all the wonderful ideas!!

  19. The patio looks great!

    I have drop cloth curtains on my patio too & they have held up for over a year now. As for rain/water, I have only had one panel get mildewy, but not too bad. At $10 each though I don’t mind replacing it. I don’t live in a climate where we have lots of rain/humidity though, but I do have a swimming pool, 2 Labradors & a young child (plus friends). They have held up surprisingly well & when you need to, just throw them in the wash for a quick clean.

    Great job on your space!

  20. Hi – just found out about you via Twitter (I’m Allie’s Antics on twitter). Anyway, I’m your newest follower. I’ve been making pillows out of drop cloths but had never thought of curtains. Fantastic! Did you wash them multiple times first or bleach at all? And I’m guessing you didn’t have to sew them at all? thanks! :-)

  21. Traci, I found your blog through Centsational Girl and really enjoy it. My hubby and I have a website all about front porch ideas. We would love to feature you on our website – especially your ideas about your drop cloth curtains and how you did your concrete floor on your patio to look like tile. Of course, we’d give you link love! If you are interested, would you please drop me a line at info @ front-porch-ideas-and-more.com? Thank you so very much…..Mary

  22. Would it be ok if I used the 12oz Drop Cloth or would that be to heavy? I am doing a privacy fence in the backyard and so i wanted to use the drop cloths. When it rains to you think the clips will hold them up or will the 12oz be too heavy? Thanks so much

  23. Thanks for mentioning that Lowe’s drop cloths have a seem. No other blog that I’ve read said anything about that. I was on my way there tomorrow to buy them. Guess I’ll have to go across the street to Home Depot instead! Thanks!!

  24. I haden’t seen your website until today. Back in Sept I hung drop cloths on my patio. We enclosed it last year and it needed some curtains to soften it up and shield from afternoon sun. The patio is huge 30×30 so u can imagine how long it took me to finish. I live in south Florida so the rain and humidity is horrible. They didn’t even last 2 months and I had to bleach them. They didn’t all come clean but are OK. I purchased some decorative shower curtains on clearance and will try them. One thing I dont like about the drop cloths is they are so thick and they let absolutely no wind through.

  25. AWESOME!!! This is what I had in mind for my patio and you help me to put an actual picture to the vision in my head. Thanks

  26. Just went to Home Depot and purchased 6 drop cloths. All of them have seams in the middle. I know that it has been a while since your original post ~ just thought I would let everyone know. Maybe, it’s just around here?!?!?

  27. You can make these look more like the expensive ones you compared them too, instead of the clip on rings get a curtain grommet kit at hobby lobby or the fabric store….just make a circle with the template, snap together and cut fabric out of middle! Oh and thanks for the home depot tip…no one wants a seam. Thanks for sharing :)

  28. MY husband and I were just discussing doing this last night. So I googled a tutorial and found yours. I love your ideas and thanks so much for all the details. I am pinning this for reference. Megan

  29. Do You do any sewing for your outside drop cloth curtains? Just wondering. They look awesome!!!

  30. Update on Home Depot drop cloths: Both brands of canvas drop cloths at Home Depot may now have seams. Specs for one brand say “may have seams” and the other brand doesn’t mention seams. I got two 9X12s of the one that didn’t mention seams in their specs. One drop cloth had no seams. The other had both a vertical seam and a horizontal seam. These products are supposed to be used as drop cloths not for their fabric so you can’t return them just because there’s a seam! I can work with the seamed one by including a valance to hide the seam near the top but now I have to do more sewing. I could flip the top over for the valance but the side hem would show and it’s kind of ragged. Suggest you buy the 6X12s. They MAY have less chance of seams but no guarantee…

  31. This was a big help, just finish a huge cover around the fireplace and want to use it during the holidays, now I can. This saved me $$$ from regular curtains.

    1. I wonder if you could spray them with a vinegar mixture to keep mildew from growing? I think I’m going to try drop cloth curtains on my porch.

  32. Hi,
    OK, I am e-mailing you to see how these curtains have held up…
    I once made poillows for my back covered patio out of canvas and they had mold less than two weeks later.

    So, I was wondering how the drop cloth curtains have held up over the years… do you have any special advice on caring for them?

    Thanks in advance for any help!


    1. Hi. I made curtains out of these drop cloths for my back patio. A month later, mold & mildew setting in. I live in South Texas where there is high humidity even though we get very little rain. I was so disappointed. I didn’t spend a lot of money but did spend a lot of time making them. I don’t know if there may be a product that can be sprayed on them to prevent mold & mildew from setting in. Anyway I just threw them in the trash today sadly.

      1. Paula,
        I am so sorry to hear about that! I don’t know what made the difference. I had my curtains up for two years straight {even through the winter months} and never had trouble with mold and mildew. I live in Kentucky, so we have all types of weather, and it gets really humid here too. Hmmmm. Not sure why yours didn’t work out.

  33. It was more expensive than what was put up here. The curtains now are around $11 at home depot and lowes.
    the hooks i bought were a set of 6 those were heavy duty hooks for these curtains are going out side in my Pergola. $7
    the curtain hooks i found a great bargain at Home Depot. A package of 14 for $7.
    The piping however was not as cheap . it was $14.50 per pipe. I also got that at lowes. I got 4 10 foot long galv. pipe. I did ask around to locate this cheaper pipe she had used. – no such luck.
    ** what did you use to cut the pipe? **
    I can not wait to put them up though and be able to enjoy my Pergola in privacy. Thank you for the great idea.

  34. Here’s a thought, I used bamboo poles for “curtain rods” to hang the curtains around our pergola. The were very inexpensive and added to the outdoor feel of the space. Also available in long lengths. I had put up some sheer panels around our pergola but they didn’t hold up well at all so I plan on replacing them with drop cloths.

