How I Turned Drop Cloths Into Stunning Outdoor Curtains

4 Materials
1 Day

If you have been following my under deck revamp, you know that I did a lot to the space:

  1. Added a railings so small children didn't fall of a foot high ledge
  2. Used plastic PVC panels to turn the space into a covered patio
  3. Painted the exposed wood with white stain as well as the deck above

Well this was the final chapter to the saga!

I liked the look of curtains for shade, decor and to make it easier to watch movies before it was pitch black (we added a projector and screen on the back of the house too!)

I wanted an industrial look and as always I didn't want to spend a lot of money!

These dropcloths were on sale for $12 for two 6x9 ft cloths and I needed five in total.

I then needed something to hang the curtains from. Initially, I planed on using galvanized pipes but they weren't long enough, I could have used adapters but decided 1/2 inch copper pipes would be easy to cut to length. I purchased three and used a pipe cutter to makes them what ever length was needed!

These were the fittings (these actually come in two pieces that can be threaded together).

The plates was screwed into the perpendicular beams that hold up the deck. The copper tubes then went inside the circular piece that then screwed to tighten.

These curtain rings with clips came in a pack for 40 from Amazon for $10!

I used 8 per curtain and spaced them out evenly. I just eyeballed this since I didn't think the exact spacing was very important.

One warning I must share is that upon opening the drop cloths, there was a very strong smell that I could only describe as smelling like a wet sheep. Fortunately, this did air out after a few days.

Here is a look from the yard side. The drop cloths I purchased were 6 ft by 9 ft with a seam across and I needed about 7 ft vertically so I hung them the long way up and folded over the top. The seam was actually a pretty good guide of where I needed the fold the material.

I actually checked to see if the curtains would stay dry during rain with the PVC sheet roof and it did! I'm sure in a bad storm with wind that wouldn't be the case but for some drizzel I was pleasantly surprised!

We added this metal shelf where we place the projector for our outdoor movie theater! The curtains help with blocking some light but we still have to wait until close to dusk for it to be dark enough to see the screen.

I am IN love with the overall look. It is exactly what I was aiming for!

The curtains are sheer enough to let the sun shine through but provide some shade and a ton of ambiance. The "curtains" are hung over on this side giving it the two toned look!

Now that this space is complete it is certainly one of my favorite spots in the house!

I said I was all done with this space but that is a lie

I actually have a next project in mind already to convert my daughters old crib into a swing bed to hang off the back of the deck between my peonie bushes! So I suppose their is another sequel after all!

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 10 questions
  • Mary Mac
    Mary Mac
    on Jul 13, 2020

    Love this idea. What are the copper fittings called and where did you get them? I searched Home Depot, but couldn't find. Thanks,

    • Berta Lily
      Berta Lily
      on Jul 14, 2020

      Its actually two pieces, maybe that's why you had trouble, they thread together. I used the 1/2 size for the pipe.

  • Dawn
    on Jul 19, 2020

    Just want to say I’ve had this same idea for years! I still have two unused drop cloths set aside. Lol. I’m glad to see someone put it into action and so beautifully! I can’t wait to do this next year on our southwest-facing deck when we extend our pergola.

  • Mary Doyle
    Mary Doyle
    on Jul 21, 2020

    Why do the curtains look as if they are two different materials? Dark at time then sheer?

    • Mary
      on Aug 8, 2020

      I think it is because the drop sheets were 9 feet long and she only needed 7 ft., so they are folded over by 2 ft.

Join the conversation

2 of 48 comments
  • Virgie Jaquess
    Virgie Jaquess
    on Aug 2, 2020

    I use drop cloths from Home Depot as they seemed to be the best weight. I tied them back with rope ties I found on Amazon. I bleached them in the washer and washed them twice to get rid of the smell and lighten them somewhat. Really effective for blocking intense heat and offers great privacy when needed.

  • Debbie
    on Sep 3, 2020

    super cute. i like yours so much more then mine.

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