  35. I’m curious about the weight of the drop cloths. When using them as curtains, are they flowy or rigid? It seems like they would be rigid. I’m in SW FL with lots of humidity, too. Just figured I’d throw them in the washer from time to time, no? Thanks for the ideas :)

  36. Curious as to how they wash and iron? I bought all the supplies yesterday to work on this project over spring break. Can’t wait to get started!!

  37. Curious to how the drop cloths wash and iron? I bought all the supplies yesterday to work on over spring break! So excited to get started on the project!!

  38. I wanted to thank you for putting this great idea up. I am trying to get my backyard done in time for my husbands homecoming. He’s been gone for 8 months. And I am happy to say that my father and I put them up yesterday and they look great. I was concerned because I have an alumawood patio cover, But it was still easy to do, I will post pictures soon. Thank you again.

  39. I made these and they are fabulous!!! I used bronze shower rings to hang from an existing rod on the Pergola of my new house! I also cut ties and made huge draping tie backs so they’re not just flapping in the wind. My patio is sooooo cozy!! I literally spent $40 on the curtains and clips and then added tons of planters with beautiful flowers. Oh and some fun lights for nighttime. It’s perfect.

  40. I love, love the drop cloth curtains on your outside patio. What is the height and length that you purchased? I have the same type of patio and will be doing the same thing!

  41. Has anyone successfully done this with a big window? I need to make curtains for a window that is 92 in. high and 180 in. wide and am concerned that the clips won’t hold the weight such long panels.

    1. Julie, did you ever figure anything out for your extra large window? I have a huge (10’x15′) section of sliding doors that I need curtains for. Any thoughts? I’m going to check out the drop cloths at home depot, but I REALLY don’t want seams :-(

  42. Love, love, love your ideas. You are so talented. I as well googled the drop clothes at Home Depot and there are TONS of drop cloths with the prices almost doubled since 2010 but probably still cheaper than anything else. Assume you used the canvas without the poly backing??? Also have a few other questions; what are the dimensions of your patio, how has the staining held up since 2010 and is it slick when wet? Would love to do this at the lake house this spring so planning under way.

  43. Great tutorial on these curtains. Quick question, how did you secure the ends of your rods? I see you have the hooks to hold up the rods, but how do you keep the rod from sliding when drawing the curtains closed? Thank you!

  44. How do these drop cloth curtains hold up in the rain. My husband just built a covered pergola on our deck.

  45. I absolutely LOVE what you have done with ALL the drop clothes..
    I want to do the same ideas in my house..
    You have done a FANTASTIC job..

    Thanks for sharing.
    Jin from Tx.

  46. I made these curtains for my patios over weekend before I found your website. Great Minds thing a like. A question I am axing ,myself is how do I keep my curtains from getting soaking wet during storms? I haven’t come up with the solution yet. Any ideas?

    1. Deanne, Mine just got soaking wet! :) And then they were already “hanging out to dry.” They would dry up quickly after a storm with no problem at all. I never took mine down. Hope you enjoy yours!

  47. Just getting ready for spring/summer heat. Saw your post. Can’t wait to get these up on my patio. Thanks for tips. I’ll let you know how it goes.

  48. I agree that drop cloth curtains are a great way to provide some shade. They seem to be thick enough to shield the sun. I also think blackout curtains would be good for the patio.

  49. Thanks for sharing Traci! It’s a splendid idea, as always! It rains too much where I live to hang drop cloth outdoors but I wish I could. I remember the ‘drop cloth connoisseur’ :D

    Would you mind if I added a link to this page in my latest blog post?

  50. I can’t find the metal poles at lowest or home Depot for about two dollars as you have posted. What department at lowest did you find these pole?

  51. The drop cloths at Harbor Frieghts are really soft! Beige in color. French seams on two sides. I plan on putting them up today. Excited about shade on my screened in porch. Using drapery rings I already had. 9X12 cost $18.

  52. Just finished my curtains 1 month ago. I love them! My problem is…..mildew. Just noticed it yesterday. We have had 2 days of rain here in Ky and now mildew. After the rain, I opened them up so they could dry. Any suggestions?

  53. I have drop cloths as curtains on my porch. They have been up for over a year. They have been great. I actually got mine at Walmart. I got the larger ones and was able to fold them back at the top to be the length I wanted them. It makes them look like they have a valiance. I keep mine tied back when the weather is nice and pull them down when I know it is going to rain. As for getting wet – mine do sometimes, but they dry out quick. About three times since I have had them up, they will mildew some. But that is not a problem. I spray them with the hose and then mist them with bleach and the mildew just disappears.
    My two little dogs stay on the porch during the day and during the cold days, I leave the curtains down and the porch stays warm. Also, last year I left several potted plants on my porch and the drapes down, and every one of them survived the winter. It is like having a wall up. I have just had a top put on my back patio and can’t wait to hang the drop cloths there, so I will have another area to close up when I want to.

  54. I buy my canvas drop cloths, 4 x 12, for $8.99. When using outside I spray them with water repellant spray.

  55. Those patio curtains really compliment the space. I have been looking at different ways to add to my patio. I’m going to start by getting a new patio cover. Thanks for sharing.

  56. I love your back porch and you have given me the courage to work on mine now! I found your blog from searching staining concrete on Pinterest. I have drop cloth curtains in my dining room and they have been something everyone loves! BUT- I won’t be able to use them outside, unless I die them. I’m wanting to dye my concrete floor and my concrete bar in our backyard because we have horrible flies and my concrete looks bad. Who wants to eat at the bar covered in fly specs. Thanks for all the great projects! I want to read about all of your patio projects now!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *